Tag: Sportsbooks

Las Vegas’ Innovative Drive-thru Sportsbooks Let Bettors Sign Up And Deposit

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Las Vegas drive-throughs have long been embodied by a burger the East Coasters lust over or weddings for lusty couples.

Now they’re a means for Nevada sportsbooks like Circa Sports, South Point and William Hill to infuse business into retail shops darkened by casino shutdowns forced by the COVID-19 pandemic and hindered by archaic regulations.

And maybe, Circa Sports Operations Manager Jeff Benson hopes, the ‘valet’ service sprouting in Las Vegas will provide an impetus for the United States’ former lone bastion of legal sports betting to modernize — two years after the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act enabled the enterprise nationally.

While states such as Colorado, where Circa will soon launch its first extra-Nevada operation, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, allow for online registration, Nevada requires it be conducted in-person at retail sportsbooks. With those shops shuttered, curbside service was born at a small collection of sportsbooks last week. Benson would like to see them become an obsolete innovation with Nevada joining the full digital domain.

“Given the technological advances of the modern-day times we’re living in, it certainly, makes sense that we go that route,” Benson told PlayUSA. “And I think, obviously the coronavirus situation has certainly maybe accelerated that, given the fact that there’s regulations and social distancing guidelines and all that kind of stuff in terms of being around other people and being in casinos.

“So, I think that will certainly spearhead some of these legislators or operating groups working together to come to an agreement of some sort similar to what has taken place, in New Jersey or Colorado, given how successful they have been with it. I can’t imagine that that would be something put in place by the end of the year, but here in the next couple of years, I think it really forces the gaming control board to take a hard look at it and see if there’s any improvements they can make on the process, given how well it’s gone in other jurisdictions.”

Thank you, please pull forward …

Business has been encouraging at Circa, Benson said, with 120 registrations and “well over six figures in deposits” in the first three days of implementation preceding the UFC 249 card last weekend. Circa opened its curbside service on May 7.

A William Hill spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal business was “steady at all five locations” preceding the bout, also, and the company is considering expanding service in the future, according to a spokesperson.

Lines were longer and slower at South Point, according to anecdotal reports on social media.

“We’ve done similar things in the sense that we’ve done special events or valet locations for Super Bowl betting stations, things like that,” Benson said. “So in that sort of sense, it gave us a little bit of a blueprint. For us, we just tried to focus on the speed and efficiency of the operation, making sure we had enough people, just making sure we were organized, and doing things that cut down the wait time for our guests.”

Benson estimated customers have usually been accommodated within 10 minutes, constituting a “big win for us in terms of maybe some of the logistical challenges given that the casino’s not open and we don’t currently don’t have a cage.”

And therefore, no cash. Amid an odd scene of facemasks and gloves and drive-through betting, an unexpected snag came in the form of making change.

“So if somebody did come up and they wanted to deposit $340, for example, and they only had $400, we didn’t have the ability to obviously make $60 worth of change,” Benson explained. “So, for us, it was quickly something where we were telling people, ‘exact deposits only’, things of that nature.”

And then there was the matter of older uncashed tickets.

“We provided that flexibility just by depositing that entire amount into their account or making them an account and then obviously deposit the entirety of those winnings or refunds from those physical tickets into the account,” Benson said, “given that we weren’t able for security and compliance reasons, able to take cash from the casino to the curb.”

What can patrons do at a curbside Las Vegas sportsbook?

Customers have three services available at Circa’s curbside:

  • Registration and funding.
  • Funding of existing accounts.
  • Registration for other events such as its Circa Sports Million II or Circa Survivor contests.

(Services are similar at the William Hill and South Point).

“That has certainly been very, very helpful,” Benson said. “The reason that we’re doing the drive-through functionality is two-fold. First is because it allows new users to sign up and deposit, whereas with this remote fund funding, people who have never signed up for our app don’t have that luxury.

“And then the other thing is, Play+ functionality does come, in terms of the deposits, with a 3% service fee that is passed along to the consumer. And if you’re doing it, obviously curbside, there is no fee because it’s basically similar to if you were coming into the casino and depositing at the counter.

According to press releases, Circa’s curb will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST daily. South Point’s location will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST. William Hill opened five locations for limited service preceding UFC 249.

“Ahead of the largest sporting events of the month, we wanted a safe way to meet the current demand from our customers,” CEO Joe Asher said in a press release.

William Hill offered a $65 bonus for bets for new and existing mobile customers.

