BetMGM is the product of Roar Digital, the holding company formed after MGM Resorts International joined forces with GVC Holdings PLC to target online sports betting and gambling opportunities in the US.
MGM Resorts International should be a name familiar to most as one of the world’s major land-based casino developers, but GVC Holdings is also a heavyweight in its own industry – online gambling. Together, MGM Resorts and GVC bring a variety of complementary features to the table, most notably name recognition and market access via MGM and online gaming expertise via GVC.
Together, MGM Resorts and GVC offer online sports betting in several states under the BetMGM banner and we anticipate Illinois will be added to that list soon. BetMGM is flush with cash thanks to capital infusions totaling more than $350 million to date and should have little issue finding a land-based partner for market access.
Our BetMGM Illinois review will proceed under the assumption that an announcement is likely to come sooner or later. BetMGM is already live in five other states and the experience is largely the same across the board, making it a simple matter to provide a preview of what’s to come in Illinois.
The BetMGM Rundown
- Established: 2018
- Mobile Apps: iOS and Android
- Website: BetMGM.com
- Sports Covered: Professional US leagues, college sports and international sports
- Welcome Bonus: Risk Free Bet up to $500
- Bonus Code: None needed
- License Status: BetMGM has not yet applied for an IL license
BetMGM Illinois Launch Date
BetMGM has not yet detailed what plans it has for Illinois.
However, the company’s aggressive growth strategy has led it to launch in five states to date and strike wide-ranging deals with the likes of Yahoo Sports and Buffalo Wild Wings. It is safe to say BetMGM is not at all gun-shy when it comes to expansion.
There’s also the fact that Illinois is an attractive market with a large population and reasonable tax rate. With those things in mind, there is no reason to believe BetMGM will do anything but seek to enter Illinois at some point.
We will know the launch of BetMGM Illinois is imminent once it clears two key hurdles. First, BetMGM needs to find a local casino to partner with for market access as required by state law. MGM Resorts International sold its last Illinois property in 2018 but does have a market access agreement in place with Boyd Gaming that could come in handy. Boyd operates the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria.
Second, BetMGM itself must apply for and receive a management services provider license from the Illinois Gaming Board. Each online gaming company that partners with an IL casino for mobile sports betting must hold such a license.
BetMGM could in theory opt to just wait 18 months to apply for one of three online-only licenses the state will issue next year, but that is not a particularly attractive option. We believe it is more likely BetMGM Illinois will partner with one of the state’s land-based casinos in order to go live much sooner.
BetMGM Illinois Bonus
If and when BetMGM comes to Illinois, it will likely bring with it the same welcome bonus offered to customers in other states as described below.
New Customers: Risk Free Bet Up to $500
BetMGM Sportsbook offers new customers a first bet refund offer worth up to $500. New users can claim this offer by signing up for an account, making a deposit of at least $10 and placing their first wager either through the mobile app or website.
If the first wager is a winner, winnings are paid as normal and no bonus is given. If the first wager is a loser, BetMGM will refund it with up to $500 in free bets.
BetMGM’s description of this as a “risk free” bet is slightly inaccurate in our opinion because the refund is issued as free bets that cannot be withdrawn. However, any winnings obtained by wagering the risk-free bet may be withdrawn as normal after the bonus is rolled over twice.
BetMGM introduces new promotions on a regular basis, often related to the popular sports that are in season at the time. Below is a random sampling of offers that were available at the time this review was written, but keep in mind these offers change often.
- MLB Parlay Specials: To celebrate the return of Major League Baseball, BetMGM hosted this promotion in which pre-made parlays were constructed and offered to customers with enhanced payouts.
- Multi-Sport Parlay Boost: The multi-sport parlay boost enhances the payouts of winning parlays by up to 40% when customers place parlays consisting of 4-7 legs.
- Hit the Cycle: BetMGM hosted a series of four missions each week during this MLB promotion. Customers who completed all four missions were treated to a $20 free bet to use on any sport. At the time of this review, the missions of the week included placing a $10+ pregame wager on any MLB game, a $10+ 2-leg parlay on any two MLB games, a $10+ parlay on any three MLB games and a $10+ in-play wager on any live MLB game.
M Life Rewards Program
Decent customer loyalty rewards programs are somewhat of a rarity in the US sports betting industry, but BetMGM is an exception in that regard. The M Life Rewards program that covers all of MGM’s properties around the world also extends to BetMGM, allowing customers to accumulate points and earn perks both online and in-person.
