Everyone loves a ‘freebie’, from sweepstakes prizes to high-street store coupons, anything that’s free is tends to find an audience. The realm of sports betting is no different. Taking the form of a sportsbook bonus, these promotions now run rampant across the Internet, but all may not what it seems. While on paper these offers may seem all sweetness and light, given the sheer amount available and their often-sneaky terms and conditions, not all sportsbook bonuses are the same, nor do they all represent a win-win situation for players. Here in this article we are going to take an in-depth look at the types of sportsbook bonus available, along with the elements within them that you should be wary of.
What are sportsbook bonuses?
Before breaking down the types of sportsbook bonuses you are likely to find online and what they entail, you need to understand what a sports betting bonus actually is. In their purest form, they are a promotion run by an online sports betting website that allows a player to gamble for “free”. The bonuses range from being a token gesture to truly huge and generally change dependent on the season and the sports in-play at the time. When big sporting events are in-progress or fast approaching, expect the bonuses to be big and frequent. However, should the year be in a quiet phase sports wise you can expect the bonuses offered to be far less notable. At their core sportsbook bonuses are a cyclical promotional tool offered to players in order to get them to part with their money.
Sign-up Bonus (also known as a Initial Deposit Bonus or Registration Bonus)
Sign-up sportsbook bonuses are by far the most common form of sportsbook bonus. Pretty much every online bookmaker offers them year round, and given the current membership levels of many, they seem to work to entice new players. When a new punter signs up for an online sportsbook operator they will hand out a bonus that relates to a percentage of their first deposit. The percentage offered usually falls between 50% and 200% and is of use most when it is fully maximised. This is because seldom offer bonus provide players with the chance to claim as much.
Reloaded bonuses can be seen as the type of bonus that allows winners to bounce back and losers to keep losing. Working in a similar fashion to the previously mentioned sign-up sportsbook bonus, they reward players who continuously deposit after registration. For example, should your bankroll be fast approaching zero, making another deposit could provide you with a reload bonus that will help further your game time. The catch with reload bonuses is that your bankroll often needs to be below a certain threshold for them to come into effect.
Considered by far to be the most old school of sportsbook bonuses and one that is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Refer-a-friend bonuses reward players who help facilitate new online sportsbook registrations and subsequent deposits. For example, should you be an online sportsbook member, then you provide your friend with unique account ID that they can input during registration, when you do so you will receive a free bonus from the bookmaker as a ‘thanks’.
Free Play Bonuses
The rarest of the rare and a sportsbook bonus type that is seemingly heading towards extinction. Free play bonuses are from time to time issued during big sport events to entice players to start betting. In general free play bonuses allow players to play for free, with the offer generally representing a small token amount. However, you must be aware that these bets do often come loaded with stricter than normal terms and conditions.
How do online sportsbook bonuses work?
Online sportsbook bonuses aren’t one-dimensional in approach and tend to work in various different ways. The “bonus code” setup is the most common approach utilised by online sportsbook, which means a player must input a code on-site in order to access a bonus. The associated free funds will then be deposited into a player’s “free play” account once the conditions of the bonus promotion have been met. This money will remain in the free play account until the terms and conditions of the bonus funds have been met, when reached they will be moved into your real money account.
Beware of the small print
So you’ve found the perfect online sportsbook bonus and you’re ready to sign-up and claim it? But wait and don’t be so hasty. The offers available to you may seem to be pretty simple, but what is found within the small print makes them seem little murkier. These “minimum requirements” are often more than they initially seem and can prevent you from seeing any of your bonus winnings. For example, an in-built wagering requirement would mean that you would have to bet your bonus funds a set amount of times before they can become cashable. Say for argument’s sake you claim a £10 bonus and with that bonus comes a 30x wagering requirement, you would have to wager at least £300 before you can access any bonus related winnings. Other conditions that may be found within the small print of an online sportsbook bonus include withdrawal limits, market-locks, and time limits, all of which can hamper your online sportsbook bonus use.
Bash the bookies
Taking into account all that they entail, there is no denying that with careful use an online sportsbook bonus can open up a whole host of betting opportunities. While they might cone loaded with terms and conditions in many cases, they still give players the chance to bet on their favourite sporting events, which is undoubtedly a great thing. Think smart, grab an online sportsbook bonus, use the information detailed above, and try and bash the bookies today!