In the United States where sports betting is gradually being legalized across the country state by state, year by year, there are still some states in the country that do not allow for any sort of betting and stick to purely fantasy sports. In some cases, not even that. However, in states where sports betting is legal, there are often two options to bet through: betting online and retail sportsbooks. Some states are yet to completely legalize online sports betting and simply only allow for betting in-person at retail sportsbooks. These are often found in hotels, casinos, and stadiums, but sometimes just down the local high streets. However, some states with retail sportsbooks do, unfortunately, come at a great disadvantage for those who want to get the very best out of sports betting, and hopefully, over time, we see those states turn a corner and head for online betting too so players can get the very best out of their experience.
The main difference between online betting and retail sports betting is that you can’t compare the odds. Simply put, whatever it is you get in the retail store, is what you’re going to get, period. This means that should you know that there are better odds elsewhere (which is often the case) you simply have to accept whatever it is you’re getting in-store that day. At the same time, this also applies for certain markets in store too, as if you’re able to get more options online and fewer inside the retail store, that is simply that and you have to bet on what you have available in store. This, in reality, shouldn’t be too much of an issue and there should still be a lot to choose from in both sports and markets within certain sports at the retail sportsbook. However, there is a chance that you’re unable to get what you want at a retail sportsbook in contrast to that of online.
It is also significantly easier to bet online. There are no questions asked, no queues, no waiting around, and you can simply input what you want on the sports/market you are after and that is that. In a retail sportsbook, there could be waiting and you will also have to return to collect your winnings, rather than have it straight into your bank. You may also need to stay inside the retail store to watch the game you’re betting on, however, this is most definitely a positive as sportsbooks tend to show the games in-store through their licensing, as opposed to streaming the games online, which is a whole different ball game and not usually allowed.
Annoyingly, the same sportsbook operator can have different odds online too, which are often called boosted odds and enhanced odds, and you can’t always get this in-store and maybe an online offer only. This isn’t always the case, but it’s worth noting anyway.
Finally, it’s not always the case of when you sign up in-store with a sportsbook that you will be able to get the best offers and free bets for the initial sign up and the first bet. You may, but this will differ from retail store to retail store and you may not be able to get the best sign up offer that you would online.
All in all, unfortunately in some states, you have to take what is offered and for the time being, certain states only allow for retail sportsbooks and not online.