My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Professional football is the most popular sports betting product in America.

From now until the first Sunday in February when two teams meet in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, the National Football League will be the main topic of conversation for gamblers nationwide, especially for residents in 12 states now offering legalized sports betting.

The state of Indiana is the latest jurisdiction to join the bookmaking club.

Eager sports bettors flocked to Horseshoe Hammond this past weekend and endured long betting lines for the first full weekend of football action at the Caesars Entertainment property.

Wait times of more than an hour were experienced by players wanting to legally risk 11 to win 10.

At times, more than 100 gamblers waited their turn to advance to one of six sports betting stations.

The flow of customers was steady from morning until night.

Self-serve kiosks were missing at Horseshoe Hammond, a convenience that neighboring Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, Indiana proudly featured.

Horseshoe Hammond did offer an excellent set of detailed betting sheets, direct from the home office at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, not available at most other sites in the state.

The overflow crowds pleased the marketing department at Horseshoe Casino, but the long lines were the product of an inexperienced staff of sports book employees.

Casino management should have anticipated problems in processing wagers, especially when first-time bettors ask questions of poorly-trained clerks.

That's double trouble.

EOG contributor BLUELINE, a cagey veteran of the sports betting wars, never considered waiting in line.

BLUE asked rhetorically, "Why would I ever place a wager here when I can point and click and get down in seconds?"

However, none of the 13 Indiana casinos, racetracks or off-track betting sites that participated in the September 1 launch currently offers mobile wagering platforms despite a green light from the state legislature.

It is expected mobile apps will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2020 after Indiana's betting outlets get their first taste of bookmaking.

Here's a tip for states introducing sports betting to an immature market: Hire an employee in charge of customer education to conduct smart 10-minute seminars every hour on the hour.

A short presentation, focused on the basics of placing a wager, would be followed by a snappy question-and-answer session designed to inform and entertain new customers.

The customer education employee could serve as a valuable asset for 12-24 months before transitioning into a sports book host or player development director, thus taking advantage of his/her familiarity with the casino's clientele.

Sports books in northwest Indiana are currently exploiting the absence of legal sports wagering in Illinois.

A quick survey of cars in three parking lots at different Indiana casinos showed license plates from the Land of Lincoln outnumbering Hoosier State plates by a ratio of 4:1.

Illinois recently passed a law to massively expand its gambling offerings which include the legalization of full-scale sports betting at casinos and racetracks.

Additionally, sporting venues in Illinois with a capacity of 17,000 or more will be allowed to offer sports betting.

Attend a game at Soldier Field and place a wager on the Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

The sports betting rules in Illinois are similar to the early days of sports wagering in Nevada where wagers involving in-state college teams UNLV and the University of Nevada were once outlawed.
Current sports betting laws in Illinois unwisely prohibit wagering on college sports teams based in the state.

And for every day that passes without sports betting in Illinois, the cash-strapped state is losing revenue to border states Iowa and Indiana.

Think about the money lost when Illinois was not prepared to take action on the first NFL game of the year.

The Bears and Packers represent the richest rivalry in the 100-year history of the league and the betting handle in the Chicagoland area would have been brisk.

How many $20 bills would have been locked up by the house at Soldier Field with loyal fans laying 3 points with "Da Bears?"

Longtime season-ticket holder BLUELINE shared his perspective on the game.

BLUE took in the action from the second row of the upper deck at Soldier Field, a perfect spot to watch plays develop and view all 22 players at once.

The attractive tickets carry a face-value price of $130.

BLUE was disgusted by Chicago's lack of offensive firepower, citing the team scored only one touchdown over the last two games, a fourth-quarter score in a 16-15 playoff loss to the Eagles last January.

The sharp Bears observer placed the blame for a dull 10-3 loss mostly on Chicago quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who made some "deeply disturbing" decisions in the RPO (run-pass option) game.

Trubisky was running when he should have been passing and passing when he should have been running.

Good news and bad news for the Bears.

The good news: The team is only one player away from Super Bowl contention.

