Why Do Betting Shops Have Worse Odds?

betfred shopIf you were to go to a gambling website and look up the odds, the chances are that they would be slightly higher than the same odds offered in a betting shop.

The odds will often not be so utterly outrageously different so as to mean that you’ll storm out of the shop and download your betting app immediately, but they can be noticeably different.

Depending on how much it is that you’re betting at any given time, you can certainly end up losing quite a bit of money cumulatively if you choose to place your bets in person rather than using an online site or app.

The main reason for the difference in the price is that betting shops have significantly more overheads than betting sites do. Whilst companies that own both physical shops and online site will work to try to being their odds in line where the can, other sites don’t need to do as much and will often take advantage of the lack of expenses to undercut their rivals if and when they can.

Because online sites don’t need to worry about the likes of staff working the tills and building rent, they can be a lot more generous with their odds.

Shops Offer Worse Odds On Average

Match Home Win In Person Home Win Online Away Win In Person Away Win Online
1 8.9 10.4 1.26 1.28
2 1.78 1.79 3.91 4.36
3 1.39 1.43 6.8 7.6
4 2.22 2.32 3.02 3.32
5 1.79 1.87 3.86 4.35
6 2.3 2.51 2.68 2.76
7 8.3 9.2 1.28 1.35
8 2.47 2.57 2.46 2.63
9 1.34 1.43 7.3 7.5
10 2.37 2.44 2.55 2.72

If you were to visit a wealth of different betting shops and an amount of online betting sites looking to place a wager on a football match, there is a good chance that you’ll end up paying more in person than you will online.

As an example, the table above looks at ten random football matches and the average odds offered in store and online for a home win and an away win, which should give you a sense of what it is that we’re talking about.  The odds above are shown in decimal format for easy comparison.

As you can see, the difference isn’t huge in most case, but it is significant enough that if you were betting on a regular basis and with large sums of money, the chances are that you’d end up losing out on a decent return if your bets were successful.

Why It Happens

Boylesports ShopThere are several reasons why bookmakers with physical shops are likely to have a higher margin built into their odds than online bookies are. The most obvious of these is that they have higher overheads. In addition to the rent that needs to be paid on the shop that the bookmaker is based in, there are also more people that need to be paid in order to keep the physical location running. The rent can be higher depending on where in the country the shop is, as can the wages that must be paid to the workers in the shop.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that there is far more competition online than there is on the high street. With independent bookies dying out, most physical betting shops are owned by just a few of the major companies. Online, though, pretty much anyone with enough start-up capital can opening a betting site and attract customers. As a result, online sites need to work harder to being in punters, with one of the best ways of doing so being by having extremely competitive odds that are much lower than in real-life shops.

The lack of competition on the high street means that bookmakers are able to give themselves a larger margin in their bets. If you’re thinking of placing a bet in a bookmakers then the likelihood is that you’re not going to be spending time looking up the different prices that you’d be able to get online compared to in person. Instead, the chances are that you’re likely to be placing your wage on the spare of the moment or because you enjoy the tradition of betting in person. Either way, the result is that the bookie doesn’t need to be as competitive for your business.

Far Fewer Offers

enhanced odds example
enhanced odds example for illustrative purposes only

One of the chief differences between online betting sites and in-person ones is that online sites tend to have offers on the go all of the time. That competitiveness that we mentioned before means that bookmakers online are constantly looking for ways to win over customers, which usually involves some sort of offer. Whether it is a Best Odds Guarantee, enhanced odds or an offer such as your money back if one leg of an accumulator lets you down, online bookies are going to be quick with an offer that means good value.

In-person bookies don’t have the same need to compete for your business or the overheads that they need to worry about are too great to mean that it is worth their while putting offers on the table. Regardless of the logic, the reality is that you’re almost always going to get a whole host of offers with an online bookmaker than you are not going to get if you visit a betting a shop in person. How much of a difference this will make to you will depend on you as a person and how often you actually take advantage of offers, but it’s worth bearing in mind.

Of course, some of the bigger bookies have ways of linking your in-person play to your online account. You can sign up for a loyalty scheme, for example, which gives you a card that is linked to your betting account and therefore sees you get the offers that you’d get online when placing bets in-person. If you do this, you can often get the best of both worlds, especially if you regularly like to place bets in a physical shop. It isn’t always the case, but it is worth thinking about when you’re next in your bookmaker of choice.