The word “lock” has been a forever cliché’ known to sports bettors forever, long before we have ever seen the birth of legalized sports wagering come to the US in 2018. It has been more utilized as a sales term for professional handicappers looking to obtain new business and secure trust from their clientele.
The reality is there are NO locks in life, other than death and well, certainly taxes. However, it has been becoming relatively proven during the initial phases of sports wagering in all US states that both sports bettors and sports operator can both enjoy another “lock” or guarantee.
From the sports bettor’s perspective, there is absolutely zero risk to signing up with any sportsbook of their choice. Whether they choose DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM or the many other providers serving their state, the commonality is that zero risk is involved.
Of course, the catch or *asterisk* may be the level of future wagering investment a bettor would be risking equivalent to the bonus they are signing up for. For example, one of DraftKings’ popular sign-up bonuses offer a 20% deposit bonus for up to $500. Also, a risk-free wager opportunity, again up to $500. That could mean a loss on a first bet for an NFL game is rebated back into your account equal to that wager.
Many of the other sportsbooks have similar offers with rules equating to your opportunity to become a member of their book. You will be asked about state affiliation, to provide full ID and banking information for processing. As important with signing on to any contract, it is imperative to READ THE RULES.
Considering this opportunity vs. others in the realm is quite generous and offers special perks. Casinos do not offer this type of general bonus for everyday bettors within their membership clubs. The only reasonable comparison has been horse racing entities like TVG or TwinSpires, who have offered similar sign-up promotions but not as generous compared to these sports wagering operators.
From both the sports operator’s perspective and yours, taking advantage of a sign-up is a logistical win-win opportunity. Here is why:
The most crucial marketing priority goal for the sportsbook operator is to obtain and maintain every new signed-up bettor. Especially in the unusual business landscape we have in the US, where only 19 (soon to be 22) out of a potential 50 states have legalized wagering. Also, considering that some of the largest state markets within the US have not reached legalization status including California, Florida, and New York.
Before the US Supreme Court’s reversal of PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act), the major nucleus of sports wagering customers belonged to illegal, unlicensed offshore wagering sites, readily available online. Unofficially, they still readily maintain approximately 70% of participating US sports bettors. That is a substantial opportunity for all new legalized US sportsbooks to target and lure with enticing incentives.
The number one welcoming sign-up incentive for sports bettors is guarantee that all wagers will be legally paid. Also, all customers could have some recourse involving legal representation if necessary. A facet not been previously available through illegal offshore sportsbooks
A unique advantage for all sportsbook operators is the proven “loyalty” of US sports bettors in comparison to more experienced players in Europe and also involved in other countries.
Thus far US bettors have chosen to remain more loyal to one sportsbook operator vs. choosing numerous opportunities to comparison shop odds. Strange as it may seem, unfortunately, many bettors have not chosen to take advantage of all FREE sign-up possibilities within their state. A chance to daily capture the best possible odds on each game they choose while also obtaining each sign-up reward.
These circumstances hit especially hard on “feature games” like “NFL Sunday Night or Monday Night Football”. These type of casual bettor games where the result of a half-point or full point among multi-membership sportsbooks might yield the difference between winning and losing.
We await more research to understand why more US bettors are not taking advantage of ALL sportsbooks’ free opportunity to join within their state. Especially given the motivating reason of free intro bets and generous matching bonuses, etc. Considering we are now up to 85-90% online preference for sports wagering, it cannot involve website inconvenience. Perhaps online layout or other competing differences between sportsbooks offer more clues.
Bettors in every US state should embrace their opportunity to obtain sign-up bonuses and promotions. Every state BUT New Hampshire, whereby a state ruling that DraftKings maintain a six-year contractual monopoly as sole sportsbook provider.
That is not to say New Hampshire bettors cannot enjoy DraftKings’ excellent promotions and bonuses. However, under this legislative arrangement, a new player cannot price-shop odds nor obtain sign-up incentives from FanDuel, BetRivers, PointsBet, etc.
The motivation for New Hampshire was quite substantial in comparison to much larger sports wagering states like Colorado. A successful state with three times the population yet collected about only a quarter of the potential tax revenue. New Hampshire collects half of all profits, which are designated toward the state’s education trust fund.
The downside is waiting to see if this plan keeps experienced sports bettors fully or partially involved within the illegal offshore wagering market. Like having only one place to buy gas or food, any consumer may seek an alternative, if possible.
Overall, extended competition in sports wagering is great for the consumer. It offers more everyday choices and in this unique industry an opportunity to obtain FREE bonuses and promotions. Here’s hoping through time and maturity every sports bettor will take full advantage.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Email: [email protected]
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