With the 2022 campaign upon us, fans of sports in the United States are eagerly awaiting the resumption of sports activity. The Countryside Festival in New York City – one of the world’s great sporting events – is just one of the first major sporting events of the year.
What is quite possibly even more exciting is that states are beginning to legalize sports wagering. In fact, it has been nearly 80 years since sports betting was officially made legal in the US. That’s pretty amazing considering how much has changed in the country in the intervening years.
Whether you’re a seasoned sports fan or you’re simply looking to get involved in sports betting for the first time, this article is for you. Here we’re going to discuss some of the basics of betting on sports in the United States – including where to place your bets, the difference between legal and illegal bets, and more.
Where Can I Bet?
If you are located in the United States you can bet on virtually any sporting event – from the World Cup to the NBA Finals and from MLB to NHL games. The only real restrictions are imposed by the state government and the legal sportsbooks. You’ll need to check with the state sports leagues to see what restrictions they may have in place. For example, some states may not allow you to place bets on certain days or times, or on particular teams.
When Can I Bet?
Sports betting has always been quite the opposite of a mainstream American pastime – mostly restricted to the bookmakers, or the “street” as it’s often referred to. That didn’t always have to be the case, as evidenced by the early days of the United States Football League, which allowed fans to wager on the games. Naturally, given the stigma that surrounds the practice, most states have moved to legalize and regulate it.
The key phrase here is “mostly restricted to the bookmakers.” Due to the high profile of professional sports and the general public’s growing interest in betting, more and more states have opened up the opportunity for individuals to wager on sporting events. That said, the process of legal sports wagering in the United States is still quite new, and there are plenty of roadblocks that stand in the way of avid sports fans.
What Is A Sportsbook?
A sportsbook is simply a book that accepts wagers on sporting events. It operates in conjunction with a stadium, league, or college and acts as a sort of middleman between bettors and bookmakers, taking a small percentage off the top for itself.
Most sportsbooks also offer online wagering, making the process of placing a wager quite convenient for online sports fans.
What Is A Bookmaker?
A bookmaker is an organization that operates betting shops and/or websites where you can place wagers. Due to the nature of the industry, most bookmakers are quite selective about which sports and events they will take bets on. That is quite often what separates a regular sportsbook from a bookmaker, as the latter usually only provides odds on less popular sports and events. Most bookmakers also have a minimum bet amount, and some don’t accept bets from individuals or corporations in certain states.
What Is An Odds Book?
An odds book is a type of book that provides you with the odds, or the likelihood, of an event occurring. For example, if you bet on the New York Yankees to win the World Series, you are placing a wager on the Yankees to win the series. In this case, the odds book would be a good choice, as it provides you with all the information you need to wage your wager successfully.
On the other hand, if you’re betting on the Los Angeles Lakers to beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2021 NBA Finals, you’re choosing an odds book because they do not provide the necessary information for you to place a profitable wager. The odds in this case are very much in the favor of the Lakers.
The odds book would not be the best choice in the second scenario, as you would not know what the actual score of the game was and would not be able to determine the actual winner of the bet.
What Are Margins?
A margin is a type of bet where you are placing a wager on an outside event that has the potential to affect the outcome of a game or other sporting event. For example, if you bet on the New York Yankees to win the World Series, you are taking a bit of a “risk” on them, as you don’t know how they will play the entire series, whether they will lose some games, or how the other teams will factor into the outcome. In most cases, the betting lines are pretty much set in stone before the season starts, so you can’t really change your mind at the last minute and try to fix the line.
On the other hand, if you’re betting on the Los Angeles Lakers to beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2021 NBA Finals, there is no risk involved because the outcome is all but guaranteed to be the same as the line; the Lakers will win in seven games. In this case, having a tighter margin would not change anything, as the line would not move one bit.
The main point here is that there is a lot of variance when it comes to sports betting, so you may not always want to bet on the “over” or “under” an outcome, but rather want to find a line that is “in-between” or suits your purpose. Having a large spread makes the odds less favorable for the bettor, while a small spread makes it more favorable. If you are new to wagering, it is usually good practice to stick with the basics – bets on the favorites and against the underdogs – as the chances of winning are generally higher with these types of bets.
The Legal And Illegal Nature Of Sports Betting
The legality of sports betting varies from state to state, and even in some cities it can be illegal for individuals to wager on sporting events which take place in another state. Naturally, given that not all states have legalized sports betting, there is still a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not it is completely legal in the U.S. The key phrase here is “considering it legal.”
It is quite often the case that states and cities that have legalized sports betting have only partially done so. It is still quite illegal for instance for individuals to wager on sporting events which take place in another state, and it is quite often the case that establishments which offer sports betting are technically breaking the law by doing so.
Legal Sports Betting In 2022
With the new campaign season upon us, sports fans in the United States can expect to see more and more legalized sports betting, if the past season is any indication. As mentioned above, it has been nearly 80 years since sports betting was made legal in the United States, and given how much has changed in the country in the intervening years, we can probably expect to see a more casual attitude towards sports betting in general.
For instance, while it is still quite uncommon to see individuals wearing their sports jerseys in public, we can probably expect to see fewer individuals wearing their team’s colors in the coming months, as the stigma that surrounds sports betting has hopefully begun to fade.
One of the largest and most prominent sports betting websites, www.nba.com, recently opened in New York City, and it is expected that other states will follow suit and legalize sports betting in the near future.
In general, if you are looking for a legalized sportsbook in your area, it is quite likely that one will open their doors very soon. In most cases, the only real restriction is going to be imposed by the bookmakers themselves, as they don’t want to compete with the illegal bookmakers who will pop up if they don’t keep their sites discreetly hidden.
If you’re looking to get involved in sports betting, it is quite likely that one of the few remaining restrictions will be an issue of how you want to wager. Do you want to go that extra mile and takea risk on an underdog, or are you looking for a safer option and going with one of the popular teams? Ultimately, it’s all up to you.