Home Customized jerseys Sports betting VIP programs aren’t what they used to be, bettors say

Sports betting VIP programs aren’t what they used to be, bettors say


Back to the days of online law sports betting – you know, like 2018 and 2019 – sports betting certainly seemed to be doing a lot more whaling.

“The bottom line is that the VIP stuff was very good in the past, now it’s gone down a lot,” said Sid M., a sports bettor from New Jersey. “FanDuel never had much there, but FOX bet and DraftKings— in the past they were very good.

Sid remembers once when he had problems with the DraftKings app.

“I emailed them in 2018 and told them I was having issues with the app on my phone,” he recalls. “I get a call, they ask me where I live. They say to me, ‘We have one of our men going to Meadowlands next week, can he come over to my place?’ I said of course. A week later, he rings my doorbell and hands me a new iPhone. It still surprises me. He just walked by and handed me an Apple X phone.

He also remembers DraftKings and FOX Bet setting him up with a dedicated host, providing dinners at home, having jerseys for his favorite teams delivered overnight, sending invites to sporting events.

“It was very early days, probably no later than 2019,” Sid said.

As for how it happened?

“I was betting a considerable sum,” he said. “On DraftKings, if you count the total money at risk, with sports betting, casino and DFS? Millions of dollars a year, hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.

And apparently DraftKings wanted to keep him happy.

These days?

“It’s very different now,” he said. “New Jersey was the only place it was legal in the beginning, and I was one of the first customers, so I was probably way up the food chain. Now it’s legal in so many states , maybe I’m not [so important] more. I don’t know how they work — maybe I’m not in the “higher superior” anymore. It’s very different.”

How different?

“Before the host was very helpful,” said Sid. “I met him once or twice, whenever there was a problem I emailed him, he worked things out. Now my host is technically here to help, but he needs screenshots and proof before taking any action. It’s just different.

DraftKings: Yes, it’s different

Sid M. is not wrong: it’s different.

Back in the days of the Wild West, the process wasn’t that simple, a DraftKings spokesperson said. SportsHandle. Today, it’s mostly math.

“Status with DraftKings is earned by earning levels in our new loyalty program, Dynasty Rewards,” reads a company statement. “Customers progress to status by earning crowns for everything they do on DraftKings. As users reach higher levels, they unlock new, more valuable Dynasty Rewards benefits.

There are five tiers at DraftKings: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Onyx. Each level is reached by collecting enough “crowns”, which accumulate dollar for dollar for DFS and parlay bets, but become more difficult to acquire as bets become less “risky”, culminating in the need to wager 8 $ on a table game to acquire a single crown.

And to achieve the previous status of Sid M., including a dedicated VIP host, a user would have to achieve Onyx status by collecting more than 1 million crowns per year.

“Onyx members will be assigned to a VIP host who will provide a more personalized experience based on the player’s interests and preferences,” the statement read, while Diamond players – that’s a minimum of 500,000 crowns – receive “l access to a VIP team that will help members achieve the best DraftKings has to offer via a white glove experience.

DraftKings would not disclose how many users it has at the Diamond or Onyx level.

The casino game adds up fast

“It kind of came out of nowhere,” said Dan, a punter from Pennsylvania. “Around the start of the 2020 NFL season, I received a text from the DraftKings VIP team asking if I was interested in free bets and a deposit bonus. I said sure.

Dan said it happened several times, then was asked if he wanted tickets to see the Washington Capitals play in DC. He turned down the offer — his son was just born and DC was a hike. So DraftKings offered him to watch the hometown Flyers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Dan accepted the offer and even asked if his plus-1 could come.

“They said of course,” Dan said.

Based on this offer, Dan had clearly reached the Diamond level, as this is where the live experiences start to come in. How he got there, however, is instructive.

“In NFL peak season, I bet maybe $1,500, $2,000 a month, tops,” he said. “But I’ll also sometimes put $200 in blackjack and cry, playing with the money I just threw away. It goes fast, and I was probably betting $10,000, $20,000 in one sitting.

Tommy, a sports bettor and casino player from New Jersey, had a similar – albeit more heartbreaking – story about his VIP invitation.

“I was basically nickel and divisive for weeks at a time,” Tommy said. “I was making small sports bets, maybe $25, $40, that sort of thing. Then I would go to the casino, play blackjack and try to get the bet back. I would do that eight, 10, 15 times a day. Make a bet, go to the casino and win back the bet.

If it sounds dangerous…

“I was doing this for a few weeks and I racked up over $9,000 in the account,” Tommy said. “Then one day I couldn’t get the $40 back. It became $80, then $160, then became a crazy night of huge bets. I would win $500, I would lose $500, I would win $750, I would lose $750. I can’t even imagine how much I put in. A hundred K? Two hundred K? Come to think of it, probably a lot more.

Whatever the number, it triggered internal checks at DraftKings, and the next day Tommy got a phone call and started getting a ton of benefits.

“At first I had a host, and if I lost a decent amount of money, I would call the host and he would look at my account and fund my account with $200 or $300,” Tommy said.

But just like Sid M.’s experience, Tommy’s host came less and less, until one day…

“Then the host left,” Tommy said. “Why? Has my status changed? I don’t know.”

Tommy noticed, however, that instead of getting cashback as an incentive, everything turned into crowns.

“They would usually throw me eight, maybe 10% back when I was losing,” he said. “Now I get crowns.”

Take the cooler, leave the cannoli

One thing seems clear: the days of DraftKings and company going all out with the goal of creating VIPs — and showering them with gifts and prizes — seem to be over.

Instead, it’s an era of tough math and limited payoffs, unless you get to Diamond or Onyx level – and assuming you didn’t get there by betting on sports and you you find limited.

“The last thing I remember getting was that DraftKings sent me a cooler a year ago,” Sid M. said. Rangers playoffs. Recently, however? A bunch of VIP promotions, the tricks to spending that much and getting a reward. Nothing individualized.

Of course, the question behind it all – and one for which no answer has been forthcoming from DraftKings – is “Why?” Why change the way VIPs are invited and – apparently – reduce the perks? Too many whales in the ocean? Too much time, effort and money to make those VIPs happy?

Or maybe…it’s just not necessary anymore. If you build it, they will come, DraftKings-branded coolers or not.