Burke: Tips for new bettors in New York and other states


Thursday’s big story was that the state of New York approved mobile sports betting to launch on Saturday. This will give tremendous access to people that want to bet on sports and don't live near any of the retail locations. A lot of people in NYC have gone over to New Jersey, but not all of them, and that will create a robust market in the state, not to mention those in places like Buffalo or Rochester that have been holding out.

I have a few tips for new bettors that I think are really important in the legalized sports betting world. They kind of work hand-in-hand, so you can check off multiple boxes by doing some of these things at one time.

Do Your Research: In New York, four operators are set to go live with mobile betting on Saturday, with five more waiting in the wings that have requirements left to fulfill. There are a lot of places where you can go and read reviews about the different sportsbooks and what they have to offer. You can also consult friends or people you follow on social media. Before you sign up, make sure that sportsbook has what you are looking for because each one is different.

Leverage Sign-Up Bonuses: I think this one is really key. Yes, sign-up bonuses are a way to entice you to deposit money with a sportsbook, however, you can also leverage some EV opportunities. For example, a friend of mine took advantage of a 30/1 offer on any team to win its CFP Semifinal game straight up. It was only a $5 maximum bet, but betting on Alabama at 30/1 is a lot different than betting on Alabama at -500. It wasn’t a free $150, but it was a high probability of betting $5 to win $150.

Bettors will rush to bet $5 lottery ticket parlays with long odds, but then not utilize the sign-up bonuses that have a much higher value to them.

Look for the best ones that you can find. In today’s VSiN newsletter (sign up at the bottom of the VSiN.com homepage), there is a Bet $10, Win $200 offer from BetMGM if either team scores a TD on Monday between Alabama and Georgia. That’s going to happen. We’ve had seven title games and the fewest points scored has been 49. That is virtually free money.

There will be excellent bonus offers for the Super Bowl. Just because the books get you in doesn’t mean that you have to stay in and be reckless. Take your bonus money and apply that to your bankroll or just pocket it and withdraw if the rules and regulations allow. Just mind the fine print, in that a lot of free bets do expire within seven days of issuance.

Line Shopping: This one works in concert with sign-up bonuses. While you’re creating accounts to leverage sign-up bonuses, you’re also giving yourself the best chance possible by being able to line shop. There is a substantive difference between getting a line at -110 and at -115. There is a difference between getting -6 and -6.5.

Some books also have better lines and better promotions (think No Juice Fridays) than others. If your bankroll is $1,000, maybe you split it $400 at one book, $200 at another book, $150 at two other books and $100 at another book.

Be Responsible: Lastly, but most importantly, be responsible. Things that are new and exciting can also be rather costly. Stick to proper bankroll management techniques. Don’t deposit money into your account that you need for rent, food or utilities. Exercise discipline. Don’t get reckless and chase. Don’t make bad situations worse by reloading your account frivolously. This is why leveraging bonuses is smart because it’s money that you don’t have to put out. This is why line shopping is smart because it gives you the best chance of winning. Set yourself up for success and that means having a plan and sticking to it.

Congratulations to those in New York for joining the world of mobile betting and good luck to everybody that will get started in 2022.