BetMGM

9.9

When the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a federal law that had banned sports wagering in 2018, American citizens for the first time had an opportunity to bet on sports contests online, an opportunity most of the world with internet access had been enjoying for decades.

On that day in mid-2018, it became obvious that the world’s internet wagering providers were well positioned to plunge into a huge pool of bettors that had been confined to physical casino and sportsbook wagering. American sportsbook operators, some with international connections, had lobbied for years for the ability to offer online wagering, so they were all ready when they got the green light from the Supreme Court.

Summary 

This review will attempt to shed light on the various details worthy of consideration by anyone with the intent of exploring setting up an online sportsbook wagering account with BetMGM.

The primary criteria we examine are:

    • Prices – How do BetMGM’s odds stack up when compared to other online bookmakers?

    • Promotions – How well does BetMGM offer various creative promotions to maintain client interest?

    • Markets – How many sports BetMGM supports and how many sub-markets exist within each sport?

    • Live streaming – How well does BetMGM do at supplying clients with online streaming options for events that fall outside of the mainstream – international sports or niche sports such as darts and cycling?

    • Website functionality

    • Mobile app functionality

    • Bet Types – How well does BetMGM do at offering the types of bets that customers want?

    • Banking – How easy and/or convenient is it to deposit and withdraw funds from a BetMGM online wagering account?

    • Customer Service – How easy or hard is it to contact BetMGM and get authoritative answers to questions or concerns that go beyond the FAQ section of the website/mobile apps?

These eight criteria are not the only ones, but they are the main ones that will assist the curious to determine if a wagering account with Bet MGM is worthwhile, or if a different bookie might be a better choice.

History of BetMGM 

BetMGM is a descendant of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio. You know, the movies with the roaring lion at the beginning.

What exists today is very different from the days of Hollywood movie moguls, when the primary focus of the company was getting as many people as possible into movie theaters in front of screens showing MGM movies and hopefully more than any of its competitors.

The MGM with which we are concerned is properly called MGM Resorts International. This company formed a partnership with a Great Britain gambling operator called GVC Holdings that has since changed its name to Entain. Online wagering in Great Britain goes back to the earliest days of the internet, when users would have gone online with dial-up modems and desktop computers that are quaintly obsolete and vastly underpowered by comparison to even the most inexpensive pre-paid mobile phones of today.

Since 2018, BetMGM has formed numerous partnerships with sports leagues, the sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings, Yahoo Sports and some NFL, MBL and NBA teams.

The parent corporation of course offers casino games, but the focus of this review is directed at the sportsbook operation only.

BetMGM Pros

    • Available live streaming on the website and in the mobile apps

    • Trustworthy – A well-regulated and prominent entity

    • Lots of interesting promotions including First Bet Offer where legal

    • Competitive odds and vigorish

    • Broad range of sports (and access to casino and poker sections)

    • Same-game parlays

BetMGM Cons

    • Slow withdrawals – BetMGM examines every winning bet and reserves the right to take as many as five days to determine if they have an obligation to pay a win.

    • No phone support

    • Does not accept crypto currency

    • No horse racing

BetMGM Odds 

Given the level of competition among the various online bookmakers, there are times when selecting a bookie should not be done entirely by price. Other criteria may weigh heavily in the eyes of the individual.

That same level of competition means that a huge disparity between the prices offered by one bookmaker versus another will seldom be present.

It is fun to shop and it is fun to get the best price available and on that basis, it is worthwhile to have an account with BetMGM.

Here is a snapshot of the NFL prices offered by BetMGM and two of its main competitors for games in the third week of the 2022 – 2023 NFL season.

Please remember that the prices observed on a Monday will very likely fluctuate by the time a game is played.

The game we picked was the Thursday night game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The BetMGM site spread had the Steelers as five point underdogs. With FanDuel, the Steelers were 4.5-point underdogs, while with DraftKings, the spread was five points.

Everyone knows that there are no half points in the NFL, but here is the difference to someone making a bet. NFL games are seldom decided by five points, although it does happen. Winning margins are more often one, three, four, six or more points. Someone who backs Cleveland to win with BetMGM or DraftKings will lose the bet if the final score of the game is something like 21 – 16, while the bettor backing Cleveland would win that wager with FanDuel.

