When it comes to sports betting bonuses, the message is pretty simple – diligence pays. Right now, every leading online bookmaker across the board is offering its own unique take on bonuses and freebies, designed to snare new business. But in terms of the actual value and practicality of what’s on offer, differences between competing bookies can be literally night and day.
So rather than pairing off specific offers one by one, what follows is a brief guide to the kinds of offers you’ll come across and what to be on the lookout for.
Match Deposit Bonuses
Perhaps the single most common example of a new customer bonus is offered in the form of a match deposit bonus. This means that whatever you deposit into your account upon first signing up, a bonus amount will be paid accordingly. It may be 100%, 200% or 50% of your initial credit, with maximum bonus amounts ranging from £10 right up to £1,000 and even more.
When it comes to match deposit bonus offers, the funds you will receive are always subject to wagering requirements. Which means that you need to put a certain amount of your own money on the line, before being able to access the bonus funds for withdrawals, or anything you win using them. Wagering requirements can be anything from 2X to 100X the bonus amount AND the initial deposit combined, which must be satisfied within a set period – usually a week or a month. Be sure to check out all such terms and conditions before accepting match deposit bonuses, as it may be borderline impossible to gain access to the funds.
Exclusive to the sports betting market, free bets are usually paid out in a similar manner to match deposit bonuses. However, they are generally set in stone in terms of how much you can get. Examples include wagering £10 of your own money to qualify for £20 in free bets as an introductory offer, or wagering at least £20 per week to qualify for a £5 free bet on a specified day each week.
In such instances, terms and conditions usually centre around specific requirements for the free bets themselves. For example, wagers with odds of at least 2/1 or greater are pretty much standard. In other instances, it may be necessary to play through the bonus bet amount up to 4X, before being able to access the funds or any winnings. It is also a standard for maximum withdrawals to be imposed on bonus funds and bets – anything from £50 to more than £1,000.
Hugely appealing to newcomers and a great way of trying out what’s on offer, before actually getting started. However, no-deposit bonus offers should not necessarily be viewed as free money. In the case of sports betting, the standard no-deposit bonus offers likely to come across manifest in the form of a free £5 or £10 for new customers, without having to deposit any of your own money. You sign up, you enter the required promo code and the money makes its way into your account.
As for those all-important terms and conditions, it tends to be very similar to the examples above, though with more aggressive wagering requirements. For example, if you are provided with a no-deposit bonus of £10 in free bets, it’s extremely likely that you will be required to wager perhaps £50 or even £100 using your own money, before being able to withdraw the bonus funds or associated winnings. As such, while no-deposit bonus offers are certainly attractive and can be great when it comes to trying out what’s on offer, they are not necessarily to be viewed as free money.
Though most commonly associated with online casinos, there are quite a few sports betting sites these days that offer reload bonuses. These basically work in exactly the same way as match deposit bonuses, but instead apply to on-going credits and top-ups along the way. It may be that on a certain day of the week or as part of a certain promotion, any deposit you make with a value of £20 or more will qualify for a 50% reload bonus.
Likewise, terms and conditions will usually be identical to those you’d associate with a match deposit bonus. Play through (wagering) requirements will definitely apply, so it’s important to check them out in full before going ahead.
VIP and Loyalty Programs
Generally speaking, VIP and loyalty programs where available from sports betting service providers very much live up to their name. For high-rollers and those who take part in sports betting activities on an extremely regular basis, it’s perfectly possible to stack up loyalty points to exchange for freebies in one form or another. However, in the vast majority of instances anything on offer of any real value may be entirely out of reach for those who gamble on an infrequent or casual basis.
There’s usually nothing to lose by signing up to available VIP and loyalty programs, but in most instances they do not pay out anything of real value for casual customers.
Recommend a Friend
If you come across any kind of recommend a friend offer, you can expect the same kind of deal as with an initial welcome bonus. Many sports betting operators these days pay anything from £5 to £50 when existing customers successfully refer new customers, who then go on to spend real money with the brand.
In order to withdraw this money or any winnings therefrom, standard wagering requirements between 4X and 50X will apply.
Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to look a little deeper than the surface when checking out the sports betting bonuses and promotions on offer. The reason being that it may be the additional promotions available to all customers across the board that may be of greatest value and appeal to you personally. Common examples include ACCA Insurance, Bet Cash Out offers, Best Odds Guarantees and all manner of others besides.
Terms and conditions will always apply, but are usually less restrictive and complicated when it comes to on-going promotions and special offers that are open to all customers.