DraftKings was the first online sportsbook to go live in New Jersey, ushering in a new era of U.S. sports betting. The brand has since expanded its reach throughout the country, with deals in place that will see it grow as more states make the decision to legalize the industry.
DraftKings boasts a large library of betting markets and options, innovative and seemingly non-stop promotional offerings and an easy to use mobile app. While its lines are not always the best, we have seen drastic improvements as of late as its continues to strive to be more competitive in the online sports betting world.
New DraftKings players can currently claim a welcome offer that is worth up to $1,000. This is broken down into two parts: the first is a Risk-Free bet of up to $500, while the second is a deposit match bonus of up to $500.
With the Risk-Free bet (in actuality a Free Bet, which is even better), the site will match your first wager up to $500 paid as bonus money, win or lose. If you bet that money again and win, you will take home the winnings from that wager.
As far as the deposit bonus, it sounds great at first, but it’s worth noting that it’s only a 20% match of your first deposit of $5 or more. This means that to get the full bonus, you are going to need to make a deposit of $2,500 or more. For some, this won’t be an issue, but most aren’t going to be looking to deposit that much, which means they won’t be able to take advantage of the full offer.
Once the bonus has been activated, you then need to clear said bonus. For every $25 that you wager, you release $1 of your bonus.
Also be aware of are that each qualifying bet needs to be at odds of -300 or higher.
In what states is DraftKings Sportsbook legal?
As you are likely well aware, betting within the U.S. is limited. However, there are a growing number of states that are accepting legal wagers.
DraftKings can currently be accessed online in the following states:
The good thing about a company such as DraftKings is that it is constantly striving to improve and grow. This has resulted in talks to get licensed in states which have passed laws to legalize sports betting, but have not yet implemented it, and to reach deals with casinos that might be able to offer the industry in the future.
Key differences between state markets
For simplicity’s sake, DraftKings offers the same bonus package for all users (so far), no matter which state you are signing up from. So, players in PA, for example, will be offered the same exact bonus, with the same terms, as those playing in West Virginia or Indiana.
So, while this review is an overall look at all of DraftKings’ U.S. branches, the general welcome offer mentioned above can be claimed if you are located in any of the states where DraftKings is live.
But there is a possibility you’ll see some minor differences on the site depending on which state you are playing from. That could mean the availability, or lack thereof, of certain banking methods, different types of promos or betting restrictions on certain sporting events.
Registering an account with DraftKings
Established brands like DraftKings make the account sign up process very simple. As long as you have your vital personal info on hand, it should take just a couple of minutes.
Who is eligible?
You need to be aged 21+ and in one of the accepted states to qualify to open an account and place a bet with the DraftKings online sportsbook.
It’s worth noting here that you don’t need to be a resident of that state to create the account, but you will need to be physically present in order to actually place a bet.
For example, you could sign up in New York, cross the state border to New Jersey to place your bet, and travel home. You don’t even need to be within a recognized state to make your deposit or withdrawal, only to place the bets.
How to register an account with DraftKings
The signup process starts with you clicking the “Sign Up” button on the homepage. Or, if you have clicked through our links to get a special bonus, you might be taken to a custom landing page instead. Either way, it should be pretty easy to find.
Once you have clicked sign up, you then need to input a username, email and password. During this process you might also see a field for a promo code, which, if applicable, you can enter at that moment.
The next stage is to include your full name, address, and date of birth. You will also need to add the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. The SSN is included to verify your identity. This is a common industry practice and is all part of trying to prevent problem gambling and fraud within the sector.
Once the site has confirmed you are who you say you are, you then need to confirm your location, which will be done automatically via your I.P. address. You might also need to download a special plugin for you browser for this task, which only takes a second or two.
Once your account is live, you are then going to want to fund said account.
You can deposit and withdraw from anywhere in the U.S., even within states that don’t allow online gambling. The only thing that you can’t do is make the actual wager.
One of the advantages of gambling at DraftKings is the large array of banking methods it offers. At most DraftKings sites, you can deposit via:
Cash at the casino (dependent on DK’s state casino partner)
Online Bill Pay
The most common banking method is likely going to be credit or debit cards for most. However, we must stress that some banks are still a bit “funny” when it comes to banking with online sportsbooks. So if you have any issues arise from this, it’s likely to do with your bank, rather than DraftKings itself.
