Underdog Fantasy is ready to take the next step toward a full-scale sports betting operation. Following a recent announcement that the company has reached a $485 million valuation while generating a $35 million boost in their latest round of fundraising, Underdog Sportsbook is just about ready to take on some of the biggest names in the U.S. legal sports betting industry. Ohio is first up on its list.
Underdog Sportsbook is late to the U.S legal sports betting party, but hopes are that a loyal client base and a super-sleek interface will lead to a respectable market share in the bustling United States sports betting space. Thanks to an announced partnership with the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball, Underdog is on track to launch its sports betting product for the first time ever once Ohio’s iGaming industry goes live on January 1, 2023. Underdog Sportsbook was one of the lucky licensees to be named by the Ohio Casino Control Commission during their much-anticipated, long-awaited official awarding of 40+ sports betting licenses on July 15, 2022.
Underdog Sportsbook will look to duplicate the immense success of FanDuel and DraftKings, which have together garnered a nearly 60% combined market share in the United States since shifting their respective focuses from DFS to online wagering. Similar to the two industry behemoths, Underdog is a recognized DFS brand in all American states with the exception of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana, Montana, Washington, Delaware, and Iowa.
Underdog Sportsbook is in a unique position for a brand new provider in that it has the benefit of minimizing well-documented customer acquisition costs that have grabbed headlines for some of the biggest players in the growing U.S. legal sports betting scene.
Underdog Fantasy is a relatively new, yet so-far successful name in the digital sports world. It has been around since July 2020 providing Daily Fantasy Sports options, pick’em contests, and most recently, a lucrative and exciting ‘Best Ball’ contest to bettors across the majority of the U.S and Canada. Their move into the sportsbook world is a logical one, considering that mobile wagering infrastructure is already in place, as is a built-in client base.
Ohio marks just the second jurisdiction on Underdog Sportsbook’s list of targets since announcing their intention to join the U.S. legal sports betting family. Underdog is already licensed in Colorado and hopes to launch their sportsbook brand out west sometime in 2023, right around the same time that they plan to go live in Ohio.
We know that they bring an established Daily Fantasy Sports product, a throng of built-in users, and also the backing of some high-profile names in not only the world of sports, but also in the pop culture sphere. Along with high-end investors like Mark Cuban, Adam Schefter of ESPN, DJ Steve Aoki and Nets superstar Kevin Durant, Underdog also has the backing of Acies Investment and BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager.
Despite the brand’s immense popularity in terms of Daily Fantasy Sports, Underdog will be a fairly new product in the online sports betting realm. That being said, every new platform that launches will carry its fair share of pros and cons. Here are a few reasons why Underdog Sportsbook should see instant success in Ohio:
While we do see big potential in Underdog Sportsbook ahead of its Ohio debut, there are a few areas that the brand can greatly improve on. These issues will likely take care of themselves as the sportsbook develops, however we’d like to see improvement in the following areas:
Underdog Fantasy has smartly made their online product widely available for those wanting to take part in the brand’s offerings. It only makes sense that once its sportsbook arm is officially launched, similar availability will accompany the platform.
Underdog offers a desktop version of its sports betting service, which is available for instant play on any browser. The brand also provides its users with a pair of downloadable mobile applications for iOS and Android devices. Upon review, we were definitely impressed by the 4.8/5 rating that the Underdog mobile app received on the App Store. It also faired well on the Google Play Store, clocking in with a 4.7/5 rating.
Underdog’s seriousness with regard to getting their product out there is highlighted by how available their product is. Accessibility has been a key element of the uber-successful DFS provider-turned sportsbook behemoth models (FanDuel and DraftKings) that Underdog Sportsbook can draw from.
Underdog Sportsbook doesn’t exist quite yet, but a peek at their DFS welcome bonus gives us a sense of what the provider might offer when they go live as a full-service sportsbook in Ohio. The company requires a promo code at the moment for new Daily Fantasy users, and the same procedure will likely apply once the sportsbook is up and running.
