It’s been about six weeks now since Connecticut iGaming has launched. In my earliest review, I posted about how DraftKings (partnered with Foxwoods) had the edge in my mind. That sentiment has held on, for a few reasons, although I know other players who have kept going with Fan Duel (partnered with Mohegan Sun).
For me, the reasons were pretty clear:
- DraftKings’ deposit bonus was a better potential bet than FanDuel. FanDuel required you to lose to get a bonus, and so you were already behind the curve. Theoretically, with DraftKings your deposit bonus could be kept, win or lose, as long as you completed the requirements. That was more attractive.
- DraftKings took a swing and offered some VIP offers right away to see who would bite. As it overlaid with the initial deposit bonus and other offers running concurrently, I did, two weeks in a row, and ended up with a VIP representative for a four week window where they sent me more offers. I now am being assigned a full-time account representative and continue to qualify for more offers.
- DraftKings offers have covered all sorts of scenarios – deposit bonuses, loss rebates, play x and get y, etc. Sometimes they’ve overlapped too. If they seemed outside my comfort zone or not an offer that interested me, I didn’t worry about it. But enough did.
- DraftKings ended their old players club program at the end of October, but replaced it with a new one built around its crowns and launched it in November. I tiered up and now get offers for that tier, along with crown bonuses based on how many I earned each month. That works out effectively to extra comps, even if it’s only a little bit more. And the extra offers never hurt.
- I’ve managed to get significantly ahead in my early days on DraftKings, aided by two hand pay-level hits I got. For contrast, I’ve only got one solo handpay in my life, one I got in July. So this has been an unusual year. But being well ahead makes it easier to push for completing offers and other things like that.
- Fan Duel I never got into any sort of offers territory – I found some random small amounts thrown into my account which may have connected with something, but never saw any emails.
- Fan Duel was also more technically glitchy overall for me. I had login issues at one point (for days I could not get into my account), and was getting a lot of “you must turn on two factor authentication” to play emails and app alerts even though it’s been on since day one.
Ultimately my earliest observations continue to bear out. DraftKings seemed a bit more on the ball, and that has continued. Still to come are the ties to the reward programs, which I expect will happen at some point, and the continued rollout of games from other companies, such as Scientific Games, which had a handful of its games pop up in late November.
The games continue to show paybacks in the 94-96% range. Scientific Games’ offerings also list payouts, like IGT, and the ones I checked were all in the 96 percent range. But they also posted some of their volatile games, so you still get those swings.
I do feel like I notice the difference playing a 94-96% game vs. a sub-90% game in the casino, above and beyond the handpays. The number of 100x wins seems much higher, for instance. The amount of coin-in I’m able to do as a rule online vs. in a casino on a given budget is quite different as well. There are certainly times when I go on the downswing, as well as the upswing, but those times feel more balanced overall.
So while I continue to tinker with online games and how they factor into my gambling future, I think the ability for them to payout more often might lead me to play them a bit more often as I might’ve first considered. I still don’t find them as actually going to the casino, but I find a carefully budgeted session (good advice for any casino trip, physical or online) can still be fun when managed carefully, and it’s hard to turn down strong offers when they’re presented.