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To lay an outcome is to open a bet that has an expectation of a negative outcome in regard to the proposition of the event. For example, if the bettor lays Team A to win a football match then they expect Team A to lose.

Laying is normally only possible using a Betting Exchange where a bettor can assume the same role (and responsibilities) of a bookmaker. A lay bet profits by allowing the bettor to receive the backer's stake if the bet goes in their favour, but they are exposed to the backer's stake multiplied by the Odds if they are wrong. For that reason, lay bets can be potentially higher risk than backing.

Laying in Sports Trading the same as going short in financial trading. Depending on the characteristics of the bet, it is possible to lay a positive outcome (e.g. a team to get promoted or win). Positive bets are more commonly achieved in Sports Trading using a Back bet, however. Contrast to lay or laying with to Back or backing.
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Contributed by: Ralph Windsor

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