The UK’s long history of sports betting makes it the perfect place to make a few wagers. There are a number of sports betting sites operating in the United Kingdom and they’re all vying for your money.
As they often cover the same sports and provide equally competitive odds, sportsbooks try to catch your attention using bonus offers. There are many of these available, with options for both new players and loyal players.
What New Player Promotions Can I Collect at UK Betting Sites?
As the name suggests, new player promotions are ones that you collect when you join for the first time.
To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old and must not have an account. Some sportsbooks will also restrict you to one account per household/IP. Technically, this means you’re out of luck if a partner/roommate has joined. However, it depends on the site’s specific terms and conditions.
What’s more, we can think of many occasions in which we have opened accounts on the same sites as partners and roommates without any issue.
Matched Deposit Offers
There are a few differences, though.
A casino bonus usually requires you to make a qualifying deposit. With sports matched deposit bonuses, it’s all about your first bet, and this is where many players trip up.
For instance, let’s say that the bonus gives you a 100% match on bets of over £10.
If you deposit £100 and wager 10 bets of £10 each, you’ll only get a £10 bonus, as only that first bet will count.
Wagering requirements are usually not as big on sportsbooks as they are on casinos, but you need to wager the funds at least once. You must also wager them on odds of at least 1.50.
Free bet bonuses are the most common. They work a lot like matched deposit offers, only instead of getting cash that you can wager on a number of bets, you’ll get one or more free bet tokens.
Typically, you can’t split a single bet token into multiple wagers. These tokens rarely have any wagering requirements, but the free bet amount won’t be returned with your winnings.
For instance, if you have a free bet of £10 that you wager on an Evens (2.00) bet, you’ll only get the £10 profit if it wins.
No Deposit Bonuses
A no deposit bonus can come in the form of a free bet or bonus credits. The difference is that you don’t need to deposit any money to claim this bonus.
No deposit bonuses used to be much more common prior to the tightening of Know Your Customer (KYC) rules. You can still find them, but these rules mean you’ll need to sign up, confirm your identity, and add a valid debit card before the money is transferred to your account.
What Loyalty Bonuses Can I Collect at UK Betting Sites?
Loyalty bonuses are only offered to active players. They are used either as a way to encourage them to make more deposits/bets, or to reward them for their loyalty.
An accumulator refund typically gives you a bet refund if one leg of an accumulator lets you down. For instance, if you place a 5-fold bet for £10 and only 4 of them win, you’ll get your £10 back.
It’s a useful bonus to have, but it’s also somewhat anti-climactic. If you lose out on a potential £1,000 win because of a last-minute goal, you’re not going to be jumping for joy because you get a £10 return.
Loyalty clubs are relatively uncommon in the sports betting sector, but they do exist. PokerStars has one of the best, as it’s a scheme that applies across its site and covers its poker room and casino, as well as its sportsbook. You’ll also find a number of “Free Bet Clubs”, whereby placing a specific number of bets will reward you with a fixed-amount free bet.
Many of the best sportsbooks will give you regular free bets if you make lots of deposits and wagers. They land in your account every so often and tend to come with fewer requirements than the free bets offered to new players.
How Can Betting Sites Afford to Offer These Promotions?
If you’re new to sports betting sites, you could be forgiven for thinking that these bonuses are fake or heavily exaggerated. They have a “too good to be true” element. But they are real and they are as big as they claim. They are also profitable for the betting site, and there are a few reasons for this:
Firstly, the sports betting industry is very competitive.
If you have ever ventured into the world of Google Ads, either as a business or content creator, you’ll know that some keywords pay much more than others.
As a business, you could spend anywhere from a few pennies to £50+ for every person that clicks a link and visits your site. These keywords are set by supply and demand—the more sites that need clicks, the higher the cost will be.
The gambling industry doesn’t have the most expensive costs per click, but it’s definitely not cheap. If you’re a legal-age sports bettor looking for a new site in the UK, you are incredibly valuable and there will be a lot of sites competing for you.
By offering a sports betting bonus, sites can increase the odds that you will join after clicking a link, thus saving a lot of money. They can also use those bonuses to coax you through affiliates, saving even more cash in the process.
This also covers the second point: value.
You always have value as a consumer, but in the gambling industry, that value can be significantly higher than most other industries.
If you need to make a purchase, you search, click, buy, and then maybe return in a few weeks or months, if at all. If you’re looking to place bets, you could do it every day or week.
Some sports bettors spend thousands of pounds a year on a single site. Even if the sportsbook gives away £50, it’s still a good deal if you spend £1,000 over the next 3 years.
But of course, they won’t give away that much money, as there is one final variable: edge.
It doesn’t matter how much you know or how careful you are, the house always has an edge.
If a sportsbook gives £100 in Free Bets to 100 players and they all place those bets on 50/50 outcomes, 50 players will instantly lose everything. Of the remaining 50, over half will lose their funds meeting wagering requirements, and of the ones that remain, the majority will lose simply by making their regular bets.
Even if 10 players turn that £100 Free Bet into £100 cash and immediately withdraw, the sportsbook still wins, as it now has 100 new players acquired for the equivalent of just £10 each.
FAQs about Betting Site Bonuses
The profits on betting exchanges are much slimmer, as they take a small commission from each bet and don’t win when you lose. You can find occasional offers on betting exchanges, but they are not as big as the ones found on sportsbooks.
Betting big doesn’t always qualify you for regular loyalty offers. The best thing you can do is to leave the site alone for a bit and make sure you’re subscribed to receive promotional emails. Give it a few weeks without depositing and the site will likely encourage you with a bonus.
You can usually collect a new player bonus, but there are a couple of exceptions. The biggest is for the Grand National. It’s one of the few events that attracts people who don’t usually gamble.
People sign up, make a deposit, bet on the big race, and then ignore the site for a year. It’s not the sort of player that betting sites want, and so they usually rein in the betting offers days before the event.
Most gambling sites keep their casino bonuses and their sports bonuses separate. Obviously, you can’t use free spins to place bets and you can’t use free bets to play casino games. You’re also usually prohibited from using sports bonus credits in the casino, and vice versa.
The rule rarely applies to winnings though. So, if you win some money on a free bet and don’t have any wagering requirements to meet, you can spend that cash in the casino. The same applies to free spins, but there are nearly always bonus requirements here, so be on the lookout for those.