This covers a lot of territory. Online sportsbooks never close, for one thing. Say you get the urge to put a few dollars on Cleveland at 3:41 in the morning during the night before the last game of the World Series. With an online sportsbook, you’re done by 3:45. With a land-based sportsbook, you have to wait until they open (which may already be too late!), and then you have to deal with the driving, the waiting, and all of the other minor hassles. I know which one I’d choose!
Well, for one thing, land-based sportsbooks have to pay for a lot of extra things that online sportsbooks simply don’t have to worry about. Employing people to take all of the bets, for example, and paying for all the various rents and taxes and necessities for the building in which all of this takes place. This holds true for all types of online gambling — for instance, the smallest Las Vegas casino will always be more expensive to operate than even the biggest online casino USA.
Even if this was an ideal world, this would mean that the odds would be a little bit worse at a land-based sportsbook in order for the “juice” to go farther (don’t know what juice is? Feel free to check out our “glossary” page!).
Okay, so let’s pretend that it costs exactly the same thing to bet at an online sportsbook as it does at a land-based sportsbook. How much to you have to pay just to get there? Even if you happen to have a sportsbook in your town, which is fairly unlikely, you’re probably not right down the street from it. So suddenly the price of the bet includes travel costs…which could be anything from a subway fare to a cross-country flight.
This one has a lot of variables. What feels safe to one person may be far too risky for another. However, handling money out in public carries an element of risk — whether you’re in the swankiest sportsbook in Vegas or with the sleaziest bookie in St. Louis (no hard feelings, Missouri, but everybody knows that your city has a serious crime problem). Online sportsbooks let you play wherever you feel safe.
Of course, the obvious response is that the Internet has its own unique risks. That’s why you should ALWAYS choose your online sportsbook (and payment method, and online slots website, and pretty much everything else) very carefully. On the next few pages, I’ll give you some tips on how to do just that!