However, the M Life Rewards program in its current format is not particularly valuable for online-exclusive bettors because points are slow to accumulate via sports betting and many of the rewards are geared towards in-person activities. On the other hand, frequent MGM guests will likely appreciate having one more way to earn Tier Credits.
Wagers placed online and in-person earn Tier Credits that move customers up through the tiered VIP program. Tier Credits are earned at the following rate:
- Straight bets: 1 Tier Credit for every $12 wagered
- Parlays and Round Robin bets: 1 Tier Credit for every $5 wagered
Once players begin betting and accumulating Tier Credits, they’ll begin moving up through five levels in the M Life Rewards program:
|Level||Benefits||Tier Credits Required|
|Sapphire||Personalized offers and room discounts||Up to 19,999 Tier Credits|
|Pearl||10% bonus on points earned playing certain games at MGM properties Dedicated line at participating buffets||20,000 Tier Credits|
|Gold||All of the above plus 20% bonus on points earned playing certain games at MGM properties Priority hotel check-in line at the front desk||60,000 Tier Credits|
|Platinum||All of the above plus 30% bonus on points earned Priority access for valet and taxi service Annual complimentary cruise for qualifying members||160,000 Tier Credits|
|Noir||All of the above plus 40% bonus on points earned Guaranteed hotel and restaurant reservations Complimentary limousine service to/from nearest airport with hotel stay||By invitation only|
Guests who visit MGM properties and play casino games while there also earn reward points, which can be redeemed for free play rewards at the casino.
BetMGM Illinois Mobile App Review
BetMGM offers standalone mobile apps for iOS and Android devices plus a responsive website that can be accessed via any device or desktop.
The first impression one gets from the BetMGM mobile app is that this is a quality offering in terms of presentation and features, which is no surprise given the amounts of money Roar Digital has at its disposal courtesy of MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings.
The layout of the mobile app follows industry standards with upcoming games displayed in the middle of the screen along with odds on the main markets for each game (point spread, moneyline and total) plus links to view all wagers for that event.
In many cases, major US and international events are presented with no small amount of statistics for each team and head-to-head data so users can get a sense of each team’s recent form. Live play calling and updates are provided for in-play events as well, which makes it fairly simple to see how this particular game is going.
The app is high quality all around aside from one minor but persistent annoyance: there is often a slight lag when tapping a menu item or specific game to view more information. The lag time is not obscene, but it’s just long enough that we find ourselves at times tapping the screen a second time thinking our first tap wasn’t registered, resulting in a double tap that can have unpredictable results such as unintentionally navigating to yet another page.
The delayed tap issue is not a fatal flaw, but it can be annoying until the user becomes accustomed to giving the app a second or two to load the next page. Aside from that, the app works well.
Mobile Betting Screenshots:
In-Play Betting at BetMGM
BetMGM customers can view current and upcoming in-play betting events by clicking or tapping the “live” menu item located near the top of any screen. In doing so, users are taken to the in-play lobby where a list of events categorized by sport can be browsed.
Tapping anywhere on a listed matchup takes users to that event’s pare where live odds, stats and streaming video (if available) are displayed. From there, BetMGM customers can monitor the lines and place wagers while keeping up to date with what’s happening on the field or court.
The BetMGM in-play betting calendar is usually well-stocked with events any time of day, either with major US sports and tennis or international events during off-peak hours. As far as volume goes, BetMGM ranks above average.
Market depth during in-play events varies depending on how high-profile each event is. Games from the major US sports and large international leagues are usually covered in great detail during in-play betting with wagers offered for the final outcome, part time outcomes, correct score, next score and more.
Live data feeds, head-to-head stat comparisons and streaming video are provided to one degree or another for most events.
In-Play Betting Screenshots:
Live Streaming Sports Video
BetMGM provides live streaming video of certain sports, giving customers the full sports viewing and betting experience on a single platform. Customers who are logged in and have a funded account may watch all events listed under the “live stream” menu item or that display a live stream/play icon for free.
The live streaming options at BetMGM cover a surprisingly wide array of sports and leagues from around the world. The major pro US sports are not yet included among BetMGM’s live streaming options, but that is an industrywide shortcoming at this stage as most US sports leagues are locked into long term deals with major television broadcasters.
Still, the options at BetMGM are diverse. Customers with funded accounts may log in via desktop or through the mobile app to watch soccer, tennis, table tennis and snooker among other events.
The live streaming options are provided through a variety of deals Roar Digital has struck with broadcasters, but the company has declined to offer specifics on how those contracts work or what else may be coming in the future.
