Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting
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How do sports betting companies make money?

Sports betting companies make money by collecting a commission on losing bets, which is often called the vigorish.

Vig, or vigorish, is the cut or amount charged by a sportsbook for taking a bet, also known as juice in slang terms. The sportsbook only collects the vig if the bettor loses the wager.

For example, a point spread is often listed with -110 odds. If the Eagles are -6.5 point favorites, that would be at -110 odds. If there was no vig, it would be at even odds, or +100. With the vig, a $100 bet would result in a $190 payout. If there was no vig, a $100 bet would result in a $200 payout. 

If you want to win $100 at -110 odds, you'd have to bet $110 because of the vig and when the bet loses, that $10 goes straight to the sportsbook. Without the vig, you could win $100 on a $100 bet.

Of course, not all sportsbooks are the same and sometimes regular odds are listed at -115 or -120. As more states legalize sports betting, the variety in vigs across states will be a talking point. That's because a lot of in-person sportsbooks take a higher cut of bets than online sportsbooks, who receive more bets because they are more widely accessible. While each state has different rules, there are certain states where sportsbooks have a higher vig across the board, no matter where you wager.

There are also situations where -110 odds would push to -120 or higher because that bet is getting a lot of money. If a lot of people are betting the Eagles at -6.5 (public money) and the sportsbook doesn't want to move that number to -7, they'll push the odds to -120 or -130, meaning a $100 bet would result in an even smaller payout.

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More Questions To Read
Can you bet on sports with Venmo?
No, not legally. Most legal sportsbooks around the country won't allow you to make bets with Venmo.
Which states in US have legal sports betting?
As of 2020, there are 21 states (and Washington D.C.) that have legalized sports betting.
Can you bet on sports online?
Yes. But while betting on sports is legal in almost half the states in the country, not all of them allow online wagering.
When was sports betting legalized?
Sports betting was allowed to be legalized at a state level in 2018 after PASPA was struck down.
When will sports betting be legal in Indiana?
Sports betting in Indiana was legalized September 2019 and online gambling launched a few months later.
Is sports betting legal in Indiana?
Yes. Indiana passed a bill to allow sports betting in 2019 and wagering started in October with online betting opening a couple months later.
When will sports betting be legal in Michigan?
Michigan passed legislation to allow sports betting in December 2019 and the first physical sportsbooks opened March 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Michigan?
Yes. Michigan passed legislation to allow sports betting in December 2019 and the first physical sportsbooks opened in March 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes. Sports betting is legal in Virginia and residents began betting via FanDuel in January 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in Virginia?
Sports betting is legal in Virginia and residents began betting via FanDuel in January 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in South Dakota?
Sports betting is not legal in South Dakota, but residents passed a ballot initiative in the November 2020 election, which means it's on its way.
Is sports betting legal in South Dakota?
No. Sports betting is not legal in South Dakota, but residents passed a bill initiative in the 2020 election.
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes. Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, but it's only available at two casinos, which weren't open as of early 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in North Carolina?
Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, but it's only available at two casinos, which weren't open as of early 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in Tennessee?
Yes. Tennessee sports betting was legalized in 2019 and launched in 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?
Yes. Tennessee sports betting was legalized in 2019 and launched in 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Maryland?
No. Sports betting is not legal in Maryland, but residents voted Yes to legalize sports gambling in the November 2020 election.
When will sports betting be legal in Maryland?
No. Sports betting is not legal in Maryland, but residents voted Yes to legalize sports gambling in the November 2020 election.
Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?
No. Sports betting is illegal in Louisiana despite numerous attempts throughout the last couple years.
When will sports betting be legal in Louisiana?
Sports betting is illegal in Louisiana despite numerous attempts to legalize it the last couple years.
When will sports betting be legal in Iowa?
Iowa legalized sports betting in May 2019, becoming the 11th state to do so.
Is sports betting legal in Iowa?
Yes. Iowa legalized sports betting in 2019, becoming the 11th state to pass a bill.
When will sports betting be legal in Illinois?
Illinois passed sports betting legislature June 2019 and launched at physical sportsbooks March 2020, becoming the 15th state to offer wagering.
Is sports betting legal in Illinois?
Yes. Illinois passed sports betting legislature in 2019 and launched at physical sportsbooks in March 2020.
When will sports betting be legal in Colorado?
Colorado legalized in-person and mobile sports betting November 2019 after a bill was signed by the governor and then approved by voters.