When you first sign-up to an online sportsbook you are going to be hit with a barrage of promotions, bonuses, and offers, so much so that it can all be pretty overwhelming. Initially, these offers seem to be free money, of which you can do whatever you want with. However, the reality is that these bonuses are anything but, as they often contain elements within them that make them a little more difficult to use than you think. The main element is known as “rollover” and it isn’t as fun as it sounds, in fact it can cause you plenty of trouble if you’re not careful.
You have heard it a thousand times and odds are you are tired of hearing it by now, but you must read the small print of any online sportsbook bonus you claim. It still amazes me at just how often people sign-up for these offers without any thought or care for the terms and conditions they are signing-up for. You must always read the fine print of any offer you look to claim and pay special attention to the rollover requirement detailed. The rollover requirement is usually listed by a single number (i.e. 10x, 20x, 30x, 40x, 50x, or possibly even more) and relates to how many time you are going to have to wager the bonus being offered to you.
The best way to explain a rollover requirement is through a basic example. Let’s say you find an offer that provides you with a 10% bonus on all deposits over £300, in the conditions it states that the rollover requirement is 3x for the bonus. Say you take the full offer by depositing £300 and receiving an additional £30 in bonus funds. You now have a total of £990 in rollover requirement to work through. Through the example listed it easy to figure out how a rollover requirement works, but it is also easy to see how some players get confused by it when they don’t take the time to read the terms and conditions.
The rollover requirement is the key element to watch out for in any and every online sportsbook bonus. But sadly that isn’t the only condition that online sportsbook providers sneak into their bonus offers. Next up in terms of player ‘danger’ would be market-locks. This is another element that catches players out pretty regularly. Some sports betting websites are now looking to limit exactly how and where a player uses the bonus issued to them. For example, should you sign-up to an online sportsbook during the FIFA World Cup, you could find that your bonus is limited to use on football matches or maybe event just FIFA World Cup games.
Sportsbook bonuses in many ways contain fail-safes that prevent players from walking away with any money. The biggest two fail-safes implemented are cashout limits and time caps. Cashout limits (sometimes listed as a withdrawal limits) are a figure within a sportsbook bonus T&Cs that limit how much a player can win. This limit is defining and no matter how much you win it cannot be waivered. For example, you claim a £10 sportsbook bonus and throw it on a 1000/1 longshot, miraculously the longshot comes in and you think you are £10,000 better off. The problem is that you probably won’t be, because if there is a low cashout limit in place then you will only be entitled to a small fraction of that amount. Time caps are also becoming more commonplace and are hampering the fortunes of online sportsbook bonus users to no end. These time caps come into effect from the very moment that you claim a bonus offer and are seemingly getting shorter and shorter. Say for example, you receive £100 in free play bonus funds, you may be on top of the world, but the reality of the situation is that you must use it all and fulfill any wagering requirements in 60 days, which is almost an impossible challenge. Beware of any bonuses that have a time cap attached, as it may come back to bite you sooner than you think should you choose to claim it.
Online sportsbook bonuses are a fabulous tool for both introductory and betting time extension purposes. The problem is that these bonuses are by no means squeaky clean and they can really punish players if they aren’t careful. Take what has been mentioned here today, commit it to memory, and you should be able to find to a fair online sportsbook bonus sooner rather than later.