Ranking Illinois Sportsbooks On Their Customer Support Live Chat Services

Written By Cole Rush on May 25, 2023
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Illinois sportsbooks vary in quality, especially when it comes to which ones have the best and fastest customer support live chat service.

I asked my friends who bet which Illinois sports betting operators they liked best. They all agreed that two Illinois sports betting sites rise above the rest: DraftKings and FanDuel. The remaining platforms have different setbacks and advantages. 

But those opinions were largely based on the user interface, odds and promos. I wanted to explore an oft-underlooked aspect of online sports betting: customer service. Namely, live chat. 

I contacted each IL online sportsbook around the same time of day with the same questions. I timed my encounters with each and took careful notes about the process and the quality of the agents’ responses. 

Criteria for ranking IL sportsbook live chat service

I asked each agent two questions:

  • What is the minimum deposit at your sportsbook?
  • How can I enable geolocation on a desktop?

I started a stopwatch as soon as I opened live chat service, then logged the initial wait time (how long it took for an agent to message me) and the total chat time. I also tracked any special requirements for getting help.

Before we get into it, note that your experience can and likely will vary depending on your issue and the timing of your request. Customer service agents are much busier during big events like NBA finals or NFL playoffs, for example. I contacted them during relatively slow weekdays. Still, it gave me a solid look at how each sportsbook’s live chat service works during a slow-ish time. 

1. Barstool Sportsbook: fastest overall

Time of day Tuesday, 12 p.m.
Initial wait time40 seconds
Requirements to get helpName, email, state
Total time spent chatting3 minutes
Quality of responsesFast, helpful

If you asked me to put money on a particular IL sportsbook to have the fastest live chat service, Barstool would’ve been near the bottom of my list. The platform proved me wrong, though. 

After filling out my name, email address, and selecting my state, an agent got in touch within 40 seconds. No more than three minutes later, the agent clarified Barstool’s minimum deposit and sent me a direct link to download desktop geolocation software. From top to bottom, this was the smoothest customer service experience I had at any IL sports betting site. 

2. Caesars: The royal treatment

Time of day Wednesday, 10:45 a.m.
Initial wait time20 seconds
Requirements to get helpName, email, state
Total time spent chatting3 minutes 38 seconds
Quality of responsesSpeedy, concise, fun

Most online sportsbooks have you interact with a chatbot before you can transfer to an agent. Caesars has the playfully named “Betty.” Betty had the minimum deposit locked and loaded. No other chatbot answered a question as directly as Betty did. 

For the geolocation question, Betty directed me to an agent, and I heard back in 20 seconds. The rep sent me download links for the geolocation plugin and I was outta there in under four minutes. The representative left me with a “Have a royal day!” Unnecessary? Yes. But I appreciate the little touch of branding. It made me smile. 

3. PointsBet: No barriers to entry

Time of day Monday, 12 p.m.
Initial wait time20 seconds
Requirements to get helpNone
Total time spent chatting4 minutes 25 seconds
Quality of responsesFast, answers not quite as helpful as other books

PointsBet doesn’t gatekeep its customer support like other sportsbooks. I didn’t have to submit any details; they pulled my account automatically, which saved me from needing to enter my details. 

An agent responded to my request in a lighting-fast 20 seconds. They were kind and helpful, sharing the minimum deposit only a few seconds later. 

The geolocation question was disappointing, though. It took about three minutes to hear back, and then the agent only told me to “try placing a bet” to trigger the geolocation error and then download the software. The more helpful approach would’ve been sending me links directly. I imagine this solution would generate more need for customer support, especially if someone went back, tried that method, and it didn’t work. 

Overall, though, PointsBet’s agent was kind and helpful. 

4. FanDuel: surprisingly middle-of-the-road

Time of day Monday, 12:30 p.m.
Initial wait time1 minute 15 seconds
Requirements to get helpName, email, product, state, subject, verification code via email
Total time spent chatting4 minutes 55 seconds
Quality of responsesConcise (often 1-2 words) but helpful

FanDuel falls in the middle, mainly because it takes a few steps just to get help. I chatted with FanDuel Coach, the chatbot before I could talk to an agent. Even then, I had to enter my name, email, state, topic of my request, and enter a verification code sent to my email. I understand the need for security, but this was a lot just to get a quick question answered. 

I waited just over a minute to speak with an agent, and they answered both of my questions concisely. No frills here, just the answers (often delivered as one word or a direct link). I have no complaints about the quality of the answers or help, and I was only in the chat for five minutes. The hurdles required to get there, though, make FanDuel fall a few spots below its competitors. 

5. DraftKings: Fast… at first

Time of day Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.
Initial wait time23 seconds
Requirements to get helpNone
Total time spent chatting6 minutes
Quality of responsesClear, concise, helpful

Once I got through DraftKings sportsbook’s chatbot, it took only 23 seconds for an agent to get in touch. From there, however, it was a two-ish minute wait for the agent to confirm my details. I didn’t have to re-enter any personal information, so it’s a trade-off. 

After confirming my account, the agent asked “Are you wondering what is the minimum amount you can put into your gaming wallet?” I clarified that yes, that was my question. This put me off, considering the initial question felt super clear. The agent confirmed the minimum deposit quickly after that. 

The geolocation question gave the agent no trouble. He took another few minutes to send me links to helpful pages that walked me through the download. 

6. BetRivers: Good, not great

Time of day Tuesday, 11 a.m.
Initial wait time1 minute 30 seconds
Requirements to get helpOne-time passcode sent to phone
Total time spent chatting6 minutes 15 seconds
Quality of responsesHelpful and to-the-point

I had to jump through a few hoops to get help at BetRivers.

First, the bot asked whether I wanted to “Create a case.” This is probably helpful for people with more focused or personal issues. Selecting “no” led me to an agent after I entered a one-time passcode sent to my phone. Once connected (90 seconds later), I had to retype my question. The agent answered the deposit question instantly. The geolocation question took about two minutes, and even then the agent said “One moment while I confirm this with our team.” Another minute later, they sent links to download the software. 

7. BetMGM: Slow and tedious

Time of day Wednesday, 11 a.m.
Initial wait time50 seconds
Requirements to get helpName and date of birth
Total time spent chatting6 minutes 30 seconds
Quality of responsesSlow but helpful

BetMGM asked for my name and date of birth after a 50-second wait time. The agent took a full three minutes to verify my account, then said “There are no deposit limits on your account.” 

I clarified that I was looking for the minimum deposit, and they quickly answered. Geolocation took a few minutes, but the agent sent the links. No frills, no nonsense. 

To be ultra-clear: none of this experience was bad. It was just slower than the other IL sportsbooks.

Illinois sportsbook live chat service trends

I noticed a handful of trends in my live chat experiment. 

First, simple questions or issues will usually yield a fast response and satisfactory result. I never chatted for longer than seven minutes in total. 

Second, agents were almost always kind and friendly. Some sportsbooks keep things all business. They’ll answer your question and keep it simple. Others have a little flair, like Caesars with its branded messages. 

Finally, you should expect to provide some sort of detail to confirm you are who you say you are. It’s a necessary evil to keep your information safe. 

Cole Rush Avatar
Written by
Cole Rush

Cole Rush writes words. A lot of them. Most of those words can be found in gambling publications such as PlayIllinois, iGaming Business, Gaming Today, Bonus.com, MidwestSharp.com, ICE 365, and IGB North America. Cole also covers pop culture and books for Tor.com and TheQuillToLive.com. Cole has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

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