In 2018 one of the largest gambling companies in the world – MGM Resorts International – opened its virtual doors outside Nevada and delivered PlayMGM, the less sophisticated predecessor to the BetMGM sportsbook that you see today.
Specifically, BetMGM is the product of the joint venture between MGM and GVC Holdings, dubbed “Roar Digital,” which is “poised to revolutionize sports betting and online gaming in the United States,” according to the website for Roar Digital.
There’s a good chance you may never have heard of them, but GVC is one of the biggest gambling companies in Europe. It owns brands such as Ladbrokes Coral, Gala, Bwin, SportingBet, and Party Poker, to name just a few. In terms of numbers, in 2018, it reported a revenue of €2.8billion for the year.
MGM’s own credentials could hardly have been better, owning dozens of hotels and casinos around the world. The sheer size of the company and their willingness to expand made them an obvious candidate to move into the business of online sports betting on a national scale.
It’s tough to think of a better company for MGM to have paired with, and throughout this review, we will look at how the pair have created one of the better sportsbooks in the sector right now.
In what U.S. sports betting markets is BetMGM available?
As it stands, you can only place a wager with BetMGM if you are located in the state of New Jersey or Indiana. It does hold a mobile betting license in Nevada, however, note that you cannot yet place a bet on the BetMGM app Nevada. It should become available there in 2020.
|State||Bonus||Casino Partner||Tech Partner||Launch Date|
|New Jersey||Get Bonus||Borgata Hotel & Casino||GVC (Roar Digital)||August 2018|
|Indiana||Get Bonus||Belterra Casino Resort||GVC (Roar Digital)||February 2020|
Moving forward, given the size and resources of MGM and also GVC, we would fully expect to see the brand explore all possible avenues for expansion. MGM owns or operates properties in these other “sports betting states,” which have or are expected legalized sports gambling in some capacity by the end of 2020:
Welcome package at BetMGM Online Sportsbook
The general welcome package offered by BetMGM in states where it operates comes in the form of a risk-free bet worth up to $500. It’s a simple enough offer in that, if you place your first bet and it loses, then you will get a refund of up to $500.
|BetMGM Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|Risk-Free Bet||Up to $500|
The refund will be paid in bonus money, which you then need to wager once before you can withdraw. These are extremely favorable terms for an offer of this size, as some sportsbooks require a 3x or 6x or an even more burdensome rollover requirement.
Here is a quick example of how this might work.
Let’s say that you make an opening deposit of $250 and place your first bet on the New England Patriots to win their next game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Scenario one is that the Patriots win, and you get to enjoy those winnings. You will not get any bonus or free bet if this occurs.
Scenario two is that the Patriots lose. You will then have your $250 bet refunded, and $250 bonus money will be credited to your account. You then need to place $250 worth of bets for the bonus to move into your real money account.
You can do this by placing a series of bets (often in $50 increments) or you can place one single bet.
These offers are relatively common, however, we aren’t huge fans of them. The upside is that you can bet with confidence for your first bet, but the downside is that if your bet wins, you don’t get anything extra.
Ideally, the better offers tend to come with a reward regardless if your bet wins or not. This means you are guaranteed something in return for signing up.
That being said, we know lots of people like these offers, and if these suit your game, then this is one of the better risk-free promotions that we have tested.
To play at BetMGM, you need to be aged 21 or over. This is standard practice amongst all online sportsbooks and betting apps these days within the U.S.
The availability of their product in New Jersey is limiting, but you’re able to register an account within them in any state within the country. The problem is that you can only place a wager within N.J. and not any of the other states.
It’s a substantial range of sports betting options within the sportsbook, and it covers a good range of sports as well. This includes mainstream options, such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer, along with a few exotics, such as cricket, rugby union, and Aussie Rules.
It likes to think outside of the box when it comes to betting options. We really liked the inclusion of the Buffalo Wild Wings odds (they are partners) boost and Yahoo! Sports specials (also the product of a recent partnership), where it would list up enhanced prices and special bets for the day’s slate of games.
It also has a great range of parlay options to include here as well. You’re able to select the “Parlay Card” at the top of the sportsbook and then pick and choose wagers to add with this. These link really well with parlay promotions, such as “Parlay Insurance,” allowing to get you money back if you lose by just one selection.
Also you’ll find the Money Monday Club on BetMGM. Per the terms: Opt in to the Money Monday Club and receive a $10 free bet when you place a total of $50 in qualifying wagers during the previous week (Monday through Sunday).
We really enjoyed using the platform that GVC has created for BetMGM. We’re familiar with several sites within the group, so this does have a recognizable feel to it.
You get a clean black on white design, with a splash of MGM’s gold coloring thrown in for good measure. It isn’t reinventing the wheel here, but it terms of functionality, it’s right up there.
BetMGM mobile app
The group has invested quite a lot into their mobile betting platform — at least it’s a big improvement over the playMGM app. It’s one of the best that we’ve tested, and we’ve broken down each section below:
- Availability: Access to the app can be had via both Android and iOS devices. For the Apple fanatics amongst you, all you need to do is head to the App Store to download. Android users have to go to the BetMGM sportsbook and then download the .APK file from that.
- Speed: The speed of the app is fine, but it’s not better than that. You see the loading sign for pretty much all pages that you try to access, and then some of these pages take a while to fire up. Oddly, the same load times were found on both reliable Wi-Fi and relatively weak cell coverage.