Another popular bet with American NFL bettors is the total points scored, often known as the Over/Under.

BetMGM’s quote for this bet was 38.5 points. To win, the combined score of Cleveland and Pittsburgh must be at least 39 points for someone backing the over and less than 38 points for backers of the under.

FanDuel was quoting the Over/Under as 38.5 and DraftKings was also 38.5.

Price shoppers will often find identical odds across bookies and this is the perfect example of a situation where a bettor will find one bookie or the other better for an Over/Under bet for reasons other than the price.

The other common type of NFL bet is the Money Line. This can also be called the head-to-head, but it is simply a wager placed on which team will win or lose the game.

The BetMGM Money Line quote was +180 for the Steelers and -225 for the Browns. For any wondering what those quotes mean, it is simple. The number quoted is based on what size of wager is needed. To win $100 betting on the Steelers, it would be necessary to bet $36. Backing the Browns to win $100 would require a wager of $70.

The FanDuel Money Line was +180 for the Steelers and -215 for the Browns and DraftKings was quoting +280 for the Steelers and -147 for the Browns.

In this instance, of the three bookies used for comparison, the identical Over/Under quotes rule that bet type moot – it does not matter which bookie is used.

For the line bet, the bookie with the line of 4.5 points is a slightly better value, emphasis on the slightly.

For the Money Line bet, the best bookie for those wanting to back Cleveland to win would be DraftKings, while the best bookie for those wanting to back the Steelers would be BetMGM or FanDuel.

Bookies such as the three mentioned here will also offer other markets, or bet types, known as proposition or “prop” bets. This would include such bets as the first player to score a touchdown and other bets that have no real connection to the outcome of a game.

It is important to note that it would not be unheard of for a bookie to change their quotes when the start of the game is closer. It actually happens often. A hypothetical example of this would be if Cleveland running back Nick Chubb sustained an injury and could not play. Such information could easily affect the spread, over/under and money line quotes the bookies were offering.

The conclusion with regard to BetMGM prices is simple. They offer competitive odds.

Everyone likes a good deal. Few people shop with the question on their lips, “Would you please charge me the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), plus a little extra?

Shopping odds is one of the most entertaining aspects of online wagering.

In an industry with such fierce competition and so many bookies from which to choose, not having competitive odds would be a rapid death sentence.

BetMGM Promotions

Online bookmaker promotions exist to maintain client interest and they are often lots of fun, too.

BetMGM has an extensive offering of various types of promotions that make for some interesting scenarios.

The great thing about Bet MGM promotions is that while a BetMGM account is required to participate in promotional offers, those promotions can be viewed by anyone.

Here are a few examples gleaned from the odds example above of an upcoming NFL contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns.

    • One Game Parlay – BetMGM combines three markets from the game to create a parlay bet based on Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt. If Hunt can catch passes amounting to 20 yards total or more, has three or more receptions and 50 or more yards rushing, the potential payout is much greater than the sum of any of the three legs. Clicking or tapping on the icon for this parlay will reveal that BetMGM has 12 total three-leg parlays for this game.

    • $1000 First Bet Offer – This one is for new clients. In order to claim the bonus, it requires signing up and depositing some funds, obtaining the mobile BetMGM app or visiting the BetMGM website, and then place a wager. If the bet loses, BetMGM will credit the account with up to $1,000 as soon as the losing bet is settled.

    • Refer a Friend – receive a $50 bonus for each referred friend who joins BetMGM.

    • MLB One Game Parlay Insurance – Up to $25 of a stake refunded if all legs of a parlay but one win.

These are just a few examples. BetMGM has quite a few more. The ones described above are intended to give examples of the different types of promotions BetMGM makes available. The One Game Parlay will expire as soon as the Browns/Steelers game starts, but there will be similar parlay promotions for other games in other sports all the time.

The First Bet Offer is an example of a one-time promotion, while the Refer a Friend promotion will be around all the time unless BetMGM decides to cancel it.

The conclusion here is that for bettors who enjoy promotions, BetMGM fills the bill nicely.

BetMGM Markets

Many or most online bettors that enjoy proposition, “prop” bets, place a lot of value on how many markets within a sport that a bookie will offer in addition to the main ones of line, over/under and money line.

The majority of those bettors like to create their own parlay bets with additional markets, or bet extra markets alone in the case of a game where there is no obvious value in the main markets.

