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A look into the future of Pennsylvania sports betting

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From the outside looking in, it appears New Jersey online and mobile sports betting operations will do just about anything to draw in new customers and gain market share. It’s a competitive industry, to say the least, and customers have been reaping the benefits of that for almost a year now. The promotions, bonuses, and various innovative marketing campaigns continue in the Garden State to this day.

The question is, with Pennsylvania online sports betting operations preparing to launch over the next few weeks, will they come with the same value for local gamblers attached?

One can only hope that they do. And that the following three NJ sports betting innovations spread to the PA sports betting market, as well.

Good Karma Payouts

Sports can be heartbreaking, and Pennsylvania sports teams has certainly had its share. It’s even more heart-breaking when you’ve got real money on the line. However, NJ online sportsbook PointsBet has done everything it can to take away the sting of some rather heartbreaking incidents since it launched in January 2019.

PointsBet refunded spread and moneyline bets on the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship game after a blown pass interference late had a major impact on the outcome. They called it a Good Karma Payout due to an unlikely event having changed the result of the game. PointsBet issued another Good Karma Payout in the February 2019 Duke-North Carolina college basketball game after Duke star Zion Williamson was forced to exit with a sprained knee just 33 seconds in.

In fact, the site has even launched its own Karma Kommittee to make such decisions. The Kommittee was active again in the NCAA Tournament, adding to the March Madness when a top-seeded Duke narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of upstart UCF. Duke was a 14.5-point favorite coming into the game and even though UCF backers won any point-spread bets on the contest, PointsBet decided to offer a Good Karma Payout on any UCF moneyline bets as well.

Like always, the payouts came as a refund in the form of a bonus bet, but that must have been a welcome relief for anyone who backed UFC big. PointsBet even went as far as offering the refund on bets made at other NJ sportsbooks as well. Good Karma Payouts are a clear ploy by PointsBet to earn a little brand loyalty and gain some market share.

No matter what the motivation, the effect has made some typically heartbreaking losses hurt a little less. That’s definitely the type of innovation PA online sportsbooks can use to their advantage.

Sports betting odds boosts

With all the close calls, untimely upsets, and uncanny surprises, betting sports can be an exercise in frustration. Particularly when your betting favorites often require you to lay out big bucks just to win little ones. However, NJ sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and BetStars NJ have been regularly running Odds Boosts promotions that have improved the sports betting experience immensely.

Essentially, these Odds Boosts offer increased payouts on specific bets. However, they do a whole lot more than that. They can give away some or all of the house edge sportsbooks enjoy, turn favorites into underdogs for the purposes of payouts on a bet, and generally make the sportsbooks themselves more beatable than ever.

Of course, NJ sportsbooks are doing this kind of thing to earn repeat business on other bets where they retain an edge, but in the short term, who really cares? A sportsbook turning betting into a profitable endeavor for even the average punter sounds like a win for the customer and that’s always a good thing. Odds Boost are like a sale at a retail outlet and who doesn’t love those.

So far NJ sportsbooks have run Odds Boosts on everything from player props to straight up moneylines for just about every sport. Each has proven profitable for gamblers who have taken advantage of it. Odds Boosts seem like the kind of innovation that will attract novice and experienced bettors alike. That is something sports betting in PA will benefit from as sportsbooks fight for customers.

Risk-free sports bets

FanDuel Sportsbook started it and BetStars NJ recently jumped on board with the idea. Even the smaller Golden Nugget Sportsbook has adopted the idea in its own small way. It’s called a risk-free bet. While it is essentially offering a refund to a player who loses their first bet on a site instead of a sign-up bonus, it’s the kind of promotion that gets people betting. The number one reason people don’t bet on sports is a relatively simple one: They don’t want to lose. Offering people the opportunity to make a risk-free bet the first time they wager with a sportsbook completely eliminates this barrier to sports betting market entry.

FanDuel Sportsbook began by offering new customers a risk-free bet of up to $500. BetStars NJ now offers the same. Golden Nugget Sportsbook also offers new players a much-smaller $50 risk-free bet, but the goal is the same: Get new players signing up and used to the process of making bets. If they win, they’re likely to come back and bet again. If they lose, the refund in site credit will ensure they’ll take another shot at it as well. Either way, it’s instant repeat business for the sportsbook and value for the customer.

Risk-free bets are not the kind of thing a sportsbook can profitably offer every day. However, they’re a great way to attract new customers.

Once online sports betting in PA launches, the competition for every customer will be fierce. This is exactly the kind of promotion that will set PA sportsbooks apart.


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