What is a sportsbook app?
Online betting, in most of the world, has almost entirely replaced physical sportsbooks. The US is somewhat of an exception in that it only legalised betting a national level in 2018. However, since then, online sportsbooks have been popping up in every state that chooses to legalise it.
Within the world of online sportsbooks, you find the new and exciting world of sportsbook apps. These apps provide all the sports betting options that you would find on the desktop, but simply optimised for a mobile app.
The US is ahead of the curve when it comes to sports betting apps, precisely because it had been shielded from the world of sports betting for so long.
In Europe, where people were able to bet online twenty years ago, online betting habits are much more entrenched. Many bettors there learnt to bet on their desktop and have stuck with that.
However, the US customers have already shown over the last year that they are much more likely to use sports betting apps than other countries around the world. So much so, that certain sportsbooks have even chosen to launch with a mobile app first.
Almost every sportsbook will offer an app as part of three alternatives:
- Desktop website
- Mobile optimised website
- Sportsbook app
FAQs regarding sportsbooks apps
Are there apps to bet on sports?
Yes. The majority of sportsbooks in the US have also launched apps. The rules, regarding online sports betting varies a little bit between states. Currently NJ, PA and WV have unrestricted online sports betting.
Are gambling apps legal?
The rules vary a little between states. In NJ, PA and WV sportsbook apps are legal to anyone over 21 who are residing in the state. In Mississippi, you can use a sportsbook app-only whilst on the physical premises of that sportsbook or casino. In Nevada, you can use a sportsbook app, but you will need to signup and deposit to the sportsbook in person.
When will every state have sports betting apps?
It will take until at least 2022 before every state will have decided what to do regarding sports betting. 2019 will be a big year, with all of the states wanting to be ahead of the curve ruling to legalise sports betting.
Can you use sportsbook apps in Mississippi?
Yes and no. You are allowed to place a bet online in Mississippi, but you need to be on the premises of the sportsbook or casino to do this. Which does defeat the point to some extent!
Can you use sportsbook apps in NJ?
Yes, you can use sportsbook apps in NJ as much as your heart desires. Sportsbooks who have launched apps will have launched a state-specific product, so for the sportsbook brand along with the states abbreviation. For example Draftkings sportsbook NJ.
Can you use sportsbook apps in PA?
Yes! Sportsbook apps are legal in The Keystone State. The state is the fifth most populous in the USA, so the industry potential is huge. You can, therefore, expect a huge amount of sportsbooks to launch an app in the second half of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
Can you use sportsbook apps on Android and IOS devices?
Almost every sportsbook that has a sportsbook app offers it both for Android and IOS. On a few occasions, sportsbooks have offered their app on only one platform. This is usually a result of an over-optimistic launch. After a few weeks, the app is always available on both.
How to sportsbook apps work?
Sportsbooks apps work just in the same way an online sportsbook would. Of course, everything will be optimised for use through an app. There are some things that you may not be able to do with a sportsbook that you can do with a desktop version.
- Signup and register: This very much depends on the sportsbook in question, however, a number of US-based sportsbooks require that you sign up in person or through your desktop. After you have done this, you can sign in through an app.
- Place a deposit: Again, this depends on the sportsbook, but some sportsbooks will not allow you to deposit your money through an app. If this is the case you will either need to go to a physical location or log onto the desktop version.
- Range of bets: In some instances, you may be slightly restricted by the number of bets you can place through an app compared to the desktop version. This is rarely the case however in the US market, where sportsbooks place an enormous amount of emphasis on their apps.
What to look for in a sportsbook app
The major reason most people cite for using a sportsbook app is convenience. So, the most important thing to check when you are sportsbook shopping is that it is easy to use. You should be able to navigate to the page you want in as little time as possible.
You should also be able to easily place your bet, without too much fiddling around. The whole idea behind sports betting is that it should be fun. If you find yourself going round in circles before being able to find your bet, then we would move on. As a general rule of thumb, we say you should be able to place a bet in four-page clicks.
