Sports betting is the general activity of predicting sports results by making a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. Perhaps more so than other forms of gambling, the legality and general acceptance of sports betting varies from nation to nation. In North America, for example, sports gambling is generally forbidden, while in many European nations, bookmaking (the profession of accepting sports wagers) is regarded as an honorable occupation and, while highly regulated, is not criminalized. Proponents of legalized sports betting generally regard it as a hobby for sports fans that increases their interest in particular sporting events, thus benefitting the leagues, teams and players they bet on through higher attendances and television audiences. Opponents fear that, over and above the general ramifications of gambling, it threatens the integrity of amateur and professional sport, the history of which includes numerous attempts by sports gamblers to fix matches, although proponents counter that legitimate bookmakers will invariably fight corruption just as fiercely as governing bodies and law enforcement do.
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