There are now loads of different online bookmakers all vying for the custom of punters but one thing they basically all have in common is that they provide a new customer offer for those punters who do decide to sign up.
This page is going to take a look at the different promotions that are available and provide information about how different offers work and which crucial terms and conditions punters need to be on the lookout for.
Top New Customer Sign Up Offers
Types of Offers & How They Work
What the above table shows, amongst other things, is that there essentially as many new customer offers as there are online bookmakers. Those offers, however, generally fall into one of four main categories and we’re now going to describe and explain each of those in turn.
Bet & Get, Free Bets & Matched Bets
Unquestionably the most common type of welcome or new customer promotion run by online bookmakers, so-called ‘Bet & Get’ or free bet based offers are pretty simple to understand and can be very beneficial to punters. Generally speaking, these types of offer require that a new customer to an online betting site create their account, make a deposit and then place an initial bet which must meet certain qualifying criteria.
If a punter does all of that successfully, they will then be credited with the free bet, bets or free bet funds which the promotion provides. Typically, these types of offer provide around £30 worth of free bets and require an initial wager of around £10 to be placed. Through studying our above table, however, you may just be able to find an offer worth that little bit more.
The free bets credited by these types of offer can remain valid for anywhere between seven and 30 days, and if they are not used within their specific periods of validity they will be removed from a punter’s account. Other common terms and conditions associated with these kinds of promotion will be discussed in greater detail a little later on.
Risk Free Bets
An increasingly common type of new customer promotions, offers described as providing ‘risk free bets’ are similar to our first category of promotions in that they generally involve a punter placing an initial sportsbook bet. Just like ‘bet & get’ offers, too, those initial bets must meet certain criteria which we will talk about in more depth as part of our terms and conditions guide.
Where these types of promotion differ from those which offer free bets, however, is in what exactly they offer to punters who place a qualifying initial bet. Rather than crediting free bets, after all, these promotions offer to refund the stake of the first bet placed up to a pre-prescribed maximum value – usually in the form of a free bet. It is only if a punter’s first bet is a losing one, therefore, that these types of offers provide any benefit at all and that benefit will only ever be worth at most the same amount as the punter initially staked.
Usually offered as an alternative new customer offer by bookmakers who also run one of the above types of promotion, enhanced odds offers generally give new customers the chance to place a bet on a major sporting event at significantly lengthened odds.
Whether it be a major Premier League football match or a global competition in another sport, the enhanced odds on offer will often be significantly and impressively longer than the price or prices actually on offer for existing customers.
A favourite for a major football match, for instance, may be made available to back at something like 10/1 rather than at even money. These types of promotion obviously only provide any benefit if the selection for which odds are enhanced does actually triumph in the event in question and there is also usually a maximum stake limit placed upon the offers.
A type of welcome promotion more often associated with online casinos than with sportsbooks or betting exchanges, deposit bonus style offers are essentially the only of our main types of promotion which do not require punters to place an initial, qualifying bet in order to trigger their bonus.
Instead, the bonus funds provided by these types of offer are directly linked to the value of a new customer’s first deposit to their betting account. Many such promotions are what would be called matched deposit bonuses, which means that the bonus funds provided are equal in value to the size of the customer’s first deposit. Some promotions, however, offer bonus amounts worth more than the initial deposit and others offer bonuses worth less.
Whatever the potential size of the bonus provided by these types of promotion, the funds credited will never be withdrawable. They will instead be bonus funds which are only available to use to place further bets and generally speaking, no withdrawals will be possible until certain wagering requirements have been fulfilled (more on those a little later).
Terms & Conditions Explained
As we touched upon a couple of times in our explanations of the different types of new customer promotions, each type are generally subject to different but equally important terms and conditions. Below we’re going to discuss some of the most important, which types of promotion they apply to and why they’re crucial for punters to understand.
Promotions which provide punters with free bets general require that the punter places an initial, qualifying bet in order to trigger those free bets. To be a qualifying bet the initial wager will have to meet certain criteria set out by the promotion’s terms and conditions. Often those criteria will stipulate that the bet has to placed within a certain amount of time of opening a new betting account and that certain bet types (permutation multiples, tote bets etc.) may not count.
As well as applying the aforementioned criteria, promotions will also require that qualifying bets are placed at or above a minimum price. In many cases the minimum odds to ensure that a qualifying bet does trigger any available free bets are either evens (2.00) or 1/2 (1.50). In the case of promotions which provide free bets, too, a similar minimum odds requirement is placed upon the free bet tokens which are credited. That means that the token will simply not be available to apply to a bet which is at shorter than those minimum odds.
Wagering requirements, which are also describe as rollover or playthrough by some offers, are an absolutely critical condition of any promotion which involves the award of bonus funds. Such funds, after all, are never withdrawable as soon as they are credited and withdrawals are only made possible once a punter has completed the wagering requirements attached to them.
The exact nature of wagering requirements will differ from one promotion to another but they generally always take the form of compelling a punter to wager an amount equal to at least a certain multiple of their original bonus (three times, five times etc.). What punters need to look out for, therefore, is how much the wagering requirements ask them to bet, whether the amount is a multiple of the original bonus or of the original bonus AND what they had to bet/deposit to trigger it and how long they are given to complete the requirements.
A condition placed upon many promotions, not just welcome offers, deposit method restrictions are not often made abundantly apparent by bookmakers but are an important thing for punters to look out for. Generally speaking, offers and bonus will be made unavailable by lots of bookmakers to any punters who deposit to their betting account via certain methods.
The methods which are so excluded from promotions are typically e-wallet and prepaid card alternatives, such as Neteller, Moneybookers, Skrill and Paysafecard. Some bookmakers, too, may exclude deposits made via PayPal from their promotions, so this is a term and condition which it’s important to get a handle on as early as possible.
Another almost ubiquitous condition applied to promotions which provide free bets, is that if free bet tokens are used successfully the winnings which a punter receives will be exclusive of the free bet stake. What that means is that if you use a £10 free bet stake to place a 5/1 bet which is successful, you would receive £50 worth of winnings rather than the £60 you would receive had you bet with real cash.
New customer offers, therefore, are designed to attract new customers to start using a new bookmaker either instead of or as well as one they already utilise. It is for that reason that many such offers have wagering requirements or rollover criteria in order to make a punter bet a few more times with their new bookmaker and perhaps secure their longer term custom.