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Top-10 reasons online sports betting in Nevada is a game changer

20 August 2012

By Aaron Todd

Last week, Cantor Gaming launched Wi-Fi enabled sports betting across Nevada. All you need to place a sports bet in Nevada is a computer, tablet or phone that can connect to a Wi-Fi network, proximity to that network and an established account with Cantor Gaming.

That makes sports betting in Nevada the first gambling activity, other than lottery ticket sales, that can be conducted in a regulated online environment anywhere in the U.S. And here are 10 ways that it's going to change the gambling industry.

10. Odds shopping
While Cantor Gaming is the only operator currently offering sports bettors the opportunity to place a wager online, they surely won't be the last. And that will give sports bettors in Nevada a chance to shop around for the best odds on the game they'd like to bet on. If you like the Cowboys at +3 vs. the Giants at Cantor, you're really going to like them at +3.5 at another sportsbook. While you can shop around for the best odds with brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, it involves phone calls and a lot of driving around to get to the sportsbook where you're getting the best deal. Online, it's just a quick click away.

9. Allows sports bettors to avoid cigarette smoke
Regular readers of my column know that I'm a staunch opponent of smoking in casinos. And yes, I know Cantor Gaming sportsbooks don't allow smoking. But you do have to walk through the casino floor to get there, and your clothes will probably stink by the time you get home, wherever you choose to watch the game. Make the bet from the comfort of your own home, and you get to decide whether or not you want to be surrounded by smoke.

8. In-game betting
While I'm personally not that big a fan of in-game betting (at least I wasn't during a recent trip to the sportsbook at The Palms Casino Resort, which is operated by Cantor), I think I might be if I could watch a game with my laptop situated, well, in my lap. Part of what made the in-game offerings at the Palms unattractive was that I didn't like the touch screen interface. With my personal computer, I can control what's up on the screen and how big or small it is. I think in-game betting will thrive online in a way that it doesn't in brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

7. Allows for more casual betting
Part of the difficulty with placing a bet at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook is that it requires a break from what would otherwise be routine. If you have to drive 15-30 minutes out of your way to get to a casino to plunk down a bet on the game you were going to watch tonight, you might decide it's not worth it. But if it's just a quick stop on your laptop when you get home from work, well, why not?

6. Allows for lower stakes
Okay, so Cantor Gaming's betting limits are the same online as they are in their brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. As someone who routinely bets $10 on games when in Vegas, let me tell you, you feel a little bit like a second-class citizen when the people around you are plunking down $500 or $1,000 a game. Imagine sitting at a blackjack table where everyone is betting $500 a hand, except you're betting $5 a hand. You're not going to celebrate a $7.50 win with a blackjack when the rest of the table has just been cleared out of $3,000-$4,000 against the dealer's 20. I'm always hesitant to celebrate or curse too much at a sportsbook when I'm sweating the result of a $10 bet because I know people have a lot more on the line than I do. But with an online bet, in the comfort of my own home, I can yell at the TV or dance around when I win as much as I want.

5. Increases education about sports betting
Sports betting has been unfairly painted by lawmakers and sports leagues as a seedy pastime and something that corrupts athletes, coaches and officials. And sure, there's plenty of evidence, from the Black Sox to Pete Rose to Tim Donaghy, that people involved in the games can affect the outcome if there's gambling money on the line. The only problem with that argument is that in each case, the people who were pushing the action weren't related to a regulated environment. Organized crime was giving the White Sox players money to tank, Rose was betting with a bookie, not a sportsbook, and Donaghy, an NBA ref, found himself in debt with bookies as well.

As the practice moves out of smoky sportsbooks and into the household, more people will become comfortable with it. And with New Jersey planning on offering sports bets in the near term, perhaps online betting in Nevada will move the sportsbook one step closer to the mainstream in American culture.

4. Gets the ball rolling on other online betting
Now that you can place a bet on a football game online, it won't be long before other gambling opportunities follow. Nevada may be just months away from offering the first regulated Internet poker experience to players, and online slots and table games likely aren't far behind either. When other states see how well Nevada's online ventures are performing, many of them won't be too far behind.

3. Make sports bets during family vacations
Let's be honest; Las Vegas isn't the most family-friendly place in the world. Don't get me wrong, I love Sin City, but I'm not taking my wife and kids there. Lake Tahoe, on the other hand, now that's a place I could go to with the family. A beautiful, scenic lake on the border of Nevada and California, with plenty of outdoor recreational activities, Lake Tahoe is exactly the type of place I'd like to take my family on vacation. And if my wife and I decided to place a bet on a game after the kids went to bed, well we wouldn't have to be staying at a casino in order to do it. We'd just have to be on the Nevada side of the lake.

2. Increases the value of the man cave
If you're a Nevada resident and you have a man cave and a Wi-Fi connection, the value of your basement real estate just shot up in value. You can have a group of guys in your basement on any given Sunday, if you want, because now your friends can not only drink beer and watch the game on your LED-screen, they can also plunk down a $20 on the outcome without visiting the sportsbook first.

1. Awesome Super Bowl/March Madness parties
I love the idea of going to Las Vegas with a big group of friends to sweat bets on the Super Bowl or the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. But my ideal place to watch the games isn't actually in a sportsbook. I'd actually prefer to get a huge luxury suite and watch the game with just my friends instead of the hordes of bettors crowding to watch the game at the sportsbook. Cantor Gaming's Wi-Fi availability will allow us to make bets from the comfort of our own suite, and even allow those of us who want to make in-game bets to do so. And we can high-five to our hearts’ delight without worrying about knocking over someone we don't know's beer.
Top-10 reasons online sports betting in Nevada is a game changer is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd has covered the gambling industry since 2006. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and (his personal favorite) Badeuci.

Since graduating from St. Lawrence University, Aaron has worked as a journalist covering the gambling industry and as a communications specialist in college athletic departments.

A native of a small town in New York just south of Ottawa, Aaron lives in Needham, Mass., with his wife and three children. Write to Aaron at aarontodd@casinocity.com, and follow him on Twitter @CasinoCity_AT.