For now, the DFS side of the company is offering a deposit match of up to $100 when you sign up and make your first deposit of at least $10. This essentially means that Underdog will double your first deposit, up to $100. Of note, the Underdog Fantasy’s welcome bonus comes with a generous 1X rollover before any withdrawal of bonus funds can take place. The industry standard is a 5X-10X rollover requirement.
|Underdog Sportsbook Promo Code||Coming Soon|
|Underdog Sportsbook OH Bonus Offer||$100 Deposit Match|
|OH License Partner||The Cincinnati Reds|
|Launch Date||January 2023|
While a first-time deposit match is always a good deal, we do hope to see the company step up their welcome bonus once their sportsbook is launched. Much of Underdog’s most ardent competition in the Ohio market will be offering a welcome package somewhere in the $500 to $1,000 range, whether it comes in the form of a deposit match or a risk-free bet, among other options.
The only other relevant promotion that we saw while reviewing Underdog’s platform was the company’s Refer-a-Friend Bonus. This promotion allows active users to earn $10 in site credit for every friend, family member, or acquaintance that they refer to the site. Once they sign up, make a deposit, and play through at least $10, the referrer will receive $10 in site credit.
Underdog Sportsbook is clearly going to have to elevate their promotional focus when they launch in Ohio.
It remains unclear whether or not Underdog Sportsbook will be ready to go live on January 1, 2023, when the Ohio scene officially launches. As a brand-new product, it is hard to not imagine some glitches holding up the potential launch.
That said, Underdog Fantasy software has been successfully serving American and Canadian DFS aficionados since 2020, and the brand seems hyper-focused on getting the ball rolling as soon as possible in both Colorado and Ohio.
While the Underdog Sportsbook platform has yet to be unveiled, we did have the benefit of using the Underdog Fantasy app to outline the brand’s sign-up process, as it boasts a similar procedure.
The Underdog sign-up menu is scaled down to the extreme, with just a few pieces of information necessary. Players will first be asked to enter a promo code in order to claim any welcome offers, so make sure to take advantage and don’t forget to use our code!
After entering your promo code and confirming it is active (the green check mark will light up), it will then be time to provide a few personal details. Every legal sportsbook operator in the United States will require the following information, so don’t be alarmed and definitely do not worry – your information is safe. Underdog Sportsbook will ask for your:
On top of these personal details, you’ll also be tasked with creating an original username, password, and selecting a few security questions in order to ensure you can access your account if something goes wrong.
The industry standard time for signing up with U.S. online sportsbooks is 3-5 minutes. Underdog Sportsbook’s registration process definitely falls within those guidelines, allowing sports bettors to get in fast and do exactly what they signed up to do – place sports wagers!
A variety of payment options has become an essential part of each and every online sportsbook brand. The more options that are available, the more likely players will be to sign up and deposit funds. If a brand makes banking a generally stressful or difficult process, it will surely turn future prospects away. As an existing DFS provider, we get a glimpse into what the Underdog Sportsbook will be offering its customers when it does go live in Ohio, hopefully on January 1, 2023. Existing Underdog Fantasy funding options include:
While we were pleasantly surprised to see an e-wallet option in PayPal on offer, as well as the traditional credit card opportunities, it is expected that Underdog Sportsbook will expand its banking options before going live in Ohio… and eventually Colorado as well. Players can expect Underdog Sportsbook to eventually add a bevy of popular banking options to its repertoire, including the following industry favorites:
It goes without saying, but Underdog Sportsbook has some work to do in order to stay on par with some of the high-end sportsbook names that it will be competing with once the brand goes live. We are, however, confident that the company is cognizant of this fact and are working to add more banking options for existing Underdog Fantasy users and future Underdog Sportsbook clients.
No Underdog Sportsbook preview would be complete without a look into the safety and security of the site. After all, the company will be managing your personal and banking information. Underdog Fantasy has cleared regulatory hurdles in 41 of 50 U.S. states and is available in Canada as well. Only Hawaii, Idaho, Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, Iowa, Washington, and Delaware have failed to clear the DFS brand.
