DraftKings Sportsbook Review 2021 & Promo Code
DraftKings Sportsbook launched in New Jersey on August 6, 2018, becoming the first sportsbook to go live in the Garden State and the first legal online sportsbook in the U.S. outside Nevada. It’s available as an app for both Android and iOS devices and also as a web-based platform. The site is now legal and licensed in a growing number of states, operating through partnerships with local casinos or as an online-only operator in states that don’t require sportsbooks to partner with an existing retail casino.
DraftKings is one of the top sportsbooks in the country for a reason. Its user experience is excellent, the pricing is industry-leading, pretty much every sport being played anywhere in the world is available for betting, and its promotions and rewards are solid. Overall, DraftKings offers a superior product befitting its position as a market leader.
In which states is DraftKings Sportsbook legal?
DraftKings is rapidly going live in states across the U.S. Here is where it is currently legal:
|State||License Partner||Launch Date|
|New Jersey||Resorts Casino||August 2018|
|Illinois||DraftKings at Casino Queen||August 2020|
|Indiana||Ameristar Casino||October 2019|
|Colorado||Golden Gulch Casino||May 2020|
|Pennsylvania||Meadows Casino||November 2019|
|West Virginia||Hollywood Casino||August 2019|
|Iowa||Wild Rose Casino||February 2020|
|Michigan||Bay Mills Resort Casino||January 2021|
|Arizona||PGA, TPC Scottsdale||September 2021|
|Mississippi||Scarlett Pearl Casino and Hotel||November 2018|
|New York||Del Lago Resort||July 2019|
|New Hampshire||N/A||December 2019|
DraftKings Sportsbook 2021 bonus
DraftKings is offering an exclusive deal for SportsHandle readers which features a juicy $50 Free Bet along with a first Deposit Match up to $1,000.
|DraftKings Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|Promo Code||Just click this link|
|Free Bet||$50 Free Bet|
|Deposit Match||20% up to $1000 Match|
|Launch Date||August 2018|
How does the bonus offer work?
New DraftKings patrons simply need to sign up using any of the links on this page and deposit at least $5 to receive their $50 Free Bet and deposit bonus. If you win your Free Bet you will receive your winnings minus the Free Bet amount. If you lose, you will receive nothing.
Furthermore, DraftKings will match your first deposit by 20% up to $1000. This means to get the full $1000, you’d need to deposit $5000. Attached to this bonus offer is also a staggering 25x wagering requirement to release the bonus money. For every $25 you wager, $1 is released as cash into your account. To get the full $1,000 bonus, you need to wager a robust $25,000 within 90 days. Fortunately this can be cleared in either the sportsbook, casino or via DFS play.
DraftKings sportsbook basics
The DraftKings Sportsbook offers a full menu of sports betting options — for the most part, similar to the kinds of wagering offered in other legal U.S. sports betting states, with some added creativity:
- Live and in-game wagering – sides, totals, player props, first to 10 points, etc.
- Moneyline wagers
- Spreads and totals – fixed odds on team and game totals, quarters, halves, etc.
- Alternate spreads and totals
- Props – player, team and scoring props: for example, “which player scores the most points in this game”
- Futures – who will win the World Series, NBA MVP, over/under NFL win totals
- Parlays – two or more bets combined together for a bigger potential payout; all the bets have to win in order to win the bet
- Bets on daily fantasy sports production – (for example, the Chiefs tight end’s DFS points for a certain NFL week: over/under 14.5)
Overall it’s a solid selection and by our estimation was designed to be mobile-first, with the web platform a second priority. Stability-wise, it’s holds up well, as we have seen minimal issues outside of some markets odds come off the board and sometimes taking a while to return.
Upon login, you’ll see promotional banners at the top of the screen and the more popular events down the center. There’s ample but not an overwhelming amount of displays and information on the screen.
The platform has clear displays and tabs, and utilizes white and neon green text for prices fixed on a black background. The font is adequately sized, but there are some navigation and organization issues that arose during testing. That said, the shortcomings are nothing that a little bit of experience with the app can’t fix. DraftKings uses the U.K.-based Kambi Sports for its software, pricing, trading, and risk management. (Play SugarHouse and 888sport also use Kambi).
DraftKings mobile app
- Availability: The app is available in the Google Play store and Apple App Store.
- Speed: Pretty fast, with rotation or toggling between windows and fields speedy and seamless.
- Stability: It’s mostly smooth sailing, although sometimes it takes a few refreshes to get up to date in-game lines (you can refresh the odds by swiping down on the page).