How this Las Vegas sportsbook project came together

Benson said his company’s valet service at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino on Fremont Street was enacted quickly from its germ as an idea he discussed with sportsbook director Matt Melcalf. They saw it formalized in three days by a compliance team and pitched to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Circa has kept its risk room and mobile app operating during the shutdown mandated by Gov. Steve Sisolak while numerous others have gone dormant in the state. Circa’s launched was enabled by a new online payment system it brought online last month.

Bet MGM, Caesars, Circa and William Hill are the online sportsbooks currently operating.

“I kind of touched on the idea of doing curbside services once. A lot of these other restaurants started to do it, and I’ve seen how successful they were with it,” Benson said. “Then, obviously, there were a couple of other places, William Hill and South Point, who did curbside services as well.

“So, for us, it was just a combination of our management team coming up with this idea and giving our patrons another funding mechanism – especially new patrons given that there’s no remote registration here in Nevada. … It’s just something that given some of the antiquated sports betting laws here in the state and that remote registration isn’t possible.”



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Las Vegas’ Innovative Drive-thru Sportsbooks Let Bettors Sign Up And Deposit

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Las Vegas drive-throughs have long been embodied by a burger the East Coasters lust over or weddings for lusty couples.

Now they’re a means for Nevada sportsbooks like Circa Sports, South Point and William Hill to infuse business into retail shops darkened by casino shutdowns forced by the COVID-19 pandemic and hindered by archaic regulations.

And maybe, Circa Sports Operations Manager Jeff Benson hopes, the ‘valet’ service sprouting in Las Vegas will provide an impetus for the United States’ former lone bastion of legal sports betting to modernize — two years after the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act enabled the enterprise nationally.

While states such as Colorado, where Circa will soon launch its first extra-Nevada operation, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, allow for online registration, Nevada requires it be conducted in-person at retail sportsbooks. With those shops shuttered, curbside service was born at a small collection of sportsbooks last week. Benson would like to see them become an obsolete innovation with Nevada joining the full digital domain.

“Given the technological advances of the modern-day times we’re living in, it certainly, makes sense that we go that route,” Benson told PlayUSA. “And I think, obviously the coronavirus situation has certainly maybe accelerated that, given the fact that there’s regulations and social distancing guidelines and all that kind of stuff in terms of being around other people and being in casinos.

“So, I think that will certainly spearhead some of these legislators or operating groups working together to come to an agreement of some sort similar to what has taken place, in New Jersey or Colorado, given how successful they have been with it. I can’t imagine that that would be something put in place by the end of the year, but here in the next couple of years, I think it really forces the gaming control board to take a hard look at it and see if there’s any improvements they can make on the process, given how well it’s gone in other jurisdictions.”

Thank you, please pull forward …

Business has been encouraging at Circa, Benson said, with 120 registrations and “well over six figures in deposits” in the first three days of implementation preceding the UFC 249 card last weekend. Circa opened its curbside service on May 7.

A William Hill spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal business was “steady at all five locations” preceding the bout, also, and the company is considering expanding service in the future, according to a spokesperson.

Lines were longer and slower at South Point, according to anecdotal reports on social media.

“We’ve done similar things in the sense that we’ve done special events or valet locations for Super Bowl betting stations, things like that,” Benson said. “So in that sort of sense, it gave us a little bit of a blueprint. For us, we just tried to focus on the speed and efficiency of the operation, making sure we had enough people, just making sure we were organized, and doing things that cut down the wait time for our guests.”

Benson estimated customers have usually been accommodated within 10 minutes, constituting a “big win for us in terms of maybe some of the logistical challenges given that the casino’s not open and we don’t currently don’t have a cage.”

And therefore, no cash. Amid an odd scene of facemasks and gloves and drive-through betting, an unexpected snag came in the form of making change.

“So if somebody did come up and they wanted to deposit $340, for example, and they only had $400, we didn’t have the ability to obviously make $60 worth of change,” Benson explained. “So, for us, it was quickly something where we were telling people, ‘exact deposits only’, things of that nature.”

And then there was the matter of older uncashed tickets.

“We provided that flexibility just by depositing that entire amount into their account or making them an account and then obviously deposit the entirety of those winnings or refunds from those physical tickets into the account,” Benson said, “given that we weren’t able for security and compliance reasons, able to take cash from the casino to the curb.”

What can patrons do at a curbside Las Vegas sportsbook?

Customers have three services available at Circa’s curbside:

  • Registration and funding.
  • Funding of existing accounts.
  • Registration for other events such as its Circa Sports Million II or Circa Survivor contests.

