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Forget Gas, Legal Sports Betting Is Getting More Expensive

joker burning money

As gas prices hit record highs in the United States with a national average north of $4.17 per gallon (and climbing), many pundits and “economists” are blaming the Russia-Ukraine conflict as the reason why.

That, of course, is nonsense.

The US imports a mere three percent of its oil from Russia, and gas prices had already nearly doubled year-over-year before the distraction du jour hit the newswire.

Somehow, it turns out that two years of stunted education standards, record unemployment, suspended unemployment requirements, increased assistance programs, and “stimulus checks” have had the effect of driving down the value of the US dollar.

And for the everyman, gas prices are one of the most direct points of reference between feast and famine. When it finally trickles down to the pump, the contrast hits hard.

Politics aside (unless you’re interested in wagering on some political odds, in which case you can easily imagine the direction this diatribe would likely go), one of the big upshots with the current state of things is that we’ve been even more convinced that the US dollar isn’t the way to go for legal online sports betting.

Sure, we still need to use the stuff for most of our IRL activities, but there’s finally no reason – and we mean none whatsoever – to use fiat currency to bet sports online.

If you’re stuck gambling with domestic sportsbooks in states with legal sports betting, close your account and move your action offshore. If you’re not in such a state, forget about their legalization initiatives and stick with international operators.


It’s simple, really: Overseas betting operations like those featured in our legal sportsbook reviews allow you to deposit and gamble in cryptocurrency.

While most regular bettors are already aware that Bitcoin betting and altcoin betting bypass the UIGEA, come with the best gambling bonuses, and allow for same-day payouts, the biggest perk of betting with crypto is probably one you haven’t considered too much until just recently:

It’s inflation proof.

And it’s easy to see how that works.

Now, the crypto market is down lately, which is something we’ve written about at length over the last few months. While cryptocurrency is famously volatile and fickle – and even though it can seemingly crash for no apparent wider reason – it has the effect of being the truest representation of the buying power of fiat currency.

And unlike the price of other assets that go up when the dollar goes down, crypto also goes down when the dollar tanks too much.

That makes sense, too, because while land and oil and other commodities are finite by their very nature, crypto is less finite.

Yes, crypto’s reliant on oil and electricity in large part and most assets have a theoretical maximum number of coins, but it’s not got nearly the 1:1 relationship with the stuff that other day-to-day things might.

There is no increased demand for crypto in light of perceived scarcity thereof, so crypto prices have no reason to spike when the dollar dips more than usual.

Thus, when the dollar crashes hard, crypto does, too. People have less disposable income, so they buy less crypto.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get more crypto for your money today. That all depends on the specific crypto you’re interested in and the timeframe against which you compare the here and now to the there and then.

Right now, crypto prices are down across the board, but so is the buying power of fiat currency.

While we’d argue that crypto is – as a whole – down more than the dollar (thereby making it a good time to invest in whatever cryptocurrencies you like – we recommend Cardano, Solana, and Avalanche) – your ability to invest in crypto is going to depend more than ever on your income and your monthly expenses.

As you should never bet more money than you can afford to lose, you should similarly never buy more crypto than you can afford to lose.

The main point is simply this: Betting lines remain the same as they’ve ever been despite the fluctuations of the dollar. The standard juice on an NFL spread bet is still -110 to -115.

Bet prices, remember, are ratios of risk vs. reward. And unless you’ve deprogrammed yourself from viewing the dollar as a “dollar” instead of the 90 cents it actually is, it’s going to be difficult to change your betting habits and wager smaller amounts than you’re used to.

But if you’re betting in crypto, that doesn’t matter as much.

Here’s how the current state of things is in betting terms. Take the following line:

  • Team A +3.5 (-115) vs. Team B -3.5 (-115)

A year ago, a winning $100 bet on either side of this thing would pay out about $87 in profit. Today, that $100 bet is basically a $110 bet, and the payout is effectively 90% of what it used to be. Now, your $110 wager gets you the equivalent of just $78 or so.

In 1:1 terms, then, your -115 wager is actually a -140 wager viewed in light of the dollar’s current buying power.

But let’s say you bet in Bitcoin instead.

A year ago, BTC was trading at roughly $55,000 per coin, so $100 in BTC would get you 0.0018 BTC, or 1.8 milliBitcoin (mBTC). Today, BTC is worth $38,700 per coin. Thus, $100 now nets you 2.6 mBTC with which to wager.

If we say today’s $100 is actually worth $110 (in recent historical terms rather than “right-now” terms), you’re still getting the erstwhile equivalent of 2.3 mBTC.

In other words, you’re still getting way more Bitcoin for your money.

So, if you make it a habit to fund your bets in Bitcoin/crypto and handle your bets in terms of crypto value instead of fiat value, you’ll be able to reset your entire way of thinking and prevent yourself from taking in-kind losses at the sportsbook when the dollar tanks.

Plus, we can’t overstate the fact that in its entire history, the US dollar has never gone up in value. Crypto, on the other hand, has never not gone up in value over the medium-term.

To be sure, we understand that we’ve taken some conceptual and interpretational liberties here to demonstrate our point, and you may have some valid objections to what we’ve presented.

This is especially true if you’re programmed to think about the dollar in terms of its purchasing power and not in terms of its actual numerical value.

But most people aren’t wired that way.

Yes, inflation is objective, but its effects are often primarily subjective.

This brief, back-of-the-envelope analysis is predicated on that idea.

TL;DR: It’s long past time to switch your sports betting over to crypto.

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