As U.S. sports bettors await legalized doors to open, many current important perks to evaluate
Prior to December 8th, 2017, the historical appeal day for PASPA to the Supreme Court reviewing Murphy vs. the NCAA, I tried to best forecast the upcoming future for legalized wagering in an article written for iGaming Business North America.
In my crystal ball, I attempted to lay out the different options of what the SCOTUS might rule and what could be in-store for the U.S. under various rulings. Most important was the impact on bettors currently wagering on sports and how their lives would be change within the first year or two should each potential decision be rendered.
Alas, we now have the judges' decision. The next six months or so will decide whether my handicapping forecast was correct. My basic recommendation: while making your first legal wager in your state, hold on to your offshore wagering account and quite possibly consider adding another for practical purposes.
Major Question One
What most everyone wants to know from the most seasoned bettor to a novice is when U.S. legalized wagering beyond the state of Nevada will first take place. In laymen’s terms, when can I get a bet down immediately anywhere outside of Las Vegas or Reno?
The best answer right now is “who knows” and it could remain that way over the next month or so. The favorite to open their sportsbook doors is the state of New Jersey with Delaware being a popular favorite to nudge them out or become a close second. While many in New Jersey have been eager to take a “lemonade stand” approach to launch wagering ASAP, as early as this weekend, legislators are currently putting the brakes on to establish some coherent rules.
In the background is also pressure from the four dominant U.S. sports leagues, who have been lobbying for their “integrity/royalty fee” to be instituted. Among that group recently came the NFL this past week requesting consistent rules be enforced by all states involving sports book wagering policy. Therefore, do not expect a legal bet down on the Yankees or NFL pre-season at either Monmouth Park, Delaware Park or any Atlantic City casino by possibly July, August or September.
Major Question Two
Will the “menu” offered by new legalized sportsbooks look anything like what I am seeing online within the list of preferred sportsbooks. Simple answer…. No.
It is difficult to predict what exactly what each new sportsbook will be offering within each state in this unknown new frontier. But we can assume it will not look be anywhere near as expansive and multi-faceted as many have come to expect typically in well-known offshore sportsbooks like Bovada, Diamond Sports or BetOnline.
As an example, the opportunities involving many “in-game wagering” opportunities likely will be more limited. Thus, quarter, half-time lines and even the dozens of popular proposition wagering options figure to be either missing or modified during this new sports betting roll-out. It would be very safe to assume initially we would not see any wagering options outside of sports either, especially the most popular U.S. sports.
Not to be judgmental, but this should be akin to any test phase, providing new bettors the most familiar opportunities to receive the most predictable wagering choices they are accustomed to receiving. Potentially a model most closely aligned to what is available in a typical on-site Nevada sportsbook.
Perks that Will Live On
As I stated in the iGaming Business NA article, offshore wagering will also maintain some competitive advantages that will be noticeable when legalized wagering does get underway. In fact, it is possible they may be potentially advertised or certainly more recognized as time elapses during the introductory months. Then include:
An advantage both inside and out.
Every legalized sports wagering dollar wagered will have new inherent taxes to absorb. Whether they be integrity fees or royalty fees, dues for player unions, or state taxes, they will influence the wagering line itself. A “dime line” or typical -110 wager may have to be altered to include this tax or the line itself adjusted accordingly.
In addition, it would expected as part of the legal registration process for sports gamblers to provide social security numbers and legal identification for tax reporting purposes. As in any mandatory U.S. gambling reporting purpose, that is a current advantage many bettors currently enjoy employing the offshore wagering system.
Unlike most typical casino bettors, sports bettors are habitually more private, methodical and organized. Also, they’re much more emotionally tied to the sports. Many could feel uncomfortable receiving delivered mail outlining historical wagering statements, or emailed statements bearing aggressive land-based casino promotions and updates. Would they be worried that spouses or family members might learn of their new hobby?
This is a very interesting area introducing the new legalized wagering system for sports gaming. Although it allegedly is being worked upon rapidly, the system for credit and debit cards plus ACH transactions to seamlessly accept new legal gambling codes may hit some bumps in the road. The offshore sector has made rapid advances over the past years where previous customer rejections have now been minimized. Look for this to be only a temporary advantage.
The Big Disadvantage
The obvious downside for offshore wagering and most noticeable advantage for legalized wagering customers will be the timetable for requested payment.
Often the biggest complaint from sports bettors has been the frustrating length of time to receive winning funds plus the additional expense to receive them. That will be the most welcome advantage for every U.S. state to reward their customers. Whether it may include walking out of a casino within hours of winning, to a one-day transfer of funds directly into a bank account, it will be a major change to embrace.
Overall, a smart bettor would be wise taking a wait and see attitude. Knowing the advantages (and disadvantages) on both sides would be the smart game plan. Whatever state you may live in, watch for both new legalized gaming locations AND offshore wagering outlets to offer more opportunities seeking OR maintaining your loyal support.
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.