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The industry is open to anyone not just city boys and high-flyers. Opening an account usually only takes a matter of days, after which clients are sent full explanations of the markets available and the rules of settlement for bets. The volatility on a sports bet can be big, but stakes and potential liability are usually far below financial investments that are often for much larger amounts over longer periods of time.


As a financial controller at one of the spread firms said: ‘In reality anyone can open a deposit sports spread betting account with us if they have just a bit of spare cash. It is well worth taking the time to become acquainted with the details, particularly in the sports and markets you plan to be most involved with.


There is nothing quite as irritating and potentially expensive as having a bet and finding the result is calculated differently to what you were expecting. Attention to detail is needed, especially when an event comes to a premature finish. And the firms are of course keen to have new clients so they will do what they can to help overcome difficulties. The credit checks are also more important for financial clients rather than sports bettors.