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Sports Betting Welcome Bonus Guide

For many newcomers to the world of online sports betting, the so-called welcome bonus can be a very exciting and attractive feature. However, before you decide which online online bookmaker to sign up with, reading our sports betting bonus definition and guide should be your first stop.

Competition between online betting sites is at an all time high as supply slowly begins to outstrip demand. Sites compete vigorously for your patronage (and your money), and one of the most effective tools in their tool belt is the welcome bonus. Our betting bonus guide will break down various types of bonuses that you can expect to find at leading sportsbooks. We’ll also show you how you can go about securing the best bonus possible for your needs.

  • New players can take advantage of a special bonus when they sign up
  • The exclusive welcome bonus is also known as the sign-up bonus
  • Virtually all online online bookmakers will feature some sort of bonus incentive
  • All bonus offers will include their own terms and conditions
  • Different types of bonuses will suit different types of bettors

What Exactly is a Betting Welcome Bonus?

Online gambling sites, including casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites, have been operating on the web since the mid to late nineties. As the industry has expanded to accommodate more and more sites, so the competition to gain a customer base has increased exponentially.

One of the most effective ways to attract new prospective players to sign up with your particular site, is to offer them some sort of a reward for doing so. Enter the bonus offer or, more specifically in this case, the welcome bonus offer.

As the name suggests, this special and exclusive offer is designed to attract the attention of new players with the promise of a very special reward. You will find all sorts of different takes on the standard welcome bonus, depending on how each site wants to do things.

Ultimately however, it boils down to money, which is why the most lucrative welcome bonuses will always revolve around your cash deposit. Get the right sort of cash deposit bonus, and you can instantly double your starting bankroll. As you can imagine, for new bettors just starting out, the idea of going in with twice the money from the start is extremely difficult to pass up.

Of course, not all sign-up bonus offers will work on the 100% match on your deposit structure. Some betting sites will instead offer a free bet or a series of free bets to attract new players. These types of offers will arrive at the same basic value objective as a cash match, since your qualifying bet (requires a cash deposit first), will unlock the welcoming free bet package.

You’ll also find plenty of bonus offers that don’t actually require an initial deposit in order to be used on the site in question. These can be a fantastic way of getting your feet wet, so to speak. However, with each type of welcome bonus you’ll find pros and cons, which is what we’ll discuss a little further down in this guide.

Suffice to say for now that the welcome bonus can be a tremendous boost for the beginner bet maker. As long as they know what to look for, how to go about actually getting the bet, and what the betting site expects in return.

Getting Your Welcome Bonus

The process of getting your welcome bonus begins with registering with a site. This can be accomplished by looking at half a dozen or more sites, starting with the ones we’ve listed here. Closely examine each offer for its overall value.

Caution: Take a close look at the bonus' relevant terms and conditions to ensure that they are:

  • Reasonable and realistic
  • Can be accomplished within the given time frame
  • Allow you to place regular bets while clearing the bonus

Other factors to consider

Of course, there will be other considerations to consider besides the quality of the welcome bonus. Once you are satisfied that the sportsbook performs well in these key areas:

you can go ahead and click on the registration button (sign up or join now button).

Signing Up for your Betting Offers

Different sports online bookmakers do things differently but most will make this process as easy as possible. You can sign up from your desktop or mobile device by visiting the online bookmaker’s homepage. From there, clicking on the sign-up button will open their registration page, where you will need to fill in mandatory information about yourself. You may also need to confirm your account by following a link sent to the email address that you included in your registration.

Signing in and Getting Started

One your registration has been confirmed, you can sign in for the first time by going back to the homepage and clicking on the login button. Most online bookies will allow you to simply sign in with your registered username and password combo. You may find some of the newer sites now also feature biometric sign in options for added security.

From here you can get your bearings. Visit the sites payment section (banking page) to see which options are available or to add your credit or debit cards details. Depending on the site, you may be able to take advantage of a no deposit welcome bonus. This essentially means that you can get started with some real money bets, without worrying about adding your own funds just yet.

Pay to Play

Pay and Play signs
Pay to Play

If the site that you have chosen does not offer a no deposit sign up bonus of any sort, you’ll have to decide when it’s time to make your first deposit. Depositing at least the minimum required amount will unlock the sites welcome bonus offer. Some sites will require you to opt in for their welcome bonus when your register, while others may wait for you to choose a payment method and make a cash deposit first.

You may also find that some betting sites will actually add a welcome bonus to your account the minute you complete your registration process. In this case, you’ll need to complete a welcome bonus betting amount in order to unlock the bonus value. Another method of unlocking a bonus that you may come across requires new members to use an exclusive bonus code, intended for that offer specifically.

