Online Sportsbooks vs Local Bookmakers
While online gambling has become hugely popular, we also must never forget that the individual punter still has several options. The two basic ways someone can make a wager on a sporting event—whether this be a horse race or a cricket match—are either with an online sportsbook or at their local bookmaker. Here is a rundown of what each of these options offers, so that you can make a more informed decision.
Selection & Variety:
One of the most important items to those who love making wagers on sporting events should be the sheer amount of variety of different types of sports, events and the selection of wagers. Certainly, you can likely find most of the major sporting contests offered by your local bookmaker. However, if you are really interested in something particular, like the cricket match in India or that big motor sports race in America, then you are probably going to be better served by going online.
It is a known fact that online bookmakers have an amazing variety and selection. Most bookmakers offer at the minimum dozens of sports, where a local bookmaker might offer only three or four, depending on the time of the year. Additionally, an online sportsbook can even go so far as to offer odds on events like the Grammy's or the Nobel Peace Prize, that will undoubtedly NOT be offered by even the largest and most comprehensive physical bookmaker.
Types of Wagers:
The local book maker is fine if you simply want to make a straight wager using either a money line or point spread. But what if you prefer something a little more non-traditional? Maybe, say the alternate run line in baseball, or you want a large point teaser in American football. These types of wagers can be found at select online sports books.
It also much easier to mix and match different wager types when punting online. Imagine the difficulty of actually explaining a complex wagering teaser that users tags and other uncommon types of bets to an offline bookmaker. Yet, placing this same wager online is almost easy. You just enter in each one and voila. It is also a heck of a lot quicker, with no waiting in line, fumbling for cash or having to prove identity, etc...
Yes, the local bookmaker is going to have a certain schedule of set hours during which they are open for business. There is certainly something to be said in favor of routine and many punters also have developed their own routine, which fits in with this schedule very nicely. Heading over to the bookie can become a regular habit after a hard day of work, or maybe part of a regular weekend cycle of events.
Online sportsbooks regularly advertise large sign up bonuses. They want your business and realize the online market is quite competitive these days, so they are happy to give you sizable bonuses in many cases. They also do have ongoing promotions and rewards to compensate you for being a loyal customer. When you are ready to deposit or withdrawal money, these processes are made incredibly easy. Transactions are safe and secure (just be sure to choose books with good reputations) and can generally be processed quickly and the money is sent back to your banking method of choice.
The local bookmaker will have their own policies for how the handle money. You may be required to make a deposit and then wait to receive any type of payout if they only balance accounts once a week (or whatever). Additionally, it is not very likely that a local book maker is going to ever offer any type of deposit bonus or special promotion to induce your business.
On the other hand, online sportsbooks are a wonderful opportunity for newcomers to get find their feet in the betting world. Internet bookmakers usually accept very small bets, as little as $1, without mocking you for playing it safe, giving you ample time to explore your systems and hone your tipping skills. The online betting portals also frequently feature a ‘set limit’ function, which will stop you from betting once your daily limit – set by yourself – has been reached. This is a great safeguard against going overboard in your excitement.
As mentioned before, the traditional offline bookmaker is probably going to have a somewhat limited range of odds which are offered. The plain fact of the matter is that they are business people serving their LOCAL market. Therefore, the odds offered will reflect the tastes and opinions of that local market. This means they can be very different from an online sportsbook, whose odds need to reflect a larger range of customers from potentially all over the globe.
This means you are likely to find better odds when using an online sportsbook. Not only will the odds typically be better, they are also updated more frequently in order to reflect the changes in current sporting market conditions. The technology used also results in a much fairer range of odds and betting possibilities. With an online sportsbook, you may also have the chance to use things like free bets, money back offers and possibly even being able to change the odds slightly from time to time (given their incentives and specific wagering policies).
Despite all of the seeming advantages of online sportsbooks over local bookmakers, there is still a place for each option. If you have local bookmakers nearby, a great idea is to keep an eye on their odds and sporting markets as well as an online book. This way, you can have the best of both worlds. From time to time an opportunity for a great wager might come up offline. Or perhaps by combine both the offline and online sportsbook, you can make an amazing wager that never would have presented itself without having access to both.
Great Educational Value:
Both online and local bookmakers can offer excellent opportunities to punters. Especially someone who may be rather new to this type of endeavor. Educating yourself in any type of hobby or profession is almost a requirement these days and sports wagering should be no different. The local bookmaker will typically be frequented by a number of regular punters. Many of them have been gamblers for a long time and really know their stuff. Frequenting a local bookmaking establishment can allow you to get to knows these 'old-timers,' and soak up their knowledge and advice.
Online sportsbooks also have a lot of helpful educational resources. Not only are they likely to have laid out the rules of various sports and games, but they should also have pages that outline and explain all of the various wagers, which can be quite a lesson in itself. On top of this, they may have forums and other resource materials that can make it easy to continue your learning process.