For the Cleveland/Pittsburgh game that is serving as an example, BetMGM had prop markets for the Full Game, First Half, Single Touchdowns for three players and a multiple touchdown market for those same three players.

There were 19 markets for Winning Margin.

In all, BetMGM was offering over 120 additional markets.

It is safe to conclude that BetMGM will have multiple prop bets for any NFL game and all the other sports it covers as well, with the popularity of the sport influencing the total number of sub-markets. That is to say, the NFL, NBA and MLB will have more than boxing or Formula 1 racing.

These extra markets are a big plus in the BetMGM ledger.

BetMGM Live Streaming 

While most people having an interest in wagering on the mainstream sports, viewing the contest on a TV, computer or mobile phone is a given.

Live streaming from BetMGM takes on greater significance when a less popular sport is involved.

A check of BetMGM’s live offerings on a recent weekday afternoon showed that there were nine live events being streamed. This number could be much higher at other times, and lower, too, of course.

At the time of the most recent visit to the BetMGM website, all the live streaming was for tennis matches. The live stream of the match between Victoria Osuigwe and Mia Slama was displayed in the upper right corner of the screen above the bet slip of the website and it looked like something out of the Pong era of video games. It was not a live stream of a televised tennis match.

Live streaming of this sort is important to bettors who want to follow an event to get a feel for how it is unfolding, and then make live bets based on that feel.

There were plenty of opportunities to do just that supplied by BetMGM.

Users had a choice of Main, meaning the match, Game Bets, Set Bets, Point Bets, Totals and Tiebreaks. In short, just about anything involving hitting a tennis ball was a potential wager.

Live streaming is a feature that is similar to odds prices in the regard that live streaming is something that no online bookmaker can afford to be without if it intends to be competitive.

BetMGM Website Functionality 

The BetMGM website is well conceived and executed.

One feature many will appreciate is that the time of the start of events is synced with the time of the site users’ clocks.

As for the layout of the website, it uses a tried-and-true three-column scheme that online bettors from around the world will recognize.

The left column is a listing of all the sports BetMGM offers for wagering purposes. The upper part of the column is labelled “Top Sports” and many users will never need to go down to the bottom part of the column to find sports listed alphabetically.

The sports coverage is quite extensive and that bottom half of the left column lists niche sports such as beach volleyball, as well as important international leagues, such as the Australian Football League, although that listing found only one match on offer.

The middle column of the webpage takes up the majority of the screen. This is where the various requested sports markets will display the odds quotes for the teams, along with the three primary, most popular bets of spread, total and money line.

The right column is reserved for the bet slip.

The BetMGM bet slip is totally adequate and it includes two nice features. One of these is that when a stake is entered, the bet slip calculates the potential amount to be won. The other is a row of dollar amounts that can be used in lieu of typing an amount in the bet slip.

The BetMGM bet slip is a good place from which to discover what events are currently being live streamed.

The color scheme used by BetMGM is straightforward and unobtrusive. Most text is dark gray, while some is black and bold. The background color is a light gray and there is a liberal use of white for contrast.

Pages loaded quickly and the website is easy to navigate and intuitive to use, even by users that have never placed an online wager.

A nice website such as BetMGM’s is great, but since the first smart phone came out in 2007, online bettors gradually shifted to using phones and tablets for online betting in other countries where online betting was legal.

Current estimates place mobile betting at around 80 percent of all wagers, so the BetMGM mobile offerings take on increased significance.

BetMGM Mobile App Functionality 

Since cell phones have grown to represent the bulk of wagers placed, it is critical for a bookie to have solid mobile versions of their website, along with dedicated apps for iOS and Android operating system devices.

BetMGM succeeds very nicely in this area.

Viewing the BetMGM site on an iPhone using the Safari browser was very similar to the view seen on the website, with the exception that it was necessary to do a bit more scrolling because the BetMGM mobile site does not rotate to landscape mode.

Tapping was responsive and scrolling was accurate and reliable.

All selections for new pages and new areas of the site were as close to instantaneous as is possible to conceive.

The bet slip is shifted to the bottom of the screen in order to accommodate the smaller screen, but anyone who has carried a cell phone for any period of time will easily make the adaptation to the mobile version of the website.

The same iPhone was used to examine the BetMGM dedicated iOS app from the App Store.

