FanDuel Sportsbook Review: A Wild NFL Week 1 at Mohegan Sun
Carl Carchia | 4 mins
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FanDuel offers arguably the best user experience when it comes to sports betting apps.
While sports betting is heavily focused on mobile (and rightfully so), we often forgot about the “human” element of sports betting. The sportsbook experience. The rush of being in a room full of bettors when things like … Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season occur.
Yes, I’ve generalized because I can’t remember a more chaotic opening Sunday in my adult football watching life (I turned 18 in 2000, you do the math). I also can’t think of a better place to have witnessed it than FanDuel Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT (of course, outside of Circa Stadium Swim in Vegas).
“We want people to leave feeling like they experienced the Mohegan way,” said Brad Bryant, the General Manager of FanDuel Sportsbook. “It’s all about the experience. We just want people to have a great time.”
The FanDuel Sportsbook Experience
Mission accomplished, Mr. Bryant.
Connecticut regulated sports betting launched last October and Mohegan Sun's FanDuel Sportsbook opened in February, just prior to Super Bowl 56.
Thus, this was the first full Sunday slate of NFL betting. Watching the ending of the 1 pm games (only two were blowouts – Ravens/Jets and Dolphins/Patriots) on a massive 140-foot LED screen that wrapped around the room was football Nirvana.
As you can imagine, the sportsbook with the largest video wall this side of the Mississippi was more than an appropriate site for the retirement party of the larger-than-life character of Rob Gronkowski.
RELATED: FanDuel Kansas is now live! Learn more here.
The 11,000 square-foot sportsbook features at least 52 screens, extremely comfortable movie-theater style seats and betting kiosks splayed across the outskirts. The bar alone has enough TVs to satisfy sports fans. But the video wall is something that made me let out an audible “Wow” at first sight. It’s really that great.
I’ve been betting for more than two decades. I’ve been to Vegas twice. This sportsbook holds up well against Vegas sportsbooks. It’s quite astonishing then, to consider it only took about six months to transition from the old racebook to what you see today.
FanDuel is about user experience, both on your mobile device and in person. Of course, there are bound to be an equal amount of people whose “experience” is shaded by the ticket they’re holding. That’s the nature of the beast.
I was one of them. I teased the Colts down to -1.5. We know how that ended. I lamented that loss with a fellow bettor, whose teaser ticket looked very similar to mine.
Shared experiences. That’s what in-person betting provides: The gasps of disbelief and roars of joy when Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick burst through to block a go-ahead PAT.
The yells when Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship badly missed a very makable 42-yard field goal attempt - destroying Colts moneyline and teaser bets in the process.
Blakenship was far from the only kicker who had a bad day. Bengals kicker Evan McPherson had arguably the worst day of all kickers (with an assist from his long snapper).
Connecticut Sports Betting Facing Competition
Massachusetts sports bettors have been crossing the border to experience these thrills at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods (DraftKings) for months. That will be changing soon with the Bay State expected to launch regulated betting, perhaps before the end of 2022.
For his part, Bryant is unconcerned with how that will affect business.
“I never thought Vegas could sustain what they’ve done (once regulated betting became widespread), but I’ve been totally wrong on that. I think what happens is when other states regulate it just opens it up to more people,” Bryant said.
“It never really pools from one state or the other. I don’t think it steals business. I think what happens is Vegas benefits because people are learning and getting a little experience, getting confidence and the next thing you know they’re making a trip to Vegas.”
Until then, FanDuel Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun is the next best thing.