Site security is obviously essential – one bad mention in an Underdog Sportsbook review such as this could spell doom for a brand. Due diligence by some of the top businesspeople on the planet, including billionaire Mark Cuban, should speak volumes about Underdog’s security measures, as well as the brand’s credibility.
Underdog Sportsbook, just like its DFS platform, will employ industry-standard, air-tight 256-bit encryption technology to keep its customers’ information safe. The standard has been set by other books in the market and we are confident that Underdog does and will continue to meet those standards.
Even though the Underdog Sportsbook has yet to go live, we are lucky in that we have Underdog Fantasy to get a sense of what the overall sportsbook will look like and feel like. We initially had high hopes about the overall product… but it fell a tad flat when compared to the competition that the brand will face in the Ohio market.
Underdog Fantasy has a somewhat bland interface that provided a “just okay” first impression of the site. The platform is simple to a fault and could use some spicing up in order to be on par with their established competition. Hopes are that the company can provide some “flash” and “glitz” before they go live with their sportsbook.
As for the overall usability of the platform, it happens to be one of Underdog Fantasy’s strengths, and likely will carry over to the brand’s sportsbook arm as well. Our review of Underdog’s DFS site found an intuitive, clutter-free fantasy interface that provides easy-to-follow directions on how to access and use the various sections of the site itself.
The Underdog Fantasy product was responsive from the time we signed in, to the time we accessed the brand’s fantasy offerings, to the time we cashed out. Overall, Underdog Fantasy, despite its lack of glitz, did provide a quality fantasy wagering experience. It is our expectation that their sportsbook offering will piggyback on their present ease-of-use and responsive attributes. A refresh of the visuals on the site would be nice however – their mustard and black color scheme isn’t very easy on the eyes.
It is both expected and extremely likely that Underdog Sportsbook will offer a full menu of sports betting opportunities in the Ohio market. Simply put, they will HAVE TO in order to realize their hopes of gaining a respectable market share. For now, Underdog Fantasy offers MLB, NFL, PGA, NBA, and NHL wagering opportunities. Underdog Sportsbook users can expect, at minimum, the site’s sports betting menu to include:
The list above is a minimalist list that the smaller, “mom-and-pop shop” sportsbooks are offering throughout the competitive U.S online wagering market. Underdog Sportsbook should offer a similar, if not bigger list of sports markets once it goes live.
Again, because Underdog Sportsbook hasn’t launched yet, we cannot definitively say what types of bets the platform will offer. But there are templates out there that Underdog is likely to follow – ones that will be necessary for them to be considered a legitimate player in the Ohio legal sports betting scene. Along with their Fantasy focus, Underdog Sportsbook is expected to offer the following bet types to their sportsbook customers:
We know that Underdog Sportsbook will offer a live betting element of some sort – they already offer such opportunities within their Daily Fantasy wing. Real-time stats and odds updates are required to provide respectable live betting options. Underdog Fantasy has been providing those necessary statistics since 2020, proving that they have the necessary infrastructure in place ahead of their sportsbook launch.
Rewards programs have become an increasingly important aspect of legal online sportsbooks over the years. It is unclear whether or not Underdog Sportsbook will take a similar approach. Underdog Fantasy currently doesn’t offer any sort of rewards program, but does offer a couple of different bonuses that could eventually evolve into a Rewards-type program. These include the site’s Refer-a-Friend bonus, multiplier boosts, and odds boosts. We’d love to see the brand expand upon this by offering users incentives for every sports wager placed, similar to the customer loyalty programs available at nearly every other major operator’s site.
We can get a sense of what customer service options will be available once Underdog Sportsbook goes live thanks to the company’s DFS website. Upon review, we found that Underdog’s customer support contact options could use some work before the launch of their full-scale sportsbook.
Underdog Fantasy offers just three customer service options, a list that will need to grow in order to put them on par with their competition in the Ohio market. Our tests revealed quick and helpful responses to our queries and questions. For now, the Underdog Fantasy customer service options include:
We hope to see Underdog Sportsbook eventually generate a detailed FAQ section and implement a 24/7 chat feature, while making their present email, phone, and social media options more accessible.