Review of DraftKings.com
DraftKings.com is an innovative up and coming site that is making big waves in the fantasy sports betting industry, and clearly giving the competition a lot to think about. What sets DraftKings apart, however, is that it caters not just to seasoned players, but to beginners and is probably the better of the two sites for those just getting their feet wet in this form of gambling.
Since legalized traditional sports betting is currently an option in only a few states, Draftkings.com, which is 100% legal, provides an alternative way for sports fans to bet real money on their favorite sports without fear of breaking the law. If the site addresses the weaknesses mentioned above, especially in the two areas in which Fanduel clearly excels, loyalty rewards and Customer Support, Draftkings can only get better.
DraftKings.com, with headquarters, in Boston, MA, is a relatively new addition to online fantasy sports betting, having been established in 2012. But in just a few years, it is making its presence felt in a big way. DraftKings is second only to Fanduel.com in popularity, a site which has been around twice as long, and DraftKings is obviously patterned after, which is understandable, if it is to remain competitive.
Like Fanduel, DraftKings offers bettors not only the opportunity to use skill and strategy to try to draft ideal teams, but the incomparable thrill and excitement of contests that are decided the very same day. Then, after all that, there is the additional opportunity even after a disappointing outcome to completely make up for it the next day with a brand new lineup of players.
DraftKings.com has grown tremendously in popularity as a result of heavy TV and radio advertising and online marketing. The site paid out over $200 million in winnings in 2014. Contributing to that impressive figure were four Draft Kings NFL fantasy football contests with $1M as the first prize.
Another noteworthy accomplishment in 2014 was the acquisition of both DraftStreet and StarStreet. With these two moves, DraftKings.com has firmly secured its position as one of the top two sites offering daily fantasy sports, giving longtime leader Fanduel.com a run for its money.
- Acclaimed provider of daily fantasy sports
- Featured in Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Business Wire, Forbes, and Tech Crunch
- Daily cash games and frequent guaranteed tournaments
- Play for free or for real money
- Generous Welcome Bonus
- Ideal for both beginners and experienced players
- Mobile apps for players on the go
Bonuses and Promotions 9 /10
On top of all of the regularly scheduled games and tournaments this site offers, the special promotions are also virtually nonstop. Many of them have mind boggling prizes that will make your mouth water. In fact, DraftKings.com started off 2017 with a bang with a massive $2.7 million guaranteed January Jam consisting of no less than six separate tournaments (NFL, NBA, NHL, Soccer, PGA, and College Basketball), each with a hefty $100 entry fee. However, players can win a tournament ticket via satellite for a little as 25 cents. Each ticket gains you entry for one tournament. The $2 million guaranteed NFL Millionaire Maker tournament took place on January 10, but there might still be time to enter the $500,000 guaranteed NBA Slam Dunk on January 28th with a top prize of $100,000. But don’t worry, there will be many more opportunities to compete for enormous cash prizes in other major tournaments all year long.
One of those could be, for some lucky players, an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas plus a free ticket for this year’s WSOP Main Event. In 2014, Draft Kings partnered with the WSOP to offer a VIP package including airfare, entry into the WSOP Main Event and six nights at the Aria Hotel and Casino. Satellites were available for just $2, giving anyone a chance at winning.
Another great special promotion and one that never expires is Refer a Friend. Receive a share of each friend’s entry fees in the form of DraftKing Dollars that you can use as your own entry fees for contests of your choice. If you refer two new people each month, you receive 35% of each friend’s entry fees (otherwise 20%).
Like virtually every other gambling website these days, DraftKings.com has a hard-to-resist Welcome Bonus waiting for all new real money players when they first sign up with the site. But DraftKings really goes the extra mile to make sure that everyone signing up has plenty of ammunition to fire away on their hand-picked fantasy teams. The especially generous Welcome Bonus consists of a 100% match bonus up to $600 on your first deposit.
Naturally, DraftKings, just like any other online gambling site, is in business to make a profit, and it would quickly go broke if it were to simply hand over all of this money and let you withdraw it without having you earn it with your play. So don’t expect any immediate handouts.
We believe in writing unbiased, honest reviews, and this DraftKings review is no different. It is important to fully understand how the Welcome Bonus works; while big bonuses are great for giving you more money to play with, the bigger the bonus, the more money you will have to spend out of your earn pocket to qualify. The DraftKings Welcome Bonus is released from its initial pending status in increments of $1 for every 100 Frequent Player Points (FPPs) earned.
You earn these points every time you play in real money contests. Thus, to clear a $100 bonus, a player would have to earn $10,000 FPPs. To clear the maximum bonus of $600, a player would have to earn $60,000 FPPs. Meeting these requirements for a big bonus will entail a lot of play, so think about that before you accept the maximum bonus and only do so if you can afford the substantial amount of betting that is required. Otherwise, make a smaller deposit and be content with a smaller bonus. The minimum deposit is only $5.
Keep in mind that the number of FPPs awarded for your play in each instance depends on the type of contest. The more contests you participate in and the more money you spend, the more FPPs you earn. Players have 4 months to clear the bonus.