- View: No clutter complaints as there are displays and information on the screen that shouldn’t block navigation or your ability to get down a bet. You’ll notice there’s some online casino integration, which isn’t our cup of tea during sports mode, but if you want to jump over to blackjack while you’re in there, it’s a button away.
- What we don’t like: This isn’t exactly an aesthetically pleasing app. The white and neon green text on a black background is off-putting and antiquated.
- Navigation: On the navigational front, we don’t love having to swipe back and forth under “Quick Links” at the top. It’s a nitpick, but it would be easier to have a vertical dropdown bar where everything is more easily accessible and visible.
- Bet Slip: Regarding the placement of bets, when you click a potential wager (such as “BOS Celtics +3”), you’ll get a prompt to manually enter your bet or use the pre-sets amounts of $1, $5 or $20. Based on the odds and your wager, it will calculate and show you the potential win amount (with the stake included). The bet slip screen will also give you the option to “create parlay or add more bets.” If that’s what you want to do, hit it and you’ll go back to the menu of potential bets.
- More on the Bet Slip: At this stage in the bet slip, whether you’ve got one pick or several, you’re basically at the register at the grocery store. You’ve got them in the cart but haven’t committed to anything yet. If it looks good, hit the green bar “place bet” and that’s it.
- In-game: The in-game live odds functionality is nice. When the odds get updated during gameplay, breaks or otherwise, the newest price or line flashes so you can easily detect the movement. If the line/odds change when you’ve got a pick in your bet slip, you will get a notice that “selection odds have changed.” And the app will display the latest odds. From there you can “accept changes and place bet” or move along. Sometimes the in-game odds are delayed, but you can just swipe down to refresh.
- Game tracker: You can follow the action in real time using the game tracker. Each soccer pass, attempted basket, or pitch thrown is tracked and shown on your phone or computer screen. This is a very impressive feature not offered by most sportsbooks.
- Funding an account: Multiple cashiering options are available, but did DraftKings have to bury the withdrawal option so deep? (click on your image in the top left and find the withdrawal button on the list)
In short, the app is superior in many ways, from the game tracker to the live betting options to the easy-to-use layout. The DraftKings app is one of the best on the market.
All the same bets and tools are available on the web as on the app. One key difference and convenience, in our opinion, is that you can view the entire bet slip while navigating the book itself. And of course, you can keep up other windows, screens, calculators, spreadsheets, and delivery menus open for optimal multitasking.
The bet slip will remain on the right of the page at most times — depending on the size of the browser window you’re using. If it’s scrunched, the bet slip may get shoved to near the bottom of the screen, indicated by a white bar. Click that and your slip will pull back up, or drag your browser window wide again and it will move back right. Or just click “my bets” at the top to see it.
The pages move quickly with only occasional, very minor lagging. Another small advantage of the web platform is the ability to easily switch between the DFS portion of the site (and casino for states that allow it) and the sportsbook. On your phone you’ll need to have two separate apps while it only takes one click to go back-and-forth between them on the web.
Our biggest gripe with the web platform is navigation. As you can see from the screencap above, the layout relies on a lot of sub-menus and they aren’t organized consistently, nor is it always obvious what markets you’re going to see in certain areas, based on the labels such as “game props” or “innings,” for example. If you’re looking to bet on which team wins the first 5 innings, are you positive where to go?
In previous versions of the DraftKing website, it was frustrating to have to navigate to various menus to find prop, side, and alternate line bets. They must have read our critiques, because, during testing, this issue was fixed and every market for an upcoming baseball game was available on one page. This is a good example of sportsbook operators continually updating and refining their product. DraftKings offers a better user experience than it did a year ago, which is good news for its many fans.
Pricing and betting options
DraftKings offers just about everything you could want from popular sports in the U.S., or at least all the options that regulators will allow. You’ll have to look elsewhere for bowling or cock fighting. But poke around and you’ll probably find what you want or perhaps a spicy option you weren’t looking for.
Key markets offered
- Australian Rules
- Olympic sports (swimming, canoeing, weightlifting, etc.)
- Rugby Union
- Table Tennis
For props and futures, DK Sportsbook offers a truckload of different futures and team/player prop bets, both pre-game and in-game, particularly on the most popular U.S. sports and leagues: NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football, and NCAA basketball. Many of them are what you’ll find elsewhere — MVPs, champions, season total O/U — while some are pretty creative and not available elsewhere.
