I signed up for all six sportsbook apps available in Massachusetts ahead of March Madness.
Four sign-ups were seamless and easy.
The others? Not so much.
For most users, signing up for an online sportsbook account only requires the personal information in the registration process. That includes a user’s name, address and all or part of their social security number. Sometimes Massachusetts online sportsbooks can’t confirm a customer’s identity, so they ask for a government-issued ID or a utility bill.
These documents are often reviewed manually, and it shows. WynnBET and Caesars Sportsbook required additional verification from me. I needed to submit my driver’s license and a utility bill to both sportsbooks.
WynnBET took four days to verify my identity.
Caesars Sportsbook took seven. (Yes, I couldn’t use the app for a full week.)
Here’s what happened.
At the beginning of WynnBET’s ID verification process, I was asked to submit my driver’s license and a utility bill with my current address. I got an email confirming that my verification request was being processed. There was also a message in red text in the sidebar menu in the app.
All there was left to do was wait.
I submitted the documents on the morning of Saturday, March 18. I didn’t hear back until the afternoon of Tuesday, March 21. It was a quiet four days, but the message remained in my account that verification was in progress. Once I was verified, my deposit went through, and I began betting.
Caesars Sportsbook sign-up
Caesars Sportsbook took seven days to verify my account. It may have taken even longer if I hadn’t contacted support on day seven.
Initially, Caesars asked for only my driver’s license, and I uploaded it Saturday, March 18. When I contacted support over email the following Friday, March 24, I was asked to include my utility bill.
Caesars’ email support was good. It was clearly a real person who was direct, competent and polite. I had my account activated in a couple hours after trading emails with Caesars support. It’s possible that Caesars was about to get to my account, but I had to wait for the entire gap between the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight to begin betting.
Verify identity at online sportsbooks in Massachusetts
I experienced these issues in Colorado, where my driver’s license and utility bill addresses don’t match.
The same apps that launched in Massachusetts have been available in Colorado for years. Massachusetts transplants or bettors who move frequently should be prepared to go through the identity verification process.
March Madness is almost over. Unless bettors have retained a pandemic-era fondness for South Korean baseball and international table tennis, the next popular games to bet on are months away. Bettors with identity verification issues will have plenty of time to wait for their verification to go through then.
The six apps currently available in Massachusetts are DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, WynnBET and Barstool Sportsbook. Betr plans to launch in April. Fanatics Sportsbook and Bally Bet will launch in May. And Betway is expected to launch next January.
If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7