The Land-Based vs Online Sports Betting Debate

February 18, 2020

- Grant Whittington

As technology keeps improving, online betting does too. There are a lot of advantages of online over land-based wagering, along with a few disadvantages. And now, with a huge number of betting shops being closed down across the UK, the focus on online bookmakers has never been stronger. We’ve taken a closer look at how land-based bookies compare with their online counterparts, as well as how they fare on some key issues.

Betting Costs

When you’re wagering at a brick-and-mortar betting shop, you’re going to spend more money than you would online. With higher overheads, these establishments have to take bigger vigs, and you’ll also spend money getting to the bookmaker in the first place. If you’re buying food and drink, you need to factor those costs in too.

Line Shopping

A huge advantage of online wagering is that it’s easy to compare operators. You can find the best odds on whatever stake you’re interested in without moving a muscle, whereas you have no real way of finding out this information at a land-based sportsbook.

Bonuses and Promotions

Since websites know that bettors line shop, they are all in stiff competition and offer very competitive odds. They also try to persuade people to use them, by offering dazzling bonuses and promotions. If you’re at a brick-and-mortar establishment, you’re a lot less likely to get these special deals.

Markets and Coverage

Physical bet shops can only really offer coverage on very local or huge international events; anything in between is not really possible. By contrast, online bettors can put money on matches and races all over the world. You’re also likelier to be able to place exotic wagers at desktop and mobile operators, and live betting is not possible at all when you’re not online.

Conducting Transactions

Cryptocurrencies, prepaid vouchers, eWallets, bank transfers and a string of other payment options, which seem to get more numerous and innovative on a daily basis, can be used when you’re betting online. In land-based sportsbooks, the only payment options are usually major credit cards and cash.

You have more banking methods to choose from online, but you’ll have to wait for your funds to clear instead of getting the money in your hand as you can do in physical establishments. Also, since you can make deposits and withdrawals with cold hard cash, you can place your wagers even if you don’t have a bank account.

Customer Support Options

Most reputable mobile and desktop bookmakers offer at least a few different ways of getting in touch with customer service agents, including live chat, email and telephone calls. Often, they are available 24 hours a day, but that’s not always the case.

When you’re in a land-based sportsbook, you can get help immediately from a friendly face rather than a message on your screen or a voice down the phone. Some people find that a lot more reassuring, and count it as a major advantage.


The safety risks at online and brick-and-mortar betting operators are different. In both instances, if you choose a reputable establishment with good security measures your risk of losing your money is lessened. Online, the danger is criminals getting access to and then using your financial details. In the real world, you might be physically robbed if the surrounding area is less than desirable.

Overall Atmosphere

Betting at a real racetrack or sports bar is a lot more exciting than doing it online. This is a huge issue for some people, who count the activity as part of their leisure time and want to have as much fun doing it as possible. Just be aware that the upbeat atmosphere can also be very distracting and cause you to make some missteps.

The Convenience Factor

In today’s busy world, it’s simply not possible to make it to your favourite land-based sports every time you want to put money on a game, race or match. Online, you can wager at any time of the day or night, from wherever you are. This makes it the more frequent choice by default, but ultimately the luckiest bettors are those who get to enjoy both formats.

Recent Posts from this category



What Gambling Reform May Mean For The UK



MPs Lash Out At Lottery CEO Over Delay



DRA Slaps Cheating Darts Player With 8-Year Ban



Safer Gambling Week Spotlight On Betting

Click on your choice of sport. uses cookies to give the best experience possible. Please read our Cookie Policy for more details