Some of the sports leagues BetMGM has acquired rights for online streaming include:
- Soccer: English Championship, EFL Cup, German Bundesliga, French Cup, Scottish Premiership, Dutch Eredivisie, Danish Superliga, Polish Ekstraklasa, Croatian First Football, Belarussian Premier League and Czech First League
- Tennis: men’s ATP 1000 events and French Open
- Table Tennis
Betting Markets and Types of Wagers
BetMGM offers betting markets on sports from the US and around the world. The major professional and college US sports are covered extensively and as expected. All NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and most college games are covered both with standard pregame wagers and in-play betting.
International sports coverage consists of soccer, which includes dozens of leagues ranging from Estonian leagues to the MLS here in the USA), golf, tennis, cricket, darts, boxing and more.
BetMGM has one of the widest selections of sports covered in theory, but it should be mentioned that the list of available sports changes by season and availability is subject to Illinois Gaming Board rules.
Market depth ranges from deep (200+ betting options for a single game) to shallow (just a few of the main markets for a single game) depending on the importance of the event. All major US sports leagues are covered in adequate detail, although some of BetMGM’s competitors feature more betting options on a per-game basis.
BetMGM also provides several interesting features:
- Cash Out: The early cash out feature at BetMGM allows customers to close their bets early (before the event in question is finished) to take a payout at the current odds. This functionality can be used to secure one’s winnings if the game is going as planned or to cut one’s losses if the game is not going so well. Cash out is available for straight bets and parlays.
- Edit My Bet: The “edit my bet” option allows users to increase their stakes or add/remove/swap selections in parlays before the wager has been placed, even if the game is still in progress or if some legs of a parlay have already been settled. This feature is available for any wager that offers the early cash out option and for parlays that still have outstanding legs.
- Custom Parlay Builder: BetMGM launched a custom parlay builder tool in October 2020 to assist users in building same-game parlays. Bettors can find the Parlay Builder on the betting markets page of any supported sports event. From there, customers can use the builder to choose from several hundred individual wagers for each leg of their bet, with odds updated in real-time.
Sports leagues covered: Athletics, Aussie rules, badminton, baseball, basketball, beach soccer, beach volleyball, biathlon, boxing, chess, cricket, cross country skiing, cycling, darts, esports, field hockey, floorball, football, futsal, Gaelic games, golf, handball, hockey, lacrosse, MMA, motorsports, Nordic combined, Olympics, Pesäpallo, pool, rowing, rugby league, rugby union, ski alpine, ski jumping, snooker, snowboarding, soccer, speed skating, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and water polo.
Types of wagers offered: Moneyline, point spread, point total, parlays, round robins, alternative spreads, alternative totals, half/quarter/period outcomes, double chance, correct score, first/last/anytime point scorer, even/odd point totals, player props, team props and game props.
BetMGM Deposit Methods
Customers may fund their BetMGM accounts through a selection of common and easy-to-use payment methods.
- Credit and Debit Card: BetMGM accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
- E-Check: Instant electronic transfer of funds from the player’s bank account to his or her BetMGM account.
- Play+ Card: Online account that can be funded through a variety of means such as credit/debit/e-check for instant online deposits, but with the added ability to receive withdrawals. Additionally, signing up for a Play+ account prompts a physical Play+ card to be sent via mail. The physical card is connected to the player’s Play+ account and can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs or to make purchases wherever Discover is accepted.
- Online Banking Transfer: Bettors who have accounts with one of several national banks can use the online banking transfer option to initiate a secure transfer of funds by choosing this method, selecting an amount to deposit and then approving the transaction by logging in with their existing online banking info.
- PayNearMe: Print a pay slip online, take the pay slip to a local 7-Eleven or CVS and pay with cash.
- PayPal: Make a deposit with an existing PayPal account. Note that only personal PayPal accounts may be used and only if they are connected to a bank account. PayPal does not allow players to make deposits to gambling sites if those deposits originate from funds uploaded via credit or debit card.
- Skrill: An electronic wallet that works a lot like PayPal but with more payment methods and higher fees.
Customers may contact BetMGM via phone, live chat and e-mail. Additionally, the BetMGM website provides a comprehensive self-help section that is searchable and organized by category.
Responsible Gambling Tools
BetMGM is required by Illinois law to provide responsible gambling tools to all customers. Current customers may log in any time to set daily, weekly and monthly limits on deposits and wagering or self-exclude temporarily or permanently.