19 Mar

Most Important Sportsbook Features in 2021

Five must-have qualities every good sportsbook should feature in 2021

Five must-have qualities every good sportsbook should feature in 2021The year is 2021. Nearly three decades have passed since the public was given access to the “world wide web”, via the immensely popular “Windows 3.0” operating system. These two events changed everything about our daily lives. Looking back, such technology seems Jurassic compared to what we’re capable of today; kind of like comparing the original Atari to the PlayStation 5, but it’s the perfect metaphor to describe the expectations of today’s sports betting public.

In this day and age, we’ve come to expect a lot from technology. And why shouldn’t we? We pay a lot of money for it. Should we not demand exceptional capabilities? If not exceptional, we should at least be privy to the most current qualities and features. The same goes for the rapidly-evolving sportsbook market, recently legalized here in Indiana. The sports betting industry is a perfect example of how supply must meet demand to thrive – if even survive – in a competitive market.

Since Indiana’s sports gambling law was signed in May 2019, nearly a dozen online sportsbooks have launched licensed online betting services. That may not seem like a large number, but Indiana isn’t exactly the largest state in the U.S. With a population of about 6.7 million, it’s actually the 38th largest (i.e. 13th smallest). Realistically speaking, 10 online sportsbooks is more than enough to serve the betting public, and certainly more than enough to leave newcomers to the market scratching their heads as to which sportsbooks deserve to handle their wagering dollars.

5 Qualities Every Good Sportsbook Should Feature

There are certain qualities veteran punters have come to expect from web-based bookies. Then there are the exceptional features that set the Average Joe’s apart from the Industry’s Best.

The following is a quick list of high-quality features every good sports betting service should supply their customers in 2021. If you’re online sportsbook doesn’t offer all of these features, perhaps you should reconsider the operators you do business with. Or, if this is your first time looking for a quality online sportsbook to join, this list will give you a great head start in that search. Click any of the featured items below for a full description and reasons we believe they’re so important in today’s age of modern technology. 

  1. Local License / Regulation
  2. Mobile Compatibility
  3. Easy User Interface
  4. Competitive Lines
  5. Live Betting

#1 IGC Licensed and Regulated Operator

This feature is number one on our list because a locally regulated operator will always adhere to the strict rules of its license, whereas unregulated operators, or operators regulated overseas, may not. A local regulator – in this case, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) – will take extra care and consideration for its own population. Sportsbooks have existed outside Indiana for many, many years. Many of them are reputably licensed by international authorities. But they’re priorities have always been to abide by the rules of their own jurisdiction, which may or may not reflect the high standard of player protections enforced by our own state government.

The point is, if an online sportsbook is not licensed by the IGC, you may not be able to trust that your sensitive information will be secure, that your deposits will be kept safe, or that your winnings will ever arrive. Why leave such critical details up to fate, when all IGC-licensed sportsbooks are legally bound and mandatorily obligated to deliver on these promises? Gambling on sports is all the risk you need. Don’t take chances on the safety and security of your sportsbook, too.

#2 Mobile Compatibility – In-Browser and Betting App

I’ll say it again – this is 2021. Any commercial operation available online that fails to provide mobile-compliant services is behind the times. If this were 2015, I’d cut them some slack, but it’s not. We’re a decade into HTML5, the universal language of computer and mobile browsing; the language every modern website should be programmed upon. HTML5 brings a ‘what-you-see is what-you-get’ motif to the digital betting marketplace. The way a website works and looks on your desktop or laptop browser, is exactly how it should work and look on a smartphone or tablet browser. Because the fact is, there are far more people using mobile devices today than computers, and that margin is only going to expand as time goes on.

It’s not just mobile browser compatibility that should be featured, either. The best sportsbooks will provide the same services in a mobile application. Downloads aren’t for everyone, but a significant number of users prefer installing a resident app on their device, as opposed to a browser-based mobile interface. Apps provide one-tap access, and are often more customizable. For those who prefer sports betting apps, this is an absolute must-have.

