- Sports betting legalization is not going to affect your offshore sportsbook or its odds prices.
- Offshore betting sites may lose some business to state-licensed books, but not enough to matter.
- The sports betting industry is big enough to support healthy competition.
LAS VEGAS – Sports betting is a numbers game. And with all the legal wagering opportunities cropping up across the US, you’d think that customers would be fleeing their longtime offshore options for domestically regulated books stateside.
Your trusted offshore sportsbook should be going the way of the dodo, hemorrhaging customers and boosting its odds prices as it circles the drain.
But that’s not happening.
See, the sports betting industry is itself also a numbers game. And that number is absolutely massive.
There is simply no reasonable expectation for licensed, state-based books to meaningfully commandeer the sheer volume of non-state-regulated action that exists.
Between so-called “gray market” offshore sportsbooks and their black-market local bookie counterparts, unregulated sports betting is here to stay.
Of course, those numbers have been disputed by various entities that don’t know the difference between handle and house take. But split the difference between the estimates, and you’ll likely get an accurate picture of the real state of things.
Even taking the most liberal $400 billion estimate, that credibly relates to an industry with annual revenue of $24 billion. This assumes an average six percent hold across all books, which is viewed as standard.
That’s still a huge marketplace, but it’s substantially smaller than, say, Apple’s consumer electronics business. Last quarter, Apple earned $58 billion in revenue for a profit haul of $11.56 billion.
And that’s for a company that owns a minority share of the markets for every single product class it offers. As a point of comparison, offshore and local black-market betting constitute over 95 percent of the sports wagering industry!
The Benefits Of Unregulated Sports Betting
A recent exposé on black-market bookmakers in the Chicagoland area explains the reality for local bookies in a state poised to offer legal sports betting. These bookies provide an apt parallel for offshore bookmakers.
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According to local Illinois bookies, their back-alley channels will continue to thrive because they offer credit to bettors and aren’t actually in the habit of busting kneecaps for nonpayment, despite what you’ve seen in the movies.
They also take wagers from people outside of Illinois state borders.
Commercial, state-regulated sportsbooks do not offer credit, and they’re bound by the Wire Act, geofencing their customers and limiting their reach.
According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, black-market bookmakers also don’t have licensing fees and other operational costs to contend with. This allows them to offer better lines on more contests, further attracting customers.
Offshore sportsbooks offer similar benefits, thus guaranteeing their continued market dominance. These services will not extend credit like local bookies might, but that’s a good thing for the majority of responsible bettors.
In addition, offshore books are not geo-fenced and accept members from every US state. Most crucially, they also offer unweighted odds on bettors’ local favorites, which is something that even local black-market bookies can’t do.
Offshore sites do not have to carry licensing and other major overhead expenses, either, and they offer multiple promos and support a host of different deposit and withdrawal options.
You can even bet with Bitcoin at these sites, and each one has dedicated mobile portals so bettors can quickly wager on the go.
USAOnlineSportsbooks.com knows for the millions of US bettors already using these sites, there is no compelling reason to defect to local, state-licensed books. The value proposition is simply not there.
But your offshore book is, and it’s not going anywhere.
Benjamin joined the USAOnlineSportsbooks team in 2017, but has been a published writer for years. What started out as a hobby with his own blog turned into a professional career. We can rely on Benjamin to know which horses to keep an eye on when it comes to horse betting, but he also has an in-depth knowledge of baseball and other popular categories as well.