Deposits start across the board at just $5 per transaction. Most will be processed very quickly, especially ACH transfers which are instant. Bank wires and money orders can take a few working days to go through.
One nice method for those that don’t want to use a bank account is PayNearMe. It works by visiting any participating retail store, like 7-Eleven or CVS, and then depositing cash via your account name and number. A cashier will upload your funds via the PayNearMe system, and then it should be in your account within 20 minutes or so. We should note that you cannot withdraw via this method.
Withdrawals are more limited in terms of the options you have. These can include:
PayPal and ACH are going to be the most convenient method for most, and you can usually get your money either instantly or in a few hours.
Checks will take up to 10 days to reach you, and then you need to wait for them to clear as well.
Cage pickups can be made at any of the casinos linked with DraftKings for online sports betting. These include, the following, and the list is growing:
West Virginia: Hollywood Casino and Sportsbook
Indiana: Ameristar Casino and Hotel
New Jersey: Resorts Casino A.C.
Pennsylvania: The Meadows
Colorado: Twin River Mardi Gras
If you are local to these sites or happen to be inside the casino, then in terms of speed, these are always going to be the quickest way to get your money in hand. Make sure you take I.D. for the cage as they will need to verify you before you withdraw.
When we dive into reviews such as the DraftKings Sportsbook, we always have a certain standard of practice that we think it should meet. Heck, the site quotes itself as one of the biggest sportsbooks in the world, so there should be few faults here, right?
The layout for the sportsbook is a pretty basic one. That’s not always a bad thing, but compared to some of the competition, it lacks a little in terms of depth.
However, we do like the design of the ‘book, the black and green layout now becoming synonymous with the DraftKings brand.
The homepage includes a nicely laid out section at the top with some of the most popular markets, and then below, it’s packed with live betting markets that are in-play. You’re able to flick between sports here, which we liked, and you can even jump between game lines and the stats hub.
One thing that jumped out to us almost immediately is the speed that the site loads. You can click on a variation of sports, and you’re almost instantly taken to that page.
We know that internet speeds are generally good these days, which helps, but these are resource-hungry sites, and there are plenty of competitors that have woeful load times.
The top menu includes some of the most popular bets on sports for that time of year, and you can use the drop-down menu to dig a little deeper.
Overall, it’s a solid-looking site, and you could certainly argue that it has a lot more going for it than most.
The mobile app is just as important, if not more so, as the main online site these days. More of us are using our phones for anything and everything, and online betting is no exception to that rule.
It’s clear straight away that DraftKings has agreed with this statement given how good its mobile offering is.
The first thing that we wanted to note is the design. It’s stunning!
It’s really simplistic and not overly cluttered (like the online site). We loved the menu at the bottom so you can use it with one hand. Plus, you get the quick links at the top to jump to sports with the touch of a button.
For the most part, the app is pretty seamless, but we have noticed the occasional blip. This blip comes in the form of delayed ingame lines or lines freezing altogether. This is not a constant occurrence, but it does happen from time to time.
You’re able to access all banking options here, and you can register your account via the app and access other controls just as you would on desktop.
The app can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices. All you need to do is head to the online sportsbook and type your mobile number into the app page. It sends you a download link that you click, and the install will begin. You can also usually find the DraftKings app in the iOS store if you are running an iPhone or iPad.
We were big fans of the company’s fantasy sports app, and the real-money betting app has not disappointed.
We’ve been super-positive on the site throughout much of this review so far, and as a whole, DraftKings is knocking it out of the park with its complete package.
However, we’ve got some bad news, and unfortunately for DraftKings, it’s at a vital stage.
Betting lines are not the best on-site. They are what we like to call “expensive”. We get that it’s a premium product and that setting up in the current climate is not cheap, but the whole pricing structure could use improvement.
Problems start immediately, and the “juice” that it charges (the commission that all sportsbooks tie into their lines) is about as high as you will find at 4.8%. This can vary from state to state however, so this is a generalization.
To put this into some sort of perspective, here is a breakdown of other margins within this sector:
William Hill: 3.5%
As you can see, only 888 charges more juice on its lines than DraftKings.
However, we must stress that this doesn’t always mean that DraftKings is going to have the worst odds, as it’s not.