#3 Straight Forward, User-Friendly Interface

No matter how you’re accessing an online sportsbook – computer or mobile, browser or app – the simplicity of its interface will always make or break the experience, especially for new and/or recreational bettors. We all know why bettors access an online sportsbook, and what they expect to find on its menu. It’s the platform designer’s job to make sure we’re able to find everything we need without delay; without struggling or having to open a live chat window to be pointed in the right direction. It’s all about providing the public with a logically, aesthetically appealing user interface. It should just make sense – a straight-forward approach to betting on sports.

The colors should be coordinated so that you’re focused more on the functionality of a sportsbook than the blurred, blinding, or downright gaudy nature of its color scheme. All of the important features, like account settings, banking options, sports variety and support, should be right up front, easily visible and accessible at all times. If you’re a new user, and you can’t figure out where to observe the lines you’re most interested in, or whether the site supports your preferred deposit and withdrawal methods, are you going to bother signing up an account? Of course not, and you should never feel like you have to. That’s what competition is for – to drive every operator to provide a better product.

#4 Competitive Lines

To offer competitive sports lines means to offer more profits to punters who make smart decisions (i.e. winning bets). It doesn’t mean you’ll make better decisions – that’s on you. Just that you’ll be well rewarded, if and when you do. Let’s take a look at what a competitive line might look like, compared to anything less.

Two sportsbooks – Bookie A and Bookie B – are both offering lines on the Sunday Night NFL match-up between the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons. It’s a division rivalry, and a closely matched game that should draw a lot of action. In the example lines below, we see near mirror images in the lines, but Bookie A has the competitive edge.

Panthers +190 +9.5 -110 48.5 O -110 +190 +9.5 -110 48.5 O -110
Falcons -210 -9.5 -110 48.5 U -110 -215 -9.5 -110 48.5 U -110

For the most part, these lines look exactly the same. However, look closely and you’ll see that Bookie B is paying less for a moneyline on the clear-favorite Falcons (-215 vs -210).

It’s common to see a 20-point differential in the moneyline odds, with the negative lines being 20 points off from the positive lines. This represents the sportsbook’s juice. If the lines are farther apart, as is the 25-point differential seen in Bookie B’s moneylines, the operator is essentially exploiting the public’s preference to bet on a strong favorite. Thus Bookie A is offering the more competitive lines.

#5 Live Sports Betting Lines

Live betting is the latest and greatest thing to happen to the betting industry. Prior to digital technology and high-speed internet, it was virtually impossible to bet on sports as it happened. Now, technology is so advanced, lines can be posted instantly on in-game performance, even things that will happen within moments of the line’s posting. Will the next basketball goal be a 3pt shot? Will the next offensive football play be a run or pass?

Live bets can also be long-term. If the opening lines on a game put the Falcons at -210 versus the Panthers at +190 (mimicking our above example), the in-play moneylines could shift dramatically if the Panthers return the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Suddenly, the lines could move to -175 Falcons, +155 Panthers; a far better payout for those who expect the Falcons to dominate the game.

The high-tech equipment necessary to provide live in-play wagering to customers is so advanced, not all sportsbooks choose to offer it. It’s not just an investment on their part. It comes with greater risk for the bookie. As quickly as bettors have to assess some of those lines, just imagine how fast the bookmaker’s have to work to post them.

Long story short, live betting takes the excitement of sports betting, and amplifies it ten-fold. Betting live isn’t for everyone though. We’ve written a complete guide that we encourage everyone to give a good read before entering the intensely fast-paced world of live sports betting.

Legal Indiana Sports Betting in 2021

BetRivers is licensed and regulated on a state level by Indiana to operate legally. It offers a wide range of sport betting options – every popular game is covered. Mobile options are also covered for an “on-the-go” experience. Our editor pick for safe and legal betting in 2021.

Visit https://In.BetRivers.com