A professional sports bettor from Las Vegas told his attitude in an article posted at espn.com towards the legalization of sports betting in other states other than Nevada, which before the United States Supreme Court declared that the law called PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in violation of the US constitution had full sports betting through its many casinos, plus Delaware, Oregon, and Montana which had limited legal sports betting.
To put it mildly, the professional sports bettor is not happy about the developing legalization of sports betting around the United States. His criticism of the new sports betting operations in several states has nothing to do with those states’ local casinos, nor with their online casino sports betting venues. He might even see it as a plus that sports bettors who can place their bets at an online venue can also avail themselves of the online casinos’ many other offerings such as casino bonuses, casino games, and many others.
He is upset because legal sports betting across the country will make it much harder for home to make a living through sports betting.
National Football League
Several states got their own legal sports betting going before the start of the NFL season. The professional sports bettor makes his living by betting on sports. He states immediately that the life of a professional sports bettor is rife with worry and anxiety. His bets may be huge depending on the game. He knows at all times that a fluke ending to a game may cost him thousands of dollars.
So, his big fear is that the many non-professional sports bettors who make relatively small bets and are not torn by immense tension and anxiety will skew the odds listed by sportsbooks in the week before the game and during the week as well.
Sportsbooks Rely on Bettors
He bemoans the fact that many sportsbooks are not professional analysts of sports. They set the betting line based on what they hope will be an even break between both sides of any bet. If the sportsbooks think that a large hometown betting public will bet on its team however illogical it may be, it will result in an unrealistic line on that game.
He is very unhappy that until PASPA was shot down by the Supreme Court, the only place where a professional sports bettor could make a living betting on sports was in Nevada. The 80 billion dollar a year illegal sports betting that took place in the US until now didn’t affect the professional sports bettor because it was local bookmakers setting their own odds as the bets came in every week in the case of American football and every day in the case of basketball, hockey, and baseball. Now, the local bookmakers are in constant contact with Nevada bookmakers. That means that there is a national line that all legal bookmakers will follow.
Local bookmakers don’t have to follow the national line but they will until they develop enough expertise to take the national line and tweak it to their advantage.
In this way, it has become very difficult for him and other professional sports bettors to find poorly analyzed games and the concomitant bad lines. When a bookmaker publishes a bad line, this professional sports bettor would pounce on it even to the extent of driving one hundred miles to place a legal bet where he felt he had an edge because he understood the underlying advantages in the game.
No Longer under the Radar
As legal sports betting gets going big time in the United States, there will be less room for the pros to maneuver. This bettor states that Las Vegas sports betting venues would allow bets only on one side of a bet. They would deny access to the professional bettors who won too often to be amateurs.
Professional sports bettors are always looking for great mistakes by the sportsbooks. In the past, the only fully legal sports betting was in Nevada. The sportsbooks in the other states that got their sports betting operations going un September still rely in Nevada sportsbooks to set the betting lines. They have to have lines for a wide range of games in many sports and in many countries.
So, they are at this time relying on the Nevada based sportsbooks to set lines for American games and foreign, long-time sportsbooks to set the lines for all other sports. There is simply too much money involved for nationwide lines to be far from realistic. That means that the professional sports bettor looking for a faulty line cannot find one.
Implications for American Sports Betting
Despite the fact that this professional sports bettor is less than pleased with the early results from legal sports betting in other states, the long term implications for the American sports betting market is that it will eventually be run on a very professional level. The amateurish and complicated line of command will disappear as local bookmakers will be able to set lines for local events. Eventually, even Las Vegas will rely on professional odds makers in other parts of the country to set the odds and the lines that Las Vegas will follow.
Local sports betting operations might accept bets on a limited number of sports. There is no specific reason why an American sportsbook has to take bets on Asian soccer. For bettors, there will be the added burden of paying taxes on winnings but at least they will know that the bookmaker is licensed and regulated by the state.
Eventually, people who live close to a state border will be able to travel easily across state lines to place legal sports bets in the neighboring state even if their own state still doesn’t have legal sports betting. So, while espn.com did us all a big service by publicizing one person’s negative feelings towards the burgeoning legal sports betting situation in many American states, we should look at the other side of the coin: where sports betting is legal and regulated, the information we receive will be more open, we’ll all be able to make better qualified bets, and the lines and odds will reflect expert analysis instead of just bettor sentiment.