(Services are similar at the William Hill and South Point).

“That has certainly been very, very helpful,” Benson said. “The reason that we’re doing the drive-through functionality is two-fold. First is because it allows new users to sign up and deposit, whereas with this remote fund funding, people who have never signed up for our app don’t have that luxury.

“And then the other thing is, Play+ functionality does come, in terms of the deposits, with a 3% service fee that is passed along to the consumer. And if you’re doing it, obviously curbside, there is no fee because it’s basically similar to if you were coming into the casino and depositing at the counter.

According to press releases, Circa’s curb will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST daily. South Point’s location will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST. William Hill opened five locations for limited service preceding UFC 249.

“Ahead of the largest sporting events of the month, we wanted a safe way to meet the current demand from our customers,” CEO Joe Asher said in a press release.

William Hill offered a $65 bonus for bets for new and existing mobile customers.

How this Las Vegas sportsbook project came together

Benson said his company’s valet service at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino on Fremont Street was enacted quickly from its germ as an idea he discussed with sportsbook director Matt Melcalf. They saw it formalized in three days by a compliance team and pitched to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Circa has kept its risk room and mobile app operating during the shutdown mandated by Gov. Steve Sisolak while numerous others have gone dormant in the state. Circa’s launched was enabled by a new online payment system it brought online last month.

Bet MGM, Caesars, Circa and William Hill are the online sportsbooks currently operating.

“I kind of touched on the idea of doing curbside services once. A lot of these other restaurants started to do it, and I’ve seen how successful they were with it,” Benson said. “Then, obviously, there were a couple of other places, William Hill and South Point, who did curbside services as well.

“So, for us, it was just a combination of our management team coming up with this idea and giving our patrons another funding mechanism – especially new patrons given that there’s no remote registration here in Nevada. … It’s just something that given some of the antiquated sports betting laws here in the state and that remote registration isn’t possible.”



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What It’s Like To Bet At Two Indiana Casino Sportsbooks

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“I had my own problems and most of them had to do with gambling.”Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (Generation of Swine)

Despite all the myths, you can’t lose your sanity by spending all day in a sportsbook. But you can come awfully close.

Roughly 20 minutes south of Chicago in Hammond, Indiana are two casinos right next to Lake Michigan. Separated by two miles, each property has embraced Indiana sports betting in its own unique way. However, the casinos are not only separated by distance, but they are also separated by $5 million in retail sports betting handle.

These days, anyone of legal age can place a wager on a phone or computer. But I decided to strip the mobile equation out of the picture. I wanted to experience what it would be like to spend an entire day inside a sportsbook. I wanted to sit next to the casual bettor and experience absolute loathing or the excitement of triumph.

The idea of hunkering down by the bar, monitoring my surroundings and trying to figure out why people do this, came to me in September when sports betting became legal in Indiana.

In those three short months, Horseshoe Casino, a Caesars property, has been the leader in retail sports betting. In November, the property recorded $13 million in handle, according to figures from the state gaming commission.

Its neighbor, Ameristar Casino, a Penn National property, cleans up on the mobile wagering side due to its partnership with DraftKings. But when it comes to retail wagering, it only recorded $8 million in handle for November.

November Indiana sports betting numbers for Horseshoe & Ameristar:

  • Ameristar Casino/DraftKings/Penn National
    $64.1 million = mobile handle (DraftKings): 1st
    $7,987,097  = retail handle: 3rd
    $4.3 million in taxable adjusted gross revenue
  • Horseshoe Hammond/Caesars
    $0 = mobile handle (no mobile app)
    $12,964,573 = retail handle: 1st
    $671,826 in taxable adjusted gross revenue

Each property offers the same product — but why the difference in money? I suppose some of it comes down to preference, loyalty, atmosphere. But I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something. My curiosity led me to check things out for myself.

A menu of games inside Horseshoe Casino and one misguided Buckeye fan

On a foggy Saturday morning during college football rivalry week, I traveled to Horseshoe, which is the closest to the Illinois border. What better day to experience all sports betting had to offer? That morning, the appetizer games were Ohio State vs. Michigan and Clemson vs. South Carolina, the entree was Alabama vs. Auburn. The nightcap was one of my favorite games to watch, Florida State vs. Florida.

The Book at Horseshoe Hammond is a 5,300 square-foot space located on the casino’s main floor. The focal point is a grid of TV screens: 12 total, six-screens long, and two high. In the center of the sportsbook were rows and rows of recliners, all facing the TV screens and complete with wooden tables and drink holders.

