Fanduel

9.8

FanDuel has been around since 2009.

That is nine years prior to online betting to be legalized. FanDuel used that time to practice for when online sports gambling went mainstream, although it is doubtful anyone at FanDuel knew when it would happen.

When the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the decks for legal online gambling, FanDuel had nine years of experience at running daily fantasy sports contests, meaning that they had to look at every sport they offered and handicap the teams, players and games, just as they have to do now.

The result of all that is that FanDuel merely had to flip the switch when it was time to move the fantasy sports it offered into reality sports.

Summary 

This review of the FanDuel online betting offering will examine how well FanDuel fulfills the necessary requirements gamblers expect from an online sportsbook. Our criteria might no0t be the same as anyone else’s and the order in which we present them is certainly arbitrary, because everyone has and is entitled to their own opinions of what matters and what does not matter.

Our aim is to supply some objective information that someone new to online wagering, or someone interested in adding a new online bookmaker to a collection of bookmakers, might examine in the decision-making process.

Our important criteria are –

    • Price – Are Fanduel’s odds competitive? How do their prices compare to their industry competition?

    • Promotions – Does FanDuel offer useful promotions and are there enough of these promotions to maintain client interest?

    • Markets – New and experienced online bettors appreciate many sub-markets within a league or game, either for building multi-leg parlay bets or simply to find an easier bet.

    • Live Streaming – How does Fanduel’s live streaming compare to that of its competition?

    • Website Function – How easy is it to find a desired betting opportunity and get that bet on the book?

    • Mobile App Function – The bulk of online bets are placed on mobile devices, mainly the smart phone. How difficult or easy is it to perform all online bookmaker account functions?

    • Bet Types – Does FanDuel offer enough types of bets to accommodate bettors who delve deeper than the top three bet types?

    • Banking – Does FanDuel offer plenty of methods for funding to and withdrawing from a wagering account?

    • Customer Service – How easy/hard is it to contact FanDuel and receive reliable information from a knowledgeable person?

It is important to note that while we numbered the criteria we consider important, it is not necessary that anyone in the process of looking for an online bookie adopt our ranking. Many people will hold the view that our number six criterion, Mobile App Function, is more important than the five we listed ahead of it. This is totally fine. Everyone has the right to set his or her own priorities and the case of selection an online bookie is no exception.

History of FanDuel 

When FanDuel was founded in 2009, online wagering was not permitted in the United States. Online wagering had been legal in most developed countries as early as it was learned that online wagering and the internet were as good as or better of a combination than peanut butter and jelly.

Even though they had plenty of examples to base an online wagering offering on, they did not leave it at that. They formed a relationship with the U.S. operation of the behemoth Irish bookmaker Paddy Power in 2018.

FanDuel’s early years consisted mainly of competing against the other fantasy sports site, DraftKings.

The two companies attempted merge in 2016, but the Security and Exchange Commission successfully blocked the merger, claiming that if the two joined forces, they would control 90% of the daily fantasy sports market – something the SEC considered an unfair monopoly.

FanDuel has received numerous industry awards since 2010, including Operator of the Year from EGR North America Virtual Awards in 2021 and a Webby award in 2016 for the Best Sports App for a Handheld Device.

These days, FanDuel has its corporate headquarters in New York City and employs about 1500 people.

FanDuel Pros 

    • One of the better websites and mobile offerings in the industry

    • Vast range of sports, including domestic and international horse racing

    • Free games

    • Top rank live streaming

    • Competitive odds and markets including niche sports

FanDuel Cons 

    • Platform software occasionally experiences outages

    • Not the best pricing on teaser and parlay bets

    • Difficult to access past wagers, something most bettors view as critically important

FanDuel Odds 

Returning to the selection criteria listed above, the first element is pricing. We have been examining bookies since 2010, long before online wagering in the U.S. was authorized. In that time, we have compared bookmakers’ prices for dozens of bookies and we have learned something that will warm the cockles of the hearts of bettors who have better things to do than compare odds quotes between different bookmakers.

This knowledge is simply that consumers have so many options when it comes to online bookies that it is simply not possible for much price variation to exist.

Trust us on this one, or look for yourself, makes no matter to us.

Check any sport in which you have an interest. You will seldom see much variance from one bookie to another. This applies to all the bet types. NFL games, for example, will almost always have identical Spreads for every game. The Totals market will seldom vary by more than half a point, or possibly one point. There will be some variances in the Money Line market. It is typical to see one bookmaker have slightly better odds on a favorite than another bookie, while the other bookie will have slightly better odds on the underdog.

Into that equation, include the reality that odds will shift during the days and hours before an event, so someone looking at a Sunday NFL game on a Tuesday will find different prices on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

Here is one example.

