Barstool Sportsbook only had three weeks to sign up customers online in Illinois earlier this year, and it’s offering a very generous Chicago Bears promotion in an effort to get people out to Hollywood Aurora Casino.
In order to sign up for Barstool, you must visit the Hollywood Casino in Aurora in person. Between now and Sunday’s Bears game against the Browns, all new users can get +1,985 odds on the Bears spread for a maximum bet of $100.
More>>>How to validate your online sportsbook account registration at an Illinois sportsbook near you.
Currently, the Chicago Bears are a against Cleveland. For someone who bets $100 and wins, the wager would net $1,985 in combined cash and site credit.
The site credit distinction is key. That means most of the cash is not immediately withdrawable if the bet hits. Any additional profits earned with the +1,985 boost will be paid out in site credit.
There is a one-time playthrough requirement, meaning winners would have to bet the additional site credit winnings. Once they do, they can withdraw whatever is leftover if they choose.
To further entice Illinoisans to make the trek to Hollywood Aurora, Dave Portnoy and other prominent Barstool personalities will be at casino on Sunday:
The Bears-Browns game will begin at 12 p.m. CST. Chicago head coach Matt Nagy confirmed on Wednesday that Justin Fields will get his first NFL start.
Based on all that’s at stake, it’s likely going to be a rowdy environment at the Hollywood Aurora on Sunday.
Barstool in a tough position in Illinois
This is one of the most significant promotional offers we’ve seen in Illinois. And based on Barstool’s current standing in IL, it has to be aggressive if it wants to start competing with the top sportsbooks in the state.
There are six online sportsbooks in Illinois. Barstool typically finishes fifth in handle and revenue behind DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and PointsBet and Caesars.
All of those sportsbooks had much more time to register users online than Barstool. Barstool launched on March 11, and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker brought back in-person registration in early April. Its competitors launched in either the summer or fall of 2020.
While that’s partially bad luck for Barstool in Illinois, it’s also self-induced. Had Barstool been ready to launch earlier, it would have a better Illinois business.
Stoolies are riding with Justin Fields
Fields will start his first NFL game against the Browns. He had an up-and-down performance in relief against the Bengals, but he got little help from his teammates or coaching staff.
With a full week to prepare the offense with Fields as the starter, Bears fans (and bettors) are hoping to see an offensive scheme more tailored to his mobile skillset.
Even if you’re a Bears fan who isn’t taking advantage of the 1985 promotion, this is one of the most important games for the team in quite a while.
More>>> Justin Fields Rookie of the Year odds tracker
Fields has a chance to be the best quarterback in franchise history, which is not hyperbole. Obviously, the bar is quite low, and his Sunday performance won’t tell us that much about his future in Chicago.
But there will be plenty of eyeballs on Bears vs. Browns lines this Sunday for several reasons.
Bet Bears-Lions at another Illinois sportsbook
Barstool is not the only Illinois sportsbook offering NFL promos this week.
PointsBet also has an enticing sign-up offer. All new users will get a bonus bet of up to $2,000 upon registering. PointsBet in Illinois has three sign-up locations in Chicagoland area in Stickney, Prospect Heights and Crestwood.
DraftKings and FanDuel, meanwhile, are each offering bonus same-game NFL parlays this week.
With that said, the offers are not the same. At DraftKings, the maximum bet is $25 and the parlay only needs to have two legs or more.
FanDuel, meanwhile, is a maximum $10 bet and requires at least a three-leg parlay.
Finally, DraftKings is offering a 20% profit boost on every NFL game this week except for Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football.