In any of these scenarios, you will need to make a cash deposit in order to qualify for the offer. However, virtually all online sports betting sites will make this entire process as smooth and as painless as possible for you. No matter how new you are to online sports betting, getting your first bonus sorted out, is quick and easy.

Sports Betting Bonus Types

When it comes to online sports online bookmakers, there is no ‘one size fits all’ policy in play. Each operator will have their own idea of what they want to do to attract new members, and get them to sign up. By that same token, not all sports bettors will be able to make optimum use of the same bonus type.

Taking advantage of a welcome bonus (or any sort of promotional offer) is not something that is compulsory, nor should it be rushed into. You’ll find that there are those bettors who actually prefer not to take any bonus offers. However, that said, if you’re just starting out and are limited in funds, taking a bonus offer can be a good way to go.

Ultimately, it really is up to you based on what you know about the available offers, and what you ultimately want to get out of your sports betting.

You don’t have to be a bonus expert in order to take advantage of good offers. The following lists some of the most common welcome bonus types that you will likely encounter at online sports betting sites. Many of these are also featured at sites that we recommend.

No Deposit Welcome Bonus

  1. They are rare within the online sports betting world.
  2. The bonus amount that you will likely get out of this offer will be quite small.
  3. While you don’t have to deposit any of your own money, you will still need to meet certain play-through requirements in order to secure any winnings you may have made from the bonus money.
  4. Some no deposit bonuses are ‘sticky’, meaning that you won’t be able to draw it out as actual cash.

As the name suggests, this sort of bonus welcomes new players by offering them a small bonus to get started with. The biggest obvious benefit to the no deposit welcome bonus, lies in the fact that, as a new member, you will not need to make any deposit of your own money first in order to secure the bonus.

Welcome Bonus on Your First Deposit

  1. You will need to deposit above a minimum requirement to unlock the registration bonus offer. This is usually in the region of 10 to 20 currency units.

  2. A 100% match on your first deposit will double your starting out money instantly.

  3. With some sportsbooks, you will need to opt in for the offer – either when you sign up or when you make your first deposit.

  4. Read all associated terms and conditions before taking up the bonus offer to make sure that you will be able to cover them in the given time frame.

If you are looking to wager real money on the outcome of the sports events that interest you, making a welcome bonus deposit is a given. However, thanks to bonus types like the welcome bonus on your first deposit, you don’t need to put in too much to start with. Most first deposit bonuses will work on a percentage match. In other words, whatever you deposit will be matched by a percentage value, the most common being a 100% match.

Free Betting Offers

  1. Most free bets will require a deposit + bet outlay from you first.
  2. Free bets are added to your account once you’ve qualified for them.
  3. You will need to use your free bets up within the given time frame (or lose them).
  4. Like any bonus offer, free bets come with specific terms and conditions.

While the no deposit bonus is often associated exclusively with a risk-free type of bonus, the free bet is a far more common form of risk-free sports bonus offer. However, the main difference here is that free bets often require you to make a bet to get a bet. In other words, you’ll need to make a small deposit and place a simple bet – usually at odds of 1.5 or more. Once that bet has been placed, you will receive one or more (depending on the offer) free bets added to your betting account.

Sports Betting Cashbacks Bonus

  1. You get cash back in your account instead of free bets.
  2. You are not tied to a specific set of rules that come with free bets and can spend your cash how you please.
  3. This bonus doesn’t have to be cleared.

Cashback offers are pretty much the same thing as free bets but, instead of getting free bet vouchers added to your betting account, you get cash back on your losses. The resulting value is similar but with one or two added advantages:

Sports Betting Bonus Codes

Bonus Codes
Bonus Codes

Aside from the bonus types described here, you will also come across betting sites that offer various bonus codes. These are special codes that are used for special once-off offers or are used by betting sites to differentiate one offer from another (if they have multiple offers simultaneously). In some instances, you will also receive bonus codes sent you via email as part of a certain promotion or special event (such as a world cup event).

Final Thoughts on Sports Betting Bonuses

For newcomers to online sports betting, risking your cash in markets that you have not really tested yet, can be quite intimidating. Unfortunately, sports betting is not something that you can master overnight. Like anything, you’ll make mistakes and learn from them – that’s experience. A starting bonus can be a great way to get your feet wet and still come out of it smelling like roses. As long as you do your homework. Understand the actual value of the bonus offer and be sure that you can meet turnover requirements comfortably.