We are writing this on a Tuesday afternoon prior to a Thursday Night Football match between the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts.

FanDuel – Spread: three points, Money Line: +144 Indianapolis/-172 Denver, Total Points: 43.5.

Caesars – Spread: three points, Money Line: +150 Indy/-178 Denver, Total Points: 43.0

BetMGM: Spread: three points, Money Line: +144 Indy/-175 Denver, Total Points: 43.5.

This is typical for the NFL and the major sports leagues. Diligent shoppers may find bargain prices on a niche sport, but even those are rare, for one simple reason.

Having worse prices than the competition is a recipe for bankruptcy.

Further diligence might reveal some larger price disparities on occasion, especially in the prop markets for such things as first player to score, or quarterback X to pass for so many yards, but our experience has shown, time and time again, that price is almost irrelevant as a primary determiner of which bookie to choose.

Our conclusion with regard to FanDuel pricing is that they are competitive to the extent that only someone who makes a whole bundle of bets on a routine basis would benefit from shopping for better prices. That said, it is an appealing part of the entertainment value of online betting for many people and many people will view price as the primary determinant.

FanDuel Promotions 

We will begin here with our conclusion.

FanDuel has appealing promotions for the new customer, the parlay bettor, baseball and football fans during their respective seasons, referral bonuses and similar promotions that are going on all the time, or changing as appropriate, such as a special promotion for a big event, such as the Super Bowl.

Bookmaker promotions need to be easy to use and FanDuel checks off the box for that requirement. Many of the FanDuel promotions we observed on a recent visit were actually free to play.

The things to keep in mind for promotions is that they need to be checked frequently due to how often they change and to gain familiarity with the terms and conditions of the promotion in order to avoid unexpected outcomes.

FanDuel Markets 

One element by which online bookmakers are evaluated is the number of additional markets they offer. In the case of sports, bettors appreciate having a large choice of sub-markets, either for purposes of building a multi-leg parlay bet, or simply as a way to increase interest in a match by having skin in the game.

Another test of a bookmaker’s markets is simply the number of sports that are offered to the client.

All the bookies will offer the mainstream sports – NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA. Many will offer some international sports, such as Australian Rules Football, Rugby and Soccer, but FanDuel has some of the deepest niche sports offerings of any online bookmaker.

FanDuel also offers horseracing, which in the U.S. is far down the list of popularity. We find this odd because it is much harder to pick the winner of a race where there are six or more possible winners, compared to a sports contest where there are only two.

Some of the other off-the-beaten-path sports FanDuel offers are Volleyball, Table Tennis, Handball, Darts and Cycling – all sports that have very little followings in the U.S.

Parlay bettors will appreciate the myriad additional sub-markets FanDuel offers for major sports.

Returning to the NFL example we used earlier, we clicked on a link in the bottom right corner of the game we were following labeled “More Wagers” and found more than we cared to count. A few of the options were TD Scorer Props, Drive Results, Passing Props and all of the half and quarter markets. There were many more, too.

Casual bettors will appreciate the wide range of additional markets offered by FanDuel because there are some easy bets that make it more interesting to follow a game. An example of this would be something like FanDuel’s “Second Half Total Odd/Even,” where the wager is simply if the total points scored in the second half will add up to an even or an odd number.

The obvious conclusion here is that FanDuel has some of the top secondary betting markets of any U.S. online bookmaker.

FanDuel Live Streaming 

Live streaming, once considered a useful option, is now treated as practically essential. It is necessary because U.S. bookmakers can offer live betting during the course of an event. It is also a vast boon to those who want to follow sports that are otherwise not televised in any form.

FanDuel has plenty of live wagering markets, even at the odd hours of the early morning. One recent weekday morning found FanDuel offering 72 live markets. That number will expand during a major sporting event as the event unfolds.

Of those 72 live markets, FanDuel was supplying a live video feed for 20 of the live events. The other live markets typically show a graphic, such as a basketball or tennis court or a baseball diamond.

It is necessary to establish an account with FanDuel, as their live offerings are a members’ only proposition. Joining is free, so all that stands in the way of someone watching FanDuel live streaming in any form is to click or tap a “Join Now” button and supply some basic personal details.

We enabled the Live Video stream for the German Basketball League. The resolution of the video was excellent. Clients can also choose to see a Game View (basically a graphic overhead view of a basketball court) or pick Game Stats and see a chart of all the important data.

The audio was in German, but the cynic is us feels that this might even be better than listening in English, even though our grasp of German is pretty much limited to words and phrases possibly uttered by Sergeant Shultz and Colonel Klink on Hogan’s Heroes. During one stoppage in play, though, the coach of one of the teams yelled at his players in English.

