In October 2021, Connecticut’s two casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, launched online offerings as part of an expansion of gaming that all parties that signed off on. The primary goal was sports betting, like many states that have authorized it over the past couple of years, but online gaming was incorporated into the final proposal as well.
Foxwoods launched their partnership with DraftKings, while Mohegan Sun partnered with Fan Duel. Both offer both sports betting and online gaming offerings, so it’s understandable why those partners were selected.
Since that time I’ve shared a few of the biggest updates:
- DraftKings reset their comp model to be more similar to casinos with multiple tiers and various levels
- Fan Duel now lets you earn Momentum Dollars for your online play in Connecticut when you link accounts
But how have things evolved beyond that? I took another spin through both platforms and here’s where things stand.
Game Libraries Have Fleshed Out
Both sites have added to their game libraries. The most substantial of those additions has been games from Light and Wonder (formerly Scientific Games), so games like 88 Fortunes and Dancing Drums are now present on both sites.
DraftKings continues to have a larger library, featuring more providers and more overall games – nearly 2 to 1 slot-wise over Fan Duel, in fact. Clearly they’re adding games faster right now and so if you like variety will be a stronger choice from that perspective.
Part of the differentiator is DraftKings have their own games that are part of the mix, including a set of table games, which clearly Fan Duel wouldn’t have, but there’s other games that theoretically could be offered on Fan Duel and aren’t.
Promotions Differ in Scope
One of DraftKings’ best offerings is their leaderboards, which many of them give you a decent opportunity to place and win free credits. I also receive weekly offers from them that definitely seem to be because I’ve played more on DraftKings, but frankly offer much more upside potential as they allow you bigger chances to win. One thing I’ve noticed is they’re doing less daily promotions and more multi-day promotions, with the prizes adjusted accordingly, but it may reduce opportunities for those who would just target specific days for the best opportunities.
Fan Duel has a weekly game where you can play a certain amount to receive free credit (I’ve been seeing $50 wagered for $5 credit) and then has continued its daily/weekend promotions which rotate between things like no-risk promotions, play $x get $y, and progressive play offers where the more you wager, the more that is returned. Those in particular I like because they can have more upside as you play more, and you can stop when you hit a tier at which you are comfortable.
For both, you need to opt in to qualify for the various offers, and I’ve flirted with enough coin-in at DraftKings a few times to get VIP treatment, including a period where I was in their program. I also have had much, much better luck on DraftKings, being up to three handpays since October at this point (vs. one in a physical casino to call my own). I also recently got my first royal flush on DraftKings Video Poker (which happened to be my third handpay). So it has made it much easier to push that coin-in up.
The online games still have much stronger payback numbers than what has been reported to the state of Connecticut. For players, this is good because it means given the same amount of wagers, you should over time see better results online. Of course, as noted earlier, the comps potential will not be as strong overall. But the chances of winning will of course be better given the differential.
You won’t get the casino environment or the social aspects of being in a physical location, but full payback Video Poker and slots that pay 95-96% even on low bets is certainly an intriguing trade-off.
One thing to note, however – recently it looks like Fan Duel lowered the paybacks on Video Poker for multi-hand options to less than full pay. I checked Jacks or Better and found 9/5 on multi-hand while single hand was still 9/6. A friend of mine who plays other variations found a similar reduction on other games with which he is familiar, but this reduction was not the case on DraftKings, meaning you may find as a Video Poker player a better value at DraftKings.
I don’t find it as fun as a casino, and never really have, but given what I do here it does help to noodle with various games that also appear on casino floors for some additional exposure to accurately write on games, as well as review their pay tables. But when you get on a good run, the excitement you feel in a casino is always there.
For some players, it may be difficult to turn away from online slots when they’re so easily accessible, but when things aren’t working out I personally find it easier to put it down. With a casino, you’ve got a drive home to contend with, so calling it over is different than when you know you can go back online when you’re ready to resume (vs. what is for me two plus hours of driving round trip to my closest casinos). But I’m sure it’s not the same for everyone, especially those who are in closer proximity to the physical option.