What Is a Sportsbook?

A sportsbook is a website, company, or brick-and-mortar building that accepts bets on different sporting events. In the United States, it’s generally illegal to wager with a sportsbook that’s not licensed or regulated in your state.

Online sportsbooks are becoming more popular as the world of online gambling continues to expand. These sites offer many advantages over traditional land-based establishments, including better customer service, faster transaction speeds, and a more diverse range of betting options. However, it’s important to research the legality of sports betting in your state before placing bets.

While there are many types of bets you can place on a sportsbook, the most common is a straight bet. A straight bet is a wager on a single outcome of an event, such as whether the Toronto Raptors will defeat the Boston Celtics or UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou will beat challenger Ciryl Gane. Straight bets are the most popular type of bet because they’re easy to win and don’t involve predicting multiple outcomes.

Sportsbooks make money by charging a commission, known as the vig, on losing bets. This is usually around 10% but can vary from site to site. They also use odds to incentivize bettors to take one side of a bet over the other, and they can move the lines on certain bets to reduce their liability.