PlayMA reached out to customer service on all six sportsbooks that launched mobile sportsbook apps in Massachusetts and tested the 24/7 live chat support that complements the FAQ and help sections.
Half of the sportsbooks used chat bots that offered help articles or direct answers before offering to speak to a live agent. The other half took us straight to live customer service agents.
We asked the live chat support systems the same six questions:
- Why won’t my debit card go through?
- Why do I have to give my Social Security number?
- Why aren’t my winnings in my account yet?
- Why is my withdrawal taking so long?
- Why can’t I withdraw my bonus credits?
- How can I access your responsible gambling features?
We worked through questions with the human customer service agents to see whether they could answer our questions accurately. In our case, two of the three live customer service agents reached this performance standard.
Overall Massachusetts sportsbook live chat findings
All six Massachusetts sportsbooks share a few key features.
First, they all have responsible gambling tools, and those tools are easy to find. They’re in the same area as the other account settings. The time, wager and self-exclusion settings are easily accessible and easy to understand. FanDuel has an additional tool that sends reminders at set time intervals showing how much bettors have spent and how long they’ve been on the app.
However, the chat bots are bad at directing users to responsible gambling resources on the app. The bots either pull up unrelated information or fail to answer the query altogether.
Overall, the live agents do a good job answering questions. They’re slower ways to solve common sportsbook account issues, though. It’s quicker to punch keywords into a chat bot than it is to wait for humans to go through their scripts and review accounts manually.
Live agents are necessary for complex customer service issues, but most bettors will likely prefer automated chat bots.
MA sportsbook chat bots, ranked
Overall, the FanDuel Massachusetts chat bot offered the most accurate answers. After choosing the category the questions fell under, FanDuel responded to questions with three suggested articles. The three articles were sometimes labeled for fantasy or horse racing, but they have many procedures in common with sports betting.
FanDuel only had one partial miss, and that was the responsible gambling question. The first suggested article was for TVG’s responsible gambling tools, which is the horse racing section of FanDuel. The other two suggestions were irrelevant.
FanDuel’s chat bot performed the best out of the three bots at the responsible gambling question and providing accurate answers overall. The distance from a straightforward answer about FanDuel Sportsbook’s responsible gambling resources reveals an important blindspot for the chat bot, though.
2. Caesars Sportsbook
Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts had the most convenient customer service chat bot.
While it had links to help pages, those links came after short passages attempting to answer questions. The answers were usually strong, but when they missed the mark, they missed significantly.
Caesars’ two misses were for the Social Security number and responsible gambling features questions.
When asked why we had to provide Social Security numbers, Caesars’ chat bot responded to “make sure (the) account is set up to allow SMS.” The responsible gambling miss was worse. When asked how to access responsible gambling features, Caesars “didn’t understand” the question and asked for it to be “rephrased.”
Caesars Sportsbook offers responsible gambling features, but the chat bot is a poor way to access them.
3. DraftKings Sportsbook
The DraftKings Massachusetts chat bot also offered three articles per customer service question. Its chat bot did a good job overall on five of the six questions.
The chat bot failed the responsible gambling question. When asked, the chat bot suggested:
- Which casino games does DraftKings offer?
- Can I disable the casino?
- How do I play DraftKings Casino games?
These are not helpful suggestions for responsible gambling features on DraftKings Sportsbook. The responsible gambling help section articles may not usually be accessed through the chat bot. DraftKings has a strong content hub with responsible gambling content. However, it’s problematic that the automatic customer service is worse at keyword matching than Bing.
MA sportsbook live agents, ranked
Live agents are similar across most companies. There’s a clear script that these customer service agents follow and verification steps before getting answers to customer questions.
We evaluated the live chats a little differently. The questioning ended earlier than the automatic chat bots. Our questions would’ve stopped making sense to a human. Without our identity verified on these apps, attempting anything past a deposit was impossible. Asking about withdrawals with zero balances would’ve been confusing and ridiculous.
WynnBET and Barstool Sportsbook had similar live agents. In contrast, BetMGM’s customer service chat was strange and may have matched us with a bad agent.
1. WynnBET & Barstool Sportsbook
WynnBET MA and Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts both match chat customers to live agents after submitting verification. Both chat windows are also available through their own links rather than buried in help center content.
Finally, both customer service agents answered our questions the entire time we engaged with them. Wait times to chat with a customer service agent and in between messages were minimal. These were standard customer service chat services that met the bar for satisfactory customer service.
Our experience with the BetMGM Massachusetts customer service agent may have been a fluke, but it was not good.
First, the BetMGM chat didn’t have its own link in-app. Bettors must click “yes” at the end of a help article asking for more information. The chat opened with no prompt, so typing into the abyss was awkward. This is where we asked the first question about why our debit card wouldn’t go through.
We finally reached a person who apologized for the two-minute wait and asked how they could help. They did not answer our first question, so we tried the second question about providing a Social Security number. We gave the customer service agent five minutes before logging off.
For us, the help section articles were better sources of information than the customer service agent available through BetMGM’s chat.
Sportsbook customer service through 24/7 live chat
Customer service chat is good for working through basic problems. It’s a better search engine for a sportsbook’s help section than a tool for solving difficult account issues. That’s why we preferred the automated customer service in our chat rankings over the live customer service agents.
Both types of online chat have blind spots. Massachusetts sportsbooks’ chats performed the worst on our responsible gambling question, making it the largest blind spot.
However, this doesn’t mean that sportsbooks have neglected responsible gambling altogether. Each of these six sportsbooks offers responsible gambling tools for restricting play and content for education. Those tools are easily accessible from the account management sections of different sportsbook apps.
While these blind spots in minor customer service features aren’t the foundation of sportsbooks’ problem gambling offerings, these kinds of mistakes undermine whatever confidence in the online gambling industry outside observers have.