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 a 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 Roar Digital website.
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 its willingness to expand made MGM an obvious candidate to move into the business of mobile sports betting apps on a national scale.
It’s tough to think of a better company for MGM to have paired with, and throughout our BetMGM Sportsbook 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 place an online wager with BetMGM if you are located in New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Wyoming, Arizona, Louisiana, Maryland, and now Massachusetts. It does hold a mobile betting license in Nevada, however, you must visit a BetMGM Sportsbook in Las Vegas to complete the registration process in-person.
Washington D.C. joined the list of available areas in June 2021, though there are additional location restrictions to note. You can bet in Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, or anywhere within a two block radius of the stadium using the BetMGM app. If you’re not near the ballpark, you won’t be able to place a bet.
Similarly, players based in Mississippi also have access to the BetMGM mobile app but are restricted to placing wagers within the geofenced borders of the brand’s two Mississippi casino properties. Players can register for an account and make deposits from just about anywhere in the state, but will need to be present at either the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica or the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino on the coast of Biloxi in order to successfully place any wagers.
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 is expected to make moves in other “sports betting states” in the near future.
BetMGM Sportsbook App in Ontario
Up until August 27, 2021, sports bettors located in Canada were restricted to parlay wagering only. This meant that all action would go through the country’s provincial lotteries and prevent players from placing singles, also known as straight bets. Following the passage of Bill C-218, all of that is now out the window and the Canadian sports betting landscape is about to undergo some major changes.
Ontario, the largest province in terms of population, took action right out of the gate with a brand new iGaming market that launched on April 4, 2022. BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt revealed plans to enter the market way back on January 19, 2021, and made good on that promise. The BetMGM Sportsbook app was available for Ontario users on launch day, equipped with both sports betting and online casino offerings. Just two days later on April 6, the brand also launched its BetMGM Poker platform in Ontario.
There is the potential for BetMGM to expand to more provinces in the near future, with both British Columbia and Alberta as potential “next steps” in the Great White North. Keep an eye out for BetMGM registration codes in your area soon.
Welcome package at BetMGM Online Sportsbook
Sign up at BetMGM Sportsbook using the bonus code HANDLE1500 and the sportsbook will welcome you with a special Get up to $1,500 Back in Bonus Bets if your First Bet Doesn’t Win welcome offer!
In order to take advantage of this promotion, new users must sign up through any of the links on this page using theBetMGM bonus codeHANDLE1500, and make an initial deposit of at least $10.
With this special bonus offer, users can receive up to $1500 in Bonus Bets if your first bet doesn’t win. What a deal!
Currently, this BetMGM Sportsbook bonus is NOT available in the states of New York, or in Washington DC.
Please note, this is a 20% deposit match from BetMGM. This means if your first-time was $100, BetMGM would compensate you with $20 in bonus bets. To receive the full $1500 in bonus bets, you would need to deposit $7500.
21+. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. CO, DC, IL, IN, LA, MD, MS, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY. Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY). Call 1-800-327-5050 (MA). 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in DC, Nevada, New York, or Ontario.
To play at BetMGM, you’ll need to be 21 years or older. This is standard practice amongst all online sportsbooks and betting apps within the U.S. these days.
New bettors are able to register an account with BetMGM from any state in the country. The catch is that you can only place a wager from within one of the aforementioned states that have approved online sports betting, and where BetMGM has attained a license to operate.
The BetMGM sportsbook has a substantial range of sports betting options with plenty of bet variety and available markets. 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 choices. 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 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 Generator” at the top of the sportsbook and see which selections BetMGM is suggesting. These link really well with parlay promotions, such as “Parlay Insurance,” allowing to get you money back if you lose by just one selection.
We really enjoyed using the platform that GVC has created for BetMGM. We’re familiar with several sites within the group, so it 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. 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 can snag the app over at the Google Play Store.
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 good bet slips are hidden on mobile until called for, and this is the exact process here. The bet slip sits neatly in the bottom menu until you click on it and it 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 all about keeping things simple while 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 BetMGM includes 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 BetMGM’s margins are 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 was a margin of just 3.17%. The majority of NFL games were similar.
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 another book is likely going to offer standard -110 odds for that same bet.
We like to move between the major bets, such as moneyline, points spread, and totals. 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 are 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 BetMGM’s 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. During an NFL playoff game, some of the props listed were totally random, such as rushing yards for a fullback, with a line set here of just 4.5. BetMGM has since bolstered its player prop offerings in all of the major professional sports, offering countless markets on just about every player or statistic a bettor could dream of.
The futures pricing is variable, and overall one of the biggest areas of variance 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 (+800) 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 easy 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, 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
Players will be able to address any banking-related needs on both BetMGM’s mobile app and desktop site. Remember, you can deposit and withdraw from any state within the U.S., you just can’t place a bet outside of your registered account’s designated state.
Banking options on deposits are about as good as you’re going to find. This is the range that you can access (depending on state):
Debit/credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)
Online bank transfer
VIP Preferred e-Check/ACH
Play+ prepaid card
Bank wire transfer
GAMEON Prepaid Card
Cash at the casino cage
Deposits start from just $10, and you can use any of the methods above to fund your account. It’s also worth noting that all methods are eligible to claim the welcome offer as well, which is an added bonus.
Withdrawals are limited to:
VIP Preferred e-Check/ACH
Play+ prepaid card
Check by Mail
Cash at the casino cage – check the table above for a list of approved retail casino partners in each state
Processing times range from just 48 hours with PayPal, to several business days for mailed checks to clear.
BetMGM is a solid offering with competitive pricing, a wide range of markets, solid props, and a good welcome offer. It's not the prettiest book yet, but is improving. Roar Digital is well-financed and we expect it to continue rising in the years to come.
Brett Smiley is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Sports Handle, which joined forces with the US Bets team in November 2018. He focuses on the sports betting industry and legislation. He's a recreational sports bettor and DFS player himself, focusing on the NFL. In a past life, Smiley practiced commercial litigation in New York City and previously wrote for FOX Sports and SI.com. He lives in New Jersey with his family.