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Gambling practice of determining odds and receiving and paying off bets on the outcome of sporting events and other competitions. Horse racing is perhaps most closely associated with bookmaking, but boxing, baseball, football, basketball, and other sports have also long been of interest to bookmakers (bookies) and gamblers. Morning-line odds, established by legal bookmakers, are printed in the sports sections of newspapers throughout the U.S. Illegal bookmaking operations have often been linked to organized crime. See alsohandicap.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bookmaking, visit Britannica.com.