Update: SI Sportsbook is now launched and is live in Colorado. Click here to read full our SI Sportsbook review!
For the American sports fan, Sports Illustrated has been a household name for over 6 decades. Their weekly insights, analysis, and player profiles have been filled up newsstands on a weekly basis and been holy documents to fans across the country.
Of course, times have changed, and the old-school hardcopy magazine business isn't what it used to be. In an effort to adapt, Sports Illustrated has pivoted from physical media to a more digital-based business model. Ignited by an acquisition Authentic Brands Group (ABG) in 2019, Sports Illustrated has attempted to turn from old media to new media.
Sports Illustrated has collaborated with 888 for SI Sportsbook
Recently, the next step in their evolution was announced: SI Sportsbook. The sportsbook is slated to launch in Colorado by the end of 2021.
To aid in their new venture, Sports Illustrated has partnered with 888. 888 is an online gambling organization that features casino, poker, and sports betting platforms.
While some details are still hazy and it remains to be seen if the sportsbook can live up to the standard set by one of the most respected names in sports, one thing is for sure - SI Sportsbook will be a major player in US online sports betting moving forward.
888 Sports Illustrated
SI Sportsbook's Online Betting Partner
While much is unknown about SI Sportsbook, we know plenty about their partners at 888. Since SI Sportsbook will be utilizing 888’s technology, we can look to 888 Sport as a baseline of what to expect from Sports Illustrated’s betting platform.
888 Sports is an extremely solid offering.
Currently only available in New Jersey, some of 888’s strengths include:
- A great mobile betting app
- Shared wallet between sports betting, casino, and poker platforms
- An enticing bonus offer
It remains to be seen what exactly SI Sportsbook will attempt to emulate from 888 and what the media giant will make their own, but Sports Illustrated has set itself up with a worthy partner.
SI Sportsbook & Sports Media Branded Sportsbooks
Other media brands have charted this evolution before. TV powerhouse FOX Sports and digital media darling Barstool Sports have launched their own betting sites, with FOX Bet and Barstool Sportsbook. Similar to Sports Illustrated, they teamed up with experience iGaming companies - Flutter for FOX and Penn National Gaming for Barstool.
All three media companies are coming from different points in their evolution, however. FOX Sports is an established brand in no danger of decline due to its lucrative TV contracts with leagues like the MLB and NFL. Their sportsbook offering is mainly about licensing their brand for another possible revenue stream.
Barstool Sports is a digital media sensation, whose parent company sold off a significant portion of their stock to iGaming company, Penn National Gaming. Moving forward, the sportsbook will most likely become Barstool's primary stream of revenue.
SI Sportsbook is coming from another place entirely. The once-prestigious Sports Illustrated brand has hit some rough patches in the transition from old media to new media. They haven't been the only brand to be hurt by this, but a renewed focus on digital the past few years has helped ease this transition. SI Sportsbook is a gamble (sorry) that Sports Illustrated hopes can help them reascend in the digital age.
Sports Media Sportsbooks
SI Sportsbook States
For now, this is a bit up in the air. In their original press release, Sports Illustrated only confirmed that the betting site would be launching in Colorado by the end of the year.
However, SI’s partners at 888 already have licenses to operate in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa. 888 has only launched 888 Sport in New Jersey themselves, but it’s possible they’ve held off on launching in Indiana and Iowa until they had a strong partnership to boost their platform here in the states.
By the end of the calendar year, we expect SI Sportsbook will be available in:
- Colorado (confirmed at launch)
- New Jersey (888 is licensed and operational)
- Indiana (888 is licensed, but hasn’t launched)
- Iowa (888 is licensed, but hasn’t launched)
Of course, we will update this list as more information comes out.
SI Sportsbook Promo
888 Sport offers new users a Risk Free Bet for signing up, so we anticipate SI Sportsbook may offer a similar sign up bonus
While nothing official has been announced on this front, we think it’s safe to assume that SI Sportsbook will offer users a welcome bonus upon registration. After all, they will want to attract users to their new platform, and sign up bonuses are an easy way to do this.
We can look to other sportsbooks to predict how this SI Sportsbook’s welcome bonus will be structured.
Right now, the risk free bet is the in-vogue welcome offer for most sportsbooks. This gives users a chance to try out the betting site, with assurances that they will be refunded if they lose.
In fact, 888 Sport is currently offering new users a chance to try out their services with a $500 risk free bet.
So, while nothing is official yet, we expect new users to SI Sportsbook to be greeted with a risk free bet offer of some sort.
SI Sportsbook App
There’s very little doubt that Sports Illustrated’s sportsbook offering will be launching with a mobile app.
Whether this app launches on iPhone and Android remains to be seen.
888 Sport has a great sports betting app, so we imagine that using that technology, SI Sportsbook can produce their own high-end mobile betting experience.
SI SPORTSBOOK PAYMENT OPTIONS
This is something we won’t really be able to answer until closer to launch. We expect that SI Sportsbook will provide users the opportunity to utilize traditional deposit and withdrawal options, such as credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers.
We hope to soon find out if the neophyte betting site will offer less ubiquitous payment options, such as Skrill and PayNearMe.
We also hope to find out all the minimum requirements for deposits and withdrawals soon, as well as the processing time for payments.
SI Sportsbook PayPal
While it’s not confirmed, we would be shocked if PayPal was not supported as a payment method on day one.
PayPal is one of the most popular ways for users to make and receive payments online, but especially on sports betting sites. It would require a large oversight on Sports Illustrated’s part to not include PayPal on day one.
SI Sportsbook Betting Variety
While much is still unknown about what exactly we can expect from SI on this front, we know there will be sports betting of some sort at the very least!
For starters, here are some basic betting markets we expect SI Sportsbook to offer:
Whether they go further into niche sports, like competitive darts and table tennis, remains to be seen.
We’re hopeful that SI Sportsbook will offer a variety of betting types, such as single game parlays and a deep suite of live betting features.
SI Sportsbook Overview
Sign Up Today
Unfortunately, we still have more questions than answers for this new sportsbook.
But there is hope.
Despite a bit of a dip in popularity and prestige in the new media landscape, the Sports Illustrated brand still carries a lot of weight. When you add in the knowhow of 888, we feel that there is a ton of potential here for SI Sportsbook to become a great sports betting site in its own right.
We eagerly anticipate trying this one out.