We would have liked it if there was the ability to view the game full screen. If FanDuel is listening, please make the video viewer expandable. We are okay with the commercials.

We found a Finnish ice hockey game that also offered clear, smooth video.

Finally, we had a look at a MLB game and were impressed by the video quality and announcers that seemed to understand the game. At the end of an inning, the viewer changed to a simple MLB.tv logo telling us that a commercial break was in progress. They could have showed us the commercials, but they didn’t and our only guess as to why that is, is that there might have been a commercial for DraftKings. It might actually have something to do with broadcast rights and sponsor decisions, but we like the first reason better.

We will be checking in from time to time in the hopes of having a chance to watch something like darts or snooker.

FanDuel Website Functionality 

With all the previous experience FanDuel brought to the game by running a fantasy sportsbook from 2009 through when it was legal to switch to reality betting, it is no surprise that the FanDuel website seems more polished and professional than some of the other online bookies. The FanDuel layout is similar in many ways to the layouts used by other bookies.

Simply stated, the FanDuel website is, in our opinion, one of the better offerings we have seen in the 12 years we have examined online bookmakers.

This is a subjective area for bookmaker evaluations, but it is one that rises to importance because all of us like to spend time on websites we enjoy, rather than on those we dislike.

A large part of this subjectivity is the color scheme.

FanDuel uses a couple shades of soothing blue, combined with black, blue, gray and white text for contrast. Most instances of the use of blue, other than for backgrounds, indicate a clickable link, the way all of us are accustomed to seeing when we use the internet.

The layout of FanDuel web pages uses a three-column arrangement that is immediately recognizable by online bettors around the world.

The left column is where all the sports FanDuel offers are listed. The top half of the page is used for quick links to popular sports or important features, such as live markets, promotions and some important information, such as a betting guide and free games.

Next comes an alphabetical listing of the sports offered by FanDuel.

The final section of the left column has some links to things such as a betting guide, terms and conditions and a link for contacting FanDuel support.

The middle column is where each of the open markets will be displayed, along with the price quotes. This center column takes up about 50 percent of the page and is easy to sort and scroll through according to the desires of the user.

The right column is for the bet slip.

The FanDuel bet slip is typical of online bookmakers and it supplies a great assist to users of every experience level by calculating the potential return of every wager. The bottom of the bet slip has an on/off slider that gives the user the choice of whether to accept odds movements automatically or to approve odds movements manually.

Odds shift often, sometimes increasing a possible payout and decreasing a payout in other instances. We feel that users who make a lot of bets on a frequent basis might want to enable automatic acceptance, while those who are lighter users might want to confirm their acceptance of any odds changes.

Our conclusion is that the FanDuel website is one of the best we have seen, including the sites of the big international bookies that have been operating for longer.

We do find it necessary to inform those who want to bet with FanDuel (or other online bookmaker) that the site will time out after a certain period of time. This is a regulatory requirement that we do not recall seeing with international bookies. The other thing to know is that it might be necessary to download and install a small widget that is necessary to prove physical location and ensure that a bet is coming from a place where it is legal.

It is possible to enroll with a bookie in any state, but you must be physically present in the legal state in which you enrolled in order to place bets.

FanDuel Mobile App Functionality 

Mobile betting passed desktop website betting some time ago in terms of the number of bets and the amount wagered.

It is justifiably one of the top criteria and the great news here is that FanDuel has hit it out of the park when it comes to mobile betting apps.

Sports bettors might definitely find that they never need to use the FanDuel desktop website. Those interested in racing might prefer to use the desktop for all the research, and then possibly lodge some bets, and then be free to follow those bets on a phone or tablet.

Regardless of preference, or which route is taken, the FanDuel mobile offerings are excellent.

We first tried the mobile version of the website on an iPhone and a Safari browser. Even though our location setting was enabled, the FanDuel site was asking us to install their location check plug-in.

Other than that brief inconvenience, the mobile version very closely replicated the experience of the desktop version and as a bonus, the site will rotate to landscape mode if desired.

We next got the FanDuel app from the Apple App Store.

It downloaded and installed in under a minute. We find small screens quite challenging for out clumsy thumbs at times, but that in no way reflects on FanDuel. This is a common problem for us.

Once we had entered the proper information, we were taken straight to the inner workings of the app.

The primary difference we noticed was that some of the options that appear as headers on the desktop site are now located at the bottom of the screen. Aside from that, we were researching markets and entering test bets in under a minute.

The iPhone app we installed will not rotate into landscape mode, but a nice feature of the app is that if there is live video of an event available, it will automatically open a video viewer. We saw video of a MLB game that was very clear and smooth, but as was the case with the video stream on the desktop platform, it was not possible to increase the size of the video screen.