In fact, there were plenty of markets that we tested where it was actually the best priced. You see, the margin we have quoted above is based over hundreds of bets, so there are times where it will be less and times where it will be more.
What we will report from our testing is that their prop pricing was one of the better of the sportsbooks tested. We actually looked at a range of sports and market types for this, and it was super consistent, coming in the top three prices more than any other sportsbook.
The problem is the big hitters, your straight pricing and money lines. This is where the most money comes in, so margins are at their tightest.
We found it struggled with these throughout the sportsbook and not just for U.S. based sports either. Oddly, golf had some extremely low prices for guys to win outright, and even though golf can have these as the nature of the bets, to see it consistently was a concern.
Even after all this, we have to ask ourselves if it would put us off using the DraftKings online sportsbook, and the answer was still no. Lines can be expensive everywhere, but it’s the package that you buy into here, including promos and bonuses, not just the odds.
With DraftKings, you’re getting a huge range of sports and markets.
We have likened it to a European bookmaker in the number of sports that you can bet on. This is because the European market has a much wider array of sports and players that it needs to appeal to, plus U.S laws can limit which sports can be offered.
The range of markets is one area that DraftKings really excels in. We know that it’s always gone above and beyond, dating back to its fantasy sports beginnings, but it’s been really refreshing to see it carry this sort of depth into its sports betting as well.
It’s tough to know where to start with this, but given that we are conducting this review in the middle of the NBA and NFL seasons, we figured what better point than here.
NBA games are packed with dozens of bet types for each game. They range from your more popular bets such as point spreads, totals, and money line, and include a few curveballs as well. DraftKings does a great job of sorting these bets by quarter, half, alternative lines and props. In fact, this may be one of our favorite features of the site.
These curveballs come in all shapes and sizes, but for us, the best was the game props. Standout bets included the likes of odd or even on total points, double chance bets, home and away team points, plus all the spread bets.
Jump into the NFL and the coverage increases again. With these games, you are easily getting over 100 bets per game to choose from.
Standouts can be found all over, but game props are once again the place to be. The likes of total touchdowns, last team to score, safety to be scored, game to go to overtime, first to listed points, and the choices go on and on.
It’s not that DraftKings is doing anything that other sportsbooks aren’t, but it’s one of very few that can bring it all together in a complete package.
The selection of games and sports that DraftKings covers is second to none. We touched on it earlier, but there is definitely a Euro-feel to the sportsbook, at least in terms of the depth.
To really appreciate this, you need to look outside of the main U.S. sports. Most people in the U.S. aren’t going to be betting on these, but that’s mainly because they’ve not been exposed to them before.
We have to commend DraftKings for including sports like rugby league, rugby union, darts, and Australian Rules. These are all sports that are barely played in the country and are listed on a sportsbook that only accepts U.S. players. Go figure!
But that is the beauty of DraftKings, and that’s why it has taken the route of being diverse. It offers sports which some companies turn their noses up at, which in itself creates new niches just for them.
Promotions and loyalty program
The DraftKings promotions section is worth the entry fee alone! It is jam-packed with offers and promos that can change weekly.
We mentioned the welcome offer earlier in this review, but the site is known to modify this constantly, adding some extra value at times.
You can also claim offers such as parlay insurance that will refund your bet up to $25 should one leg of your 5+ parlay let you down.
Plus, you can get money back on points spreads if your team scores 110+ points or more in the NBA and then goes on to lose. And in soccer, if you back a team to win in the English Premier League and the game finishes 0-0, then you will get a refund up to $25.
The list goes on, and DraftKings keeps modifying its offers, which makes it feel really fresh, all of the time. Keep an eye out on the promotion section for more on the latest offers.
We’ve used customer support extensively when researching for this review, and we have to admit, it is great. The live chat has been the best route, and with it, you can talk to an advisor within just a few minutes.
You can also get in touch via email ([email protected]), and you’ve even got a snail mail address if you want to keep any rant on the down-low.
DrafKings’ rise to the top has primarily been due to its fantasy sports success, but you can't deny that it now offers an exciting sport betting package as well. The site is not without faults, however. Weak betting lines and margins are something that we are struggling to get over, along with the antiquated design of the desktop site. However, we would not be surprised to see a totally revamped platform in a year or two, with all those issues ironed out.