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Sports Betting vs Casinos: Which Odds are Better?

To this day, there are still debates about what kind of gambling entertainment is better and more profitable, sports betting or casinos. In this article, experts will compare the odds of bookmakers and casinos to see where it is more profitable to play.

Odds and Margin

Odds show the probability of a particular outcome of an event from the point of view of a bookmaker or casino. The lower the probability of the event, the higher the offered odds will be (and the higher the player’s profit if his bet wins), but the risk also increases.

Let’s look at an example. If we flip a perfectly symmetrical coin, the probability of getting heads and tails is 50%. Convert the odds to odds using the formula: 100 / P, where P is the probability as a percentage. 100/50 = 2.00.

However, this is the ideal scenario. Both bookmakers and casinos add a margin to their odds. For example, the bookmaker gives the odds for falling heads or tails 1.90. In this case, the probability of any outcome is 52.63%: 100 / 1.90. The sum of the probabilities is 105.26%: 52.63% + 52.63%. This extra 5.26% is the bookmaker’s margin, that is, the commission that allows the office to stay in the black even if the bettor wins. The same can be observed in casinos. The lower the margin, the closer the odds are to the real ones and the more favorable they are considered in terms of profit and the probability of winning.

Now let’s look at margins and odds in casinos and bookmakers.


We will consider roulette as it is the most popular game among casino visitors. In roulette, players can bet on a number, a group of numbers, red or black, even-odd and other options. There are two types of roulette, European (36 sectors of numbers and 0) and American (36 sectors, 0 and 00). With the increase in sectors, the bookmaker’s margin also grows.

When you bet on black or red, you double your money when you win. As with the coin example, ideally, the probability would be 50%. However, 0 and 00 interfere. So in European roulette, the margin is 2.7%, and in American – 5.4%.

Sports Betting

If in a casino the margin is fixed and known in advance, then with bookmakers everything is more complicated. All companies are divided into three types: bookmakers with a low margin (up to 3%), with an average (3-5%) and with a high (above 5%).

Also, the lower the interest in the event, the higher the margin. To calculate it in a specific match, the following formula is used: (1/K1 + 1/K2 + K3 + 1/Kn – 1) x 100, where n is the number of choices, and K1, K2, K3, Kn are the odds for each choice.

In the Liverpool vs Leicester match, for example, the odds are 1.63 for a home win, 4.50 for a draw and 5.25 for an away win.

Calculate the margin: (1/1.63 + 1/4.50 + 1/5.25 – 1) х 100 = 2.62%.


Due to the difference in the size of the margin in bookmakers, it is impossible to say for sure who offers the best odds, bookmakers or casinos. In any case, you need to remember that the commission is included in each bet.

The same rule applies to both casinos and bookmakers: choose trusted companies that are licensed. Many bookmaker reviews prescribe the size of the margin. Also, you can register in several to play at the best odds.

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