Our overall impression of the app is that most users will adapt to it quite easily and many FanDuel clients will never need anything other than the excellent mobile apps.

FanDuel also has Android and Apple apps for the fantasy side of the operation.

FanDuel Bet Types 

Seriously, the number of bet types is often more important to racing bettors than it is to sports bettors. FanDuel does offer racing – quite a lot of it. We saw races for quarter horses when we are accustomed to seeing only Thoroughbreds, Trotters and Greyhounds.

FanDuel has all the important race bet types.

FanDuel offers these racing bet types, listed by degree of difficulty.

    • Win

    • Place

    • Show

    • Quinella

    • Exacta

    • Trifecta

    • Daily Double

    • Superfecta

    • Pick 3

    • Pick 4

The FanDuel site provides concise and understandable explanations of all these bet types, which can be found at this link:

Betting on racing is possibly the most challenging of all betting and even expert handicappers are often left with clumps of their own hair in their hands when a “can’t miss” winner decides that running is not what they care to do on this day. We ourselves would not bet on racing unless we were at the track, where having small bets makes the sport interesting, but millions of race betting experts make millions of race wagers without ever setting foot on the track.

Leaving the FanDuel sports pages for the racing pages requires a separate login using the same credentials.

For sports betting, FanDuel touches all the bases.

Most team sports on FanDuel feature the three most popular bet types.

Those three are Spread, Money (line) and Total.

Additionally, within most sports is a link to additional wagers. FanDuel offers hundreds of secondary markets, as described earlier.

They also frequently offer teaser bets, a chance to combine bets for better odds and spreads.

The FanDuel live bet type is one of the top offerings in the industry.

The main takeaway here is that if you cannot find a bet with FanDuel, it is doubtful you will find a bet anywhere.

FanDuel Deposits 

Many bettors appreciate plenty of options when it comes time to deposit or withdraw money from a wagering account.

FanDuel receives high marks from us for this criterion in terms of the number of options, but we have to ding them slightly for making it difficult to learn what options they offered.

We are accustomed to bookie websites that show icons for the various ways to deposit on almost every page. We had to do some searching to find FanDuel’s and it is never a good sign when an online site of any kind makes it hard to spend money.

We resorted to clicking the deposit tab on the top of the home screen and found out that FanDuel accepts these forms of payment.

    • Online Banking

    • Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit and debit cards

    • Venmo

    • PayPal

    • Wire Transfer

    • Cash at Counter

    • Cash using PayNearMe

    • FanDuel Prepaid Play+

    • Gift Card

If pressed, we would say our personal preferences, in random order, would be PayPal, credit card and FanDuel Prepaid Play+.

The short conclusion is that FanDuel offers enough deposit options to satisfy anyone.

FanDuel Withdrawals 

Depending on how the money is deposited, certain options might not be available, but these are all the options.

    • Online Banking

    • Visa and MasterCard debit cards

    • Venmo

    • PayPal

    • FanDuel Prepaid Play+

    • Check

    • Cash at Counter – Locations vary by state

FanDuel Customer Service 

Most people who have need of contacting FanDuel will find it easy.

Live chat is available by clicking on a blue box at the bottom right side of the screen on the desktop site. This box is labeled “Chat with an Expert.”

We were connected almost instantly and offered pre-chat options to direct our inquiry to the proper expert.

FanDuel also has a comprehensive FAQ section with questions that might actually be asked. We did find it necessary to do a little hunting, as the FAQ section is divided into sub sections and it is not always easy to determine which sub section has the desired information, but the FAQs are answered clearly, while still providing customers with a link to email support.

Try as we might, we could not find a phone number where we could call FanDuel on the phone, but this seems to be the way things are trending in all online transactions.

There are phone numbers for those who think they might have a gambling problem and there is a number for law enforcement and similar inquiries, but the link for customer support right below those numbers redirected us to the FAQ page.

It is also possible to interact with FanDuel over one of their social media sites.

    • Facebook

    • Twitter

    • Instagram

    • YouTube

    • Snapchat

Conclusion 

FanDuel is one of the top operators in the U.S., having built on the experience of companies and individuals who have histories that far pre-date the year 2018 when online betting became legal in the U.S.

This experience and expertise shines through on one to the top sportsbooks we have encountered anywhere.

We ourselves are not big gamblers, but we can say with assurance that if we could have only one online bookmaker account, it would be with FanDuel.

We expect to see them innovate and create in the future, just as they have in the past with their fantasy operation and we would not hesitate to recommend FanDuel to our families and friends.

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