Just a small sampling:
- Baseball: what will be the result of the next at-bat: hit, walk, strikeout, home run, etc.?
- Basketball: what will the next field goal be? Two-pointer or three-pointer?
- Basketball or football: Race to 10 points in every quarter (which team scores 10 first)
- Football: over/under player’s receiving yards for season?
- Football: last NFL team to lose a game (regular season)?
- Hockey: who will score the next goal — team or player?
- MMA: the fight will end with a submission in the third round?
Like most legal online sportsbooks, DraftKings regularly offers/promotes different “odds boosts” for higher-profile or nationally televised games/events. Typically the offers are for prop bets or futures bets, such this one, posted in July 2021, offering enhanced odds on whether the Dodgers or Lakers will win their respective championships after trading for high-profile players (Russell Westbrook to the Lakers and Max Scherzer and Trea Turner (!) to the Dodgers). This one is a little more creative than other odds boosts. At the time, the Dodgers were +275 to win it all. Anyone who thought at the time the Dodgers could win the title could have boosted their payout all the way up to +775.
DraftKings offers these kinds of promotions all the time, some off which have limited value. These boosts are nice, but generally, the offers are on wagers that aren’t great bets for the long-term and by that we mean EV+ bets that will sustain profitability. That said, if these are bets you might have grabbed anyways or simply want the entertainment, have at it.
It’s a real mixed bag here.
In the days and first several weeks after launch, during baseball season, DraftKings faced a lot of criticism over its pricing. The prices were high and well above industry norms. For example on baseball sides, rather than lines with 10, 15 or 20-cents total (i.e. -110 both sides), some lines were in the 30-cent range. Not all, but some.
We have seen some improvement on betting lines since that early criticism, and have actually found some occasions where DK has the best lines on certain bets, but we always suggest shopping around before placing any big bets, which is another perk of legal and regulated online sports betting.
Straight bets pricing
Contrasting with the teaser/parlay pricing, the moneyline pricing and in a lot of cases the spread pricing is at times inferior to the competition. The standard is 20 cents, or -110 on both sides. On DraftKings, often you’ll see something like a regular 20-cent spread like -115 and -105, but there are many 22-cent or higher spreads sprinkled across the board, such as a -110 and -112. These small numbers add up, and it’s kind of baffling why they simply won’t post -110. This used to be a bigger issue but we have seen DraftKings’ spreads tighten as they have grown into an industry leader.
In-game pricing, based on regular observation in various sports, can be worse than the competition’s pricing. Many bettors have noticed larger spreads on in-game bets, sometimes as much as an extra 10 cents, at DraftKings compared to other sportsbooks. Due to its size, DraftKings is often the best option for most markets, but it still pays to shop around so you don’t end up overpaying.
Overall, the DraftKings user experience is above average. We have seen a lot of improvement in ease of use, including all the prop bets being placed on the same page. Some of the user experience pros and cons are discussed above in the mobile app and web sportsbook sections, but there are a few additional aspects of the UX that deserve mentioning.
One feature we really like is the “stats hub” (listed as “STATS” on the top nav bar), which shows player and team stats, betting statistics (ATS on over/under, as favorite/underdog), H2H record, scoring stats, and much more.
This is powered by iSportGenius, and it also offers information on “line moves.” Not as valuable as line movement providers across a multitude of books, but we’ll take more information than less.
iSportGenius also offers a “customizable predictor,” which factors in injuries, ATS trends, home field advantage and more. We truly have no idea what’s the special sauce in their modeling, where the data comes from and so forth, so you may want to refrain from putting much weight into it. That said, it’s a nice feature that warrants some further testing.
One other nice thing — you can set your account so that if a price or line changes while you have it in your bet slip, the system will ask you for approval on the adjustment. That way you aren’t surprised later and if you don’t want to make the bet anymore, you can X it out.
Here’s another positive: by going to account settings, you can set up a “FaceID login” function or “PIN code” login that’s four digits. Or both, assuming your phone includes facial recognition technology, and both options are more convenient than using the traditional login/password option.
And one more positive: the “cash out” feature now also available at a bunch of other U.S. online sportsbooks. If you check out your “open bets” within “my bets,” you may see an offer to “cash out” your ticket before the game/event/prop has been decided.
Why the offer? Because you’re being offered less than the implied odds of your bet winning. Professional bettors usually don’t want to cash out because of that reason, but there may be instances where you think circumstances have changed and you don’t love the chances of your bet hitting anymore. Perhaps you’re getting close to the implied odds and you just want the liquidity. It’s a creative option but one you should examine carefully in each particular situation.
