What is a sportsbook rollover?

BMR Forum

Administrator
Staff member
Sportsbook bonuses are almost always accompanied by some fine-print. It is important to read these small details to ensure that the bonus you have accepted is one that is aligned with your preferences as a bettor. For example, bonus cash might not be playable inside the casino, or you might not be able to bet odds shorter than -250.

One of the most common terms required by a sportsbook is known as a rollover. A rollover is a way for a sportsbook to ensure that they receive action in the form of placed bets from the player - or else it would be akin to simply giving the player free cash. Sportsbooks want to incenticize players to choose their company instead of the competition, so a bonus is an effective way to dangle the carrot and get the player to put his or her foot in the door.

How rollovers generally work
Let's say you deposited $200 and receive a 50% bonus with a 3X rollover requirement. Rollovers almost always are calculated by deposit+bonus. So, if you deposited $200 and received a 50% cash bonus - equal to $100 - you would have to rollover 3X the amount of your deposit+bonus ($900 worth of betting). Sportsbooks will require this action before allowing a withdrawal to prevent the player from simply taking advantage of the free cash and withdrawing house money.

But wait, there's more.

The industry standard is for sportsbooks to use a term such as the "lesser of the risk/win" amount. In short, this is a way to prevent a player from taking the $300 and betting on almost a sure-thing like Roger Federer in the first round against some 20-year-old player where he might have a 95% chance of winning; this wouldn't give the sportsbook much value, because the player is not taking much of a risk and yet the house extended a credit with the $100 bonus.

An example of rollover calculation
Sticking with the example, if Roger Federer had a 90% chance of winning and you bet all $300 at -900 to win $33, the sportsbook will only credit you with $33 toward your $900 rollover requirement, since the profit ($33) is a lesser amount than the risk ($300). A sportsbook's preference is obviously that a player will take more of a risk and bet a standard -110 outcome, but a player is perfectly free to bet the biggest favorites possible - though doing so will take longer to clear rollover, and may not necessarily be a positive expectation play as heavy favorites are not invincible, especially in tennis. :)

To view a list of bonuses from 100+ sportsbooks, visit the Bookmaker's Review sportsbook rating guide.
 

BMR_Brad

Moderator
Staff member
New people do often find the risk/win rollover calculation an unexpected surprise if they have not read the rules.

But it does make sense when explained like this.
 

Wagerallsports

Moderator
Staff member
Rule of thumb when a player is indecisive on taking a bonus with a rollover:

A. If you're a 'hit & run' type of player who likes to withdraw often after you win, then you obviously should forfeit any bonus as it would prevent or lengthen your withdrawal.

B. If you are depositing at a book with plans on betting a particular sport for it's entire season, then you definitely accept the bonus as you will have plenty of time to meet it's rollover while also increasing your bankroll.
 
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