They’re not any specific teams or players, but rather the ATMs waiting to take full advantage of an expanded situation
As I have regretfully previously pointed out, new legalized sports betting in virgin states is a one-dimensional option for now. Show up in-person to receive tickets on the teams, parlays, teasers, etc. of your choice. The opportunity to wager online or by phone is yet to be determined with the rules and ancillary costs upcoming.
That is a glaring inconvenience, not only financially for bettors, but strategically for money management reasoning and the chance to shop independently for best lines and opportunities within the market.
One other, hopefully temporary, problem exists for those who do not prepare wisely for their trip to the racetrack or casino to spend an afternoon or perhaps a long, long day wagering games; the most opportune way to receive cash when necessary to bet upon games as they roll-out during the schedule.
Old Problem / New Opportunity
ATM machines that gauge customers in vulnerable situations is not a new phenomenon. They have existed for dozens of years in Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos and within race tracks as well. Adult establishments (strip clubs) are known to be the worst abusers charging customers as much as $10 fees per transaction.
What may be new is the opportunity to take hold of fresh customers for legal sports wagering at on-site locations, while the online and phone option to wager is waiting to be settled.
Casino locations in both Delaware and Atlantic City have long retained numerous ATM cash option terminals for access to customers. Unlike similar bank locations, these machines typically charge $4-$6 extra per transaction fees PLUS what your bank might collect for the transfer. Depending on the amount a player requests, that could turn a $100 withdrawal into a total of $110 or a 10% total fee.
Another problem to consider is the AMOUNT of money requested. Normally, debit cards have restrictions on the amount per day allowed. Similar rules are enforced for credit card limits and third-party sources. In all, a nightmare financial decision that someone wouldn’t be making at home or in a “normal, thinking scenario”.
Even the location of casino ATM’s have come under discussion, scrutiny and rule in the past. There are guidelines where they must be located to not take advantage of gamblers prone to making snap, instantaneous decisions. For example, you wouldn’t find one next to a craps table or the black jack pit. It remains to be seen whether they will multiply near the sports betting windows as legalization spreads and new sportsbook areas are devoted to windows and TV monitors.
A Typical Sunday Sports Betting Scenario
Unless online wagering is offered by the start of the NFL season, expect the sports books for NFL Sundays to be popular gathering spots for bettors at new Delaware and New Jersey locations, or any other states that may add in legalized sports wagering within that time frame. Pressure will mount for ticket writers as kickoff time heads to 1:05 PM EST and the day’s first kickoff of NFL games. As we know, a multitude of key point spread changes occur within the final minutes before each game.
The anxiety may also grow for players hopeful they win their first round of games with enough funds to cover the early part of the day’s action. If they weren’t savvy enough to create a plan to accommodate losing, their only choice might be relying on those evil ATM’s to recover cash for the 'late games', plus the popular Sunday Night Football game. This is a bad bet whether the Giants or Steelers covered or not. Echo this situation in the Fall on Saturday for NCAA College Football action, which typically begins at noon and can continue past midnight.
Offshore Wagering Alternative
No doubt all preferred offshore sportsbooks will be looking to exploit this scenario for as long as possible. Enabling those who already have an account, to remind them they have easy access through their phone, computer or phone to deposit funds. Or for new customers, they can create an account to check balances, instantly re-up through debit or credit cards, etc. Yes, there are usually funds associated through most transactions, but the process of not leaving home isn’t part of the deal. Nor are many of the restrictions associated with typical casino or race track ATMs. Likely, the primary advantage is knowing the money is already in an account vs. a pocket to judge the day’s plan.
Money Management 101
I’m all for breaking out the champagne applauding new legislation welcoming the spread of legalized sports wagering in the USA. But, along with the celebration is understanding the new rules accommodating a new situation. One mandatory rule is knowing the options involving money management. Within those black & white choices is never, never use the ATMs at casinos or race tracks to obtain cash. Simply put, there are no emergencies either. If you run out of dough, head into the car and come back another day.
An asterisk exception might be joining one of the Players Clubs available at most casinos. For example, the Borgata, the first casino in Atlantic City to build a sportsbook, has a no-fee ATM statement within their Player’s Club policies. As part of their incentives, there are no charges for using the ATMs within the casino. But overall, still not the best idea, once estimating and planning your initial day’s wagering forecast.
Having experienced this colossal mistake, the real killer is auditing your bank statement to observe the bloated charge the next day or next month. It is a reminder beyond that day’s potential gambling losses of a poor error in judgment that could have been easily eliminated.
Overall, focus on rooting for the Giants +4.5, the Steelers -3 or Texas A&M -14 in your parlay to cover, the part not often within your control once you click online or head for the 'legal' wagering cage. But no excuse making the worst bet of all on those predatory ATMs onsite, out to take advantage of us at the worst possible moment.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.