Lots of Money for Russian Table Tennis: RandBall’s Sports Betting Journey
In Sunday’s newspaper and on our website, I wrote about the changing sports betting landscape in the United States. More than half of the country’s states now have some form of legal sports betting, resulting from a Supreme Court ruling in 2018. The leagues form official partnerships with sports betting. This is almost 180 compared to what there was five years ago in terms of acceptance and attitude of the general public.
In any story, there are things that are left on the cutting room floor, so to speak, and things to be added later. I covered this on Thursday’s Daily Delivery podcast, and here are some additional thoughts and personal experiences:
*How much money is at stake? This question leads directly to some comments from readers. While the amount legally wagered in the United States reached $ 21 billion in 2020, the amount reaching states in the form of tax revenue is much less and could be confusing.
Rochelle writes: I am convinced that Minnesota should allow sports betting. Many other states currently allow it. Minnesota must start the legislative process. Sports betting could be regulated and taxes would be used for important projects in our state of Minnesota.
John writes: I encourage you all to do a lot of homework before you start posting dollar amounts. What people bet is an almost useless statistic. It fools people into believing that it is a profit or that you are taxing that amount. What is taxed is only profit, which is only a fraction of income.
Indeed, there is a significant disparity. New Jersey, with the largest sports betting market, brought in nearly $ 50 million in tax revenue in 2020. But in Iowa, perhaps the best comparison to what things might look like in Minnesota, the total was less than $ 2 million in 2020. It’s not a large number, although one would imagine it would increase over time.
It’s the teams, the individuals who bet, and the sportsbook that want this more than anything else.
Teams and leagues know that a gaming audience is more dedicated. In states where sports betting is legal, local television contracts for teams are likely to be more valuable than in those where they are not legal, creating the haves and have-nots.
*And people want freedom.
Rick writes: I live just north of the Twin Cities and make the nearly 2 hour commute to Diamond Jo a few times a month. I don’t trust my money in offshore accounts so you don’t mind driving to Iowa to place my bets. Hopefully MN will pull it off in a year or two as many Minnesotans bet online or go to a neighboring state casino to place their bets..
Rick is not alone. I have heard many stories of Minnesotans placing bets in Iowa or even jumping on flights to gamble in other states. Why? Well, in some cases it’s a matter of trust and the most convenient nearby option.
Or … it’s because many of them offer one-off “risk-free” bets (in some cases up to $ 5,000). How it generally works: if you win the bet, you keep the money. If you lose the bet, you keep the sportsbook credit amount.
So in states (like Iowa) with multiple books offering promotions like this, savvy players place a big bet on, say, Vikings -1 on Carolina at one pound and Caroline +1 on Vikings at another. pound, then pocketing the win and repeating the process with credit to a third pound.
* Of course, others go straight for the convenience of the offshore books Rick referred to. Douglas Farmer of Minneapolis, who was quoted in the article I wrote in the Sunday newspaper, said that everyone he knows who wants to play on these apps is doing so.
So to research this story, I joined a few of them – the most popular probably being Bovada. It takes a bit of work and some fluency with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but just about anyone in Minnesota could place a bet from their couch tonight, regardless of the sports betting status within. the legislature.
I placed a number of small bets to see how this impacted my viewing habits. Unsurprisingly, it made me A LOT more interested in games that I didn’t care about otherwise – a kind of turbo effect that fantasy football has on the NFL audience.
What is rather astounding and intoxicating is the sheer volume of betting available, especially in-game. I have developed a theory about in-game NBA betting (average results). I placed a $ 1 bet in the game on whether a Russian table tennis match would end with an odd or even score (lost, I didn’t feel good).
You can place 297 different bets on the Eagles vs. Bucs NFL Thursday night on Bovada – everything from individual player performances and alternate spreads to special parlays and specific winning margins.
Maybe none of this comes as a surprise to some of you, and it wasn’t exactly a shock to me. But it made me think about the pace of it all and realize that when something seems to be going faster than expected, taking a break isn’t a bad idea.