In Defense of the Physical Sportsbook: 4 Reasons You Should Go

Man and Woman Holding a Frame With a Sports Book Betting Board Image Inside

Everyone loves convenience. When it comes to sports betting, it’s hard to beat the ease of opening an app, placing your bet, and getting back to what you were doing before.

I won’t argue the value of convenience, but I want to simply point out that betting online isn’t the only way to enjoy gambling on your favorite sporting events. In fact, if you haven’t visited a real sportsbook, you might be missing out on a fun experience.

In this article, I’ll lay out the top 4 reasons why you need to take a day trip to your local sportsbook.

1 – You’re Much More Focused

How many times have you opened a sports betting app or online sportsbook and thrown money down simply because the game was on the TV next to you? If you’re like most, this is a fairly common occurrence.

It’s hard to argue that placing a bet on any game will make it more exciting, but trust me, your bankroll is really wishing you would stop doing it. Although the ease in which you can place a bet is technically an advantage of online betting, it can also be a disadvantage in that you’ll often fail to adequately prepare and research before making picks.

When you take a the time to go to a physical sportsbook, you can largely avoid this “betting without thinking” situation that happens in bars and living rooms across America on a daily basis. Although you can still be susceptible to making bets without really doing your due diligence, you’ll have an extra incentive to avoid this at the sportsbook because it’s all you’re focused on in that moment.

Sportsbooks TVs and Betting Board

Instead of having a running total of your wins and losses that you’re hopefully keeping track of on your own, you’ll have a clear picture after a day at the sportsbook. You’ll know exactly how much you’re walking away with – up or down.

Because when you visit a sportsbook your focus is solely on betting, it can be that extra push you need to really think about the bets you’re making. Not to mention, it can be fun to get some insight from those around you and see why they’re making the picks they are.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not impossible to be fully locked in betting on an app or online. However, it’s pretty hard not to be paying close attention when the action is happening all around you.

2 – You Learn How to Evaluate Line Movement

Line movement is a crucial indicator that advanced sports bettors sometimes use in order to make their picks. As public action comes on a particular game or event, sportsbooks shift the odds accordingly. The reason? If all the money ends up on one side of the bet, it poses a major risk to the house.

The goal of any sportsbook is to get even money on both sides of a bet. In that scenario, the losing half of the action would pay for the winning half of the action, and the book would take home the vig as its profit.

Sports bettors know that tracking line movement is crucial, but if you aren’t paying close attention in the house leading up to a game, it can be pretty hard to notice when it happens. This is especially true if you only give the game one look and then make a bet.

When you’re in a sportsbook, all the odds for the day’s games are readily visible. This makes it significantly easier to follow along as the public’s money pushes things in one direction or the other.

If you’re wondering, yes, reverse line movement is another way to use “the public” as a way to evaluate which side you should bet. With that being said, it is a little more in-depth than your typical “fade the public” strategy.

Even more though, it’s a way to learn about how the line movement works so you can apply it to your regular betting strategy away from the sportsbook. When you don’t have anything else to do besides focus on it, you tend to pick it up quite a bit quicker.

3 – The Environment Is Hard to Beat

If you’re a hardcore (or even just a weekend) bettor, you know the excitement that comes with watching your picks unfold live is peak excitement. When you’re in an environment with 100 others just like you, it gets taken to the next level.

In a way, sports bettors have their own subculture. It’s complete with its very own lingo, humor, and over course the inherent excitement of knowing that it’s not just betting on sports – betting can sometimes feel like the sport itself.

If your friends are as into sports gambling as you are, and this is often the case, nothing can beat jumping in a car and taking a day trip to the nearest sportsbook. Depending on the laws in your area it can be difficult to find one that’s close – but sometimes the added roadtrip adds to the fun.

Wide View of a Casino Sportsbook

While you’re actually there, you can’t help but smile at the elation and disappointment that comes with a late-game cover, a bad beat, or if you’re lucky, seeing someone hit a multi-leg parlay that results in a massive payout. If you’re the one who’s able to make this happen, you’ll likely be the star of the show.

When you’re betting on sports at home or at a bar, if you lose, you simply now have a lighter bankroll. On the flip side, if you take a trip to the sportsbook and you lose, at least you’ll have paid for some entertainment along the way. Losing is never fun, but at least you’ll have a memory to look back on.

Obviously you aren’t going to be taking a trip to casino every or legal sports betting venue every time you make a bet, but the environment you’ll be in versus online can be something that renews your enjoyment of the hobby.

4 – You Can Learn From Others

One thing is absolutely certain when it comes to dedicated sports bettors – they love to share their picks with anyone who will listen, and they’re never shy about sharing their rationale behind the decisions they’ve made.

Now, it’s true that if you ask around amongst amateur sports bettors, you’re probably going to come away with some less-than-ideal advice. With that being said, if you’re around more experienced bettors who have been at it for decades, you can actually get some really valuable advice on how to develop a more profitable betting strategy.

One thing is certain no matter what: experience is something that can’t be replaced. If you’re new to sports betting or haven’t ever taken the time to really get a handle on it, talking to other bettors is a great place to start.

You never know who you’re going to end up talking to at a sportsbook.

The bottom line is that there are endless strategies that sports bettors swear by, but only a few that have resulted in long-term, sustained success. The more you learn, the more you can experiment and decide which one is right for your situation.


It’s not something that should be on your weekend to-do list every single time, but taking a trip to a sportsbook once or twice a year with a group of buddies is an experience you can’t find anywhere else.

Chances are, even if there isn’t a legal sports betting venue in your state, there’s one close by. Laws are constantly becoming more relaxed, and accessibility to in-person sportsbooks outside of Las Vegas has never been higher.

Now that you know how much fun it can be, send out that group text, locate your venue, and have a day.