Playing To Win, US Sportsbooks Launch Biggest NFL Bonus Give-aways In History

America’s top sportsbooks, FanDuel and DraftKings, are launching the biggest bonus give-aways in iGaming and NFL history to mark the start of the storied American football season this weekend.

Flutter-owned FanDuel has boosted its sign-up promotion for new customers, placing a minimum bet of US$5, to US$200 – from last season’s bonus of US$150.

And it’s also giving US$5 customers a US$100 discount on YouTube subscriptions to watch live Sunday NFL (National Football League) games on the streaming service.

FanDuel’s main rivals, Boston-based DraftKings, meanwhile, is continuing its US$200 bonus for new punters placing US$5 bets, initiated last season.

With new, Walt Disney-powered grouping, ESPN Bet entering the fray, the US online sports betting scene–now legal in 38 of the nation’s 50 states–has never been more fevered or propulsive.

“[This] will probably [be] the most competitive NFL season that the industry has ever seen,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger.

“It’s the most important time of year,” responded DraftKings Chief Executive Jason Robins.


After spending literally billions of dollars to turn a profit since online sports betting was legalised in the US in 2018, the sportsbooks are now under tremendous pressure to turn a profit.

For some, like WynnBET, the digital arm of casino giants Wynn Resorts, the heat has been too much and they’ve retreated from the kitchen.

For others, such as newbies Fanatics, better known as a sports merchandise company, it’s a question of trying to turn new tricks to challenge the ruling troika of FanDuel, DraftKings and the MGM Resorts-Entain joint-venture BetMGM.

The big three now appear to be on the cusp of plus, or so their marketing and PR departments are blasting.

DraftKings, for example, is claiming a 35 percent market share in the states where it operates; while FanDuel, owned by Irish-origin Flutter Entertainment, of Paddy Power, PokerStars and Betfair fame, reported some US$100 million of Adjusted EBITDA for H1 (£80.14m) and expects net revenue to hit near US$5 billion by year’s end (£4bn).

Fanatics, which recently bought the US operations of Australia-origin PointsBet, is aiming to invest at least US$1 billion (£801.4m) over the present and near future to build and exploit its estimated base of 100 million customers.

“We’re not trying to rush into winning this year. We’re in this for the long haul,” affirmed Jason White, Fanatics Betting and Gaming Chief Marketing Officer.

This year US sports betting is expected to generate some US$12 billion (£9.61bn), significantly up on the US$7.6 handle of last year (£6.09bn).

The NFL remains the crown.

But the crown jewels–the states of California and Texas, where online sports betting is still illegal–remain, tantalisingly, just out of reach.

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