The current estimations, which include both the illegal markets and the legal markets, suggest the sports match-betting industry is worth anywhere around 700 billions per year.
About 70% of that trade has been estimated to come from football.
What are people betting on?
While betting in Asia is usually restricted to a limited range, the array of options in Europe is far more than the traditional straightforward choices of win, lose or draw. The people who like to bet the most from Europe are the British fallowed by the Germans.
Licensed bookies offer upwards of 200 different markets on matches around the globe. The main bookmakers are Bwin bet365 bet at home and William Hill.
You can bet on the first and last goal scorer, the correct score, the half-time score, number of goals, whether there will be a sending-off, penalty or the amount of corners.
Some markets are time specific – offering odds on whether there might be a goal, card, corner or penalty in the first five minutes of the match, for example.
What has changed in recent years?
The growth of the Internet and mobile devices with quick access to odds has made betting generally much more accessible.
Satellite television channels and increased coverage of live football matches around the world has increased interest and opportunity.
Online football betting has mushroomed since it first became significant before the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.