In addition to the generous Welcome Bonus, all new players receive a free ticket worth $2 for the game of their choice. But that’s not all. In 2014, DraftKings.com acquired DraftStreet and StarStreet. If you have an account with either or both of those sites, DraftKings is offering you a double bonus.
First, just for transferring, you get a 100% transfer bonus up to $600 or the current Draftstreet or StarSheet pending bonus, whichever is larger, plus a $2 contest entry ticket. Then, on top of the transfer bonus, former DraftStreet and StarStreet customers will be eligible for the regular Welcome Bonus of up to $600 and another free $2 ticket the first time they deposit new money directly to their DraftKings account.
Banking Options 9.8 /10
You don’t have a lot of deposit and withdrawal options at DraftKings.com, just a few basic ones. The deposit options include MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, PayPal, and the ewallet method calledDwolla.
Winning players get paid in real cash as soon as the competition is over. DraftKings will first, insofar as possible, use the same method as for depositing, then, if necessary release the money by PayPal or by check. Withdrawals are processed Monday to Friday only, 9-5. Withdrawals by credit card and PayPal take up to 3 days for processing and usually from 2-7 days to be posted to your account. Checks by mail take up to a week to receive.
Banking at DraftKings could be better. Other methods should be made available for both deposits and withdrawals.
Software and Games
As a leading provider of weekly fantasy football and weekly and daily other fantasy sports, DraftKings.com offers a wide variety of both free and real money contests in different types of games. If you are new to fantasy sports gambling, you probably should ease into it slowly. At Draft Kings, you can do exactly that by taking advantage of their offer to start playing for free even before you make your first deposit. Then, as soon as you feel you have the hang of the game, you can switch to real money wagers.
DraftKings satisfies the cravings of even the most diehard fantasy sport fans by offering daily and weekly fantasy sport contests for real cash prizes in all of the major sports: NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and PGA, plus college football and basketball. Mostly, you will be betting on daily leagues with no season-long commitment at all. Unlike in the real leagues, you are never out of contention because every day you can start fresh.
Your first task is to choose your contest and decide whether you want to play for free or for real money. You also need to specify the type of competition you want. You can compete head-to-head, against a small number of players (such as 5, 10, or 20), or in tournaments against a large number of players.
Then you draft your team, using the abundant information available to you online to build the strongest lineup possible without exceeding the allotted salary caps. You have a total of $50,000 to spend to fill up your roster of players any way you like. The draft should take just a few minutes to complete, and when game time arrives, you can watch the action live on your computer or mobile phone. Instead of season long leagues dragging out for months, all contests on DraftKings.com are completed quickly. If you win, your account is instantly credited as soon as the contest is over. A 10% rake is taken out for games costing $22 or less, which decreases for higher stakes games.
Entry fees for real money games range from just 25 cents all the way to $5,000. Games run the gamut from 1 on 1 contests paying out a couple of dollars to major tournaments with a $1 million or greater guaranteed prize pool.
If you are away from home when you want to bet on or watch a game, no problem at all. You can do both on your cell phone. The DraftKings apps are optimized for play on both Apple iOS mobile phones and tablets and Android devices. So if you own an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or smartphone, you can access the same real time fantasy sports and play for real cash as on your computer anytime and anywhere you want.
All of the contests currently available for entry are listed in the Lobby, along with the number of entrants, entry fee, prize pool, and when in real time the game will take place. You can enter either games scheduled for the same day or for the indicated later date.
Weekdays typically bring about 3,000 users to the site, and weekends, especially during football season, attract many more. But whenever you choose to log on, finding a cash game or tournament that is just right for you is never a problem.
Players on DraftKings.com will be immediately impressed by the visually appealing, easy-to-navigate software. Even if gambling on real time fantasy sports is a new venture for you, you won’t be intimidated because all of the instructions are clearly laid out, including those for downloading.
One thing the website was not forthcoming about was minimum system requirements. Also it is not specified whether or not the software is compatible with Mac and Linux computers and whether you can play in a no download flash version. Customer Support should be able to answer such questions, if important to you, but you will have to wait for a response via email.
The DraftKings software offers several new special features, like updated weather forecasts and daily official confirmed lineups, which can be a big help to you in selecting the lineups for your team. You can use the additional information to adjust your DraftKings strategy accordingly.
Another great feature is your ability to make late swipes on your team lineups. Unlike other sites, which lock the rosters as soon as the first game of the day starts, at Draft Kings, you can edit your lineups all day long until each individual player’s game starts. You can make adjustments based on late lineup changes even after the first game of the day has started.
More good news is that you are not tied down to your own home computer every time you want to enjoy the DraftKings.com real time fantasy sports. You can satisfy your urge for DraftKings fantasy football, or fantasy basketball, National Hockey League or Major League Baseball wherever and whenever you like thanks to the Draft Kings mobile apps. Using your smartphone or other mobile device, you have access to the same contests lobby (updated in real time) as computer players. You can also deposit funds, edit lineups from within the app, and invite friends to play on DraftKings.com
The app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch is available on iTunes. This app is optimized for iPhone 6. The current version was updated in Feb 2017, with a new version for iPhone 7 and 7+ forthcoming.
