While some may think Monday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn the federal sports betting ban is going to spell the end of online sportsbooks, nothing can be farther from the truth. The decision of Monday, May 14, 2018, decision will likely have a positive effect on the offshore betting industry for several reasons and actually prove to be beneficial, as online sportsbooks offer some advantages that legal establishments can never duplicate.
Monday’s decision will bring forth a change in philosophy towards sports betting by a number of people. During my years in the sports betting industry, I ran into plenty of people who wanted to bet sports, but didn’t do so because of the legality issue. While the government still views online betting as against the law, some of the people who previously sat on the sidelines will now get involved, as in principle, anyway, sports betting is no longer illegal. It’s a matter of waiting for the government and individual states to get up to speed.
Other than New Jersey, and possibly a couple of other states, legal sports betting isn’t going to happen in the immediate future. Most states have yet to pass bills authorizing sports betting and state legislatures are not known for moving fast. Even a state like Florida, which offers daily lottery games, horse racing, jai alai and casino gaming is believed to be several years down the road from offering any type of sports betting and the state’s deals with the Seminole Tribe over sports betting could find their way into the court system, which would delay it even longer.
Legal betting establishments aren’t going to offer the sign-up bonuses the online sportsbooks can. If you open an account at Bookmaker, you can receive up to a $600 bonus match on your first sportsbook deposit, and even more for the casino, if you’re interested. That doesn’t even include bonuses for additional deposits if the games don’t go your way and you end up putting more money into your account, as well as loyalty-type programs, where you earn points for every wager and can turn those into betting funds or merchandise down the road.
Online sportsbooks will offer more betting opportunities, the potential for lower vig depending on what happens with the so-called “integrity fees” and of course, won’t report your winnings to the IRS. They’ll also give bettors another option when it comes time to shop for odds, something that is almost important as picking winners, as the ones who make their living betting sports often aren’t the best handicappers around, but they do maximize getting the best value on every wager they place, which adds a couple of points to their winning percentage.
The early reaction was pretty much split between online sportsooks, with some thinking the Supreme Court decision was a good thing and others not too happy about it, due to the size of the U.S. market. Years down the road, those who believe it’s a bad thing may be proven to be correct, but for the next five or 10 years it’s hard not to see how it will help the online sportsbook industry.