Most people assumed that the internet would revolutionise the way we bet, just like the way it has revolutionized many other things in life. However, recent prevalence studies have proved that the number of people betting online is still not as popular as other forms of betting such as phone betting, going down the bookmaker and being at the track. So for those who haven't quite worked out the benefits of wagering online instead of these alternatives, here 10 good reasons why you should be:
1) Free bets: Due to the amount of competition online, betting companies like to encourage you to join their service in the hope you form some sort of brand loyalty. To entice you they will regularly offer a free bet. This is normally in the form of a matched bet (You put in a certain amount and they will match that amount.) and will allow you to double your money, if not more. Around big betting events like the World Series and the Kentucky Derby these free bets usually quadruple, making them a very attractive incentive. When was the last time you walked into the betting shop and the lady behind the counter said; "Here, have $10 on us". Most likely never!
2) Compare odds: There are many websites online that allow you compare odds on all sorts of bets from all manor of betting events. You will be amazed at how much odds can very from one bookmaker to another, and by using online odds comparison tools you can seek out the best odds. This kind of information is only available online, but is free to use. If you are sat in the bookmakers all day you will only get the odds available from that specific shop, which may be much shorter than they are elsewhere.
3) Special offers: Something that seems to becoming more and more popular online is special offers such as "money back specials". This is something an online betting site will offer in advance of a sporting event to gain interest from bettors. This could be something like, if your horse falls or if your team loses on penalties you will get your stake back. This is something you will rarely see offered in a bookmaker on the high street or over a telephone bet.
4) Other betting options: If you know anything about betting then you will have heard of betting exchanges and spread betting companies. These new betting sectors have largely formed due to the popularity of the internet, allowing all sorts of betting variables, with the final result being just one of them. Although these fairly recent betting options have caused controversy in the industry and in certain sports, there is no denying that they are extremely popular and are here to stay.
5) Increased markets: Most bookies tend to offer the popular betting markets, such as horse racing, football, basketball, baseball. With online betting there are a huge selection of bets to choose from including foreign sports betting, political betting, novelty betting and much more. For example some betting websites will allow you to bet on something like the 2nd division of the German Handball league or Gaelic football matches in Ireland. To be able to bet on sports and events that don't even occur in this country was unheard of until the internet made it possible. This can be hugely beneficial to bettors who follow all sorts of obscure leagues, sports or events.
6) Access to information: It doesn't take a genius to work out that you can obtain all sorts of facts, figures, statistics, historical data from the internet. This can be accessed very quickly at little or no cost. It doesn't matter how good the form guide writer is in your favorite paper, its never going to compete with the amount of data that is available online. There are all manor of forums, blogs and reports that can be easily accessed to assist you with your betting options.
7) Comfort: Why would you drag yourself all the way down to the bookmakers(that might be miles away), when you can relax in the comfort of your own home and make your bets. Bookmakers tend to be dreary places with Formica chairs, lackluster decor and normally a bunch of sorry faces all around. It makes much more sense to put the kettle on, open up your browser and check out the bets of the day.
8) Speed: Provided you have a reliable broadband connection, online betting is instant. No standing in line or possibly missing the start of the race or game. You merely need to locate your bet, select your options and place your stake. This can all be done in the time it takes your to write down your selection on your betting slip. Some may feel that phone betting is just as quick, but you normally have to wait 5 to 20 seconds to connect to a representative. Why wait, when you don't have to?
9) Access from anywhere: Provided it is legal to bet in the jurisdiction you are in, then there is no reason why you can't place a bet from anywhere in the world, provided you have a connection to the internet. You can transfer money, place bets, check your account wherever you are and whatever time, day or night. Most high street bookmakers close, early evening, with the odd few staying open late. The same goes for several telephone betting services, and just imagine the bill from your hotel when you have called in half a dozen bets.
10) In-race betting: there is new technology starting to become more and more available online that allows you to bet in running or throughout a game. This is highly sophisticated stuff that is changing the way we can bet quite dramatically. There is no way in the world that this could be made possible in betting shops or even on the telephone.
For some; going down the bookmakers is so habitual it is impossible to change, but for others it should now be clear that the advantages are clear. Increase your chances of winning more bets, play online!