The bad news: The missing player occupies the most important position in the sport.
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Nice read. Indiana a step above and ahead of Illinois in regards to sports betting. Trubisky really didn't play much in preseason. I believe it showed. Overall, I believe things have to change in regards to players getting ready for the actual season. Players should see plenty of action in preseason even starters or presumed starters. Mandatory play in every game. Effort. By the time you get in a groove during the actual season it might be already too late and you're out.

Attitude. Egos. Goofy celebrations after every tackle or TD shouldnt take precedent over simply playing the game and enjoying it. I understand its entertainment but all the extra stuff is just that, extra.

I also believe the talent pool is dwindling. You don't necessarily need to be good to play in the league. I question motivation by guys who already have big money and I question where we are headed when a team gives up almost 60 points in the very first game of the season and a team commits 18 penalties tied for 2nd most in franchise history. Teams like NE will continue to dominate because you cant fuck with brilliance because its just as simple as just playing the game the right way and working hard.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Thanks for your thoughts, Pro.

Why haven't I been betting New England in every game since Brady and Belichick hooked up in the early 2000's?

Sometimes I overthink situations.


Bells Beer Connoisseur
The football talent pool is definitely dwindling. More kids are playing a safer sport like soccer. My HS just went to 8-man football this year.
I tried to keep track of random people in line to bet. It was 45- 60 mins by my count from 1 hour prior to first kickoff till I left mid- afternoon


EOG Master
the states were following NJ in a wait and see mode to bring sports betting to their state. That gave them an advantage over NJ when dealing with the state hold long term. How many sports books to let in, and who to let in, etc.


EOG Master
during football....Fan duel is my favorite book. Why? the software is smooth & quickest to put a bet in with the state security. It also has cheaper money line bets for football. Vegas and offshore raise the prices on the favorite.
Would love to see the numbers in NJ at the end of Sept....I think Vegas will be impressed....

Thanks JK for your blog....always a great read.....


Bells Beer Connoisseur
Outside of South Point and Derek Stevens, Vegas only cares about adding a third green tile to roulette, resort fees, parking fees, and now added drink fees. They are happy to let the states deal with -110 wagers.


EOG Senior Member
Just a tip from you rookie betters in the NFL. . You will make money in what you were impressed with this week bet opposite the next week. Fat cat syndrome.


EOG Master
If you think Vegas NFL bettors are more sophisticated go to the South Point a 9:30 & watch Jimmy pulling his hair out yelling; 'kids please...type of bet, rotation number & how much.'


EOG Senior Member
The good news: The team is only one player away from Super Bowl contention.

The bad news: The missing player occupies the most important position in the sport.
They are more than one player away. That offensive line leaves much to be desired. Rushing attack 15-46 yds = 3.1 yds per attempt. 5 sacks for -20yds. of a mobile QB. These numbers are both a function of the Bears offensive line's inability to effectively block the improved Packers defensive line.
One of the books in another part of the state will be smart and try to fast track the mobile option, then they sell it the option to Chicagoland residents with remote sign up. The casinos near Chicago are slow rolling the mobile hoping to squeeze out whatever property visitation they can.

In any event, anyone who has been around this business knows almost all the minorities don't bet on mobile nearly as much as the white dudes. Go to a kiosk anywhere, shit go to William Hill kiosks in Vegas, the guys putting in cash to buy bet tickets are black or latino. The white guys use the kiosk to put in money into mobile accounts and then flee the building. I have seen the same thing in Pennyslvania, Atlantic City, Meadowlands, and Biloxi. Biloxi is insane, can only bet on the mobile while inside the casino so who gets an app? Bunch of white guys.

Considering the racial mix of residents on the south side of Chicago, I'm pretty sure there will always be a decent crowd on game days in the northwest Indiana casinos.
The football talent pool is definitely dwindling. More kids are playing a safer sport like soccer. My HS just went to 8-man football this year.
Funny you mention that. I was just looking at scores yesterday and I couldn’t believe how many schools have gone to 8 man.

I’m surprised RV hasn’t. They need to a lot more than a lot of other schools I saw on that list.


Bells Beer Connoisseur
Funny you mention that. I was just looking at scores yesterday and I couldn’t believe how many schools have gone to 8 man.

I’m surprised RV hasn’t. They need to a lot more than a lot of other schools I saw on that list.
Berrien has 24 kids on their team, such a shame. We went to it this year, should have five years ago.