What does “Taking a Shot” at a Sportsbook Mean?

October 3, 2020

Taking a shot at a sportsbook

In the circles of sports bettors and amongst sportsbook employees, taking a shot at the sportsbook means something different than the regular Joe may think. He may think that just means placing a bet, or placing a large bet. You are “taking a shot” at winning a large amount.

But the term is actually much more sinister. A perfect example of what shot-taking is happened this morning. I received an alert that Cam Newton, QB for the New England Patriots, has come down with coronavirus. He is obviously not going to play tomorrow as a result. As the news was breaking, some sportsbooks still had the game offering available (Kansas City -7/ New England +7). Taking a shot would have consisted of me placing a bet on the Chiefs at that line knowing the news that I knew.

Sportsbooks can easily trace back to when the news was first announced at any news source and then correlate that with bets placed after that time stamp. They can then cancel those bets and they have the right to do so. But, there is another aspect to this. You may now be on their shit-list. They may make note of this particular bet and the next time something occurs give you a warning or ban you outright. Just because you placed the bet after the news broke doesn’t mean that you are a shot-taker. But if this type of bets becomes a trend then you are a shot-taker. They may very well blacklist you for taking shots.

In Vegas, sportsbook security keeps a blacklist. If you area person who repeatedly tries unscrupulous things, they will identify him and ask him not to come back to their sportsbook. He will be banned.

A local bookie isn’t dumb either and they may do much more than give a warning.

Its important to remember that we all have access to the same information and everything is time-stamped. A bettor may think he is getting away with something but he is simply setting himself up for failure. Be smart. Play fair. Be respectful.

  • Scott Morris

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