Compare bonuses offered by online sportsbooks.
Before you deposit with an online sportsbook, make sure you are getting a good bang for your buck. Bookmakers Review (BMR) has listed below the industry’s best bonus offers.
The vast majority of sportsbooks offer a variety bonuses to incenticize players with making a deposit. Claiming these sports betting bonuses can help you earn a profit over the course of the year, so it is important to identify the most lucrative offers.
Sportsbook bonuses generally fall into two categories: welcome bonuses designed to attract new customers, and ongoing promotions designed to maintain customer loyalty. However, these bonuses can take many different forms, and there are a number of important terms and conditions that you must consider.
Only then can you calculate the true value of each bonus. Bookmakers Review is here to help. We will provide you with clear details about the different sportsbook bonuses on offer at the sites that compete for your business, and you can read on to learn more about the various promotions available to sports bettors.
Welcome Bonus Offers
A strong signup bonus can make or break a sportsbook in this ultra-competitive industry. It is typically the key promotional tool used by sports betting sites as they seek to attract new customers, and it is crucial that they put forward a compelling offer.
The overwhelming majority of signup offers are deposit match bonuses. This means you have to deposit some of your own money in order to unlock the bonus cash.
There will typically be a minimum deposit requirement for you to claim the signup bonus. At most sportsbooks, it is just $10, but it can go up to $50 or $100 at some online sports betting sites.
When you claim a deposit match bonus, you receive a percentage of your deposit in the form of free bets. There is always a maximum bonus amount that you can claim.
A typical offer is a 50% match deposit bonus worth up to $1,000. This means the sportsbook will match 50% of your initial deposit in the form of free wagers. The most you can unlock is $1,000, so you would need to deposit $2,000 of your own money to earn the full $1,000 in bonus money.
If you were to deposit $300, you would earn $150 in bonus money when claiming this offer, leaving you with $450 to play with. You then have to complete various wagering requirements – outlined in detail below – before you can make a withdrawal.
The maximum bonus amount is a key consideration when you are weighing up how attractive a bonus is. The match deposit percentage is also important, as a 100% welcome bonus is in theory more appealing than a 50% welcome bonus. However, you also have to consider whether it is a cash bonus or a free play bonus, and how onerous the rollover requirements are, before you can make an effective judgment on how attractive each sports betting bonus is.
Bonus funds generally take two forms – cash and free play. Cash bonuses are inherently more attractive, because you get to keep your stake (risk amount) on any winning wagers you place with the bonus funds.
For example, let’s say you get a cash bonus worth $100 and you use it for a moneyline bet on the New York Giants to win an NFL game at odds of +125. If the Giants were to win, you would be returned $225.
That includes $125 in profit and the return of your $100 stake. You would not receive both components on a free play bonus, so cash bonuses ostensibly offer better value.
Free Play Bonuses
You do not get your risk amount back when you place a winning bet with free play bonus funds. Sticking with the example above, if you were to receive a $100 free play bonus and then place a successful +125 bet on the Giants to win, you would be returned $125.
You get to keep the profit, but not the stake. As such, free play bonuses are not as attractive as cash bonuses. However, there are other factors that can affect the appeal of a bonus. For example, a 100% free play bonus with a 5x rollover requirement is more attractive than a 50% cash bonus with a 12x rollover requirement.
Risk Free Bet Bonuses
Some sports betting sites will offer you an initial risk free bet as your welcome sportsbook bonus. To claim this offer, you would need to sign up and potentially enter a relevant bonus code. Then make your initial deposit and place a wager on any sporting event.
If it wins, you get to keep your money, just like any normal bet. However, if it loses, you get your money back.
Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully. Some online sportsbooks provide a genuinely risk free bet. If your wager loses, you will be refunded in cash, which you can then withdraw and walk away if you so desire.
However, most sportsbooks will give you a refund in the form of site credits. This is generally a free play bonus, which you must then roll over at least once. A risk free bet sounds appealing, but you can only benefit from it if you place an unsuccessful initial wager, which might jar with some sports betting fans.
No Deposit Bonuses
This is a very appealing form of sports betting bonus, because it does not require you to deposit any of your own money. You simply sign up with an online sportsbook and receive free credit.
However, no deposit offers are not going to make you rich. First, you will only receive a small amount of site credit to play with – the max bonus is often just $10 – and then you will have to go through very difficult rollover requirements before you are able to make a withdrawal.
