One of the blatant efforts by the casinos to show how unfair the playing field is can be found in the sportsbook. Here the casinos are flat out refusing to take any action from a targeted group of gamblers.
The sharp bettors or “winning sports bettors” have become persona non grata. This approach highlights the casinos’ disdain for anyone leveling the playing field.
When the casino backs off a card counter, they’re careful not to disturb other players. In reality, they don’t want word getting out about their true motive.
For sharp bettors, the sportsbook can refuse their money. Check out the clever (and blatant) ways casinos battle sharp sports bettors.
In the end, I’ll give you some of the best ways to thwart the casino’s defense.
The House Edge is Constant
It sounds elementary, but the first step in the casinos’ war on sharp bettors starts with the house edge.
Some gamblers assume that the sportsbook doesn’t hold an edge in sports betting. They are under the impression that you merely need to overcome the handicappers.
Yet, handicappers exist to get equal betting on each side. When a sportsbook receives even money on both sides, they can’t lose.
That’s due to the vig. The vig is an amount of every losing bet the casino keeps as profit.
For example, you might bet $110 on the Giants to beat the Eagles. The flip side of the coin is betting $110 on the Eagles.
All the winners are making $100. Yet, all the losers are out $110.
That $10 is the vig. It’s how sportsbooks make money.
In other words, you’re forced to win more than you lose to break even. The profitability threshold for sports bettors is 52.4%.
Many of you will balk at this number because you aren’t paying attention to your results. Yet, there’s no denying the math.
Furthermore, the most elite punters on the planet are rarely over 55%. The guy selling you picks and claiming a 60% success rate is a liar.
The edge is constantly working against sports bettors. It’s no different than the house advantage constantly grinding on the casino gamblers.
If there weren’t a guaranteed path to success, the sportsbooks would shut down.
Track All of Your Action
The casinos are masters at tracking the action that comes into a sportsbook. They prefer to know who, what, where, and why for every wager.
That allows them to shut down a sharp bettor immediately. Once a sportsbook declines your action, you’re forced to find a new place to bet.
That may prove challenging. Many casinos are sister properties with large networks of casinos.
These sportsbooks will all share a central database. Once you’re logged in as a sharp bettor, the entire line of casinos will be off-limits.
That’s assuming the sportsbooks do their job correctly. You might still be able to sneak by the watchful eye of the casino for a period.
Eventually, word will get around, and you’ll be forced to take countermeasures. That will include additional headaches and money.
Many sharp bettors use an elaborate network of runners. These runners are employees sent to the sportsbook to make bets on behalf of the sharp bettor.
Most casinos will use facial recognition software. That makes it nearly impossible to slide under the radar for too long.
The casino is well known for rewarding loyal customers with free gifts. These gifts come in many different forms.
One way the casino can easily spot a winner is through these loyalty programs. You can’t exactly hide your wins when you log every wager for the casino.
On the flip side, you won’t be earning any lavish goodies. That creates a problem for some players.
That’s not the case for advantage gamblers. One of the dead tells for pit bosses is a player without a VIP rewards card. Sports bettors won’t be faced with this level of scrutiny.
Still, when gambling in online casinos, you must create a profile to gamble. That means the casinos will see everything.
You are rewarded for your compliance with excellent deposit bonuses. For a sharp bettor, the deposit bonus can instantly be a shot of life to your bankroll.
Unfortunately, many sharp bettors are forced to move from one sportsbook to another. It’s not as simple as popping a fresh e-mail account for multiple accounts.
Online casinos take precautions to protect customers’ financial data. So, you’ll need to verify your ID before making any withdrawals.
Limit Action from Sharp bettors
Sportsbooks hate turning away good money. They hate lousy publicity even more.
That causes casinos to shy away from flat out banning a player. Instead, they may choose to put limits on the bettor.
When a sportsbook puts wagering limits on a player, it severely hampers the player. They can no longer bet enough money to sustain themselves.
The gambler can still be profitable but on a smaller scale.
When a sharp bettor is firing on all cylinders, they can take millions from the casino. If a sharp bettor goes unchecked, one gambler can affect the sportsbooks bottom line.
Sportsbooks don’t take away the sharp bettors’ ability to win. But the amount won won’t be worth the effort.
Again, this will force the sports bettor to take on runners and find other casinos. I know sharp bettors that go out of their way to stick it to the sportsbooks that limit their bets.
They know every dollar counts, and putting it to the casino a little at a time is their way of fighting back.
It seems like a tremendous waste of time, but it’s not my time to waste.
Ban High Traffic Accounts
Online gambling is more popular than it’s ever been. Online sportsbooks are taking full advantage of that high traffic.
In many states, sports gambling has been legalized. However, not all of those residents have direct access to sportsbooks.
These players are turning to online sportsbooks for their gambling needs. Some states have rules that are somewhat ambiguous when it comes to sports betting. The state hasn’t legalized all-out gambling, but the act isn’t criminal either.
In both of these cases, gamblers are turning to online sportsbooks for their betting. The casinos couldn’t be more thrilled.
Still, this makes it more straightforward for sportsbooks hunting sharp bettors. All of their betting activity is plain to see.
So, an online sportsbook can quickly ban high-volume accounts. There are no uncomfortable confrontations needed. Merely a bluntly worded e-mail that conveys the casino’s sentiment.
When it comes to battling sharp sports bettors, online casinos have it made. Yet, plenty of opportunities exist.
Change the Rules
Casinos will preach fair play while going to exhaustive lengths to prevent that. What they mean by fair play is playing by the casino’s rules.
Any gambler that finds a way to beat the casino at their own game gets targeted. They have decided to play by the rules of fair play, and the casinos don’t like it.
I’ve seen pit bosses change a table’s rules between shoes. Now, the entire shoe was shuffled between hands.
This move immediately stopped the suspected card counter in their tracks. I’ve also watched card counters be placed on a flat bet.
It’s apparent that casinos will do as they please. That affects sports bettors too.
Many of the significant sportsbooks have put low limits on their sports betting. William Hill and Paddy Power have each put a $10k max on wagers in the sportsbook.
Bovada, one of the leaders in the U.S. market, has a $2k maximum.
These limits came after bettors began placing large wagers and clearing out sportsbooks. Another shining example of the casinos ensuring everyone is playing by their rules.
Ways to Out Juke the Sportsbooks
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to outmaneuver the sportsbook. Yet, the tactics used by the professionals are effective.
The first thing you should do when you become profitable is to toss your VIP card. Recreational gamblers need to earn comps. That assists in offsetting their mounting losses.
But pro gamblers are in it for the money, not the free buffets.
Next, find yourself some runners. These runners will be vital to your long-term sustainability.
Having a team running to different sportsbooks placing your bets is essential. That frees you up to find the best values. It also helps conceal your identity from the sportsbooks.
Spreading your action across sportsbooks is the best way to stay in business. The sportsbook will have a stricter time pinning down several more minor winners.
Don’t stress that you’re going to be shut down for winning a couple of weekends in a row. You aren’t getting enough at this point to be on the casinos’ radar.
However, when you start moving millions, the casino will take notice.
Despite the casinos’ best efforts, sharp bettors thrive. From Tony Bloom to Billy Walters, empires have been built from sports betting. When you check out the clever ways casinos battle sharp sports bettors, one thing is clear.
The casinos hate to lose. Sure, they’ll celebrate a lucky slot machine win. But that’s not affecting their bottom line.
A sharp sports bettor can have a tangible impact on a casino’s profits.