FanDuel Dishing Out Free Money To Illinois Sports Bettors Amid Launch

Written By Joe Boozell on August 31, 2020 - Last Updated on February 25, 2021

FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook launched in Illinois on Friday, the third online offering in the Prairie State.

FanDuel joins DraftKings and BetRivers in what soon may be a crowded field. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently lifted the in-person registration requirement until at least Sept. 19, so these next few weeks could have lasting effects on the market.

As expected, FanDuel is aggressively pursuing Illinois sports bettors right off the bat.

Here’s what FanDuel Sportsbook has to offer in Illinois.

$500 bonus bet, free $50 for new and existing users

New users can place a bet of up to $500, and if they lose, they will be refunded in site credit. If they win, the money is theirs.

According to the promotion’s official terms and conditions, the bonus bet ends on Aug. 31. But given the possibility that mobile registration could end on Sept. 19, don’t be surprised if the offer is extended.

FanDuel is also offering new Illinois sports bettors a free $50 for signing up. Last week, existing users were likely happy to receive an email about a “manual adjustment” made to their accounts, adding $50 to the balance.

As an incentive to spread the word, FanDuel is also dishing out a $50 referral bonus. So if someone registers for the book using your link, you both get $50 in site credit.

Also worth noting: On the day that FanDuel launched in Illinois, DraftKings just so happened to offer existing users a free $50 bet.

The competition is real.

Lucrative individual line boosts

FanDuel has been live for about three days in Illinois, and it’s already offered two substantial line boosts.

On Friday, FD gave users the chance to bet $50 on the Cubs to score at least one run at even odds. The bet cashed with Anthony Rizzo’s home run in the first inning against the Reds.

For Sunday’s Clippers-Mavericks game, FanDuel boosted the Clippers’ odds to +99 at -110. So, opportunistic users who bet the maximum of $50 essentially walked away with $45.45 for free.

It’s an educated guess to say that there will likely be more of these in the near future. Illinois sports bettors ought to keep their eyes peeled.

Road to 55 IL bonus

FanDuel is offering users an enticing futures option, too.

Place a Super Bowl futures bet of $50 or more, and FanDuel will award you $5 for each regular-season win with a limit of $50.

So, let’s say you put $50 on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl right now. If they win 10 games but don’t win the Super Bowl, you’ll break even.

You wouldn’t profit if the Chiefs won, say, 12 games but failed to repeat as champions due to the $50 limit. But it’s a nice incentive to place a futures wager nonetheless.

FanDuel lines a welcomed addition to Illinois market

BetRivers Sports and DraftKings were the only online Illinois books before FanDuel’s launch, and both use Kambi odds. DK will move on from Kambi by 2021, but before Friday, Illinois sports bettors looking to shop for the best prices were simply out of luck.

Retail books have the same issue, as five of Illinois’ six brick-and-mortar sportsbooks use Kambi odds.

FanDuel is online-only for now, but it doesn’t use Kambi odds, a breath of fresh air for line shoppers.

While it remains to be seen how many bettors will actively search for the best lines, you’d have to think that at least a decent chunk will.

Those people are also looking forward to PointsBet’s Illinois launch, which looks like it could happen quite soon.

A quick word on the platforms themselves, too. When BetRivers was the only mobile book in Illinois, its lack of an iOS app didn’t seem like a huge deal.

With FanDuel and DraftKings now live in the Land of Lincoln, the difference is noticeable. The BR mobile browser doesn’t load  as quickly as FD or DK, and subjectively, the apps have a more modern feel.

BetRivers says its iOS app is coming soon. But as the Illinois competition ramps up, so do consumer expectations.

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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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