It is possible to get risk free bets and end up walking away with a profit, having not risked any of your own money, but that is rare, and it requires you to enjoy a long winning streak. These no deposit offers are really designed to allow you to test drive a site, while it gives the online sportsbooks an opportunity to convince you to become a long-term customer.
The rollover requirement is one of the most important considerations you must focus on when determining the appeal of a sportsbook bonus. It relates to the amount of times you need to wager the bonus funds before you can make a withdrawal.
You will sometimes see it referred to as the play-through requirement or the wagering requirement, while other sites talk about rollover rates, but it all means the same thing. Rollover requirements can apply to a sign up bonus, a match deposit sportsbook bonus, a cash bonus, a free play bonus, a risk free bet bonus and any other form of bonus.
You might find that a sportsbook offers a 50% match bonus worth up to $500, with a 6x rollover requirement attached. This means you would need to play your bonus funds through six times before you could make a withdrawal. If you were to receive the full $500 match bonus, you would need to place $3,000 worth of wagers before you could request a payout.
It is important to read the sportsbook bonus terms and conditions carefully, because some rollover requirements apply to just the bonus amount, whereas others apply to both the bonus amount and your initial deposit.
If you deposited $1,000 of your own money to claim a 50% match bonus worth $500, you would be left with $1,500. If a 6x rollover was attached to both your deposit and the bonus funds, you would need to place $9,000 worth of wagers before you could make a withdrawal.
You should also bear in mind that not all wagers count towards a rollover requirement. For example, you are unlikely to be able to simply place a series of wagers on really heavy moneyline favorites in order to complete the requirement. Most sportsbooks impose a minimum odds rate for bets to qualify for the rollover requirement, such as -200 or -150. Your bet might also not qualify if the event is voided, or if you cash out early.
Sportsbooks could quickly be wiped out if they did not introduce rollover requirements. Customers could then make a deposit, receive the bonus, withdraw the cash and walk off with a large profit, over and over again. A rollover requirement gives you a chance to earn a profit, but it is not guaranteed, and it also gives the sportsbook time to sell itself to you.
Other Terms and Conditions
There are several other terms and conditions that you should bear in mind when claiming a welcome bonus:
You will generally have a limited amount of time in which to use your bonus funds. A common example is seven days on a welcome bonus. If you do not complete the wagering requirements in that timeframe, you will forfeit the funds. In some cases, you can even lose your own deposit money.
Certain payment methods cannot be used to claim match deposit bonuses. Most sports betting site operators will not give you a sign up bonus if you use Skrill or Neteller when making your initial deposit, as they have been used by groups and individuals that abused the bonus system in the past.
Each customer can only claim a welcome bonus once. If a sportsbook discovers that you are abusing the system, your bonus will be seized and you could be banned for life. Of course, you are free to sign up for accounts with multiple sites and receive sportsbook bonuses from each one. However, if two sites are owned by the same parent company, you may not be able to claim both welcome bonuses.
Some bonuses require a promo code. You will only be able to claim the bonus if you enter this code when registering with the sports betting website.
Certain bonuses are only available to players in specific countries. Some bonus offers may be available for players in the United States, but not in Canada, for example. Check the terms and conditions carefully.
Some payment methods will allow you to unlock a more lucrative deposit bonus. Certain sites will offer you a more appealing deal if you deposit using crypto as opposed to a credit card or a wire transfer. For example, the crypto bonus offers at BetOnline are larger and more lucrative than the non-crypto bonuses. Many sports betting sites prefer to deal in crypto, because it is cheaper, safer and more convenient, so they will offer you an incentive to use it.
Sportsbook promos can change over the course of the year. If you see an exciting bonus, it might not be around in a month’s time. Some of the best online sportsbook bonuses are available for a limited time only.
Some gambling sites will combine two different bonus offers. For example, you might receive a risk free bet worth up to $1,000, with a $20 no deposit bonus thrown in for good measure. Another site might offer a match deposit bonus, and throw in free spins in its online casino.
Many sportsbooks will give you a reload bonus on subsequent deposits you make after claiming your sign up bonus. You will generally find that the reload bonus is smaller than the welcome bonus, but it can also have a more generous rollover requirement.
For example, Heritage Sports offers a 50% match deposit cash bonus worth up to $250 when you initially sign up for an account. It then offers a 10% cash bonus worth up to $500 each time you top up your account balance, but this reload bonus has a 5x rollover requirement.
