Dealing With Local Bookies

Advantages and Disadvantages for Sports Betting

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While many sports bettors wager through online sportsbooks or in Nevada, many gamblers also wager through local bookies. A bookie accepts and pays bets on professional sports. This activity is legal in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, but it is generally illegal in the US except in Nevada.

As the bettor, you may be in violation of a state law in about half of the states, but the laws are rarely enforced.

The bookie, however, is at risk of prosecution in most states. There is no federal law against placing a bet.

Dealing with local bookies has certain advantages and disadvantages, especially when contrasted with betting on sports legally in Nevada. One of the misconceptions about placing sports bets online is that it is safer than dealing with local bookies. But numerous online sportsbooks are notorious for not paying customers. Before sending any online sportsbook your money, spend a few minutes of your time checking them out.

Precautions When Using a Local Bookie

If you've dealt with the same bookie for a number of years and have never run into any sort of problems, chances are you won't have any problems in the future. The easiest way to avoid problems is simply to ask your bookie to read every wager back to you after you've placed your bets. Most of them do this anyway, but it never hurts to do it again.

One of the key differences in dealing with local bookies, as opposed to online sportsbooks or wagering in Nevada, is that you generally are not required to put up the money at the time you place your wager. This difference is dangerous as it is easy to bet more money than you have the ability to pay when you lose.

You may make more bets hoping to make up for the loss and end up far over your head. If your bookie lets you wager on credit, discipline is needed.

Shading the Odds

A disadvantage in dealing with local bookies is that the smarter ones will soon be able to pick up on your betting habits. If you play almost all favorites, they will soon know and the point spread you receive is likely to be a half-point or a point higher than other bettors. The same holds true with underdogs and totals. Bookies who can get an edge are likely to take advantage of it.

Sports bettors can gain a bit of an advantage in knowing the correct odds on a given game and comparing that with the line they receive. Many local bookies are known to shade the line one way or another, especially if they are located near a major city. Bookies in Philadelphia almost always have the point spread on the Eagles or 76ers a little skewed toward the home team, as they know most bettors will be backing the local team.

Favorable Treatment

If you have a good relationship with your bookie, don't be afraid to ask for a half-point on occasion. If you're a long-time bettor, many will give it to you without much protest.

Your bookie may also be willing to let you in on his action, depending on your relationship and the length of time you have bet with him.

Many times you can ask who the bookie needs, meaning they have plenty of bets on the other side, and if you happen to like the same side they need to cover, they will let you wager at even money and forgo the usual 11–10 odds. With the increased competition of online sportsbooks, many bookies are willing to make some small concessions here and there, especially if you've proven to be a loyal customer over the years.

Dealing with a local bookie certainly has its pros and cons, but adding a few little tips to your wagering can work out to your advantage.

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Your Citation
Moody, Allen. "Dealing With Local Bookies." ThoughtCo, Aug. 14, 2017, Moody, Allen. (2017, August 14). Dealing With Local Bookies. Retrieved from Moody, Allen. "Dealing With Local Bookies." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 17, 2017).