Betting Bonuses for Dummies

Bonuses – The Lowdown

Bonuses aren’t as easy as they look. Very rarely can you get a bonus that looks as good as it sounds. Each bonus is a gift that is wrapped up in the best wrapping paper around but sometimes the wrapping is much more attractive than what lies within. There are several questions that you should ask yourself before you take the step and sign up. Don’t just go for the biggest present under the tree… sometimes the small boxes are the gifts that contain diamonds. Bigger is not always better when it comes to sports betting bonuses. We have the low down when it comes to welcome bonuses and lifetime bonuses.

How can I claim my bonus?

On most occasions, your welcome bonuses will be credited into your account as soon as you sign up, all you have to do is make sure you fulfil the requirements, such as deposit the minimum amount and click the ‘claim bonus’ button. However, there are some that ask you to enter a bonus code in order to claim the bonus, either as soon as you sign up or when you make your first, qualifying deposit. Make sure you read it through thoroughly before you start your sign up process so you don’t miss out.

How do I withdraw my bonus money? 

The simple answer is that you can’t withdraw any bonus money until you have met all the conditions. This often includes wagering requirements, bet types and odds limitations. Generally, if you try to withdraw your bonus money before you have met the terms attached, you will either get an error message, or in worst case scenarios, they could void the bonus and winnings altogether. Makes sure you fulfil ALL requirements before you attempt to withdraw to be on the safe side. If you wish to withdraw the money that doesn’t include the bonus or any winnings, that is usually okay as long as you contact the customer service department to request it. They should then pass on to you your money minus bonus and bonus winnings.

Do I need to use a bonus code?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. You need to check what the specific online bookmaker says. If you are required to enter a code on sign up and fail to do so, then you will lose out on the bonus completely, so it is important to know. Generally, entering the code is very simple and straightforward; the only error people make is not realising that this is a requirement of the site.

Can anyone get a welcome bonus when signing up?

On the whole, this is a yes. Of course. On most sites, everyone is entitled to claim the welcome bonus on initial sign up. However, this isn’t always the case. Some companies have specific countries that are not eligible to claim the bonus, so do make sure this isn’t the case. Also, some bookmakers specify that people depositing with certain banking methods cannot claim the bonus – normally methods such as Neteller, Skrill or PayPal. Again, it is vital to check that you are registering from a country that is entitled to claim the bus; also that you are using a method valid to claim the bonus.

Can I use a welcome bonus code if I have previously opened an account?

This is a no. Never. There is no bookmaker that will allow a customer that has previously signed up to claim the bonus. The only way to get a sign up bonus when you are already a member of an online sportsbook is to sign up at a completely different sportsbook. The more you sign up for, the more welcome bonuses you can claim.

Can I withdraw my bonus immediately after sign up?

Simply no. This would mean that the sportsbook would just be giving away free money. I put £50 in and I can withdraw £100… it sounds nice, but it’s not going to happen. You will have to rollover that money a certain amount of times before you can withdraw. As soon as you have met those requirements, the money is all yours.

Do all online bookmakers hand out welcome bonuses?

Most do, of course, as it’s a good way of attracting new customers, but there are still some that don’t. Ultimately, all bonuses come from the sportsbook budges, and sometimes the sportsbook may decide to spend its budget on other areas of the site. Sometimes, instead of using the budget for promotions, they might use it for offering better odds. However, that being said, most online bookmakers do as it’s increasingly important to be able to keep up with the competitors.

Do welcome bonuses work on mobiles?

Of course. Online bookmakers want to encourage play on both mobile and desktop, so they are always going to let you use your welcome bonus on mobile as well as desktop. Because of the increase in popularity, some sportsbooks even offer welcome bonuses specifically for mobile users.

Can I use my bonus on any bet?

There are always terms and conditions attached to a sportsbook bonus, which may limit the different types of bet you can make on your bonus. You will need to check the terms carefully. Most bonuses will allow you to bet on any sports, but the regular terms are that the bet needs to be placed on odds that are over a certain amount and the bonus usually can’t be placed on betting systems, such as Yankees or each-way bets. Most online bookmakers have different stipulations, so check them thoroughly.

What if I make a deposit and don’t get my bonus?

Fear not, as there may have been a mistake and that’s what the customer service department is there for. They are there in order to help you get your bonus and to help you rectify any mistake that you may have made. If this is an error on their part, they may even give you an improved bonus as a gesture of goodwill. These days the customer service departments within sportsbook are getting ever better, so there will likely be someone to contact as soon as you notice the error.

Do I have to bet on certain odds to redeem my bonus?

Yes you do. Always. Sportsbooks will never give you a bonus that you can use on a dead cert. It wouldn’t make any sense to give you bonus bets that you could use on an easily predicted outcome. Normally you are only allowed to bet on an outcome that has odds equal to or higher than ½ – although it can vary between bookmakers. These odds restriction can also apply to other bets such as multiple bets including parlays. When it comes to multiples, they usually need one of the bets at least to have odds of ½ or higher. Sportsbooks sometimes give you high restrictions on odds and compensate by lower wagering requirements, and some give low restrictions on odds and even it out with higher wagering requirements.

Will I have to use my bonus in a set amount of time?

Normally, yes, bookies do place time restrictions on your welcome bonus. In general you need to make your bet, settle it and fulfill your wagering requirements within a set period. This can vary depending on the online bookmaker. It can bet within 7 days all the way up to 90 days or more. Obviously, the more time you get, the better it is. So, if you got a £20 bonus / free bet, subject to a 5-times wagering requirement that had a time limit of 30 days, you would need to make £100 worth of bets in 30 days to be able to claim the bonus and its winnings. Normally, the time starts as soon as you have received the bonus, not as soon as you make your bet.

Can my bonus be revoked after it has been given?

In certain circumstances a bookmaker withholds the right to revoke the bonus. If it has any reason to suspect that you are a bonus abuser or are engaging in some kind of fraud, then it can revoke the bonus. If this happens, and you feel that it has been done unfairly, then contact the customer service to discuss your case.

As well as this, your bonus can also be revoked if you use your bet on restricted bets or restricted odds, as well as not meeting the terms and conditions, trying to withdraw bonus and winnings before meeting wagering requirements or simply running out of time. Having said all that, it is very rare for a welcome bonus to be revoked; so, as long as you are a legitimate new player and read the terms carefully, you should be alright.

The bonus I have received is different from the advertised bonus?

This can happen, occasionally, because the department who advertise the bonuses and the department who deal with finance and adding bonuses to your account are different. Sometimes, there may be a miscommunication within the departments. If this does happen to you, simply call customer service; they will no doubt give you the bonus that was advertised. Remember, whatever your bonus is, look at the terms clearly before you commit.

There are lots of questions to ask, but fret not. We have done all the hard work for you. Here is the list of the bookmakers offering the best promotions and bonuses – terms and conditions included.