- Stability: We’ve had no issues with stability from our testing. We would estimate an overall use of around 10 hours for this review, and it’s never crashed or frozen once in that time.
- Appearance: Aesthetically it’s not the best-looking app that we have tested, but it is very similar to their online platform in that it’s more function over style. We’re more interested in other elements of the sportsbook, however, so just a small negative mark.
- View/layout: The layout of the app is superb. We are big fans of the menu at the bottom of the page, along with a more detailed one at the top. Everything can be accessed with just a one-hand approach.
- Bet slip/building: All god bet slips are hidden on mobile until called for, and this is the exact process here. It sits neatly in the bottom menu until you click on it and gives you just a small, non-intrusive pop up to say that your bets have been added and are waiting for when you need them. Very nice!
- Live betting: A full range of live markets can be accessed via the app. The best part of this is that it includes their brilliant match center, which has a live update of what is happening in each game.
The web-based platform carries on the simplicity of the whole brand. It’s not a bad sportsbook to use in terms of aesthetics, but you get the feeling it’s about simplicity and then excelling in terms of the markets that it’s able to offer.
What we’ve seen from so many sportsbooks over the years is a strive to be the best looking, and then it forgets about the basics that are needed, which is a platform to wager.
BetMGM doesn’t have this issue. The players are put first, and it’s all about the wagers. The app is very much the same in this regard, and it’s almost like a mini-version of the web-based platform, such are the similarities.
Pricing and betting options at BetMGM
Starting with their pricing, we like to look to see what sort of margins it’s including in its bets. If you aren’t aware of what margins are, it’s basically the profit that it takes from each bet. It differs on an individual basis, but you can get an overall feel for how it works.
We found that it’s approximately 4.5%, which overall is in the lower end of the middle.
Notably the NFL margins for moneyline bets were very low. From the 49ers-Chiefs Super Bowl LVI, there’s a margin of just 3.17%. The majority of NFL games were not too dissimilar.
Low margins are not available across the board, however, as on a lot of basketball and other contests, there’s odd point spread pricing like +115/-139 or +100/-121. The risk-managers ought to manage the books without slanting the pricing in this way. . You can look at this as good value for the higher price on the spread or poor for the lower given that someone else is likely going be at -110 for that bet.
We like to move between the major bets, such as moneyline, points spread, and totals spread. These are the best three indicators of a well-priced sportsbook. Overall, it’s competitive. It’s a sportsbook that you could use on its own and know that, more often than not, you were going to be getting a good price for your pick.
Betting options are once again, very solid throughout the sportsbook. It suffers a little for the exotic sports, but then, this is something that a lot of sportsbooks lack. We hope their link with GVC will improve this as it continues to grow.
The first thing to note here is that it offers a wide range of bets on the spread. This for NFL, MLB, and NBA games, especially. The oddsmakers have priced out a wide range of alternative lines, which can be used to make a kind of homemade parlay.
We also loved the range of props and specials that it offers, and we think that this is likely the highlight of the sportsbook for us.
Some of them were totally random, such as rushing yards for one of the fullbacks, with a line set here of just 4.5. It also includes a boatload of quarterback props for players on each team. This could have been them targeting the playoffs with this, but either way, it’s a great inclusion.
The futures pricing is variable, and overall one of the biggest areas of variances if you have the luxury of price shopping at multiple books. At one point late in the NFL season we saw Chiefs at 8-1 to win the Super Bowl, when it was about 6.5-1 everywhere else (+650).
Overall user experience at BetMGM
Usability on site is very good. It’s clear that BetMGM has put the player as their focus here, and it’s very much dedicated to the player, rather than simply trying to make it look good.
The three-tiered design online makes it really each to create your bets. You get the bet slip that sticks with you at all times down the right-hand side, which then means you can easily add and remove selections as you like.
We liked that it included the potential payout for your bet, which sounds odd to mention this, but there are a few sportsbooks that don’t include it, and you need to work it out for yourself before betting.
If you’re new, it can seem like there is quite a lot going on, and while we like the text-based platform, we can see why some might want a few more graphics to break it up a bit. However, once you get used to this, it’s exactly this that makes the sportsbook what it is and why it works so well.
Deposits and withdrawals
You’re going to be able to bank on both the web-version and the mobile app. Remember, you can deposit and withdraw from any state within the U.S., you just can’t place a bet.
Banking options on deposits are about as good as you’re going to find. This is the range that you can access:
- Direct bank transfer
- Visa/MasterCard (rejected more often than not, depending on issuing bank)
- Prepaid card
- Casino cage
Deposits start from just $10, and you can use any of the methods above to find your account. It’s also worth noting that all are eligible to claim the welcome offer as well, which is an added bonus.
There is an issue that we need to address. You don’t bank directly from the sportsbook and, instead, need to download the BetMGM casino to use this to make your deposit.
Once you have done this, you then use its transfer feature within that app, and you will be able to move money about like that. It’s not ideal, to say the least, but only adds a couple more steps than you would typically get.
Withdrawals are limited to:
- Electronic checks (e-check)
- Check by Mail
- The cage — at the Borgata in New Jersey
Processing times for each range from up to 48 hours with PayPal and up to 10 business days for checks and mailed checks to clear.