If you were to compare the gambling market today with that of twenty years ago, the difference ... suffice to say would be massive.
Twenty years ago in the UK there were two or three major high street bookmakers controlling the domestic gambling markets. It was virtually impossible to make money betting long term, along side this market oligopoly people were charged tax on their winning bets, however this law was abolished in October 2001 in the UK.
In today's world the market has developed significantly and has near 'perfect competition' thanks to maturing Internet technologies allowing punters to bet online through bookmakers, betting exchanges and spread betting firms.
A number of spin-off techniques have grown popular because of this and they utilize all the various betting platforms available. 'Sports trading and arbitrage' are popular methods used today to create scenarios where by you guaranteed to make a profit. Such opportunities have encouraged a new type of 'professional gambler' that does not need to fall within the same category as sometimes 'traditional gamblers' that were once at the mercy of betting shops. Simple arithmetic techniques and money management are the way forward if you're to make a profit long-term in today's gambling environment, though many neglect these simple rules and the statistic for people that manage to lose money gambling is around the 98% mark.
Sports trading has become popular with the arrival of 'betting exchanges' such as 'betfair' these institutions allow the betting public to either 'back' or 'lay' on sporting events. The term 'lay' in the context of betting exchanges means 'betting against an outcome' for example you could place a bet that Manchester united would not win the premiership this season.
Sports trading example
The trading part in sports trading happens when odds on exchanges move as an event progresses. For example you could back a team to win the FA cup lets use Chelsea as an example.
The starting odds for Chelsea to win at the start of the FA cup tournament were 8.0 in decimal however as the tournament rounds progressed and the team managed to stay in the tournament, the odds of Chelsea winning the tournament will fall. Lets say they reach the semi final the odds of them winning the tournament will fall lets say to 3.5 decimal.
Now to create a sports trade I will lay Chelsea at the odds of 3.5 to create a scenario where I will profit even if Chelsea lose any of their future matches. Below is an example of how this trade could potentially be played.
Back price: 8 @ 100 Franks
Lay price: 3.5 @ 230 Franks
How I personally have used sports trading
I used this sports trading method in the 'euro 2008' tournament. I backed Holland to win the tournament at odds of 16 decimal. After their first match which they beat Italy 3-0 Holland's odds of winning the tournament fell from 16.0 to 8.0. When this happened I swiftly traded out of the bet by laying them to secure profit. Even though Holland did ever get knocked out of the tournament I still managed a decent profit thanks to sports trading.