Get a group of passionate sports betting fans together and it won’t be long until the topic of conversation turns to one subject in particular – sports betting bonuses.
Though it’s far from the only factor that savvy gamblers weigh up when selecting a betting provider, it’s certainly uppermost in their thoughts. Strategically selecting accounts with the most generous bonus offers is an excellent way of maximising your opportunity online.
In this article we’ll try and hit all the main points you need to know about to make the most of the sports betting bonuses currently on offer. We’ll cover bonus types, the importance of checking the small print and much more.
Types Of Sports Betting Bonuses
In order to make an informed decision about which bookmaker to go for, it’s important to understand the range of bonus offers available and how they differ.
You’ll see bonus offers prominently displayed on nearly every sports betting site but remember to fully check the terms and conditions before you sign up rather than being seduced by the marketing headlines.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the main categories of bonus that you’ll typically run into online:
- Deposit: With deposit bonuses, betting sites will offer to match either all of your initial deposit or a part of it as an incentive. The overall amount they agree to potentially match is typically capped but significant sums can be on offer with this type of bonus.
- No deposit: No deposit bonuses are essentially an initial free sum offered by sites that you can bet with. The best way of thinking of these bonuses is as a type of free trial that the site is offering you to check out its services. The amounts on offer are typically substantially smaller with these types of bonuses.
- Sign up/Welcome: Sign up and welcome bonuses are one-time offers available to new customers. Online bookmakers factor in the lifetime value of the average customer and are prepared to offer generous signing on fees to lock in what they see as potential future earnings.
- Special promotions: The vast majority of sites will also offer a range of one-off promotions and special offers throughout the year to keep life interesting for their customers. Expect to see many of these offered in conjunction with high-profile events such as cup finals.
- Offline bonuses: An increasing number of sites are tying in offline bonuses with their online offerings in order to stand out from the crowd.
Online bookmaking is an incredibly competitive industry and bonuses are one of the main ways individual firms seek to stand out so it’s safe to say that bonus offers will be available for many years to come.
We’d advise you not to get too fixated on the bonuses on offer though, especially if it’s distracting you from overall betting strategy. Bonus hunting is tempting but at a certain stage you have to weigh up how much money you actually stand to cash in on and how much time you are spending deciding between offers. The bonus amounts on offer should just be one of a number of factors you consider.
Beating The Odds With Bonus Arbitrage
One popular strategy many gamblers employ is using their bonus money to perform betting arbitrage or “sure betting” as you’ll sometimes hear it referred to.
Arbitrage is simply the process of exploiting price differences in the market to seek out bets in which you can take a position on both sides and still be certain of coming out ahead.
There are numerous software programs and specialised services available online to help gamblers out with some of the heavy lifting in terms of odds calculation as well. You can also find several excellent breakdowns of the type of odds consideration you’ll need to perform online.
One thing to bear in mind if you are considering going down this road is that the typical profit percentage available if you do find an arbitrage opportunity is 2.5-3%. In order to make this strategy actually pay off long term you will need to accumulate a reasonably hefty stake to begin with and also devote considerable time and resources to carrying it out.
While bonus funds could certainly contribute to that stake, the combination of their maximum payouts and the terms and conditions attached to their use mean that they are unlikely to make up the greater part of it.
Checking The Small Print On Sports Betting Bonuses
When you’re shopping around for the best bonus offers, it’s important that you don’t get blind-sided by the raw numbers quoted. Each and every bonus offer will be accompanied by terms and conditions governing its use.
As a savvy gambler, it’s your responsibility to make sure you fully understand the conditions before signing up to a particular bonus offer.
The first thing to point out is that there will usually be a minimum and maximum amount associated with the bonus offer. Though bonuses may be advertised as a “100% Deposit Bonus” there will always be a maximum amount specified in the terms and conditions.
There will also almost always be what is referred to as a “wagering requirement” involved. This is an amount of money that must have been bet in total before you can release any winnings associated with your bonus.
For example, if you have a $25 bonus with a 10x wagering requirement, you will need to have bet $250 with your provider before you can access it.
When you dig into the small print, you’ll also often see that bonus amounts can only be wagered on a subset of the total markets on offer so be sure you understand the limitations at play before planning your betting strategy.
The reason such requirements exist is fairly straightforward, bookmakers are not in the business of simply giving money away. They’re making a calculation that the longer they can keep you on their site, the more chance they have of coming out on top over time.
The good news is that once you’ve actually matched the conditions for a particular bonus offer, cashing out is generally straightforward. One word of caution though, if a bonus offer sounds too good to be true then the chances are it actually is.
Exercise the same level of caution when selecting your bookmaker as you would with any other financial decision. You are looking for an established company with excellent customer support and a solid track record in the industry.
You’ll also want to be certain your provider offers a full range of funding methods for your account. If in doubt about a particular online bookmaker, take the extra time to research their reputation online in betting forums and other similar sites to see how other sports enthusiasts rate their services.
Staying On The Right Side Of The Law
The legal situation governing sports betting online – whether of the live betting or standard variety – varies from country to country and it’s up to you as a responsible gambler to make sure you are staying on the right side of the local law wherever you happen to be based.
Sports betting is illegal in most of America with the exception of certain states such as New Jersey and Nevada. In Europe, by contrast, the market is legal in practically every individual country and regulated appropriately. The situation in Asia is more diverse with some countries welcoming the industry and others banning it entirely.
Sports betting is also legal in Australia and New Zealand though heavily regulated in both countries.
If you are in any doubt about the situation in your own country, we recommend proceeding with extreme caution and thoroughly checking with your provider before attempting to open an account.
Sports Available For Sports Betting Bonuses
The majority of online bookmakers will offer a full range of betting markets for you to explore when it comes to actually using your bonuses though, as mentioned earlier, there may be restrictions on some events.
Three of the most popular markets are the following:
- Football: As the world’s most popular game, there’s no shortage of betting action available with soccer. Major leagues such as the EPL, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga provide near year-round opportunities to make your predictions and competitions such as the World Cup and European Championships raise the stakes every couple of years.
- Golf: The sheer unpredictability of golf makes it a fascinating betting market to explore and leads to some very tempting odds on tour events if you take the time to really research player’s individual form.
- Horse racing: Horse racing has been a favourite with punters worldwide for generations and it’s not hard to see why. High-profile meets such as the Grand National or Cheltenham provide showcase events throughout the year and the various horse racing seasons combine to give punters an opportunity to get a bet on all year round.
We hope this article has given you some insight on the range of sports betting bonuses available in today’s market and how best to take advantage of them. They’re a great option for gamblers of all experience levels to explore and a straightforward way of moving the odds in your favour from the outset.
We wish you all the best with your bets!
Check Out Our List Of The Best Sports Betting Bonuses!