In Today’s Sports Wagering World Ya Gotta See it To Bet on It

In today's digital age, sports bettors have the advantage of following their bets by watching live events from anywhere in the world.

There's almost no reason to wager without watching anymore

Did you ever bet on a horse race and listen to the call on the radio? Or read the results of your wager the next day in the newspaper? 

Of course not! You must be there to feel the experience. Pound your fist into your leg as if you are a jockey whipping the horse past the finish line. Whether you are at the track or these days watching via simulcast, SEEING the action is everything. Without it, winning or losing is a very hollow and empty experience.

All sports wagering is no different and with today’s multi-faceted opportunity via cable, satellite, or streaming, provides the sports bettor almost every possible chance to view and witness any live event taking place throughout the world. 

The good news is due to the increasing competitive landscape in the U.S. for top sportsbooks to get new customers, the opportunity to watch your game or event live is happening more often. Also, recognizing the sports-sports wagering link-up, other sports beyond traditional football, basketball and baseball are being telecasted via ESPN, FOX, and other sports programming networks. It is almost like, if someone wants to bet on it, they will find a way to show it. And if possible, show it live.

The other interesting aspect is new possibilities involving streaming directly to sportsbooks. Some have the capability to offer UFC and boxing events, various PGA golf matches, international basketball games, European soccer (football) and other sports. Right now, online sportsbooks like Jazz Sports and DSI stream most games all live with data feeds for players to utilize for in-game wagering opportunity.

The Bad ol’ Days

To appreciate how wonderful and remarkable this all is, I can vividly recall an awful and frustrating scenario many years ago. The bad ol’ days long before the basic computer or cell phone was invented for a sports bettor's convenience and advantage.

There was not an NFL Sunday Ticket or NBA Season Pass available to watch every game possible on the menu. No every second update per play, pitch, or basket. If you attended a game in-person, a pocket radio was the sole source of potential knowledge. That or depending on the lazy scoreboard operator to update out of town action. Basically, what you saw in-person at the game was what you bet upon because it was the only opportunity to see, trust and enjoy.  

Flashing Fast Forward

It is amazing how since PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) was reversed not only sports wagering, but for our entire sports betting culture. Today wagering on sports is not only encouraged but increasingly is being made available directly at U.S. stadiums and arenas.

As an example, U.K. betting and gaming giant William Hill will be opening its permanent sportsbook at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. this spring. It will include 1,500 square feet of LED screens, a Jumbotron on the second level and a radio and TV broadcast studio on the first floor. The sportsbook itself will include 12 ticket windows and 10 self-service kiosks, two VIP areas and a large private dining and event space. 

An opportunity to not only watch the game you attend PLUS a chance to watch every possible cable, satellite, and live streamed event to bet on. That would have been a dream beyond imagination in the past. Now our only regret may be why did we invest in a $150 ticket, plus $25 parking for the game?

NFL RedZone is NFL $ GreenZone

What might have started sports bettor's demand to see what they gamble on was the brilliant idea to create the NFL Red Zone for cable television.

NFL Red Zone in-game bettingStill wisely offered as a paid-extra channel for cable subscribers, the Red Zone has pretended to promise NFL fans "all the potential key scoring plays LIVE inside the red zone".  In reality it is a disguised niche' offering, giving bettors their best opportunity to watch NFL scoring happen to either determine their wagering fate or a chance to make their next betting decision.

Whether the score is 41-38 or 41-0, the NFL RedZone promises to "show you all the plays". Translated that means they know you might have an Over/Under wager riding on the next meaningless touchdown or perhaps a fourth quarter prop bet.

Too bad last Tuesday afternoon's twice rescheduled Washington-Pittsburgh NFL game did not occur on Sunday. It ruined bettor’s chance to see the game live. That is unless you PAID for ESPN Plus. A new extra service channel offered for these special sports event opportunities (See: gambling).

No Masks Required

While we all pray for the end of COVID-19, a major question to ponder lingers as we are locked-out of social opportunity to visit stadiums and arenas.

Are we still better off remaining at home, even when the Coronavirus ends?

A case could be made that we have all the tools via mobile access and via the list of top online sportsbooks. The chance is there to watch live every type of sport imaginable via cable, satellite, or stream access.

Whether you are into NFL Football or Australian Rules Football. Russian Ping-Pong or PDC Professional Darts. Why wait for the NCAA College Bowl season when it could be possible to live access and bet PBA Tour Bowling? 

A long list could be made of the advantages, including saving on onsite sportsbook fuel costs, babysitters, and most important any future risk to catch the Coronavirus. From an analytical standpoint, there would be no potential distractions for your handicapping evaluations and keep in mind, no masks ever required.

Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.

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