Online gambling and sports betting seem to have taken over a lot of the discourse in popular culture. Arguments exist about whether they are better than their land-based predecessors, whether they provide the same sort of thrills, and whether there are any similarities between the two.
A lot of people believe that the iGaming industry, which as things stand encompasses online casinos and sportsbooks, should be separated into two distinct markets. After all, sportsbooks are completely different from online casinos. In this article, we’d like to examine both similarities and differences, and come up to some sort of conclusion.
Similarity: Customer Base
The biggest similarity between online casinos and sportsbooks is that they have the same customer base. Indeed, many polls have shown that people who enjoy betting on sports online, also have visited, but more likely frequent, an online casino as well.
There is a reason, after all, that online casinos are very likely to have links to a sportsbook and vice versa. Often, these websites are run by the same parent company, as well. The businesses understand their target audience, and do whatever they can to make it easier for them to access their games/odds.
Difference: Bet Complexity
There is no denying that sports betting is a lot more complex than playing slots. It goes beyond just knowing and understanding the sport you are betting on. The bets themselves can get quite complex. There are simple and straightforward bets to be sure. However, bookies have done their best to create bet types that would be a lot fairer. In doing so, they’ve created some truly complicated ways to wager.
Point spreads, moneyline, parlay bets, prop betting, etc. are all phrases that you will have to learn and understand if you want to start wagering. Not to mention, you will need to learn how to read the odds, of which there are three different categories. On the other hand, online slot players just need to select the game that looks most appealing, and start spinning the reels. Nothing else to it…or is there?
Similarity: The Risk Involved
There is no denying that gambling and betting online is a risky business, especially for the high-rollers. As we said, there is a lot of luck involved in gambling, and if Lady Luck is not feeling generous, a gambler could stand to lose a lot of cash.
Even in sports betting, where the “luck factor” is mitigated, upsets can happen. Even World Champ NBA players can have an off day, and end up fumbling the most basic of plays. When it comes to online slots, luck is all the gambler has. So, if Luck is not being a Lady, the gambler might end up dry.
Difference: Not Just Luck
One of the major differences between sports betting and online slots is the way you gamble on them. Online slots are purely luck-based games. Players definitely have a chance of winning a huge jackpot, but whether or not they do is entirely dependent on luck. Therefore, they adjust their gambling strategy to that factor.
On the other hand, sports betting is not purely luck-based. Obviously, there is a degree of luck involved. Sometimes, the underdog team will get lucky, or the favorite will underperform or have an off day. However, thanks to the work of the odds makers, there is a lot of probability going into sports betting. Therefore, gamblers adjust their strategy to that factor.
Similarity: Betting Strategies
While many do believe that there isn’t much more to online slots than just spinning reels, seasoned and experienced gamblers know better. Of course, no amount of skill can change the outcome of the game. The Random Number Generator will do as the Random Number Generator does. However, there is a good deal of strategizing before the game even begins.
These betting strategies may have emerged in slots and roulette, but they are now common in betting, generally. The idea is to plan out your bets, with the intention and knowledge that you are going to take a lot of Ls. The goal is to increase your bet every time you lose, with the idea that, once you do win, you will have made your money back, and earned some extra cash as well.
Progressive betting strategies like these are now common in both sports betting and online slots. The Martingale is the most popular of all, which just entails players doubling their bet each time they lose. Another is the Fibonacci system, named after the notable mathematical sequence. The idea is to bet in accordance to the sequence, so that every next bet is the sum total of the previous two.
A pretty interesting difference to note is the engagement between online slots and sports. When you play slots, all you have to do is spin a reel, and within a second or two, you have the answer about whether you’ve won or lost. The engagement is momentary, and fleeting. Which is why so many people play multiple rounds of slots.
On the other hand, a sports wager can engage you for hours, days, even months, depending on when you’ve placed the bet and on what. For example, if you’ve already placed a bet regarding the outcome of the English Premier League, then you still have months to go before you get your gratification in discovering whether you’ve backed the right horse.
Finally, we have to talk about accessibility, which is probably the most important similarity. Online slots and bookies have made it possible to access a gambling shop any time during the day. All you really need is an electronic device that has internet access and a strong Wi Fi connection.
Some may say “but don’t you need a PC?” The truth is that most of us are carrying a miniature PC in our back pocket. Smartphones have all the same capabilities as most computers, and in 2024 there are even mobile gambling and sports betting apps that you can download for free. It is precisely for that reason that iGaming has become so popular in the past few years.