Football Betting: Online Sportsbook or Local Bookie?

June 7, 2009

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Dwayne Bryant asked:

With the Internet age comes many choices. Shop at the store or shop on the store’s website? Go to the bank to transfer funds or transfer funds online? One choice sports betting enthusiasts have is whether to place their wagers with a local bookie or place their bets with an online sportsbook. Let’s look at why this question has an easy answer.

First, when you sign up with an online sportsbook, you will get a sign-up bonus. These bonuses range from 10% up to 100%. So, for example, if you sign up and want to deposit $1,000, you can expect to have an additional $100 to $1,000 added to your account balance. So, for your $1,000 deposit, you could have up to $2,000 to start betting with. Not bad, right? If only my local bank had a program like that!

Online sportsbooks also offer reload bonuses, which work just like the initial sign-up bonuses, except the reload bonuses are for existing account holders. Each sportsbook has their own limits in regards to the amounts of these bonuses. When was the last time your local bookie gave you even one bonus like that?

Online sportsbooks also offer reduced vigorish or “juice” on certain days or during certain times. While your local bookie offers NFL sides and totals at -110, it is possible to get them at -104 or lower if you’re in the right sportsbook at the right time. Some even offer free bets at times through player reward programs. Think your local bookie has a rewards program for you?

Betting with your local bookie usually requires you to call him. While you can phone in your bets with online sportsbooks, you can also bet through the sportsbook’s website. How many times have you tried calling your local bookie five minutes before kickoff, only to get a busy signal?

Online sportsbooks also give you many options in regards to how you want to deposit and withdraw money. You can use a credit card, Western Union transfer, online accounts such as PayPal and Neteller, electronic funds transfers from your bank account, etc. I would be willing to bet your local bookie only deals in cold, hard cash.

There is one more reason why an online sportsbook is a better option than a local bookie. You have to deposit your money first. Most local bookies will let you bet whatever you want and then “settle up” at the end of the week. This way, it is far too easy to get in way over your head. By depositing only what you can afford into your online sportsbook account, you don’t have to worry about owing several times more than you can afford to lose.

As you can see, there are many reasons why an online sportsbook is a much better option than a local bookie. The internet is the home to many online sportsbooks, which mostly operate offshore. Take the time to do some research and you will find many online sportsbooks with solid reputations for bonuses and timely payouts.


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