Comparing NFL Week 1 Ohio Sportsbook Promos To Other States

Written By Mike Breen on September 14, 2023 - Last Updated on September 15, 2023
Week1 NFL promos at Ohio sportsbooks

With the recent start of the NFL season, Ohioans are once again seeing a steady stream of marketing messages from sportsbooks promoting their latest specials offers and bonuses.

Ohio sportsbooks spent big on offers to attract new customers in the first few months following the Buckeye State’s launch of sports betting on Jan. 1.

Sports betting volume generally dies down during the summer following the football and basketball seasons. But Ohio sportsbook promos ramp up again once the NFL starts.

Ohio sports betting isn’t even nine months old, but it’s the first full NFL season of betting. Here’s how the state’s current sportsbook promos compare to those in other states and those offered in Ohio earlier this year.

Bet365 offering lucrative new customer promo in several states

A good place to start comparing Ohio sports betting promos to other states is Bet365 Ohio. The U.K.-based operator has drawn a lot of attention with its persistent promotional spending in Ohio. The spending helped Bet365 regularly rank third in revenue and handle, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s monthly reports.

To kickoff the NFL season, Bet365 appears to be doubling down on its promo spending in Ohio with its current “Bet $1, get $365 in bonus bets” offer for new users.

It’s one of the best offers in the state. Even better than the company’s “Bet $1, get $200 in bonus bets” from the state’s launch in January.

The “Bet $1, get $365” new customer promo is also being offered to Kentucky customers. The Bluegrass State launches online sports betting on Sept. 28, three weeks after retail.

Users in Kentucky who pre-register with Bet365 before the launch will also receive $10 in bonus bets for every touchdown scored in the Sept. 28 Packers/Lions game (up to $50). So Kentucky bettors stand to have up to $415 in bonus bets loaded into their accounts by the state’s second day of sports betting.

The generous “Bet $1, get $365” new customer offer is also available in the other states where bet365 operates, including Iowa, Colorado, Virginia and New Jersey. The move suggests the sportsbook is going big in its push to expand its market share as it did in Ohio.

FanDuel, DraftKings new user offers haven’t changed much since January

DraftKings Ohio and FanDuel Ohio are the state’s market leaders. They are essentially offering the same promos for new users they have been offering in the state since January.

DraftKings still gives new users in Ohio $50 in bonus bets with their first deposit, plus $200 in bonus bets with their cash wager of $5 or more. New DraftKings users’ first deposit is also matched 20% up to $1,000. There are play-through requirements before bonus money can be withdrawn.

Like its counterpart, FanDuel’s new user offer is similar to its January promotion. New customers get $200 in bonus bets with their first bet of $5 or more.

But FanDuel has added a special new user incentive for the start of the NFL season — $100 off an NFL Sunday Ticket subscription. The NFL Sunday Ticket offer is only available until Sept. 18.

DraftKings and FanDuel’s sign-up offers are the same in all markets they operate, although DraftKings’ deposit match is not available in Massachusetts.

BetMGM, Caesars offer bonus bets for new Ohio customers

BetMGM Ohio altered its Ohio sign-up bonus from its launch-time offers. Previously, BetMGM offered to return in bonus bets a new customer’s first-bet loss of up to $1,000.

Now, BetMGM pays back a first-bet loss in bonus bets up to $1,500.

Additionally, the company awards new Ohio users $50 in bonus bets after their first bet is settled regardless of the outcome. BetMGM’s pre-launch offer in Ohio included $200 in bet credits just for signing up.

The current BetMGM offers for new customers in Ohio are the same as in other states in which the sportsbook is available.

Caesars Sportsbook Ohio currently has a welcome offer in which new customers who bet $50 receive $250 in bonus bets. The offer is also available in Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and other states where Caesars operates.

Caesars’ pre-launch promo in Ohio offered up to $1,250 back in bet credits if a new user’s first bet lost and a $100 bet credit with a deposit of $20 or more.

Betway Ohio offers different than those in other states

Betway Ohio offers new users $150 in bonus bet credits with a first bet of $50 or more.

That’s a different welcome offer than in some of the other states in which Betway is available. In states like Colorado, Arizona and Indiana, Betway offers new customers a “First Bet Reset.” The promo refunds a new user’s first-bet loss in bet credits up to $250.

Ohio Betway users also can’t participate in the sportsbook’s “Anytime TD Multiplier” promotion, which awards bonus bets (up to $200) with each additional touchdown scored by the player that the bettor wager on to score a TD anytime during the game.

Ohio and New Jersey appear to be the only states in which Betway doesn’t offer the promo.

BetRivers offer for Ohio less than in some other states

New users of BetRivers Ohio (as well as the majority of the other 15 states in which the sportsbook is available) can currently take advantage of the sportsbook’s “Second Chance Bet” promo, where, if your first bet loses, the sportsbook issues bonus bets matching the value of the initial wager, up to $100.

But BetRivers has a Second Chance Bet deal for new players in New Jersey that ups the first-bet losses refundable in bonus bets to $250.

And in Virginia, Louisiana, Illinois and Maryland, new users receive bonus bets of up to $500 on their first-bet loss.

Fanatics, PointsBet jersey offer not available in Ohio

Fanatics Sportsbook and PointsBet Sportsbook (which Fanatics acquired earlier this year) are taking a unique approach to new user promos. Neither sportsbook is offering a traditional welcome bonus.

Instead, when a new customer places their first bet of at least $50 with odds of -500 or longer, they receive a $150 promotional credit to buy a jersey (or “other gear of choice”) on Fanatics online sports merchandise store.

The $150 merchandise offer is available to new customers in every state that allows Fanatics and PointsBet, even Ohio’s neighbor to the south, Kentucky.

However, the offer is likely unavailable in Ohio (where PointsBet and Fanatics are both available) due to an incident in May.

Fanatics was awarding bonus bets to be used on its sportsbook to all customers of its retail e-commerce store, but stopped once it was pointed out that the promotion could possibly expose the company’s sportsbook product to underage customers. The Ohio Casino Control Commission reportedly contacted Fanatics to have the promotion removed.

Sportsbooks have gone big on promotional spending in Ohio

In January alone, when bettors in the state were first able to wager on sports legally, Ohio online sportsbooks spent $319 million on promotions while posting revenue of $206 million for the month.

In Ohio’s first seven months of sports betting, online sports betting operators spent nearly half a billion dollars on promotions while generating $563 million in revenue.

This NFL season is the first full one that Ohioans have been able to bet on games. As such, the overall sports betting handle in the state should spike again in the final few months of the year. As seen with some of the current new user promos,  promotional spending appears to follow suit.

Photo by AP Photo / Matt Slocum
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Mike Breen

Mike Breen covers Ohio’s budding sports betting industry for PlayOhio, focusing on online sportsbooks and the state’s responsible gambling initiatives. He has over two decades of experience covering sports, news, music, arts and culture in Ohio.

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