Some sportsbooks will offer a reload bonus on every single deposit you make. Others will only provide a reload bonus on your first few account balance top-ups, so you should always check the T&Cs. Sportsbooks are also liable to change their reload bonuses over time, so it is worth checking the promotions page before each reload you make.
Short-Term Sports Betting Promotions
Many sportsbooks offer a wide range of short-term promotions and sport-specific bonuses throughout the season. For example, you might receive odds boosts or profit boosts on certain bets, or parlay payout boosts. Other sites offer parlay insurance, whereby you get a refund – in the form of a free bet – if one leg of your parlay lets you down.
Sports betting operators often run short-term bonus offers around major sporting events like the Super Bowl or the World Cup final. You can expect to find a wealth of exciting offers at those times, including free bets.
Essentially, online sportsbooks like to offer incentives to offer added value and ensure customer loyalty. For example, Intertops gives out 20 free $50 parlay bets each week and it gives $1,000 per month to the player with the best parlay. Bet365 pays you out if your team goes 2-0 up in a soccer game, 5 runs ahead in an MLB game, 20 points ahead in an NBA game and so on. YouWager runs a bad beat special, whereby you get a free bet if you lose two consecutive wagers by a half point.
These ongoing promotions make the wagering experience more fun and varied, and they give sportsbooks a point of difference in a competitive market.
Several sportsbooks will automatically enrol you in a loyalty program when you sign up for an account, regardless of whether or not you claim a free bet deposit bonus. You will start off on the bottom tier, and you can climb your way up the ladder by racking up points.
Players are generally awarded points at different rates. For example, a parlay typically earns you more points than a straight bet. You will unlock greater rewards and redemption rates as you climb up the tiers.
If you are a high roller or place a large volume of bets, you will eventually find your way into the VIP tier. This can earn you personalized bonus offers, a dedicated account manager, event invitations and many more rewards.
The idea is to accumulate points and then trade them in for rewards. Most rewards take the form of free bets or contest entries, but some give away things like fine wine, cigars, and so on too.
Online sports betting sites run exciting contests throughout the year. These can include March Madness Bracket Contests, NFL Pick ’Em Contests and so on. Some are free to enter and allow you to win cash prizes. Others require you to pay an entry fee, but they often carry larger prize pools.
Some have office pools, whereby you can buy squares and hope for the best. Others require a great deal of skill as you make several predictions in a bid to beat your fellow sports fans. These contests, tournaments and head-to-heads can be great fun, but they can also be lucrative.
Casino Bonuses and Rebates
Many gambling sites run an online casino and racebook alongside a sportsbook. A bettor will generally be able to claim casino and poker bonuses in addition to sports betting bonus offers.
The concept is generally pretty similar on a casino bonus and a sportsbook bonus. You are required to deposit your own money – with deposit methods like Skrill and Neteller excluded – and the site will match a percentage of your deposit amount in the form of free bets.
Casino bonuses generally have far higher wagering requirements than the best sportsbook bonuses. This is because many casino games have a high RTP (Return to Player) ratio. For example, the RTP is more than 99% on classic blackjack, which is a much lower house edge than a -110 sportsbook bet on sides and totals.
Some casino games count 100% towards completing rollover requirements, but others may only count 10% or 20%, so it is important to check the T&Cs. You are often likely to receive free spins as part of a casino bonus too.
Some sites will provide you with casino rebates or racebook rebates. This will see you earn a refund – in the form of free bets – on any net losses you incur during a certain period of time.
For example, Bookmaker offers a rebate worth up to 8% on all racebook wagers. You will get 3% back on any net losses you incur on win, place and show wagers over the course of the week, and 8% back on all exotic wagers.
Sportsbook Bonus FAQs
What is a bonus rollover requirement?
A rollover is essentially a play-through requirement; it refers to the number of times you must wager your deposit plus bonus before you can place a withdrawal request.
What does the lessor of the risk/win refer to?
Many bonuses stipulate that they calculate action toward a rollover requirement based on the ‘lessor of the risk/win amount’. Put simply, if you had a rollover requirement of $1,000, you could not fulfill your rollover by putting all $1,000 on a -1000 favorite moneyline. In that example, risking $1,000 to win $100, you would be credited with th lessor amount, $100, toward your rollover.
How is a free play different from a cash bonus?
A free play expires after it is used. For example if you have a $100 free play, you would wager it on X amount of events, and retain all profits. However, the base bonus would not be retained. A cash bonus functions like cash you deposited yourself, and the risk amount is returned to your available balance.