I arrived around 8:30 AM and hunkered down at a table next to the bar about five feet from the closest slot machine. From my vantage point, I could survey everything. Already there were dozens of people filling the space and another hundred or so waiting in line to place bets at the service desk.

Sitting behind me was a group of 20-somethings already loading up on pitchers of beer and wearing Ohio State scarlet and grey. Midway through that game, I overheard one of the fans talking about the electric JK Dobbins, OSU’s high-profile running back.

The fan said Dobbins was probably the best back in OSU history. I immediately questioned two things. One, his knowledge of OSU history and two, how many Buckeye running backs he’d seen in person.

“I mean there is Archie, Hershel, and Zeke, but Dobbins is right there with them,” the misguided fan said.

In a swift reflex motion, I instantly turned around and corrected his mistake.

Hershel played for Georgia, I said. And Chris “Beanie” Wells, Eddie George, and Carlos Hyde all performed equal to or better than Dobbins.

If there is one thing worse than Ohio State, it’s Ohio State fans.

Why this Indiana sportsbook and not that one?

By noon, the betting line all but disappeared. Sitting to my right was a group of three men casually talking parlay bets and discussing betting strategies for the rest of the day.

One of them, Zachary Bujaki, 32, from Highland, Indiana, said he prefers the seating of Horseshoe but is not a fan of waiting in line for extended amounts of time.

“I enjoy the atmosphere of the sportsbook and watching the game here in person,” he said. “But I spent an hour waiting in line to place my bet.”

Bujaki, a stalky young man and casual better, was enjoying a few drinks with his father and a friend. He was patiently waiting to see if his three-team parlay bet was a winner — it wasn’t.

Bujaki said he enjoys watching a game at Horseshoe but prefers the kiosks provided by Ameristar.

“I like the betting kiosks. A good [sports]book would be a combination of both [Horseshoe and Ameristar].”

A few other casual bettors I spoke with confirmed the same thing. Shane, 23, from Sugar Grove, Illinois, who preferred not to have his last name mentioned, said Horseshoe is easy to get to.

“It’s right off the skyway so I can stay for a couple of games, then hop right on the highway and head out,” he said.

I asked Shane and Bujaki their opinions about the DraftKings mobile app and if there was anything I should know about Ameristar when I visit.

“I use the William Hill app, and I prefer it,” Shane said. “If this place had an app, I would use it.”

Bujaki was a bit more hesitant about mobile wagering.

“DraftKings asks too many questions, so I decided not to do it,” he said. “And try the steak burrito at Ameristar — it’s the best.”

By the end of the Florida State game, I was exhausted. Maybe it was the sound of a thousand slot machines going off behind me or perhaps the piss poor performance of FSU. Regardless, I left with my sanity intact, and a new outlook on spending the day in a sportsbook, something I would most likely never do again.

A restless morning inside Ameristar Casino

After the Christmas break, I decided to set up arrangments to watch the NFL Wild Card games from the comfort of the Ameristar property. I took a 7:20 AM Amtrak train from Chicago’s Union Station, a short 29-minute trip that cost me $9. I was dropped off at the Hammond train stop, and from there, I took a quick Uber to the casino front door.

The sportsbook is easy to find, up the escalader and to the right. But when I arrived, the space felt different. Not in a bad way, just different. Instead of being mixed with the chaos of the casino floor like its Caesars neighbor, the sportsbook was secluded from everything else. Except for a few table games and a small eatery, the seclusion made the sports betting experience more intimate.

The Sportsbook at Ameristar is small. It’s a tiny nook carved into the corner on the second floor with a service counter and four betting kiosks. Over at the Stadium Sports Bar, which is adjacent to the sportsbook, there are another three betting kiosks. The bar has several high tables, an abundance of TV screens, but at 9 AM on wild card weekend, only eight people were visible. Roughly two hours later, I counted at least 60 people waiting to place bets. A majority of them were waiting at the betting kiosks with a small handful of people waiting at the service counter.

Much of the criticism about Horseshoe and Ameristar from the people I spoke with seemed accurate. It appeared that the lines were moving at a substantially quicker pace at Ameristar, but unlike Horsehoe, the seating arrangments provided no extra benefit. Unfortunately, due to communication errors, I was banned from speaking with anyone at Horseshoe until I met with the head of marketing. So I waited patiently for six hours.

Pre-game talk with an Ameristar executive

Around 2 PM, shortly before the Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans game, I sat down with Jamie Williams, vice president of marketing for Ameristar, to try and discover what made this sportsbook special.

