Online Casino Games vs. Sports Betting

How does gambling for real money at an online casino compare to betting on sports?

Gambling for Real Money – Online Casinos vs. Betting on SportsAsk any given group of 100 avid, educated gamblers what type of gambling is best, and you’ll get a wide range of responses. That’s because every gambler, no matter how experienced they are in wagering, is built differently. A lot of people like casino games like slot machines or blackjack best. Others prefer betting on sporting events, playing poker, or just buying a plain old lottery ticket.

Today we’re going to compare the two most popular varieties of gaming found online – sports betting and casino gambling. They both have their similarities, but far more differences between them. Which is better? Well, that’s for you to decide. We’re just here to help you make the right decision for you.

Online Casino Games & Sports Betting Similarities

The most obvious aspect casinos and sportsbooks have in common is the odds of winning. The bettor never has the advantage. Casino games are designed to favor the house, just as sports betting operators set the odds fairly, then collect a commission on wins to maintain their edge. But what else do these popular wagering options have in common?

Each shares a wide selection of ways to bet. Any given online casino will be teeming with slot machines, table games, video poker games and more. Slots make up the largest portion, but can be subdivided into many of their own categories, like 3-reel slots, 5-reel slots, video slots, branded slots, and progressive jackpot slots.

Sportsbooks offer just as many ways to place a bet. Main categories of made up of types of sports – basketball, baseball, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer, tennis, horse racing, auto racing – I could go on and on. Within most sports are different types of bets, such as straight up bets, parlays, over/unders, totals, and an assortment of live in-play betting options.

Differences in Casinos & Betting on Sports

It’s the little things that separate these wagering options apart and help punters to determine which style of gambling suits them best. The biggest difference has to be the atmosphere surrounding each type.

You really have to enjoy sports in general to get a lot of entertainment out of sports betting. Even if it’s just one sport that you love, you can get great enjoyment from it. If you’re not planning to watch the games you bet on, you’re missing out on the heightened entertainment you could be getting from the experience. Sure, checking back later to find out you’ve won is nice, but nothing like the thrill of watching it happen.

This also speaks volumes to the amount of entertainment you can get from betting on sporting events on a small budget. A typical athletic competition lasts around 3 hours. There aren’t many casino games you can enjoy for 3 hours on $5 or $10. Simply put, sports fans get a lot more bang for their buck.

With casino games, there’s something for everyone, and the thrill level is high, but it doesn’t come cheap. Even today’s penny-slots can easily eat through $60-$150 an hour in wagers. Based on theoretical returns, you’ll get most of that back as winnings, but a bad run of luck can get very expensive, very fast.

Online blackjack games, for instance, are cheaper than the live variety, but they also run much faster. When you take RTP into account, betting $1 per hand at 240 hands per hour can be just as costly as betting $10 per hand in 30 hands per hour.

Picking Your Poison

Which is best for you? You have to think, first, of what you want out of the experience. If you’re looking to win money first and foremost, you may have chosen the wrong hobby. There’s no such thing as a player’s advantage in gambling. If that were the case, casinos sand sportsbooks would have gone out of business long ago.

Gambling is a form of entertainment, and must be seen as such. Therefore, choosing the most suitable game should have more to do with (a) what you find most enjoyable, and (b) what you can easily afford.

If you love watching sports on television, try betting on sports. Otherwise, start exploring the wide range of casino games. You can play them all online for free, betting practice chips for as long as you want. Keep at it, and you’re sure to find a game you love at a price you can afford if and when you make the conversion to gambling for real money.


  • Trevor Hallsey

    Passionate webmaster, devoted card game enthusiast, and proud son of the Great White North. With over a decade of iGaming experience, Trevor has launched numerous web portals to share his passion for game theory and all things Canadian gaming. With this site, he acts as a fact checker and mostly writes at the intersection of gaming and finance. He aims to offer statistical insights and unique information that you might see lacking in similar sites.

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