What Is a Sportsbook?

A sportsbook accepts wagers on a variety of sporting events. These wagers can be placed on the winner of a game or event, the total points scored in a game, and other proposition bets. Some sportsbooks offer these bets in their physical betting outlets, while others operate only online. In some jurisdictions, you must have a license to run a sportsbook. The process of obtaining a permit can take weeks or months, so it’s important to prepare yourself accordingly.

Whether you build your own sportsbook platform or purchase one from a provider, you’ll need to ensure that it has all of the necessary features to attract and retain customers. A good sportsbook will provide multiple payment methods, a user-friendly interface, transparent bonuses, first-rate customer service, and a number of betting markets with competitive odds. In addition, it should have a robust risk management system to keep track of bets and manage risk.

In the past, most people bet through a “bookie,” or a person who takes bets in person. Today, however, most bettors place their wagers at an online sportsbook. These sites are convenient, accessible, and allow bettors to bet on a wide variety of sports events from anywhere.

A sportsbook can accept bets on a range of events, from major league football and baseball to horse racing and even eSports. They can also bet on futures, which are wagers on events that will occur over a season or tournament.