Williams said the feedback from customers so far had been great. “[Sports betting] has brought a whole new crowd to us, which is a little bit different from our typical casino customers. Our process at the sportsbook is quick and easy — with the kiosks — its a great location. Guests can come in, place their bets quick and easy, have a drink and watch the game,” she said.

“I think kiosks provide convenience,” Williams said. “People know what they want to bet, and we have several of them across the property. In today’s world, everything is technology-based, and our customers also have the ability to go on our website, select their bets, come to the property and scan a QR-code and make them very quickly.”

In terms of people occupancy, Williams said he sees no favoritism when it comes to college football Saturdays or NFL Sundays.

“Weekends are a good balance. Our weekends have been jam-packed, you probably wouldn’t be able to see a lot of difference between Saturday and Sunday, it’s just busy all the time,” she said.

A bus trip to the south side

After my sitdown with Williams, I wondered around the casino a bit, grabbed a quick lunch, and watched the first half of the Bills-Texans game. I had had enough of sports betting for the day, so I decided to leave. Much like all casinos, Ameristar provides a shuttle back to Chicago. The bus so happened to drop off right next to Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, and a short walk to my apartment.

During the trip home on a bus filled with gamblers, I reflected on the 21 total hours I spent inside the sportsbooks and why one property was better than the other. Much like Dr. Thompson said, I had several problems floating around my head and most had to do with gambling. Thirty minutes later, the bus pulled to the curb, and I exited into the bitter cold of Chicago’s southside. I was still formulating my answer by the time I arrived home and thought, best not to burn any bridges. My teams may not have performed their best during these particular games, but I secretly couldn’t ignore my nagging anticipation to go back to either sportsbook, place my bet and watch the action unfold.

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Beginners Tips For Online Sportsbooks

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Online sportsbooks have defied all odds and become the most preferred betting platforms by most bettors. Their popularity is rising at alarming rates due to their simplicity and the user friendly features they offer. But how can you best benefit from online sportsbooks? Here are some of the tips suitable for both rookies and actively participating sports gamblers alike.

a) Try To Evaluate Common Betting Odds

The best and most secure way to learn online sportsbooks is by following and understanding the possibility of any successful bet to occur. You need to realize that betting lines usually correspond to the $50 mark. In cases where the figure is negative, then the bettor is obliged to bet a specific number of times to win the $50. For instance, whenever a betting line is -200, then it is mandatory that you gamble $200 to secure a $50 gain. But what if the betting line is positive? (e.g. +150). Here the rule states that you will gain a $150 profit for every $50 you bet. It simply means that you can make $50 extra if the betting line is positive instead of negative.

Also, if the betting is positive, there is always a guarantee that the bet is returned to the bettor collectively combined with the interest made. For example, if the betting line was +180, you are always assured of making a $230 profit which comes together with the $50.

It is necessary to know that we have used the $50 example as a betting line in this context but it can be any figure.

b) What Online Sportsbooks Are You Familiar With?

You can participate in any online sportsbook as long as you know the betting odds. There are three commonly recognized types of sports bets, which include the moneyline, the total and finally the side.

A “moneyline” bet is the easiest and fastest online bet type. It doesn’t involve many attributes; it is simply a bet made on who will be the winner between the opponents. Bettors can give any stake which normally doubles if the team the person supports wins.

Another common online sports bet is the “side.” The side is usually used by the betting liners to find the equilibrium between the two gambling sides. This is a complicated type of bet but is widely used by US gamblers. For instance, if the lines maker decides that Arsenal leads Manchester United by 15 points and you decide to support Arsenal -15, then you are likely to obtain the odds of -65. This is only if Arsenal beats Manchester United by 15 points. But the condition is reversed if Arsenal gets less than 15 points. In this case Manchester United is declared the winner. Lastly, in the case of a draw, all the bets are returned to the gamblers. This is called a “push.”

The “total” is also another popular online sports bet. But how is it played? It is a bet that determines the overall points summed up from both parties in any sporting event. The lines maker may decide to set a specific point total such as 30. If one decides to bet less than that mark, this is called “under,” otherwise it is called a “push” for any bet above the 30 point mark. A draw bet is also called a “push,” which directly implies money should be returned to the bettors. However, it is not easy to bet a draw and as such the lines maker normally creates a betting line where it is possible to find the winner.

With these tips about online sportsbooks, I think you can eventually rise up and become an expert sports bettor.

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Source by Wayden Enciso

Categories: Sports Betting

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