Most punters when they place a bet tend to do it on sports. Horseracing and football betting is the most popular form of betting in many parts of the world, though in America, betting on sports such as baseball, basketball and American football is also popular.
Allowing for geographic trends between parts of the globe, there is no doubt that regardless of what part of the world you are from, if you bet then it will likely be on a sporting event.
However, while the Internet has facilitated a revolution in online gambling that has opened the industry to more punters than ever before, if there is one area where the betting industry hasn’t quite grasped all the available opportunities as yet and that is in the realm of non-sports betting.
So the question is, if you are a punter who fancies a wager on something other than the usual sporting markets, what options are available to you nowadays? To find out we decided to investigate what non-sports betting markets are available at two of the top bookmaking sites, SkyBet and Bet365.
For the purposes of this article, we are assuming that both Virtual Sports and the emerging market of eSports are both classed as sporting markets (although there is some debate about whether these are technically sporting events or not).
Here’s what we discovered:
Betting on non-sports at SkyBet
There isn’t a huge amount of non-sporting action to be found on SkyBet. Perhaps this isn’t unexpected given the strong links that SkyBet has, particularly with the Sky Sports TV Channels and all the sporting events that the Sky TV company has purchased the televised rights to, such as Premier League Soccer, European and PGA Tour Golf, NFL Football, Formula 1 racing and more.
Indeed on the A-Z list of events you can bet on, there are only two that are not sport-themed.
The first of these is politics and what markets are available depend very much on what has happened in the political landscape in recent times. There are usually several different political arenas you can place a bet on, they can include but are not limited to:
- Bets on the outcome of the next UK General Election.
- Political Party-based bets, such as who the next leader of the Labour or Conservative Party will be, or when the current Prime Minister will stop being prime minister.
- Special bets based on specific political events, such as the EU Referendum.
- Bets on who will be the next Mayor of London.
- Bets on the outcome of the next US presidential election.
However, if certain political events happen, or a major political events take place, it is likely that SkyBet will open a book on it, provided that it is something that they are able to offer odds reliably on and that it is something punters will be keen to bet on.
The second and final type of non-sports betting market you can find on SkyBet is betting on certain Film and TV events.
Again, what is offered in this section will vary from time to time and throughout the year. Some bets, such as betting on who will be the next BBC Sports Personality of the Year, may be available all year around, but other markets, such as betting on who the next James Bond may be, or who will win a series of a TV show such as Big Brother, are also available when relevant.
Remember, if you are new to SkyBet you are in luck. New signups will get free Sky Bet sports bets simply for creating a new account.
Bet365 bets you can make that aren’t on sport
Compared to SkyBet, Bet365 offers a greater number of non-sports betting markets although how they present these bets are organised slightly differently to SkyBet and can be a little tricky to find on the site unless you know where to look.
That said, once you have found Bet365’s non-sport offerings, you have a wide choice of betting markets available for you to have a flutter on.
The biggest and most obvious non-sporting betting available comes from the Bet365 Financials section. Here you can bet on how two different types of market, Stock Exchanges (FTSE, DAX, SENSEX and WALL ST) or Currency Exchange Rates (for example, Dollar / Euro) will perform over a stated period of time (5 minutes, hourly or daily).
A real time graph updates how each of the markets is performing and you can place bets on whether you think the market will be above or below a certain threshold over a stated amount of time. Predict correctly and you win the bet, get it wrong and you lose.
After the financials section, the next non-sports bets are found in the A-Z listing under the Specials tab. Listed underneath this tab are names of countries or geographic areas of the globe. The United Kingdom is usually there permanently while other countries may appear on the list from time to time when there is a betting market available for that country, for example, Denmark appeared in the list when it was the Danish General Election.
To bring up the list of bets pertaining to that country simply click on the name and you’ll see all non-sporting bets offered by Bet365 for that country. Bets typically consist of political bets (such as who will win the next General Election or who will be the next permanent party leaders) to bets about television shows or other events (such as Celebrity Big Brother, X-Factor and more).
This list however is not exhaustive and should an event occur that would attract punters, Bet365 will usually add it to the list of bets available for that country. For example, they are taking bets on what the next Royal Bank of Australia Interest Announcement will be (no change, increase of 0.25%, decrease of 0.25%, Any other Decrease and any other Increase).
Again, new players will want to take advantage of the Bet365 Sports new player offer – which will get you started off at this top UK online bookie.
It is fair to say that non-sport betting, while available at top bookmakers, is somewhat approached ad-hoc and there is no clear and consistent picture of what is available to bet on. TV and Film and Political bets seem to be the most common types of non sports bets available, but even so there are relatively few of these and a certain similarity of bets available on each site.
In short, while you can bet on non-sporting events, your options are somewhat limited compared to sports betting and the length of time that may need to pass before the result of the bet you placed is known, makes this form of betting only really viable for certain types of punter.