Sports betting in the United States has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past couple of years, and transformation is set to be the theme of the foreseeable future as well. Until May 2018, Nevada was the only American state that could legally offer sports betting options. The repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018 granted every other state the autonomous power to decide whether to permit sports betting, a power which many states have already seized with both hands.
As explained by USA Today, this means that more Americans than ever have legal access to online sports betting options. Some states acted instantly following PASPA’s repeal and immediately introduced sports betting legislation, while many other states are still in the process of setting up the required infrastructure to provide sports betting. Whether you’re permanently based in the United States or you’re simply passing through, check out these three important things to consider before you start betting on sports.
Understanding the differences between states
The difference in gambling legislation between states can initially be confusing for long-time and new residents alike. Most countries have a unilateral stance towards the legality of sports betting. For example, citizens in the United Kingdom have the freedom to bet wherever they are in the country. However, every American state has the ability to form its own laws on sports betting, which has produced a diverse range of stances to the practice in the US.
LegalBetting’s map of betting options in the US reveals the complexity of the online gambling landscape. If you were in New Jersey, then you’d be able to benefit from a wide array of sportsbook options. If you headed to nearby Connecticut, you’d be in a state that has so far only considered introducing sports betting bills. If you headed south from NJ down to North Carolina, you’d find a state that prohibits online gambling and has no bills in the works.
Get to grips with the odds
There are certain conventions of American sports betting that may be unfamiliar to someone who has primarily experienced sportsbooks from Europe. The biggest disparity is the presentation of odds. American odds, which may also be referred to as moneyline odds, reflect the amount that would be won if the punter staked $100. For example, a team with odds of +175 to win a tournament would return $275 from a $100 stake.
This varies in head-to-head markets, where the favourite’s odds would be preceded with a minus and instead reflect the required stake for the punter to win $100. A tennis player with odds of -200 would therefore be a strong favourite, as a $200 stake would only return $300 in total. Most online sportsbooks allow users to switch seamlessly between American, fractional, and decimal odds, but it’s useful to be aware of moneyline odds when betting with an American site.
Find your areas of expertise
The states that offer online and mobile sports betting options operate in exactly the same manner as sports betting sites from anywhere else in the world. The biggest American sporting leagues will be covered in-depth, including the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL. There will be ample in-play and ante-post betting options, so punters can ensure that they are staking in markets that suit their sporting expertise.
However, sports gambling in the US isn’t entirely like the rest of the world, as fantasy sports have an unparalleled appeal in the States. Most of the states that permit sportsbooks allow players to engage in fantasy sports for money, as do some states that haven’t yet endorsed standard sports betting. Evaluate your style as a sports bettor: are you someone that prefers to make one-off bets on your chosen sporting events, or do you have the time and dedication to throw into fantasy sports?
If you’re looking to follow the strategies recommended by the sites reviewed here at Matched Betting Sites, then you’ll be focusing on the available sportsbooks rather than fantasy sport platforms. There is an increasing number of reputable and legal sportsbooks popping up in the American states that have approved online sports betting, but make sure you’re within the right borders before you sign up to a new website.