Opening your very own homemade online sportsbook isn't a thing.
If you acquire a URL -- like, say, JerrysAwesomeSportsbook.com -- slap together a DIY website, and scroll some odds across your site's front page, you won't dominate the betting world. For that matter, you might get an unfriendly knock at the door from a member of the law enforcement community.
Since 2018, states across the US began legalizing online sports betting at a rapid rate. For some states, it was a simple case of permitting their local casinos to open up sportsbooks within their properties, while others joined the online betting world for the first time.
Being that online betting is a new venture for most states, regulators have been understandably cautious in their approach, with most awarding licenses solely to land-based casinos, racetracks, and lottery operators.
Running an online sportsbook is a complicated affair (we're talking to you, JerrysAwesomeSportsbook.com), and it involves everything from oddsmaking, to payment processing, to app design. To make all of these logistics manageable, casinos will partner with a specialist supplier or existing sportsbook operator to handle that side of the business.
There is, however, another option for sportsbooks who aren't already operating or working alongside a casino.
Enter the skins.
A skin is a sub-license of a casino's master sports betting license that allows additional firms to operate their own sports betting business alongside that of the host casino. For example, in New Jersey, FoxBet operates as a skin of the Resorts Casino.
(Right about now, you might be asking, Why is it called "skin?" Welp, as CasinoAnswers.com cutely explains, "A casino skin is, to put it simply, a similar idea to our skin. On the inside, we’re all the same and our skin covers us and determines how we look to other people." See? Cute.)
The number of skins available per casino varies by state, with regulators having differing views on the best way to oversee betting. New Jersey, West Virginia, and Indiana permit three skins for each casino, while Iowa allows two, and Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Colorado all allow one.
More skins is usually a good thing. A state with three skins per casino can allow multiple sportsbook brands to operate under its one license. This is advantageous for everybody involved: Extra skins means books can generate more income, and the bettor has more betting options.
And more options mean more opportunities. And more opportunities means more fun!
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