If you prefer to try to make reasoned betting decisions without the banal chatter of numbers games in the background, an aged bore telling you of his infallible BAGS system and a curious aroma of cigarettes and alcohol filling the air, then internet betting might be for you.
But the clichéd reasons why some are happy to desert the happy camaraderie of betting shops for the solitude of their own homes is only a tiny factor why smarter bettors are better off using the net to strike their wagers.
Net betting has grown with the web itself. That is to say, from humble and unheralded beginnings in the mid-1990s it has spread like wildfire to become a major influence on our lives. Bookmakers' early attempts to utilise the net came largely as a vehicle to advertise their wares, listing prices and providing the contact numbers for their telebetting services and addresses for those pokey old shops.
As the technology improved the first tentative steps towards online betting were taken and since the turn of the millennium it has been downhill all the way, with internet turnover going through the roof and accounting for an ever-increasing percentage of firms' turnover. The whole process has now gone full circle with Blue Square, originally an enterprising net-only bookmaker, first opening a phone service and then branching out into betting shops and even taking up rails pitches at racecourses.
So now that almost every traditional firm has a live website, why should uninitiated punters start moving their mice rather than lifting a receiver or popping down the high street?
ODDS COMPARISON SITES
Arguably the best offshoot of internet betting is the development of odds-comparison sites which enable punters to obtain the best available price for their chosen selection.
These sites simply show every event currently being quoted by their participant firms, and highlight which company offers the best odds on each selection. In the long run this alone should improve the return of all online investors.
The principal sports odds-comparison sites is www.bookiesindex.com . At the time of writing, this site compared between ten and 24 bookmakers' prices, plus betting exchange and spread quotes. A feature of these sites which is mutually beneficial to punters, comparison sites and bookmakers is the click-through feature. This simply means that punters can click on the price in the table they are interested in, enter their login details on a form and place a bet straight away without having to visit the firm's site independently.