The Cost of Betting Online vs. Brick and Mortar | Part 2: Sneaky Costs

By in Casino & Gaming on

If you haven’t read part 1 of this series dealing with the dire importance of line shopping, we HIGHLY recommend that you take a quick minute and read through it. Not to sound overdramatic, but it is insanely important to your success as a sports bettor. Don’t worry; I will still be here with part 2 for you when you get back.

Now that we’re all on the same page, I want to continue our series on the costs associated with betting online versus placing your sports bets in a live, brick and mortar casino or sportsbook. Part 1 should be enough to convince you that you’re crazy to be placing your bets live, but for the stubborn ones, we’ve got a few more reasons we want to point out that are important.

Specifically today, I want to look at some of the hidden costs of sports betting that a lot of people don’t calculate into their profit line. Let’s use UBER as an analogy here. UBER is a ride-sharing company that allows people to use their own cars to operate as a personal taxi service. Let’s say you are an UBER driver and you get paid $2 a mile to drive someone. You get a customer that wants to go 5 miles. You handle the trip like a boss and drop off your customer. How much did you profit?

If you said $10, you’re incorrect. Did you get paid $10? Yes, but you didn’t profit $10. You have to factor in the costs of your insurance, the costs of wear and tear on your car, the costs of gas, the costs of the time it took to drive to this ride…I will spare you the mathematical breakdown here, but you can probably see that you definitely did not make $10 off that ride.

Sneaky Costs of Betting Live

You may be starting to see already where I am going with this one. Let’s take a look at an example like our UBER one, but this will be for placing a bet at the casino or sportsbook. To be as fair as possible to the brick and mortar locations, I am going to use someone that lives fairly close to a casino for our example. Let’s say our example lives 20 miles from the casino.

This person places a $50 bet on the Cowboys to win at -110. As expected, the Cowboys win (yes I’m a fan if you can’t tell) and they get paid $45.45 in profit. Here’s your chance at redemption from the above example. How much did they profit?

If you still said $45.45, you’re not paying attention and are getting a time out. If you said somewhere less than $45.45, you are correct. Here are the associated costs:

– Gas, oil, car insurance, wear, and tear, etc. The IRS gives a rate of $.53 per mile that is designed to cover all the costs associated with each mile you drive your car. So 20 miles there and 20 miles home is 40 miles.

40 miles @ $0.53 per mile = $21.20

– Parking at the casino is $5

– Babysitter for 2 hours for the kids @$9 an hour

2 hours @ $9 per hour = $18

– Slice of pizza at the casino = $6

Total costs = $50.20

Actual profit on your bet = (-$4.75)

You actually LOST money on your winning bet. If you skipped the pizza, you made $1.25. If you don’t have kids and skipped the pizza, you profited $19.25. That’s literally half of what you got paid out. We also didn’t include the fact that you then have to travel another 40 miles BACK to the casino or sportsbook to cash your ticket in. Add that into the mix, and even without kids or a slice of pizza, you’re losing money.

Here’s a complete list of additional hidden costs you might have to look at when betting in a live location. While this list is what we call complete, there are probably a lot of things we’re even forgetting.

Car Stuff – gas, oil, insurance, wear and tear

Public Transportation (if no car) – bus fare, train fare, subway fare

Parking or Valet fees

Road tolls

Food and drinks



Paying for something to appease your significant other while you’re gone

I could probably keep going on for a while, but I think you’re probably getting the idea here. There is a lot that goes into traveling to the casino or sportsbook, and that, unfortunately, is going to eat into your profits pretty significantly every single time.

Which of these costs do you incur when betting online? Well…you don’t have to drive anywhere, so that takes care of the car, public transit, parking or valet, and road tolls. You don’t have to leave your house so no need for a babysitter, pet sitter, or paying to appease your significant other. You can eat food you already have at home, so there go food and drink.

That really only leaves you paying for the internet and having a computer or smartphone. The thing is, though, most people are going to have these already so it’s almost unfair to count them in as a cost. Basically, placing your bets online from home are free.


Hopefully, you’re starting to see that unless you live at the sportsbook or casino, it can get fairly expensive to make a trip there to place a sports bet and to return to pick up your winnings. I’m not trying to say that betting live is always a bad thing. Personally, when I’m in Vegas or at a casino for other reasons, I love placing my bets there. That is, of course, if I’m going to be there when the game ends so I can pick up my winnings without having to make a special trip back. As someone who has lived in Vegas, I can’t tell you how many people have had to mail me sports betting slips so I could cash them and mail them their money. Not only is sending cash and betting slips through the mail unsafe, but it costs money for them to mail certified.

Hopefully, Part 1 of our series put you over the top about where to place your bets but if not, hopefully, the information here did. AND if you are extra stubborn, we do have a final Part 3 that will be coming out soon that should be the nail in the coffin. I feel kinda like an online salesman but only want you to realize what is best for you and your wallet.

Guest Author is happy to bring you this post courtesy of one of our special guest authors. ...

View all posts by Guest Author
Email the author at: [email protected]