How Sports Betting Bonuses Work: A Comprehensive Guide



Sports betting bonuses are a popular marketing tool used by online bookmakers to attract new customers and reward existing ones. These bonuses provide bettors with additional funds or benefits to enhance their betting experience. In this guide, we will delve into the workings of sports betting bonuses, exploring the different types, how they are earned, and the terms and conditions associated with them.

Types of Sports Betting Bonuses:

Welcome Bonuses: These are offered to new customers upon signing up and making their first deposit. Welcome bonuses often come in the form of a match deposit bonus, where the bookmaker matches a percentage of the initial deposit made by the bettor. For example, a 100% match deposit bonus up to $200 means that if a bettor deposits $100, they will receive an additional $100 as a bonus.

Free Bets: Free bets are a common type of bonus where the bookmaker provides the bettor with a specific amount of money to place bets without using their own funds. For instance, a bookmaker might offer a $20 free bet to use on any sports event.

No Deposit Bonuses: These bonuses are rare but highly sought after. They are awarded to new customers without requiring them to make a deposit. No-deposit bonuses are usually smaller in value and come with strict wagering requirements.

Reload Bonuses: Reload bonuses are designed to incentivize existing customers to continue betting. They are similar to welcome bonuses but are offered on subsequent deposits made by the bettor. Reload bonuses can be a fixed amount or a percentage of the deposit, depending on the bookmaker’s promotion.

Cashback Bonuses: Cashback bonuses provide a percentage of the bettor’s net losses back as a bonus. For example, a bookmaker might offer a 10% cashback bonus on weekly losses. If a bettor incurs $100 in losses during a week, they will receive $10 as a cashback bonus.

How to Earn Sports Betting Bonuses:

To earn sports betting bonuses, bettors usually need to fulfill certain requirements set by the bookmaker. These requirements vary depending on the type of bonus and the bookmaker’s terms and conditions. Here are common ways to earn sports betting bonuses:

Make a Deposit: Welcome bonuses and reload bonuses often require the bettor to make a minimum deposit to qualify. The bookmaker will specify the minimum deposit amount and the percentage of the deposit that will be matched as a bonus.

Place Bets: Some bonuses are tied to placing bets on specific sports events or meeting certain wagering requirements. For example, a bookmaker might offer a free bet bonus that can be claimed after placing a qualifying bet of a specific value or on a particular market.

Opt-In: In some cases, bettors need to opt in or enter a bonus code during the registration process or before making a deposit to activate the bonus. Failing to opt in or enter the correct code may result in the bonus not being credited.

Terms and Conditions of Sports Betting Bonuses:

Sports betting bonuses come with terms and conditions that bettors must adhere to in order to fully benefit from them. Understanding these terms is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings or disappointments. Here are common terms and conditions associated with sports betting bonuses:

Wagering Requirements: This refers to the number of times the bonus amount or the bonus plus deposit amount must be wagered before the bonus funds can be withdrawn as cash. Wagering requirements are usually represented as a multiple (e.g., 5x, 10x) and vary between bookmakers and bonuses.

Minimum Odds: Some bonuses require the bettor to place bets on events with minimum odds. For example, a bookmaker may state that bets placed using bonus funds must have odds of 1.50 or higher. Placing bets on events with lower odds may invalidate the bonus.

Time Restrictions: Bonuses often come with a validity period within which the wagering requirements must be met. If the requirements are not fulfilled within the specified timeframe, the bonus funds and any associated winnings may be forfeited.

Excluded Markets: Certain bonuses may exclude specific sports or markets from being eligible for the bonus. It’s important to read the terms and conditions to ensure that the intended bets qualify for the bonus.

Payment Method Restrictions: Some bookmakers exclude certain payment methods from being eligible for bonuses. For instance, deposits made using Skrill or Neteller may not qualify for a particular bonus. Bettors should review the accepted payment methods to ensure their deposit qualifies for the bonus.


Sports betting bonuses are an enticing aspect of online sports betting, providing bettors with extra value and opportunities to maximize their winnings. Understanding the different types of bonuses, how to earn them, and the associated terms and conditions is crucial for making the most of these offers. By carefully reviewing the requirements and selecting reputable bookmakers, bettors can enjoy the benefits of sports betting bonuses while enhancing their overall betting experience.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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