Wagering money on possible outcomes from a situation is long-embedded in human history. Further, spending money on sports has existed since the chariot races during the Greek times.

Earlier, indulging in a sport was simple, one merely had to predict the winner and earn or lose some hard-earned moolah. With the advent of internet, things have changed and now, a punter should be much experienced.

Betting is basically, wagering money or a valuable item on a potential outcome from an event whose result could vary starkly. Thus, any sort of skill may or not be involved in this case and the person is usually hoping to get lucky. These include casinos, slots sites, lotteries and card games.

While betting is a form of gambling too, it normally involves an informed decision unlike purely relying on luck. Sports betting is essentially predicting the result of any sport or a particular event in the same. These include guessing match results or key events of football, cricket or horse races among other sports.

The likelihood of an event occurring in any sport is denoted by ‘odds’, which is decided by the betting companies or bookies. These odds are usually based on statistics and recent history.

For example, in football, a striker in red-hot form and playing a weaker opposition will imply a high probability that he/she can be expected to score. Naturally, the returns from such an event will be low due to the high probability.

Now, similarly, if a striker is in poor form, there is a lower chance of him/her scoring. However, if a person knows the fact that the particular player always scored against a particular opposition for the past 10 games, then betting on that particular event will yield a higher reward.

Knowing such data helps in taking an informed decision and adds a layer of credibility to sports betting. Be it previous history, form, weather, injuries or even personal events of the players, the ability to gather such information, analyse it and then place the bet brings out the skill element.

Thus, this is one crucial aspect where sports betting differs from basic gambling. Nevertheless, this still involves in wagering money on a particular outcome and a lot of people lose money too.

Therefore, the legality of sports betting varies from country to country. Some countries such as Argentina allow sports betting but limit it to horse-racing alone.

On the other hand, sports betting is highly popular in Australia with betting ads even permitted on team kits and at stadiums. As per Roy Morgan research, around 25% of gambling money in 2017 was spent on sports betting in the country.

Sports betting is also legal in the United Kingdom and the United States joined the bandwagon in 2018. At the other end of the spectrum are majority of the countries like Brazil where it is still banned.

In these banned countries, illegal betting is still prevalent. For example, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the biggest sporting events in India every year. Illegal betting is rampant for this cricket extravaganza with crores of money involved.

This has seen the tournament tarnished by spot-fixing controversies a few years back. As the money involved is humungous, sports betting can result in fixing matches or events in sports, which destroys the essential sportsmanship fabric.

Further, it pours cold water over the notion that sports betting is actually a game when these incidents occur.

In this sense, legalizing sports betting can help reduce such instances but can never truly eliminate it. 

Considering an ideal case, there is a degree of skill involved which calls for its inclusion as an actual game. However, the reality is far from ideal and this leaves sports betting in a grey area, leaving it to individual interpretation.

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