Gambling on the Internet
Disclaimer: This article is intended for entertainment purposes only. The writer, web-site, its owners, and affiliates do not condone illegal gambling in any way (if your interested in legal gambling…go to Vegas). Now carry on….
Think of me as your cousin Vinnie (real name withheld to protect me). My brother Rocco introduced me to the world of Internet gambling, and I’m hooked. It’s a lot nicer paying a guy 3000 miles away on some Caribbean island, than some wise guy down the street at the local bar. (Actually, it was the UPS guy on my route that collected, but that’s another story…)
So, I’ve been gambling overseas for about 7 years. Started with a company called Bowmans in England. Then, hopped on the Internet express. Here are some things you should know, before I talk about specific sport books.
First, I never bet on the New York teams. It ain’t personal, but, I don’t like to be emotionally attached to a play. With these guys, you pay first, and get your money back if you win. In my situation, I only send money down at the start of the season, and I try to make it last all year. A good week means I’ll have more next week to gamble with. After the NFL Superbowl, I take my $$ out (Just in case they try to fly off their island and go outta business with my $$). I got lucky one year, and rode my winnings, enough to cover my losses for the past 3 years. It’s more fun playing with their $$ than yours.
Here’s a few of the basics you need to know:
OK, Paying up – most take Western Union, PayPal, NetTeller, Firewire, Credit Cards, Bank Wire, overnited checks (but they put a hold on your account). My experiences are as such.
Credit Card: Credit Cards suck. First, many credit cards do not like their $$ going to a offshore sportsbook, AND sometimes they charge a cash advance fee. And sometimes they call your wife and that’s a bad, bad thing. If you win, she spends more, if you lose she’s pissed. What she don’t know won’t hurt her.
Western Union: Works fine, simple, has good instructions. Costs about $15. Don’t let anyone you know see you tossing a $1000 to some clerk, making $5.00/hour, who will rat you out – as you are probably the biggest Western Union guy he’s seen in a month.
NetTeller: Used NetTeller once, no problems. Don’t remember exactly how it took cash off my credit card.
PayPal : Alas my favorite is going out of the sportbook business sometime in August. Too-goody-too-shoes to touch Internet gambling, so if you want to use PalPal, you had better get moving. Quick and convenient, but too close to illegal now that they were acquired by Ebay.
BankWire: You think a clerk at a grocery store thinks sending $1000 to Antigua is odd, try doing that in a bank. Cost $15
Overnited checks: A last resort – sportsbooks don’t like them, and they take too long to process.
Ah, my favorite part- Getting paid!!
PayPal – Your papal account gets credited (very simple)
Check (A check is sent by fed-ex to you) Note, over $5000 (yes, it happened to me), it takes extra time for the bank to process. P.S. Don’t volunteer this info to the IRS either.
ATM/Debit Cards – Something new talked about by sportbooks, don’t know much about this personally.
Now lets discuss the Sportbooks, listed in order of my favorites.
WSEX.com – an oldie but goodie. Its been around for a long time. Very respectable. Interactive sports. Real fun, you can bet on the game WHILE IT IS GOING ON!
For instance, in the Music City Miracle game, shares of Buffalo traded at 99 with seconds left to lay, Tenn traded at 4. Tenn runs back the kickoff for a TD, and goes to 100. That is a 2500% return on investment. This was probably the WORST loss I ever took, I easily had $1500 riding on that game. Standard lines, Halftime lines, Parlays, and Interactives. Few Bonuses. (Usually you can get bonuses for sending in $$). It has a simple user interface, my rating A.
CaribSports.com – Just started using them a year ago. I like their setup, friendly, no interactives, they have squares which are sort of fun. Rebates some losses, lots of Bonuses. My rating A-.
Sportsbook.com – Nice free contest, some bonuses, decent lines. Had a real nice contest last year where you could try to beat their handicapper. I did, won like $200, and I’m still playing with their $$ Rating B+.
Bowmans.com – English Sportsbook – some contests, cool accents if you talk on the phone to them. Their lines are inflated towards favorites, so if you like the Rams, don’t bet here. If you back the Panthers a lot, come bet at Bowmans. New at the online gig part of the biz. Sent me a large check – so they pay well. (Maybe I should have given them an A) Rating = B.
Sportsbetting.com – Very similar software to sportsbook.com, decent lines, Nice bonuses, good contests Rating B.
Grand Central Sports – Nice interface, very good deposit bonuses, VERY aggressive salesman. Told them never to call me again. If you want to put $$ in a sports book that’s great, if they send me an email with a special, that’s fine, but DO NOT CALL me at dinner, and try to telemarket me!!! For some reason, I think their lines might move a little slower. Almost went broke last year, and was bailed out (rumor) Rating C.
6 Sportbooks, 6 accounts, 6 userIDs and passwords is very hard to control, but there is ONE major benefit. Line fluctuations!!!! Otherwise, why would you go through all the time and trouble.
For instance, there is/was a preseason game Monday, Miami @ Tampa. Three of these sportbooks have Tampa – 3.5, two of these Sportbooks have Tampa –3 (-120), and one of these sportbooks has Tampa –3.
I like Tampa in this game (three solid QBs, plus Jon Gruden wants to win his first game as head coach of Tampa). I think his players will play harder, and they are playing at home. So, I like Tampa. By spreading my $$ out among 6 books, I can pick the best line. Thus, I put $50 on Tampa –3 If I had only one sportbook, I might be stuck with Tampa –3.5, and if Tampa wins by a field goal, I’d have a bad loss, rather than a push.
Another nice aspect about six books is halftime lines. A halftime line is the line you can bet on in the second half. These lines are VERY volatile, and only available for 15 minutes or so, so there are LARGE differences sometimes. I’ve seen a 2.5 point difference sometimes between books. With six sportbooks, I can bet the best halftime line I can find. My main method of betting is to find a favorite team playing at home that I really like, that had a crappy first half (bad bounces, turnovers, etc), and bet on them in the second half to turn things around.
So, that’s it for issue #1, there will be more to come during the regular season. May all your bets be winnings, and you don’t get eaten alive by the sharks.