In 2014, DraftKings also released an app for Android devices. As of Feb 2017, this app was also updated to offer new improved features. For example, you can use the app to create contests and view game logs. Both the DraftKings Android and Apple iOS apps can be downloaded on the mobile Apps Landing Page on DraftKings.com.
DraftKings.com accepts players from both the U.S. and Canada. In fact, these are the only two nationalities which have access to this website. Since fantasy sports is considered a game of skill, the U.S. Government does not have a problem with it. Users must be at least 18 years of age (19 in Alabama and Nebraska). Only residents of Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, and Washington are not allowed to play for real cash prizes.
Multi Player Options
DraftKings is one site where you will never run out of playing options. Besides head-to-head games, the site offers numerous different ways to compete against multiple players, including all of the following.
- Multi-Match Head-to-Head Tournaments: One entry gives you 20 separate head-to-head matchups. 20 out of the 21 people entered in the tournament (all but last place win something.
- Leagues: Play against two or more opponents.
- 50-50s: The top half of the entrants win prizes.
- Guaranteed Prize Pool Contests: While fantasy football is the biggest draw to the site, Draft Kings also offers guaranteed tournaments in all of the other major sports. For example, in 2014, DraftKings.com held a $3.32 million + guaranteed Fantasy Major League Baseball Championship, with $1M going to the winner.
- Qualifier Contests: Chance to win tickets for free entry into a higher stakes contest.
- Multipliers: Chance to win up to 3 to 10x your entry fee.
- Step Tournaments: Each successive step offers a chance to advance by winning a ticket to the next level. There are four steps in all, with the top prize $200. Entry can be at any of the four steps. The lower the step where you enter, the lower the cost, but the more matchups you have to win to get the $200. You can start at step 1 for just $2 and try to work your way up. (Or enter at step 2 for $7, Step 3 for $25, or Step 4 for $88).
- Beginner Contests: Play against other beginners in up to 50 contests for each sport.
- Freeroller: These contests have no entry fee. Winnings are paid in the form of DraftKing Dollars or entry tickets to other tournaments. DraftKing Dollars are not withdrawable. They are the equivalent of a gift card that can be used for entering in real money contests on the site. However, all payout for real money contests are paid out in real cash.
Both freerolls and real money contests are held daily so there is almost always something going on. In fact, the site is a hubbub of so much activity that you may have a tough time choosing.
Also keep in mind that many of the tournaments with guaranteed prize pools don’t fill up. So there are some great overlays to be had.
Management & Integrity
DraftKings.com has not been existence very long, but during its few years of operation has repeatedly demonstrated that it is a reputable site that treats its customers fairly.
The site has shown tremendous growth and is running neck and neck with the more firmly established Fanduel.com, a feat it could not possibly achieve if were not running a completely aboveboard operation and, in addition, giving its customers what they want. DraftKings is featured in multiple highly regarded publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Business Wire, Forbes, and Tech Crunch. To date, DraftKings has paid out over $200 million in winnings. The site uses advanced encryption technology to maintain safety and security, and from all indications, customers are very pleased with the quality of the service.
It is nice, too, that DraftKings is making an effort to meet the needs of all levels of players, including the less experienced and those with small bankrolls. While the big ticket games are there for those who want them and can afford them, the inclusion of Beginner games and in depth information to help inexperienced users improve shows responsible behavior on the part of Management.
Lastly, after acquiring DraftStreet.com and StarStreet.com, the site did not have to offer special incentives to transferring players, let alone a double bonus. This is another strong indication of this site’s integrity.
Things to Improve
As already mentioned in this Draftkings.com review, the three areas where this site is in most need of improvement are banking, Customer Support, and loyalty rewards. It is great that players are offered a large Welcome Bonus upon joining. But rewarding frequent players for their loyalty with extra perks and rewards makes good business sense because it gives those customers a good incentive for coming back to play often instead of looking elsewhere. Hopefully, DraftKings.com will work on these shortcomings and thereby make this excellent fantasy sports betting website even better and a place where players can truly feel like a King or Queen of the Draft.
If you have any questions or concerns, Customer Support is available to help you, but by email only. This means waiting for a response which could take more than a day, as opposed to live chat and phone service where you can receive the needed help immediately. Furthermore, Customer Support is only offered Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST and weekends from10 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. The limited Customer Support is one of the few areas where this DraftKings.com review finds that the website doesn’t measure up. Players are logged on to the site 24/7 and questions and problems can arise at any time, so anything less than 24/7 Customer Support, including immediate service via live chat and phone, is unacceptable.
Live Chat Support
We love that they have an easy to use site that is available for mobile devices. Additionally, the daily winning potential is spectacular. Draftkings is more than just a sportsbook site, it is also engaging and very informative. If you want to be in the know and feel you’re an armchair quarterback then Draftkings is the best way to become the one in the know.