The New Year is almost here so I thought that I would write an article about online sports betting for Americans in 2013. Online sportsbooks that accept bettors from the USA are not as common as poker sites or casinos. There are a handful of premium U.S. bookmakers on the Internet and there are very few reasons for anyone to bet anywhere else. The math behind sports betting shows that a good sports book can be profitable without using shady rules against winning bettors. The smaller sportsbooks have reputations for canceling bets and banning players who win on a regular basis. These winning bettors should simply cancel out the bettors who lose on a regular basis but some betting sites are greedy, in my opinion. I’ve found that Americans are far better off at the mainstream bookmakers. A large signup bonus at a new or small betting site simply isn’t worth the hassle of dealing with predatory terms and conditions.
The online betting industry is in a peculiar position right now. Those sports books that accept U.S. citizens are playing a dangerous game. Many online gambling experts are predicting the legalization and regulation of online poker and casino gambling in the USA. A Bill in New Jersey could make anything you do inside of an Atlantic City casino legal to do online.
There are very few mentions of online sports betting in all of this talk of upcoming regulation. Legalizing online poker rooms and online casinos on a federal level really doesn’t help the sports betting industry in my opinion. I’m far from an expert of this topic but I would be far more comfortable if sports betting were combined with the other forms of gambling. Poker in particular has been able to hide in a grey area of the law, claiming to be a game of skill instead of a game of chance. The U.S. government came down hard on US poker rooms during the last few years but sports betting sites have been largely ignored. This could mean many things but I personally think that it is due to the vast numbers of Americans who flaunted federal laws by playing poker with companies like Pokerstars. This company and the government have since worked things out.
Where does that leave American sports betting sites? Did the government simply go after the big fish and will soon take on US friendly sportsbooks? A few sportsbooks have been shut down by the government but that was likely due to the fact that many bookmakers also offer poker.
I personally think that legalized online poker will be a stepping stone to sports betting. Once the government starts collecting revenues on poker they will be more likely to approve of sports betting. State lottos and horse betting companies have moved online in recent years so online sports betting is not going to seem so crazy. The precedent has already been set and many of the online gambling industries enemies have already formed partnerships with European gambling companies.
Ten years ago these companies lobbied hard against any form of online gambling. The major anti online poker bill was created by an official who was basically owned by the horse and dog racing industry. Nowadays these companies have fewer reasons to stand in the way of a pro online sports betting law. I could imagine that the government approved and regulated horse betting sites already have the research, logistics and software completed to expand their operation into sports betting. Betting on a horse race and betting on a football game really isn’t that different.
Americans who bet with online sports books currently just have trouble depositing and withdrawing money. These problems are a hassle but can hardly stop someone from betting on their favorite football team if they really want to.