When it comes to betting, bettors have a variety of options for how they can go about betting on sports teams, events, tournaments and horse racing. One of the key choices is between going into a real life high street bookmakers, or ‘bookies’, as we call them’ in the UK, and going online using one’s phone or desktop computer.
For this reason, it’s worth taking a moment to compare the two experiences to see what separates the two versions of the betting experience.
Fees / Vig: It’s been noted by in this excellent analysis over at bettingwebsites.org that high street bookmakers tend to change far more in the way of a vig for taking bets when compared to online bookmakers. The author there, David L, goes as far as to say that the vig charged by real life bookies is “out of control”. Make of that what you will.
Convenience: The great thing about online betting is that it is available 24/7, and you can access it on your phone, or desktop. You can be at home, or on the bus, or on the go. Whereas betting at a high street bookmakers or casino involves going to a specific location and choosing from the selected and limited choice of bets that are on offer there.
Value: A comparison by leading betting website bettingwebsites.org has found that the odds offered by online bookmakers far outperforms those offered by high street bookies. This applies to the odds, and accumulators. High street bookmakers like William Hill and Paddy Power do however offer some great deals on favourites, presumably as these are the types of eye catching offers that get punters to walk in and place a bet.
Choice: When you go online, you can choose from a wide range of online bookmakers. The online betting revolution has lead to these bookmakers adding a host of new sports such as hockey, NASCAR,gaelic football, etc., and types of bets to their offering, including in-play live betting. You can also shop around and find the best deals, rather than just taking what is on offer in one single physical place.
Cash / Safety / Security / Risk: When attending a betting shop, you can end up carrying significant amounts of cash, particularly if you are an experienced, seasoned bettor. This can pose a practical risk, as you put yourself in danger of being mugged. You are also limited only being able to bet with what you have on you. On the other hand, nothing is quite like collecting cash from a bookmaker, at a counter, when a race or accumulator pays out. Meanwhile, performing betting transactions online uses a variety of payment methods which are secure and, in the case of credit cards, or gateways like Paypal, can be refunded in the event of fraud.
Versatile / Dynamic: A large and growing number of betting sites offer in-play betting, allowing you to view football matches or tennis, for example, and make bets on the play as it happens. For example, if a team goes behind in a game, this can change the entire complexion of a game, and odds accordingly. Making a bet at half time can take on an entirely different meaning. Betting in these situations can be very fluid and dynamic, in a way that making single bets at the beginning cannot. You can only get these types of experiences online.
Anonymity: Betting can be something you would prefer to keep private. Online betting is a method for placing bets that allows you to keep your betting as an anonymous activity, for your own pleasure, without the neighbours knowing. And for some, the social anxiety of being in a bookies is more stressful than just getting out your phone and doing it all from your bedroom…