Sports Betting In the United States
To say that people in the United States like to bet on sports would be a massive understatement. While the numbers are hard to confirm due to the underground nature of the business, it is estimated that the market has reached into the tens of billions of dollars across the country. We do know that in 2017, 4.9 billion dollars was bet on sports legally in the state of Nevada, so if that is any indication, it is easy to believe some of the other estimates we have read.
With the sports betting industry on the cusp of major change in the U.S., now is a great time for you to get a full understanding of what exists today in the market, as well as why people have chosen to take their money offshore to sites over the last two decades. Our Sports Betting section is going to cover many topics such as:
- Why do people bet on sports
- Online vs. Land Based Betting
- Types of Sports Betting
- The Future of Sports Betting in the U.S.
Why Do People Bet On Sports?
To date, the only legal sports betting that has been available in the United States has either been horse racing betting (available in multiple states) and land-based betting in Nevada. The reason for the lack of regulated gaming is due to the pieces of Federal legislation in the U.S. passed to protect its citizens and the sports. We have a full section of our site dedicated to gambling laws, so if you want more information, you can check out those pages.
This leaves sports bettors with only a couple of options when it comes to placing bets. They can, of course, travel to Nevada and place bets at any of the legal sportsbooks in the state. This isn’t a viable option for many people, so that leaves less than optimal choices. A player could use a local bookie to make bets, settling on a weekly or monthly basis. Also, players have a chance to play online with one of the unregulated offshore sportsbooks that have been available for over 20 years. Each of these last two options comes with a lot of risks, but that isn’t stopping players from getting their sports betting urges taken care of by these seedier channels.
So, why do people bet on sports, especially in the U.S. where there are so many hurdles to jump just to make a bet? We won’t go into the details of the psychology of a gambler on this page, we can give you some broad strokes of why sports betting is so popular amongst gamblers.
They Bet To Win Money!
This is at the core of all gambling, isn’t it? The majority of people who bet on sports are looking to make money from their bets. Sports betting, versus poker or casino, comes with an amount of research that a player can put into being more informed with a wager. Don’t be fooled, however – even the top sports gamblers in the world only win about 60% of their bets. However, winning is definitely a motivating factor.
They Bet On Their Favorite Teams
Many people make bets on their favorite teams as a way of doubling down on their fandom. In general, this is a terrible idea (and the sportsbooks know this). You should be betting with your mind and not your heart, but that doesn’t stop millions of homer bets being made every week.
They Bet To Make Sports Interesting
Maybe you are out late one night, and the only thing on at the sports bar is a hockey game between Anaheim and Dallas. You aren’t a fan of either team, and the game has no meaning in the standings. So…is it worth watching it? Well, you could stare blankly at the screen, or you could give it some more interest by placing a bet on the outcome! Many players bet on sports just so they can make watching the games themselves more interesting. This is something that North American sports leagues are counting on when sports betting becomes legal across the country in the coming years.
Online vs. Land-Based Sports Betting
Almost 25 years ago, the first sportsbooks moved from the U.S. to locations like Antigua and Costa Rica to set up their businesses. When this happened, players were able to call 800 numbers and make their bets. Then, at the beginning of the Internet Age, online sportsbooks became very popular, and now they make up far more of a percentage of the business than the telephone-based betting.
There are many differences between online sports betting and land-based betting. The most obvious of these is being able to shop for lines. With so many sportsbooks available online, a player can look around to find the best odds for their bet, giving added value to the wager itself. When someone is betting ion a land-based environment in the U.S., they are either betting with a Las Vegas casino (yes, you can walk from book to book to find the best line if you want, but that takes time) or with their illegal bookie who only offers one line.
Banking is also very different for people who are betting online. Even in the grey market of U.S. online sports betting, players can use their credit cards to fund accounts. This is something that is not taking place in land-based sports betting currently, and only perhaps in the anew, the regulated environment will this change.
Finally, payout speed is very different between land-based and online sports betting. If you are betting at a Nevada property, you need to go to the property to collect your winnings regardless of where you made your bet. Your local bookie isn’t paying people out as the games end, preferring to wait for the end of a set period of time before settling with each customer. Online sportsbooks, however, payout bets as soon as the games are completed, so you have access to your funds almost instantly.
Types Of Sports Betting
The great news for sports fans is that if there is a game or match taking places somewhere, there is a very good chance that you will find odds posted for the game. Of course, some sports and leagues are more popular than others, but for the most part, the major leagues are all covered by the top sportsbooks.
We have dedicated a few pages of GamblingSites.org to the different types of sports betting you will find. We are focused on the most popular sports for gambling, and we will be adding to this section so be sure to come back and check it often for updates.
The National Football League is far and away the most popular sport in the United States, and the nature of the sport and its schedule makes it a great option for sports bettors. We look at the sport from all betting angles, covering all the top bets available for this sport which is focused on only a few days of the calendar year. We also look at college football which has a following that rivals that of the NFL.
Basketball has grown in popularity on a global scale over the last decade, and a lot of that is due to the emergence of international superstars in the NBA. The betting on basketball is not limited to the NBA, however, as there are many professional leagues around the world whose teams feature ex-NBA players and also excellent local players. We look at everything you want to find in a great basketball-focused sportsbook.
With a regular season in which each team plays 162 times, you can imagine why betting on baseball is so popular. This game, filled with an incredible amount of stats, is perfect for wagering, and we will review all the common bet types you will encounter in a sportsbook.
Hockey isn’t nearly as popular in the United States as it is in many other countries, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored! In fact, with the potential of regulated sports betting on the horizon in the U.S., now is the perfect time to remind you all about this great game and why it is so exciting both to watch and bet on.
While events like the World Cup draw many new eyeballs to soccer, there are hundreds of teams playing in professional leagues around the world today. With so many games to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming for novice gamblers. We try to de-mystify betting on a sport that enjoys massive global popularity but is still a fringe sport from a betting perspective in the United States.
Horse Racing Betting
The Sport of Kings has seen better days in the U.S., but that is likely about to change. For the most part, the benefits of pari-mutuel betting were very clear for horse racing operators -the prize pools are generated by players, as well as the moving odds, meaning that the sportsbook is only there to present the race and collect their fees. There are many different types of bets for horses, though, so this page should provide a significant amount of information.
The Future Of Sports Betting In The United States
For those of you who haven’t been following along, a major piece of news transpired in May of 2018 when the Supreme Court of the United States repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. This act kept any casino operators outside of Nevada being able to make bets legally. Now, with this repeal, each state is allowed to choose whether or not they wish to regulate sports betting within their state lines. This could have a dramatic impact on the size of the sports betting industry in the U.S.
However, the widespread acceptance of sports betting in the U.S. will be slow moving, as each state has its own challenges to passing legislation. Our Gambling Laws section reviews the options in each state, so it is worth a read for sure.
No matter what happens from here on out, we know that Americans love to gamble, and they will soon have safer options to do so from the U.S. We don’t yet know the impact this will have on online sites, but at least there are steps in the right direction.