The sportsbook world is a very competitive one. There are many establishments that offer something strong in the way of customer service, odds, selection, deposit methods, withdrawal times, etc., but sometimes there has to be something else that can be a lure for customers who are contemplating opening an account.
Commonly throughout the industry, bonuses are a way to get customers to come on board.
They are, simply put, an incentive to get involved with one’s “product.” The thoughtful sportsbook marketer also looks upon them as a way of adding to the experience of the customer, because if an organization can’t see things as their potential customer can see them, they aren’t doing a very good job of marketing.
When a consumer is shopping for sportsbooks to play with – and some of the smarter ones realize it’s best to have accounts with multiple sportsbooks – a determining factor may be where they can get some value. This might become an even greater factor when someone looks for “secondary” books at which to sign up. Smart consumers (and we didn’t necessarily say smart bettors) are always looking for an “added value” proposition.
At the same time, sportsbook bonuses can be a great thing for the “squares,” that is to say, the beginning players. Let’s face it; to offer a bonus to a new customer is a great way to start off a relationship.
When sportsbooks offer these incentives to the customer, they are not as flamboyant in doing so as their casino components. In other words, you’re not going to find 300% match bonuses for players who make a deposit. However, some of the other elements are the same, in that players will find something that can add to their bankroll, as a reward for loyal play, but they have to demonstrate that loyal play, for the most part, in order to take advantage of all the bonuses have to offer.
And as we touched upon, for the people who are most conscientious will find more than one sportsbook outlet to play with (in order to “shop” for the best odds, etc.) so they may have a few different bonus offers they can access.
Bonuses can be associated with a deposit that is made on the part of the customer, or in certain cases, they are awarded without a deposit. In the end (“free play” may be an example, of this), though, a player has to be active with a “real money” account to cash out on any bonuses that is received. Of course, that only makes sense.
In the online casino world, there is a process the player must go through in order to cash a bonus. This is most commonly known as the “wagering requirement,” although it may also be referred to as the “play-through requirement.” It mandates that the customer put into action a multiple of the SUM of the bonus plus the deposit. For example, if a customer deposits $100 at a casino where the bonus is 100%, the bonus plus deposit figure is $200. If the wagering requirement is “40x,” or forty times that figure, then $8000 in wagers must be put into action (sometimes games are specified) before that bonus can be cashed and added to the real money account.
As far as sportsbooks are concerned, the wagering requirement is most often referred to as a “rollover.” And the multiple is much less; a common rollover requirement might be anywhere from 3x to 5x the deposit plus bonus (which is also referred to as the “free play”). At a place like Bovada, for example, there is a 50% Free Bet Bonus up to $250, and the rollover for sports is 3x, while if it was to be used in the casino it would be 20x.
At GTBets, another popular place for recreational players, the sign-up bonus is either 100% up to $150, or 50% up to $500 (that one would be for the bigger depositors, of course). For the sportsbook, generally the rollover is 10x, although there are exceptions for baseball (25x) and horses (6.7x). On the “reload” bonuses, which are the bonuses that are awarded on subsequent deposits an established player makes, the sportsbook rollover requirement is 6x (15x for baseball, 4x for horses).
At Top Bet, there is a 50% signing bonus (using that terminology to simulate the vernacular used in pro sports) up to a value of $250. This bonus is subject to a 5x rollover in the sportsbook and can also be used in the casino, with a 25x rollover. The rollover is smaller when reloading (3x in sportsbook, 20x in casino), and that makes sense because it is repeat business. Specials are conducted; for instance, there is a “Thursday Quick Cash Reload” bonus of 30% that can be used from Tuesday through Thursday on one deposit a week. And of course, the more aggressive sportsbook have many variations on the “bonus” or “free play” theme.
Don’t forget that some sportsbooks also issue bonuses for referring business to them. This is commonly known as a “Refer a Friend” Bonus. At Top Bet, for example, you could receive 25% up to $250, based on what the customer you referred to them deposited.
Please make a note as a general rule: the sportsbooks that cater to the ‘recreational player” as opposed to the “sharp player” are more likely to be generous with bonuses and use them more as a marketing and promotional tool.