The NFL season couldn’t get here quickly enough for New York’s nine legal mobile sportsbook operators. After a summer lull, betting figures to pick up considerably with the kickoff of the NFL season Thursday night in Los Angeles, as pro football is easily the most popular sport in the country for those seeking action.
For New Yorkers who didn’t sign up right away when the state launched legal sports betting in January, or for those looking to add a second, third, fourth, or even ninth sportsbook app to their devices, now is a pretty good time to shop for deals.
And despite all the gnashing of teeth about how the state’s 51% tax rate on mobile sports betting would scare operators away from offering enticing sign-up offers, they’re all dangling something to hook new customers. In some cases, those offers are tied directly to the start of the NFL season. In some cases, they’re not. And, yes, the tax rate is probably having some effect, as the sign-up offers in New York aren’t quite as generous as in neighboring states.
As Gary Rotstein pointed out over at Penn Bets, the best deals typically are labeled either “risk-free” or “second chance,” a promotion in which the sportsbook operator essentially gives the customer a chance to make up hundreds of dollars on a first losing wager, something akin to free wager insurance.
As always, read the terms and conditions and look for the proper code or opt-in button.
Eventually, once the market has been saturated sufficiently, sign-up offers will probably get slimmer in New York. So, while the pickings remain decent, let’s shop for the best sign-up offers being offered to New York bettors right now:
Caesars Sportsbook has settled in as the No. 3 operator in the state behind FanDuel and DraftKings, perhaps having lost its shot at greater market share with some technical difficulties at launch. But Caesars still seems intent on gaining as much new market share as it can, as it is offering the best sign-up bonus out there, giving bettors a chance to recoup up to $1,250.
As an example, a bettor could sign up for the bonus — using signup code NYOGFULL — wager up to $1,250 on the Bills -2.5 in their opener Thursday night and, if Buffalo doesn’t cover, the amount would be refunded to the account. One note of caution: A customer can’t withdraw that money, but instead must find a second wager to let it ride. If that customer wins the second wager, the winnings — but not the money that was refunded — will be placed in the user’s account.
The market leader in New York isn’t offering a bonus as lavish as Caesars’, but is still trying to lure new users with a decent incentive: up to $150 in free bets.
After signing up at FanDuel, a bettor simply deposits as little as $10 in their account, places a $5 bet and, win or lose, receives $150 in free bets. The free bet promotion replaces the company’s “no sweat first bet” offer and appears to be simpler to use. FanDuel has about 40% of the New York market locked up with all nine operators now live, so it will be interesting to see how the market plays out in the coming months, with the surge of NFL betting in full effect.
BetRivers, an Illinois-based operator, has a small footprint in New York, typically taking wagers that amount to less than one-tenth the handle of FanDuel, for instance. The sportsbook, owned by Rush Street Interactive, is offering a similar bonus to its bigger competitor: a $100 second chance bet.
Bettors simply sign up for a new account, make their first deposit, and place an initial bet. Then they’re on their way toward the joy and anguish of being a registered sports bettor. If the wager loses, BetRivers will credit the account with free bets equal to the lost wager, up to $100.
WynnBET, with an even smaller market share than BetRivers in New York, is offering $5 in free bets using the promo code XNYOGMAX. Sadly that’s not a typo, the WynnBET NY offer is just $5. But $5 is $5, right? An opening wager of $100+ will net you $5 in free bets to use on any market.