Online sportsbook are betting sites that accept wagers on a wide range of sporting events. They use software designed by a third-party company to offer lines and odds on games and teams. They operate under the same principles as physical sportsbooks but can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Most US-facing sportsbooks are operated by regulated companies, but there are several other options for US citizens.
The online sportsbook industry has grown rapidly since the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports betting in May 2021. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars and a host of new operators have launched operations in states including New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Arizona.
Each state sets its own rules and regulations for sportsbooks, and some require a special license. Some are requiring that operators pay a percentage of sports betting revenue to the local athletic commission or other gaming regulator. Experienced legal counsel can help gaming companies understand the requirements in each jurisdiction and avoid pitfalls.
Most sportsbooks will have multiple types of bets available, including moneyline, point spread and over/under. The moneyline is the simplest type of bet, with oddsmakers assessing the likelihood that a team will win or lose and assigning a price. For example, the top online sportsbooks will have -110 odds on the Cincinnati Bengals to win a game against the Tennessee Titans and +110 on a tie or a victory by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Point spread bets are the most popular in football and basketball games, as they allow bettors to wager on both sides of a game. The online sportsbook will give the stronger team a points handicap, and bettors can then place a wager on either team to cover the spread. The best sportsbooks will list the handicap, the number of points needed for each team to cover the spread and the over/under total for the game.
Aside from the standard bets, many sportsbooks offer a huge variety of prop bets. These are special bets that are not linked to the outcome of a game or event. They can include player props, such as the over/under 8.5 assists for a basketball player or home run totals for baseball players. Other types of prop bets include team and game props.
Some of the best sportsbooks will have a dedicated section for prop bets and even have special bets such as esports and virtual reality betting. These bets are often very lucrative for players because they do not depend on the final score. They can also be very fun to place bets on.