Once again, BetMGM has supplied an elegant and effective app for searching for bets and placing those bets.

The iOS app did not rotate to landscape mode, either, and this is something that is present in the apps of some BetMGM competitors.

The app was very similar to the mobile version of the site. This is something that all bettors appreciate, as it relieves them of the necessity of using a new interface every time a different device is used to access an online wagering account.

BetMGM scores highly for its mobile offerings, which indicates a firm grasp of the elements bettors demand and appreciate from mobile bookmaker apps.

BetMGM Bet Types 

Bet types are a realm where the consumers influence, or possibly potentially dictate, what an online bookmaker will offer to its clients.

BetMGM has shown itself to be responsive to this reality by giving bettors all the popular bet types, along with some creative bet types as well.

For sports, they offer the essentials – Spread, Total (over/under) and Money Line (head-to-head). From the example above of a NFL game between the Steelers and the Browns, bettors could choose between a four-point and a three-point spread, which had an effect on the Total and Money Line markets.

That spread, it should be noted, went lower than it was on an earlier visit to BetMGM, just as a heads up to bettors to be on the lookout for changing odds as an event gets closer to the start.

Bet types get interesting whenever a site user clicks the blue text “All Wagers” link found at the bottom right side of a game. This opens up additional bet types, which can be filtered by “Full Game”, 1st Half and 1st Quarter.

Beyond those bet types, there are many more. When checked earlier in the week, there were a total of 119 bets beyond the top three. This time around, that number had grown to 166. This is typical of wagering and bettors who enjoy exotic prop markets will learn the value of waiting until closer to game time to find some additional bet types that are not present when the market for a game first opens.

BetMGM seems to be about middle-of-the-pack when it comes to bet types – some bookies have more, some fewer.

All these additional bet types are very valuable to bettors who want to build their own parlays, rather than pick from a BetMGM offering.

BetMGM Banking 

The BetMGM website lists 11 different account-funding methods.

That should satisfy anyone other than those who want to pay with crypto currency, wampum or cattle.

Funding can be via Visa, MasterCard, Discover, PayPal, Online Banking, Apple Pay, the MGM Rewards MasterCard, Bank Wire, Tapp, VIP Preferred and Pay Near Me, which permits clients to deposit cash to their BetMGM wagering account at participating retail locations, with convenience stores playing a big role for this method.

Withdrawing money offers fewer channels, but there are five listed on the BetMGM website.

Those five are Visa debit cards, PayPal, VIP Preferred Online Banking and Play+

One caveat that needs to be kept in mind by any online wagering user is that there are some banks that will not process gambling transactions.

Another is that while BetMGM does not have any fees associated with depositing or withdrawing funds, some banks may treat these transactions as cash advances, which come with bank fees. Funding via Bank Wire will usually result in a bank wire fee.

Customer Service 

BetMGM does not accept phone calls for any reason. This is mildly disappointing for anyone who has actually taken the time to read FAQs and has a query that is not addressed.

BetMGM does have 24/7 live chat, though.

It is accessed by clicking or tapping the “Help & Contact” tab that is located in the black banner at the top of pages on the right hand side next to the Log In and Register tabs on the main website.

It is a little tougher to find the contact section on the mobile website or the app. It was necessary to scroll all the way to the bottom and tap a tiny link.

Either way, selecting the contact option opens a page where users can specify the help needed. There are 10 options, ranging from Account Details to Legal.

Picking one of those 10 redirected users to FAQs for each specific contact option.

It was necessary to select More Help from a FAQ page, at which point it became possible to request live chat or send an email.

The lack of phone support probably will not influence younger users, but Baby Boomers might view this lack as a negative, although it is easy to appreciate that phone support is an expense that could result in less favorable odds quotes.

Conclusion 

BetMGM is a solid choice for new and experienced online bettors.

The company is well established and has the sort of longevity to suggest that they are not going to vamoose with client money and put up a “Closed” sign anytime soon.

The website and mobile apps have many of the features every online bookmaker should offer, plus some elements unique to BetMGM.

We would not hesitate to recommend BetMGM to anyone and it appears that BetMGM has a solid betting portal and enough coverage of sports to satisfy even the most sports-rabid bettor anywhere.

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hellafast

Betting Expert / Contributor Since 2016

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