Black Friday is not just about driving to some mall to elbow people out of the way to try to buy stuff — recently, it's become a day of shopping for sports bettors as well.
That's because the growth of legal sports betting in Canada and the United States has sportsbook operators rushing to acquire customers. In the U.S., especially, it's meant bombarding potential bettors with advertising and offers to get them to sign up and deposit.
And while the COVID-19 pandemic has weighed on the allure of Black Friday, it remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, spurred on by the sales retailers offer to get customers into their stores.
Online sportsbooks appear to be trying to cultivate a similar feeling. To do so, they've been giving Black Friday deals of their own a shot, attempting to entice bettors with promotions tied to the event.
For example, FanDuel Sportsbook announced a Black Friday offer that allows customers to get $50 in credit just for signing up. Caesars Sportsbook said they would match deposits with a free bet of up to $100 through Cyber Monday.
Caesar Giveth Black Friday Bonuses— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) November 26, 2021
We're thankful for all Caesars!
From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, make a deposit and we’ll match it 100% with a Free Bet, up to $100.
Details on your #CaesarsSportsbook app or sign up now: https://t.co/rCEobxlIh2 pic.twitter.com/UgsOuJL3Yb
And Black Friday sports betting offers are not exclusive to the U.S.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) announced this week that it is making its first-ever foray into Black Friday deals. Those offers include a matching bonus of up to $100 for first deposits made with the government-owned company's online sportsbook, which is called PROLINE+.
PROLINE+ launched in August after the legalization of single-game sports betting in Canada. It is the only legal online sportsbook in Ontario at the moment.
However, that state of affairs is expected to change next year, as Ontario regulators continue to put the finishing touches on a competitive market for internet gambling that could include a variety of other sportsbook operators.
“We have a lot more planned over the next couple of months, including some exciting plans for the Super Bowl and the launch of a new updated retail sports offering with single event wagering and dynamic competitive odds,” OLG promised in its Black Friday press release.
Every day a Black Friday?
The Thanksgiving-Black Friday-Cyber Monday time of year may present an ideal opportunity for sportsbooks to try to seize more market share, as there are plenty of games on which to wager and the possibility that potential bettors are off work and have the opportunity to place a bet.
But even if there were no Black Friday or Cyber Monday, sportsbook operators would probably still be spending a lot of money to get customers to sign up. After all, that's what they have been doing, including in markets where online sports betting has only recently been legalized and launched, such as Arizona.
Combine all this with the ongoing NFL and college football seasons, and 2021 has been a banner year for sports betting. Vancouver-based GeoComply Solutions Inc., which helps sportsbooks determine where bettors are, said in early October that it was seeing a boom in geolocation transactions this NFL season.
“With more states poised to come online in the coming weeks and months, we expect growth will continue to accelerate through 2021 and 2022,” predicted Lindsay Slader, managing director of gaming at GeoComply, in a press release.