One of the other huge advantages of spread betting over most other forms of gambling is that it gives the opportunity to oppose teams and players, effectively meaning the punter is laying them as a bookmaker would. Rather than saying a team will do well, we can specifically back them to do badly, either in an individual game or over the course of a season.


So, for instance, if you back against a team in the FA Cup by selling their price in a tournament index, the effect is that you have every other runner in the competition playing for you. It is not just individuals or teams which can back against. It is possible to back against events happening—such as points being scored in a rugby match, corners in football game or the number of birdies on a specific hole in a golf tournament. In fact, one can bet on almost anything that can be logged numerically.


If it is a golden age for sporting excellence, it is also a golden age for gambling. Spread betting has come of age since the early 1990s at the same time as the advent of tax-free betting, credit accounts, one-to-one exchange betting and Asia handicaps. It is a powerful tool for the gambler—potentially very profitable and thrilling, but potentially also dangerously expensive.