In 1992 the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed in the United States, effectively banning sports betting across the country.

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In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that PASPA was unconstitutional and in doing so allowed individual states to make their minds up on their sports betting legislature.

The UK, however, has had no such trouble with the sports betting industry since it was first legalized by the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960. In 2005 with the rise of online betting, the Gambling Act of 2005 was enacted to legalize sports, casinos,s and bingo online gambling activities.

It is no wonder then that with such different legislature journeys that the sports gambling industries in the UK and US differ greatly. Read on to find out about some of the main differences between the two…

Sports Odds

The United States always has to be different. Where the rest of the world measures liquids in milliliters, Americans measure it in cups or ounces. It’s not surprising then to know that gambling sites worldwide have an option on their sites titled ‘American Odds’.

In the UK, gambling odds are represented as fractions which, whilst confusing to understand at first, are easy to master. The number on the right of the fraction represents the stake and the number to the left represents the potential returns.

Instead of using fractions, American odds operate on pluses and minuses and are based on winning or wagering $100. A favorite for example, may be represented by odds of -500, showing you that you would need to wager $500 to win $100.

That works in reverse. Where an underdog is concerned, their odds may be represented as +500, showing the better how much they would win from a $100 wager. Still scratching your head? Take a look at the World Cup odds for both nation below:

NationAmerican World Cup OddsEnglish World Cup OddsWinnings from $100/£100 wager
England+9009/1$900/£900
USA+10,000100/1$10,000/£10,000

(American odds explained.)

Terminology

The differences between English and American English are multiple and varied, and it is no different when it comes to gambling.

In the UK for example, a bet that contains multiple games is referred to as an accumulator as it is the accumulation of multiple outcomes. In the USA, the term Parlay is used to describe this type of bet with the word most likely originating from 19th century French gamblers in the city of New Orleans.

There are other differences too, in the UK a bet on the winner of a tournament is known as an outright whereas in the USA it is described as a future. One-off bets on the outcome of an individual game are known by British gamblers as singles, in the USA gamblers call them moneyline bets.

Sponsorships

In the UK it is nearly impossible to engage in any mainstream sport without being bombarded by sports betting advertising. In the Premier League for example, 19 of the 20 clubs have some form of a sponsorship deal with a gambling company, with 8 of those featuring the logo of a gambling company on the front of their jersey.

Outside of the national broadcaster BBC, every other channel in the UK that shows live football feature dozens of gambling adverts before, during, and after broadcasts. This enmeshment between the gambling industry and top-level football in the UK has been described by some as a plague, with activists demanding government intervention.

In the USA however, where the industry is still in its infancy there is not the same level of entanglement between the sporting industry and its gambling counterpart. This is likely the legacy of PASPA, something American sports fans will be hoping doesn’t suffer too much with the rising spread of sports betting legalization.

There are certainly differences, however, the similarities outnumber them. How will these factors change in the coming year? Who knows?

Noticed any differences between American and British sports gambling yourself? Let us know what they are in the comments section below.