If you are only now getting acquainted with the world of sports betting and wish to place bets in a real-world location, we are here to help you out. Finding a land-based betting shop may be harder depending on where you live. This is because of the different laws and regulations concerning gambling. Additionally, finding a location that offers NFL bets specifically, may be a little harder if you are located outside of the US.
What is a Betting Shop
A betting shop is simply a land-based sports betting venue with licensed bookmakers. Punters can usually choose from a variety of sports to bet on and can usually keep track of how the different events are going right on site. Betting shops mostly have big flat-screen TVs where they stream the games, so everyone is on the same page. Additionally, they may offer snacks and drinks in order to attract more bettors, much like an American bar.
There are usually separate sections for each sport the betting shop offers. You might be able to tell them apart by the promotional materials used, or in case you cannot, you can simply ask an employee to direct you. However, finding a betting shop that offers NFL betting might be a bit hard outside of the US. Meanwhile, it is not easy to find one in the US either as the gambling laws and regulations there at the moment are beginning to loosen up only now. This means that you can find betting shops currently only in the state of Nevada.
A large portion of the betting shops worldwide is run by William Hill. In fact, over 50% of the betting shops located in Nevada are run by the gambling industry giant. It is a reputable and highly respected company that operates both land-based venues and online ones. If you are looking for a trustworthy betting shop, finding one by William Hill is definitely the way to go.
In the US, a betting shop is usually what is referred to as a casino sportsbook. Due to different legal reasons, sportsbooks in Nevada are located within the casinos. A substantial portion of the casinos in that state actually also offer sports betting and it is an entirely different experience. Casino sportsbooks are grander and cannot really be described as betting shops at all. They are usually located in a separate hall, with many seats, in front of which are placed monitors that allow punters to place their bets.
How to Place a Bet
Once you have found the right spot for your sport, you will find that there are different betting slips for the different bets that can be placed. There should also be blank ones which will allow you to place a bet different than the preset ones. Of course, you need to make sure that the betting shop accepts those kinds of bets at all beforehand.
Betting shops will usually offer a wide range of betting options from simple point spreads, totals, accumulators to many other more exotic betting options. If the bet you wish to place is indeed available, all you need to do is select it by following the instructions on the slip itself. You may select multiple options and bet different amounts.
However, it is still entirely possible that the exact bet you wish to place is unavailable. So, if you need to fill out a blank betting slip you will simply need to write down precisely what you wish to bet on. If all is easy to understand you should have no trouble placing the bet.
After you have filled out the slip, which takes mere minutes, you will need to hand it to the cashier. Of course, you can ask an employee for the odds on that bet and even ask them to write them down on the betting slip for you. Then, you simply need to hand in your slip along with your bet. After that, you will receive a receipt which is crucial. You need to keep it as it is the only means by which you will be able to collect your potential wins.
How to Collect a Win
In order to be able to claim any winnings, you will need your receipt. Depending on the size of your win you may need to go to a different betting shop but in most cases, you will simply need to go back to the same shop and go to the cashier. After you hand in your receipt, you will receive your winnings either right away, or, if they are more substantial, by other means, like by mail.
Previously, we have explained what the vig is and how it works. Now, it is time to consider what the ‘juice’ is when it comes to land-based sports betting. The vigorish that most betting shops have is about 18% which is a full 10% higher than online sportsbooks.
As you can tell, this is no good news to any sports bettor. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks may offer a more exciting experience but it clearly does not come with as many perks as online sports betting. Betting online is much more efficient and offers convenience. Since online betting a much more competitive market nowadays, the vig is much lower.
Unlike online sportsbooks which offer different odds and even have options such as ‘best odds’ possible, betting shops work with fixed odds. This means that regardless of what the true odds may be or how they may change as the game progresses, you will only be able to place a bet with the same odds. That means that your potential win could be smaller because of this.
Then again, not all online sportsbooks offer different odds, so there really isn’t that much of a difference. However, online betting is definitely more dynamic and, as we already established, online sportsbooks usually have a vig of only about 8%.
Basically, whether fixed odds are a good thing or not is up to you and depends largely on the bet itself as well. The odds are quite important, though, and if a land-based sportsbook simply does not have the odds you expect to see, you may need to go looking around town for another which is just not convenient at all. This is why online sportsbooks are preferred by most punters nowadays.
Overall, deciding whether you wish to place a bet in a land-based sportsbook or an online one can depend on many factors. Not everyone has access to a casino sportsbooks or a betting shop, especially in the US. So, it is definitely not as convenient as online sportsbooks which allow you to place bets from your phone, wherever you are and whenever you want. It is also generally better to bet online because of the lower vigorish as well.
However, if you are set on placing a bet in a betting shop, then simply make sure that the operator of the sportsbook is respectable and trustworthy. There are many sportsbooks that offer both land-based and online services such as William Hill and Ladbrokes. They are some of the most popular ones and that is not without good reason.