The sports betting landscape has been totally transformed in the United States over the last few years. Until mid-2018, there were only a handful of places in the country where you could go to wager on the NFL, NBA, or MLB. Even then, you had to place your bets in person as the prospect of doing it online was almost entirely impossible.
That changed when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, a law that limited sports betting to Nevada and a few other states. Within weeks, New Jersey and Nevada had legalized sports betting on their territories and many other parts of the country were not far behind.
Today, more than two dozen states and regions have passed legislation that permits iGaming, at least in some form. Almost all of them allow online sports betting from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Some of the most recent places that have done this include Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, and South Dakota.
If you live in one of these states, you may be considering placing a bet online for the first time and wondering what you should do. The good news is that the process is simple and quick, so you can be up and running in no time.
Check What’s Available in Your State
As with many things in the US, each state is free to make its own rules relating to sports betting, so it’s important to know what applies where you live (or where you intend to visit). Sometimes, you may have to visit a sportsbook in person to register your account but then you can bet from your phone or computer.
You can usually check the rules where you are by checking your state regulator’s website, such as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Find the Sportsbook That’s Right for You
While most sportsbooks offer a similar platform and most of the same features, there are some differences between them that may make them more or less suitable for your needs.
For example, if you’re going to place most of your bets from your smartphone, then a sportsbook with a good mobile app will be a big priority for you. However, if you’re a fan of international and foreign sports, then you may need to shop around to find a site that offers odds on these competitions.
Additionally, most sportsbooks in the US offer some form of promotion to new customers as part of their marketing. One of the most popular types is the no-deposit free bet, which lets you place a wager without having to first make a deposit. There are often other options available, so it’s a good idea to check out what’s available and choose the one that best suits your betting intentions.
When we buy something new, we’ll often compare prices to see which retailer is offering the best price or the best value. We do the same with financial products like insurance, credit cards, and mortgages so that we get the best rates available.
You can do the same with sports betting. In nearly every US state that has legalized the industry, you will find more than one sportsbook operating. This helps to create a degree of competition, ensuring consumers get a better deal.
By comparing odds, you can see which sportsbook offers the most in return for a successful wager. You will find that they’re often quite close, but even the tiniest of margins can make a big difference, so it’s a good idea to check. You may even find that some offer bonuses for deposits made and odds boosts for specific events. So like we said, check up.
Odds fluctuate regularly in the run-up to a game as oddsmakers consider all the different factors like player conditions, previous form, and weather conditions. So comparing offers from different sportsbooks can help you spot opportunities where one site hasn’t refreshed its odds yet following new information coming to light.