A Complete Guide to Sports Betting Bonuses

Sports betting bonuses have been an important aspect of online sportsbooks for many a year now. The industry is one of the most competitive ones out there, and this forces bookmakers to try and stand out from the crowd by offering a sport betting bonus that potential punters cannot turn down. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about these bonuses.

Different Kinds of Sports Betting Bonuses for Newcomers

There are plenty of different sports betting bonuses that sportsbooks like to offer new customers who open an account with them, and here are some of the most common ones.

Deposit Bonus

This is the most common kind of welcome bonus that betting sites offer their new punters. With such a bonus, your very first deposit will be matched up to a particular value. For instance, a bookie might be offering a 100% match bonus up to £100. Thus, if you decide to place an initial deposit of £50, you will get an extra £50 that you can spend on whatever sport you like.

No Deposit Bonus

This is one of the most popular types of bonuses, but it is a pretty uncommon one nowadays. With this kind of bonus, you will receive some extra money, usually £10-£30, just for completing the registration process. No deposit bonuses are loved by sports bettors because they allow bettors to test out a sportsbook without having to financially commit to them.

Free Bets

Every punter out there loves a free bet because such a bonus allows them to place a wager without having to worry about any potential losses. There are different kinds of free bets, such as deposit X - get X, risk-free, and no deposit.

Risk-Free Bet: You put down a wager and your stake will be refunded if it goes on to lose.

Deposit X - Get X: You make some sort of deposit and you will receive a free bet with a predetermined value. For instance, a good example is deposit £10 and receive £30 in free bets.

No Deposit: You will receive a small free bet simply for opening an account with an online casino. Such offers are pretty rare nowadays.

Promotions for Existing Players

Attracting new customers is obviously very important for online sports betting sites, but it is equally as important to ensure that existing customers stick around. So let us now take a look at some of the common promotions that bookies offer their existing punters to keep them happy.

Reload Bonuses

This is more or less the same as the deposit bonus that I mentioned above. The sportsbook that you have an account with can offer to match your next deposit up to a certain amount. They will usually be smaller than a deposit welcome bonus, but you will get regular ones that you can claim. There are some sites out there that offer a percentage bonus on every deposit that you place.

Enhanced Odds

Enhanced odd bonuses are pretty new, but they are very much liked due to the fact that they can increase your profit margins quite drastically. For instance, your sportsbook might give you higher odds on a player to score first in a game of football or enhanced odds for both teams to score first. Due to its popularity, many of the best sports betting sites will offer enhanced odds for a range of daily markets.

Cashback Bonuses

Losing is a part of sports betting, and all of the top sportsbooks are very aware of this. Losing money is very frustrating, but with a cashback bonus you will receive a percentage of your losses back. For example, you might be told that there is a 10% cashback offer on any losses that you incur between Friday and the following Monday. Thus, if you were to lose £100, you would get £10 back.


Many of the top online sportsbooks will have a refer-a-friend promotion. Each program is different, but the main idea is that you will receive some sort of bonus for every friend that you convince to open an account with the same sportsbook. They do not usually even have to place any bets. A refer-a-friend bonus is usually in the shape of bonus cash or a free bet.

How to Claim a Sports Betting Bonus

So you have found a sports betting bonus that you like the look of and would like to claim it, but how is it that you go about doing this? Well, the process varies between sports betting sites, especially when it comes to promos for existing punters. There are some basic steps that you need to take when claiming the welcome offer that will be the same at any sportsbook. We have outlined them below for you:

  1. Find a site that you want to register with and go to its homepage
  2. Click on "Sign Up" or "Register" and give them your personal information such as full mate, house address, date of birth, email, and phone number
  3. Go to the site's banking page, and click on your preferred deposit option. Follow the simple instructions and enter the amount you would like to deposit - if there is a bonus code, add it
  4. If the site is offering a match deposit bonus, you will receive it right away if you have met the T&Cs. If you need to place a qualifying bet, do so, and you will then receive the bonus. Sometimes you will be required to opt in, so make sure you do that or you will not receive the bonus

The Importance of Reading the Terms and Conditions

Bonuses do not all come with the same value, and they also do not all come with the same terms and conditions. It is important to read the T&Cs that apply as these are what determine the true value of the bonus on offer. Below you can find the main terms that you should analyse before claiming any bonus or promotion:

  • Wagering Requirements: Nearly every bonus that you encounter will come with wagering requirements, which indicate the amount that you need to rollover before any of the bonus money or winnings become eligible for withdrawal. In the sports betting world, the wagering requirements usually stand between 5x and 20x.
  • Minimum Odds: When you are using bonus money or free bets, your selections will have to have minimum odds, which usually stand at 1.50 to 2.00.
  • Minimum Deposit: In order to claim some offers, you will need to make a minimum deposit. It will usually be £5 or £10.
  • Banking Method Restrictions: Most betting sites will not allow punters to claim the welcome offer if they make a first deposit using an e-Wallet such as PayPal, Skrill, or Neteller.
  • Expiration Date: Your sports betting bonus will not last forever, with the majority lasting anywhere between 7-30 days. In some cases, though, you might have just 3 days to use the bonus.
  • Bonus Code: Sometimes you will need to manually input a code when making your first depositing order to claim the bonus that is on offer.

Look Out for Scam Bonus Practices

Many of the sportsbooks that you will encounter in the sports betting industry will be honest bookmakers, but there are some scam sports betting sites out there, and we are now going to tell you what to look out for so that you do not end up falling prey to their tricks. If you do end up being scammed, it is usually very hard for you to get your money back.

Stake Limitations: You claim the welcome offer and want to start putting down some wagers. However, you find out that you cannot, unless the wager is a very small amount such as £1. To add to this, the wagering requirement rollover deadline is unusually short, somewhere around 3 days. This is a clear sign of a scam as it will be virtually impossible to roll over your bonus in such a short time with those small stakes. This means that the bookmaker will never payout.

Wagering Requirements Not Displayed: It is vital that you have the option of checking how much of your wagering requirement you have left to clear. If there is no tool available that allows you to do this, then it does not necessarily scream that it is a scam site, but it is something that should certainly make you suspicious.

Terms are Amended after Bonus is Claimed: A sign that just screams scam is when the bookmaker keeps on moving the goalposts when you meet the requirements. If you complete the wagering requirements and are then informed of changes to the bonus terms and conditions, then you know that you are not dealing with an honest site.

Non-Transparent T&Cs: A top and legit bookmaker will ensure that their terms and conditions are transparent and very easy to get to grips with. If you find that the T&Cs attached to a bonus are really hard to make heads of tails of, then it is a red flag that you are dealing with some scammers.

Always Gamble Responsibly

The last point we want to make is the importance of gambling responsibly. Whenever you start a gambling session, it is wise to set up a budget with an amount that you are comfortable with potentially losing. Also, make use of deposit limit features – something all sportsbooks should have.