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Five things people still get wrong about online sports betting

Close up of man holding smartphone and betting on the game while supporters celebrating the victory in background. Man using mobile in pub during football match. Soccer fans cheering for league in pub while man using smart phone to gamble with copy space.

Unless you live deep in the Amazon jungle totally disconnected from the outside world, you’ve probably heard that online sports betting is quickly becoming a mainstream thing. To start, online sports betting has always been popular with over $150 billion or so wagered annually in the US alone. Despite the continued legalization of online sports betting, there are still many taboos associated with it. So we look at five things people still get wrong:

The top 5 myths people still believe about online sports betting

Myths are a powerful thing. Many people believe in myths just as strongly as they would believe in truths. But shedding a little bit of light on these myths can educate enough to at least make people question why they believe in them to begin with. 

With online sports betting, a lot of the myths are associated with how it has always been seen: a vice that is like smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. But the latter isn’t as vilified and the former is still somewhat accepted.  

Furthermore, many things people get wrong about online sports betting can easily be rectified: 

  1. Online sports betting is illegal and run by the mob

Firstly, online sports betting is not illegal and it is not run by mobs. Online sportsbooks are operated legally within the countries they are located at and many of these books’ founders are legitimate businessmen or organizations. In fact, some books are operated by socio-economic initiatives that benefit regions they are located in. 

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Also, many of these books are listed as legitimate businesses and must thus comply with laws similar to other brick-and-mortar businesses people frequent.

  1. Online sportsbooks will scam its customers frequently

This is not entirely a myth as some bad sportsbooks do, in fact, scam their customers by refusing to pay them what they are owed. However, not all sportsbooks are like this and there are more than enough reputable books that will pay their customers fair-and-square. 

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The blame can sometimes be shared by the customers themselves as many have not properly understood terms and conditions. Doing a quick Google search, do not be so quick to believe the horror stories irate customers spill about some books. Not all books are out to rip-off their customers.

  1. Only full-time gamblers or “sharks” with big bankrolls can make a profit

This myth is like thinking that only wealthy people who invest thousands upon thousands on the stock market are the only ones who can profit. 

While full-time gamblers and sharks have more time or tools to put into betting, this doesn’t mean that an average person with a fraction of what they have cannot make a profit.

To help dispel this myth, players will need to have at least a 53% win rate when consistently betting on evenly lined odds (50/50 bets). The profit you make is proportional to your bankroll. The more you bet, the more you’ll win (or lose). 

As such, there have been many ordinary folks who have publicly shown their winnings. Anyone can win at online sports betting.

  1. Bookmakers are almost always correct

Another common misconception is that bookmakers are “psychic” or know results beforehand. This isn’t true and whole sportsbooks generally win, they are also due in taking  big losses. Bookmakers are still human and even if they use computers to set the lines, they can’t predict everything. 

A good example of bettors beating books is through prop bets. These bets that do not deal with the outcome of the game but on arbitrary other things tend to cause sportsbooks heavy losses. An example is the NFL Super Bowl where Vegas can take a beating with the amount of prop bets that cash (and for big amounts of money). 

So while bookies tend to usually be on the money, they are not always right. Why else would people bet on underdogs?

  1. Online sportsbooks are insecure and easy to access

Since most online sportsbooks are legitimate entities, they must also comply with whatever regulations are needed before opening their site. This includes guaranteeing that the money invested in them isn’t so easily stolen by hackers. 

You will find that most if not all reputable sportsbooks are secure and not that accessible. Children also cannot easily make an account. And the information players share with the book is strictly to verify their identity.

How to know if online sports betting is right for you

Online sports betting isn’t for everyone. Just because you’re a hardcore sports fan doesn’t mean you have to start staking money at sportsbooks. 

You will first need to ask yourself if you are comfortable with the risk of losing money and if yes, how much are you willing. Then comes how much time are you willing to dedicate to sports betting. 

Like most activities, online sports betting is dependent on skill (with a little bit of luck). It takes time and money and only if you’re mentally ready for this should you start checking out the best sportsbooks around.