Choosing your sport > Choosing the event > Choosing the Bet > Placing the bet
This means that the tabs are much more critical on an app version of a sportsbook compared to the desktop version, where you can have a wider page displayed with much more information. In an app, you need to be able to understand and feel comfortable with the tabs.
Finally, a key thing to decide upon when choosing a sportsbook app is if will be placing in-play bets. If you are going to place in-play bets then you need a speedy, bug-free, easy to use in-play section. Speed is extremely important when you live bet, as any delay could lose you your bet in real-time.
Legal sportsbook apps
Remember that apps, have to follow the same regulation in the USA as any other sports betting service. Therefore you will only be allowed to bet using an app in states where online sports betting is legal. Your phone has an IP address, just like your desktop, so the app will geolocate you using this number.
Currently, the rule regarding online sports betting varies between states, even when you have two states that have legalised sports betting. This can be down to a variation in the deposit method, age restrictions or a number of other things. This means that as it stands, US-based sportsbooks have chosen to launch apps specific to each state.
This means that when you search for the app either through Apple’s App Store or Google Play, you will need to look for your state’s specific app. In most cases, the sportsbook will have attached the states abbreviation to the brand name. An example of this is SugarHouse that offer a Sugarhouse Sportsbook PA and a Sugarhouse Sportsbook NJ.
The good news is that you, as a customer, do not need to worry about any legal differences between gambling online with a sportsbook and gambling through an app. This is for the sportsbook to worry about. If you are over 21 years of age and you are in a state where sports betting is legal then you are doing nothing wrong by betting on sports with an app.
How to download a sportsbook app
In this day and age, you will find that the majority of sportsbooks will offer their apps on both Android and IOS devices. All you need to do is type in the relevant app into Google Play or the App Store and you can download your sportsbook of choice.
Once you have downloaded the app, you will either need to register through the sportsbook or if you have already done this, just enter your details. The app, just like the website version of the sportsbook will read your IP address and geolocate your phone accordingly.
Why are sports betting apps popular?
Sports betting apps are so popular for a number of reasons:
- Ease of use/convenience
- Special promos just for apps
- Great for in-play betting
- Many sportsbooks are launching app first sportsbooks
- Easy to personalise
The first point is perhaps the most obvious. In this day and age, everyone knows that whipping out your phone and opening an app is significantly easier than opening up your computer. Using an app is just a much more convenient way of sports betting.
Using an app also marries the relationship between sports fandom and sports betting nicely. Most people associate using their laptop or desktop as related to work. Whereas opening up an app seems much more aligned with a hobby.
One of the many reasons why people chose a sportsbook these days is to make the most of their promotions. Increasingly, there are more promos offered for mobile-only, which is just one more reason why you should download a sportsbook app.
In-play betting or live betting is a very popular form of sports betting nowadays. In-play betting allows you to place a bet at adjusted odds during an event. This means it is simply more convenient to place in-play bets through your app, rather than sitting there with your laptop or desktop.
In the USA there is an ongoing scramble to be one of the first sportsbooks to launch in states that have legalised sports betting. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get an app up and running before your desktop site. Since around 70% of bets in the US are placed on mobiles, this means that sportsbooks can just launch an app and still hoover up a decent amount of the potential customer base before they launch their full service.
Finally, the fact that sports betting apps can be personalised to some extent, makes betting and in particular, in-play betting with an app a popular choice for American customers. This is a useful feature when you want to place an in-play bet. With in-play betting, speed is a critical factor as you are placing your bet live.
In what states can you download an app?
The sports betting industry in the US is constantly changing as more and more states come on board. This means that it can get a little complicated to understand where you stand when it comes to sports betting with an app. We have listed below where each state currently stands when it comes to sports betting with an app.
States where sportsbooks apps are 100% legal:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia: although a sportsbook has yet to launch a sportsbook app in WV.
States where sportsbook apps are legal but with restrictions:
- Nevada: You can place sports bets with an app. However, you still need to sign up and deposit money in person.
- Mississippi: The mobile sports betting situation is as complicated as it is to spell Mississippi. Currently, mobile sports betting is legal but only on the premises of an existing casino or sportsbook (land or water-based).
States that are about to legalise mobile sports betting: