Without phone or Internet access, a huge advantage will be noticeably missing for a while
Imagine living in a world where all Polo shirts are $60. That’s right, no Marshalls mark-downs or Amazon discounts to click through. How about filling up on $4.15 for a gallon of gas this weekend. OK, I suppose if you’re in San Francisco or maybe Hawaii.
I can’t blame sports bettors for breaking out the champagne welcoming the dawn of legalized sports betting in New Jersey and Delaware. But just how long will they be willing to forego the strategic convenience of phone and Internet wagering? Traveling to a sole destination to place their bets without any competitive choice may get frustrating real soon.
And speaking of paying the price, will they be willing to pay that extra planned state tax for phone and Internet wagering once legislated. On a poll question, we’ll have to find out if they’ll even realize they’re even being charged.
What’s Currently in Place
The ink on the governor’s signatures were barely dry when both Delaware and New Jersey were up and running in their most popular race track locations. Delaware’s Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs and Delaware Park, Monmouth Park in New Jersey with the first casino location at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
They look quite like smaller race and sports books in Las Vegas and Reno with large wagering boards and an ample number of television monitors to view games on-site. The betting menu is also comparative. But it's all difficult to judge, as we’re involved in the slowest season in the sports wagering calendar during mid-June.
What’s severely missing is the convenience of reaching into a pants pocket or purse to retrieve a cell phone. The opportunity to view the 'apps' made readily available to bettors in Nevada to preview lines and accept wagers within Nevada borders for account holders at Nevada sportsbooks.
What’s Currently NOT in Place
A similar intrastate online wagering system to Nevada has been targeted to be made available in New Jersey, but NO specific timetable on the calendar for definite introduction. With very unofficial discussion, it has been mentioned to be possible within the next month or two.
Any sports wagering menu would have definite momentum following the continual increase in current online casino wagering the state has experiencing for the past several months. Other states including West Virginia and Mississippi have been vocal about this option as well, but there are many political hurdles (and some adversaries) to getting firm details nailed into the business plan.
The timing of the current June/July sports calendar is the largest factor determining that practically no one had taken notice.
For example, whether the New York Yankees are listed one night at -160 at Monmouth Park vs. a potential opportunity available at -140 at the Borgata would hardly be noticed by the average bettor. Or whether a specific change in wagering for a baseball game or a World Cup match on the big board within five minutes wouldn’t gather much attention.
Contrast that to this September 6th, when the Philadelphia Eagles open the NFL regular season vs. the Atlanta Falcons. Suppose a giant crush of money increases the line at one of the limited locations a full point within seconds. That would be significant and could potentially cancel someone’s intention to wager. Without another option “a click or phone call away”, it changes the picture dramatically.
That upcoming September NFL weekend and opening of the full NCAA College Football season only magnifies the situation, with very limited options. Bettors happy with new legalized opportunities in Delaware and New Jersey will simply have to accept what the market offers. That is, unless they want to station their friends a cell phone call away near other betting locations along the Garden State Parkway or Route 95.
Echoing a Long-Time Mysterious Problem
It seems inevitable that intrastate online wagering will eventually reach each U.S state that approves legalized sports wagering. When this will occur is uncertain involving each state’s political process, including New Jersey and Delaware.
What’s more baffling is the long-time custom of many sports bettors not taking advantage of the process that’s been in place for several years, courtesy of the preferred offshore sportsbooks. The sheer “common-sense” tactic of joining more than one sports book to gain the best point spread opportunity.
Whether one bettor prefers offshore leaders BetOnline, Bovada or Diamond Sports for example, is immaterial when not taking the time to compare the optimum spread for any game. Anyone who’s lost a heartbreak half point cover has only themselves to blame by not doing the extra leg work.
Which brings us to the CURRENT situation faced by legalized bettors in Delaware and New Jersey. They will be forced to accept the listed line for the game they are intending to wager upon. Without a phone or Internet option choice, many could regret making a bad decision. Relying on convenience rather than sound judgement. Even Las Vegas bettors have a better worst-case situation option. A sportsbook walk across the Las Vegas Boulevard could result in the difference between winning and losing for the dedicated player.
Here’s hoping phone and intrastate online sports betting becomes an option ASAP for new legalized U.S. sports bettors. More hoping all wake up to joining two or more sports wagering sources increasing their opportunity to win. Till then, I suppose some will always continue to pay full retail at the Polo Store.
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.