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Sports betting hits Florida; Chris & Ryan look at what's new and what's to come

As the industry waited on Florida, now that it's here, what is a smart approach?
Posted at 3:49 PM, Nov 10, 2023

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — As the Seminole Tribe launched the Hard Rock Bet sportsbook mobile platform on Monday, this opens up a new market for millions of bettors.

Hard Rock Bet is not allowing access to all who sign up just yet in Florida.

As FOX 4's Chris Earl and Ryan Kruger take us through the process and what is legal right now, we're both seeing the difference here.

(From here on out, this is from Chris Earl's point of view):

Ryan is signed up and doesn't have access. I do.

This doesn't mean I'll go laying -15 on Florida State against Miami at Doak Campbell this weekend but it does mean I'll offer some guidance on how to approach this, if you're new to sports betting.

Some of my background on this:

I was a blackjack dealer in college for the Ho-Chunk Nation of the Wisconsin Winnebago tribe, working in Baraboo/Wisconsin Dells. This was thirty years ago but the principle remains the same. I'm familiar with house edges and the approaches casinos take to maximize their profits. I'm also familiar with mistakes that players along the way.

Research reveals about 98 percent of sports bettors do lose money. Of the top 2 percent, half make a nominal-to-moderate amount. The other half of that actually makes a living at this.

The phrase in this field is "it's a hard way to make an easy living."

What is critical to remember that, in Florida, sports betting is a monopoly right now as the Seminole Tribe has full control.

If you've done this in other states like New Jersey, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Colorado, New York or many others, these states have 10 or 20 different sports books. This leads to competition for new players (promos, free bets) and also better "lines" or odds for the players.

In Florida, you get one book. One "line". One set of odds. You can't "shop" for the best line of the best odds.

This is extremely difficult to beat.

I won't use this space to offer any picks or selections — those are anywhere and everywhere on social media, with varying levels of credibility.

Here is what I tell people when they're just starting out:
- Be aware of the amount of time that sports betting can take up. It really can, especially on looking at games, odds, etc. A successful bettor does need to do their homework. Be aware of the time.
- Don't feel like you need to "get involved" on every game or whatever is on TV.
- "Live" betting is when you can bet on a game where the odds change with each action within a game or match. People can forget the game they're watching on TV usually has a 30-60 second delay, often more on streaming. If you're going to "live" bet, consider waiting until a timeout, commercial break or halftime.
- If you see the sports book offering what they call "odds boosts" or specials on the latest trend, called "single-game parlays", use caution with those. These are wagers that make bettors dream of high profits but are a major component of the profits the sports books take.
- Above all, pace yourself. Every day, there are about 15,000 to 20,000 different bets anyone can make.

For years, the industry has been waiting for Texas, California and Florida to go "live" on sports betting. Now that it is back in Florida, after the three-week stretch where it was legal in Florida in 2021, millions will look to sign up.

Just offering some of my own knowledge and experience here to help.

- Chris

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