The sport of rugby, in both Rugby Union and Rugby League versions, was for many years not particularly popular or well known outside a select group of countries; usually former colonies of Great Britain and one or two other European nations.
The game’s widespread appeal was limited by something of a Catch 22: in any country without a rugby tradition, a small core of enthusiastic players could not attract more fans and more players without the regular coverage of high-quality matches on television; but from a broadcaster’s perspective, the expense and expertise needed to feature rugby regularly on television could not be justified by the small enthusiastic core of fans who would watch it.
The growth of the worldwide web and advances in bandwidth has gone a long way to circumventing this problem. Watching live-streamed matches or recordings of other recent rugby games, at regional and international level, is now simpler and less expensive for many fans relying on the Internet rather than broadcast television. Interest in rugby is growing in many countries around the world, even though it is still a minority sport in most of them. The availability of the game online has opened up another avenue of entertainment, too: online rugby sports betting.
Different countries have different legal systems regulating online gambling. Some allow casinos or lotteries, but not betting on sports. Others, like South Africa, run a state lottery and allow betting on many sports including rugby online, but only allow casino gambling in land-based casinos. So the first step for any punter who is keen to try online rugby sports betting, is to ascertain exactly what the local laws are.
Some, for example, will be restricted to NRL premiership odds in online sports betting shops that are registered in a particular jurisdiction. Once the punter has determined which online sports betting facilities they can legally use, the next step is to pick a game to bet on. Sports betting is always a personal decision, and some punters will follow particular rugby teams or specific players. Others will be more interested in certain tournaments and championships, or famous international rivalries. With online betting shops competing constantly for business, most will offer the punter a range of matches to bet on, with different betting options for each match.
Part of the thrill of online rugby sports betting is risking a stake for the chance of winning even more back. But responsible punters do realise that they could lose that stake, too, so they only play with money they can afford to do without. Predicting the outcome of rugby matches, and points spreads in particular, is also part science, part art and part luck. So newcomers to online sports betting, or those who do not know too much about rugby, are advised to keep their bets small, conservative and affordable as they get to know both rugby form and betting strategies. But apart from taking the sensible precautions they would with any gambling venture, punters need little more than an Internet connection and wish to play, to get into online rugby sports betting quickly and easily.