Hi all, Fanduel has a $2,500 risk-free bet promo available for first-time users only in all 18 of the states that Fanduel is licensed in. The offer expires on June 18th. I estimate that the Fanduel promo is worth about $590 EV after taxes for one hour of work, and a few other sportsbooks have some decent promotions as well (in the range of about $250/hour). If you do multiple offers and itemize on your taxes, they’re higher EV.

The fine print is that you have to bet the whole $2500 (or less if you want to do this for less money) in one single bet, and the bet has to be on a game that takes place before June 18th. The states where the Fanduel offer is live include AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, PA, OH, TN, VA, WV, and WY. There have been previous posts that explain the logistics and math of these types of offers, you can check out this post if you’re unfamiliar with how they work. Here is the quick version:

If you make your first bet up to $2,500 on Fanduel and lose, Fanduel will give you site credit equal to the amount of your bet. Site credit isn’t quite as good as having cash, because you have to bet it all at once and because you only get to keep the profit of your bet, not the stake. So if you bet $2,500 at +100 (50/50) odds in cash and win, you’ll get $5,000 back - your $2,500 stake plus $2,500 in profit. If you made the same bet with site credit, you’d only get $2,500 back because you don’t keep your stake.

The way that sportsbetting taxes work is that you’re taxed on your net winnings on a given sportsbook, but if you end up losing money you won’t be able to write that off on your taxes. Here’s a table showing the different states of the world if you pay a 24% federal marginal tax rate and a 5% state tax rate if. This assumes you make your bets at +300 odds, and you have a “fair” 25% chance to win. Even though the house takes a cut, you can use software to find bets at these odds that are fair or even +EV - more on that in this post.

First bet win ($2,500 cash): chance of occurring - 25% Payout if you win: $10,000. Profit: 7500After-tax profit: $7,500* .71 (the 24% federal and 5% state income taxes) = $5,325 
Second bet win ($2,500 site credit): chance of occuring - .75*.25 = 18.75%Payout if you win: $7,500 Profit: $5,000 (because you lost $2500 on your first bet)After-tax profit: $5,000* .71 = $3,550 
Lose both bets: chance of occurring: .75*.75 = 56.25%Payout: $0After tax profit: -$2500

Expected value: 

(.25*5325) + (.1875*3550) +(.5625*-2500) = ~$590


Why do companies do this if customers can reliably gain EV? Gaining EV requires careful planning that most people won't do. The promotions are meant to draw in people who, once they've started gambling, will keep doing so, earning the companies a lot of money over time. If you aren't one of those people, you stand to gain (and to take money from an exploitative industry).

Why are you sharing this here? EAs do more good with their money than most people. I'm hoping some of you will take this offer, make money, and use the money to do good. Opportunities to reliably generate EV are rare, but we live in a weird time where online gambling companies are handing them out on a semi-regular basis. I think we should take advantage.

The other offers are the exact same in structure, but for up to $1,250 on Caesars, up to $1,000 on BetMGM, up to $1,000 on Barstool, and up to $500 on Betrivers. Some states like Colorado have more options - to check your state you can visit the American gaming interactive map.

While the EV of this Fanduel bet is high, so is the variance. Do not bet with money you are not comfortable losing. As you can see in the table above, you would lose money 56% of the time if Fanduel was the only sportsbook you bet on.


If you are itemizing on your taxes (e.g. clumping your donations for this tax year), you can write off losses across sportsbooks. That is to say, if you win $7,500 on Fanduel and lose $3,750 across Caesars, BetMGM, Barstool, and Betrivers, you will only have to pay taxes on your $3,750 in profit across all sportsbooks. If you take the standard deduction, you will only be able to write off losses within a sportsbook (e.g. if you lose your first bet but then win your second bet with site credit), so in the above scenario if you take the standard deduction, you would owe taxes on $7,500 of winnings.

One nice perk of the Barstool promo is that I think if you lose your first bet, you can just withdraw the site credit as cash and don’t need to bet it again. This is how things worked about two months ago, but this might have changed. You can check out this post for info on logistics of moving money on and off sites and for using OddsJam to find what to bet on (feel free to use their free trial and then cancel).


It can be useful to sign up for the sites with an email you check once a week or so, because sometimes sportsbook will email you with personalized offers that are just as good as these promos. More specifically, offers like “deposit $1000 and we’ll give you $500 for free, you just have to bet it within a week” are great, and offers like “here’s an odds boost from +100 to +110” are probably not great. I know a few people who have made $5-10k EV just from capitalizing on offers when they see them in their inbox.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments or via DM, good luck! 





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For Barstool, I'm pretty sure you can't just withdraw bonus cash -- you need to play it through, that is, bet it once. But, because Barstool bonus cash does return the stake when bet, and can be split into any number of bets, it's not hard to get out most of its value.

Huh, a friend let me know that they were able to withdraw the barstool site credit directly to their Paypal. It's possible something has changed with this

The FanDuel site credit can be split up into any number of bets, unless something has changed in the last couple months.

Ah good to know, thanks!

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