Sports Betting vs. Casino Gambling: What You Need to Know

min read
BetMGM Mar 24, 2021, 5:59 AM
A mobile phone with money and sporting goods around it.

If you’re new to gambling and are wondering whether sports betting or casino gambling is right for you, let’s take a look at both of these gambling activities so you can decide. And who knows? You may discover that you love both. Keep reading to find out more about what exactly these two gambling pastimes are, their pros and cons, and present a few tips for each.

Sports betting

What is it?

The first type of gambling we’ll take a look at is sports betting. Very simply, this is a type of gambling where people can place bets on a specific outcome at a sportsbook or online sports betting site. We mostly associate sports betting with winning a match or tournament, but it has since evolved to include other types of bets. For example, how much a team may win or lose by, or the total combined score of both teams, or whether an individual player can reach a certain goal. 

Depending on where you’re from, certain sports may have bigger sports-betting cultures than others. Today, people can bet on a wide range of sports, including baseball, basketball, boxing, football, Formula One, horse racing, Nascar, and soccer. Even esports, or competitive video games, have become a popular pastime for many sports betting fans.

What you need to know

When placing a sports bet, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of this gambling practice:


  • Sports betting isn’t as random as other gambling, simply because some teams or athletes are better than others, so it could be considered less risky than other types of gambling.
  • There’s room for analysis and research in sports betting.
  • It can be easy to understand and get into, depending on the game and the type of bets you’re interested in placing.
  • It’s very enjoyable on its own, or as a side hobby to your favorite spectator sport.


  • Just because it’s not as random, it doesn’t mean results are guaranteed – even the greatest athletes can have a bad day, or get injured, which can affect the results of any wager you make.
  • You can win big, but bookies try to give themselves an edge, so be smart with how you place your bets.

Tips for sports betting

A young man feeling happy after winning a sports bet.

If you’re new to the world of sports betting or just looking for some extra advice, here are six tips that you can take advantage of:

  • Set a budget; start small, and don’t play with money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Do your research on the sport and team you’re interested in betting on.
  • Understand the different types of bets: some are safer but have tiny payouts; others are riskier but offer greater rewards if you win.
  • Bet with your head, not with your heart, to avoid placing poor wagers on a team or player you are loyal to but who may not perform as they should.
  • While drinking and betting may seem like fun, it will negatively affect your decision-making, so it’s best to avoid betting while under the influence.
  • There are simply too many sports-specific bets to cover here but look for good advice on how to make smart bets for your favorite sport, whether that’s baseball, basketball, or soccer.

Casino gambling

What is it?

The second type of gambling we’re looking at is casino gambling, which refers to the many games of chance you can play at a brick-and-mortar or online casino for money. When it comes to casino games, players have a choice between games that are “pure chance”, or those that can be influenced to a certain degree by skill. Games of pure chance include slots, roulette, and lottery games, while games such as poker, blackjack, and pai gow involve a certain element of skill.

When you try casino gambling for the first time, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of games you can play. Whether you play online or offline, there are many different categories, including dealer games, table games, slots, and variety games. Each of these categories can have dozens, if not hundreds of games, so be sure to experiment a little before you commit to any specific type.

What you need to know

When you start to gamble at a real-world or online casino, it’s important to understand the pros and cons fully. Here’s a list of things you need to keep in mind:


  • There are so many fun games to play, particularly if you’re a fan of slots. 
  • Most games are down to luck, which means no amount of preparation ahead of time will help you, and that you have just as much chance to win as an experienced gambler in many games.
  • Even if you bet small, you can win big with the right game and a bit of luck.


  • Most games are down to luck, which means you have just as much chance to win as a novice gambler.
  • It’s important to understand the possibility of gambling addiction, so make sure you have access to all the resources you need before you start playing.

Tips for casino gambling

A man reveals his poker hand.

Some of these will undoubtedly be very similar to sports betting, but there are some other tips for you to take advantage of:

  • Don’t play with rent money, and set a gambling budget to avoid putting yourself into a financially difficult situation.
  • Experiment with different games to find the types that you enjoy; or, if you’re into more skilled-based games, decide what you’re interested in mastering.
  • If you’re feeling tired or mentally and emotionally drained, take a break to avoid getting stuck in a losing streak (more commonly known as “tilting”).
  • Avoid alcohol and other mind-altering substances, as these might cause you to make bad bets.
  • Look for tips that apply to your favorite game.

Enjoy sports betting and casino gambling at BetMGM

If you’d like to try your luck with sports betting or play online casino games, the excellent news is that both are on offer at BetMGM, one of the best online casinos. 

Sports bettors can enjoy a wide range of online sports betting options on major and minor leagues across many games, including basketball, football, golf, hockey, MMA, and soccer. Professional-level games aren’t all that fans can enjoy – bettors can even wager on certain college sports!

Meanwhile, online casino gamblers can enjoy some of the best casino games that you can play here at BetMGM. If you love casino table games, we think you’ll love playing Premium Blackjack Pro, Lightning Auto Roulette, and Ultimate Texas Hold’Em. And what would an online casino be without casino games like slots and live dealer games? Join in the fun and play exciting slots, including Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst, and Hotline 2, or give your gaming a social twist with live-dealer games such as Live Blackjack, Live Baccarat, and 3 Card Poker!

Sign up at BetMGM to enjoy both of these great gambling pastimes.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.