A Guide to Sportsbooks and Their Rules


If you love gambling, you’ve probably come across a sportsbook. These gambling establishments accept bets on various sports events and accept various forms of payment. While you may be tempted to bet big bucks on the latest football game, or on a fantasy league, there’s more to sports betting than winning money. The rules and regulations at these establishments are as important as the sports themselves. To help you make a wise decision, we’ve put together a guide to sportsbooks and their rules.

Online or brick-and-mortar

Before deciding between an online and brick-and-mortar sportsbook, it’s worth taking a look at some pros and cons. For instance, offline locations don’t typically offer line shopping, so it would be impossible to compare their odds with their competitors. Besides, offering the same odds would cost offline casinos money, and they want you to bet with them, not with the competition. Therefore, a good reason to choose an online sportsbook is its simplicity.

While an online sportsbook has many advantages over brick-and-mortar counterparts, brick-and-mortar sites have superior customer support. An online sportsbook’s customer support is not as efficient as a brick-and-mortar one. Instead of dealing with a live person, you’re usually required to read lengthy FAQs or submit help tickets. Occasionally, an online sportsbook offers a chat feature, but it’s usually just a robot. You’re unlikely to get a personal touch if you’re dealing with an online sportsbook’s customer support, and if the representatives don’t speak your language, you’ll likely have to send the message again.

State-licensed or unlicensed

One important factor to consider when deciding which state-licensed or unlicensed sportsbooks to use is licensing. Legally licensed sportsbooks will display a “license to operate” on their website. While some legitimate sportsbooks make this information prominently displayed, others hide it within the terms and conditions of their website. A sportsbook with a valid license will be easy to identify, as it signifies that the books have been opened to third-party audits.

While Nevada was the only state to fully legalize sportsbooks, many other states still only allowed them in limited form. Since that time, the number of states where sportsbooks are legal has increased significantly. Some even allow online sportsbooks. Regardless of their legal status, sportsbooks are bookmakers that set odds to maximize profits in the long run. Although Nevada’s legality makes them the most popular type of sportsbook in the country, many others have decided to join in.

Minimum age to bet

While the minimum age to bet at a sportsbook may vary from one state to another, the general rule is that you should be at least 18 years old to participate in betting activities. However, domestic sportsbooks may restrict the age of their patrons to 21 years or older. As a result, they may offer only certain types of bets and services. Nevertheless, these rules are rarely enforced. There are several exceptions to this rule.

Fortunately, many states have loosened their minimum age requirements to allow sports betting. Most domestic sportsbooks are open to people aged 21 or older, although there are some exceptions. If you’re not of legal age, you can travel to a sportsbook in your state. However, you cannot use an online sportsbook to bet outside of your state because of the UIGEA and Federal Wire Act.

Rules for placing bets at a sportsbook

When you are betting on a sporting event, you need to follow specific rules. Although these rules are similar among sportsbooks, they still have some differences. To start, you need to be of legal age and not affiliated with a certain sport. Another important rule is that you must not be self-excluded. Lastly, you need to be over 21 years old to place bets. These rules are there to protect both you and the sportsbook.

A sportsbook will not pay out winning bets until the outcome is official. Generally, the game will have been canceled or postponed. For example, a baseball game will be considered official when it is over five innings. However, this can change with inclement weather. In such a case, you can ask for a refund of your bet. This is the only way to guarantee that your bet will be settled.