We have seen these cash out offers available both pre-game (if it’s a future bet) and in-game on straight or moneyline bets, updated pretty regularly based on the flow of the game. This allows you to lock in your profits or cut your losses on a lost cause.
Wager and transaction history
This is a very highly visited area at sportsbooks so it’s important to get it right.
Under “transaction history” or “account statement transactions” within “account information” you can view a ledger of bets over a desired time period. However, in this area, the ledger doesn’t indicate the actual bet made, just the date, bet amount and balance after. Also you can’t get a profit/loss figure generated over that span. So you will have to manually calculate settled bets, which pros will do but is laborious. We hope to see DraftKings upgrade their functionality in this area.
If you go to “my bets” you can see the full information, including what the bet actually was. That’s viewable only as a scroll. Ideally, we’d like to see a tool to show profit/loss over a particular span. This should not be terribly difficult to implement.
You can also contact customer support to request a complete transaction history in the form of an excel file. We made this request and received it promptly, however, the file doesn’t indicate the actual bet (for example, Patriots -6.5, just the transaction number). It’s useful to calculate total credit and debit amounts, but it would be nice to have the full picture in one place.
Limits, approvals and “sharp action”
Kambi/British/European sportsbooks have a reputation for evading sharp action and being very risk-averse. Back in 2019, the primary reviewer here had his own experience with getting a relatively small bet flagged for approval.
It appears the “win limit” flag in the above instance was set around $320, so the bet win up to that amount went through, the rest needing approval. Limits vary from book to book, and in-game and prop/futures limits can often be smaller. But it seems that these stoppages for approval, which is no guarantee to get approved, is fairly common at Kambi-books, which are numerous nationwide, but particularly in Pennsylvania.
Some bettors may also get their accounts “profiled,” particularly if your bets are performing well against the closing number, which is one way sportsbooks monitor their clientele. No clue if that’s what happened here, but it’s not a good feeling to have a $20 wager with just a $500 max win scrutinized like this.
Promotions and loyalty program
DraftKings has been aggressive offering a variety of promotions across all sports. Examples have included:
“New user gold medal games”: A new user can bet $1 on any Olympic event and earn $100 in free bets if the USA wins any medal in any event.
“Profit boosts” for NHL overtime winnings: opt-in and place a money line bet on any NHL playoff game and if your team wins in overtime, DK will double your winnings as a free bet (up to $25).
“MLB money back 9th inning insurance”: place a pre-game singles money line bet on any MLB game and if your team is leading into the 9th but then loses the game, they’ll refund your bet as a free bet up to $50.
“NBA playoffs 35+ points double winnings”: opt-in and place a money line bet on any NBA Playoff games, and if one of your team’s players scores 35+ points helping the team towards a big win, DK will double your winnings as a free bet (up to $25).
At present, the DraftKings Sportsbook does not offer a player rewards system. We may see this in the future, possibly resembling the DFS Crowns, which add up based on dollar participation in real-money contests. Players can use crowns for tickets into contests and merchandise. For sports betting, loyalty points probably would come in the form of free bets.
Deposits and withdrawals
The current complement of options for depositing:
- ACH/VIP preferred e-check
- Online banking – log into your bank online and process transactions
- Play+ prepaid cards
- Visa/Mastercard – May work for DFS but may get rejected for sportsbook deposits, depending on the bank issuing the card
- Cash at the casino cage (in some states where DK has a casino partner. Check the website for more details)
Your options for withdrawing:
- ACH/VIP preferred e-check
- Online banking
- Withdrawal at the casino cage — depending on your state and DraftKings’ relationship with the licensed casino.
We’ve deposited with PayPal and ACH and withdrew funds through both, which in both cases hit the accounts in under 48 hours. We’ve been using DraftKings DFS games since 2013 and have never encountered a problem making a withdrawal or deposit.
DraftKings deposit/withdrawal options overall are pretty good, safe and reliable, on par or favorable to the competition’s options.
Overall, DraftKings offers pretty good support and service. DraftKings representatives are available to chat and troubleshoot 24/7 — on both the app and web. Go to your account and look for the Help button or chat window in the bottom or at right.
You can also email them anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are usually prompt to respond, and you can continue the conversation via email. Alternatively, you can send a message using the form on the help page.
You can’t actually call a number to get help, unfortunately, but you can fill out a form to request/receive a call. FAQ, rules & scoring and “how to play” pages are also available.