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This week – with the Super Bowl on Sunday – is one of the busiest times of the year for sports betting, says Jess Feil, senior director of government relations for the American Gaming Association. The pandemic has only increased the stakes: In 2020, according to Feil, Americans wagered $ 21 billion, an increase of 62 percent compared to 2019. Fans stuck at home are using “sports betting as a means of engaging in sports “.

Home-bound local weathers are in luck. DC, which legalized gambling in 2018, now offers two ways to place bets – not just in person, but online too. And Virginia launched new betting apps last month. Here is a guide on how the sports betting process works here.

What sports can I bet on?

DC allows betting on professional and college football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, and many other sports. However, there are some limitations. Betting on horse racing is not allowed and you cannot bet on a college game taking place in the district.

Likewise, in Virginia you cannot place bets on state college games. And in Maryland you can’t place sports bets at all: the state has legalized sports betting, but has not yet opened sports betting. Betting licenses are expected to be approved later this year or early 2022.

How can I place a bet in DC?

One option is to go to the William Hill Sportsbook in the Capital One Arena. There you can either physically place your bet or use their app.

The other option is to use the GambetDC app, which was introduced by the DC Lottery last May. You must be 18 years of age and physically in the district to place a bet. You also can’t bet while on federal properties like the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial.

BetMGM Sportsbook is slated to open at Nats Park this summer, and FanDuel Sportsbook is set to open at Audi Field later this year.

According to Feil, DC gives consumers multiple options in where and how to place a bet – including “take bets where sports fans are” in stadiums – unlike other states where most bets are in casinos.

Still, gaming revenue has lagged behind projections, mainly due to pandemic shutdowns and the sometimes confusing Gambet app, according to a Washington Post Article in September. The post reported that the city reduced its expected revenue for this fiscal year from $ 28 million to $ 12 million. According to Feil, DC has made $ 3 million to date.

Can I go to a local bar to place a bet?

Not yet. Hotels, bars, and restaurants must apply for a Class B license, and none have been approved so far. This has been a source of controversy in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where residents have refused to open a sports betting facility at Bar Handle 19. Since there is no mechanism to block a gambling license, the neighborhood is targeting the bar’s alcohol license. The effort so far has proven successful as Handle 19 has repeatedly delayed its opening. But the bar’s owner, Shane August, insists he’ll open with or without an alcohol license.

How can I place a bet in Virginia?

Virginia launched several betting apps last month. The FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and BetRivers sportsbooks are now approved for use in the state.

I am now ready to place a bet. How does it work?

First choose a game or a fight. Then you decide how you want to bet. One option is to choose the money line, which means choosing a team to win regardless of the score. Another option is to bet against the spread, which is to choose a team based on how many points they score against their opponent. For example, as of this writing, the Chiefs are preferred to the Buccaneers by 3.5 points. So if you take this bet and win it by four or more points, you win. If the Chiefs lose or win less than three points, you lose.

A third option is to bet on the over / under, i.e. the total number of points scored in the game. For the Super Bowl, the over / under is 57.5. You can choose to believe that there will be 58 points or more (the over) or 57 points or less (the under).

Which option will make you the most money will largely depend on the sport, the game, and your level of risk comfort.

Help! Some of these wagering requirements still confuse me.

Do not worry! Here is a brief glossary of some of the most common jargon:

Cover the spread: Win when you bet against the point spread.

Validation: Bet on both sides to limit your losses or guarantee a profit.

Line: Another name for the spread.

Opportunities: The ratio of how much money you can win to how much you wager. For example, if the odds are 5: 1, it means that for every dollar wagered (plus your first payment) you can win five dollars. So if you bet $ 10 on these odds and win, you win $ 60.

Parlay: Bet on multiple games at the same time. You have to win every game, which means it is high risk but high reward.

Prop bet: Any bet on anything other than the outcome of the game. The over / under is a popular one. A common Super Bowl prop bet is the length of the national anthem.

Vigorous (or Vig): The fee that the bookmaker or the gambling house charges on a bet. Most often, sports betting costs around 10 cents a dollar, but the vig varies between sports betting. So keep that in mind when deciding where to place your bet.

Gambling can be addicting. Does DC have safeguards to prevent risky behavior?

DC relies heavily on self-management. For example, you can limit the amount wagered and the time spent in the app. You can also voluntarily exclude yourself from gambling activities for a certain period of time.

According to Feil, these measures are a “good start”. Consumers like to set their own boundaries, and sports betting often have specialists trained to identify problematic gambling behaviors both personally and electronically.