A bookmaker or sportsbook, as popularly known, is a person or company that accepts bets and pays out depending on the agreed odds. Often, bookies take bets on legal and professional sports like association football, horse racing, boxing, golf, and more.
Even better, the current net is cast even wider to accommodate political events, esports, weather forecasts, and so on.
That said, bookmaking can be legal or illegal, depending on the local gambling laws. For instance, in the UK, bookmaking has been legal since 1961 and is today seen as a crucial contributor to the country’s economy.
However, in most Middle Eastern countries like the UAE, any form of betting isn’t allowed for religious and cultural reasons.
Here is how an online bookmaker functions. Suppose a bettor wants to stake on Maria Sharapova winning against Serena Williams in women's Tennis. If Sharapova has 2.50 odds and the bettor stakes $100 on her win, a $250 ($100 x 2.50) win is possible. If she loses or the game ends in a draw, the $100 stake goes to the bookie.