***Updated: October 17, 2018***
If you look closely at their terms and conditions, you’ll find that most of the online casinos in the United States have borrowed heavily from the policies of European betting shops when it comes to their special offers and promotions. This is because some places “across the pond” have as much as eight decades of experience in handling sports bets while trying to attract and retain as many customers as possible.
So taking into account all of the most important points that we will explain below, here are the current online sportsbook bonuses that are the best for players in the United States, balancing out both the size of the offer and the rollover requirements that are attached.
Sportsbook promotions are almost always the same structure as the ones that are normally offered on table games like blackjack and roulette, with the primary exception being that the rollover requirements to clear the bonuses are generally much easier to meet. This is due to both the amount of competition in the industry, and wanting to cater to sports bettors who are a different type of gambler than the rest.
Best Sportsbook Bonuses
When you want to wager on sports and receive a bit of free money for your troubles, you should keep a few things in mind as you shop around to see what’s out there. Obviously, most players would argue that the “best” sportsbook bonuses are usually the ones that offer the largest cash amounts, but you also have to consider the rollover requirements that have been attached, as well as the terms and conditions for each. After all, what good is a 500% match bonus if it’s almost impossible to complete the terms and access the funds?
Although there isn’t as much competition in America as there is in Europe, there’s still enough places fighting for customers to ensure that you can find excellent promotions when first opening up a new account. Most of them rely on match bonuses that give you extra funds based on a percentage of the amount that you deposit. This has proven to be a fair system: deposit more, they give you more. It’s important for players to remember that this is all standard stuff these days and that every operator has a rollover, and you can always contact their customer service department to find out how much is left on the balance.
However, the details at every place are different – this is why you have to be sure to read their terms and conditions to know exactly what you have to do to “clear” the bonus and have the funds available in your account to wager or withdraw. The rules will always state that the bonus (or bonus plus the deposit amount) have to be “rolled over” X amount of times. So what is “X”? Some places may have a number as low as 10x but at most sportsbooks it will be around 20x, which is the current industry standard. The good news for active players is that any rebates for sports or horse racing wagers usually come with a small rollover of 3x or 1x, if anything at all.
There are numerous promotions besides deposit bonuses that are offered by sportsbooks and below is a list of the most popular ones that you’ll find out there today.
Since they want crossover between their table games and their sportsbook, unique welcome bonuses are usually offered for each channel, with the player having the option to choose which one they want. However, sometimes you can claim both a sports and casino bonus, with the balance of each being held in separate accounts.
These function as outlined above with the House giving you a percentage match on your first real money deposit, up to a certain maximum amount. The highest you’ll find for sports is usually $1,000, unless there’s a very special promo on the go. Also, occasionally they’ll throw in a casino chip or free spins on their featured slot games as an added incentive to sign up with them.
After you’ve signed up with a sportsbook, made your initial deposit, claimed a welcome offer, and then finally reached a balance of zero by whatever means, it’s time to re-up and re-deposit. Now since they don’t want to lose you to any of their competitors, sometimes their 2nd or 3rd offers can be even better than the first one. Don’t worry – we clearly explain all of the bonuses that operators have in each of their reviews so you’ll always know what the situation is going in.
The most popular online casino reload bonuses for U.S. players these days almost always involve using cryptocurrency as a deposit method. This is because it costs them very little to process the transactions when compared to credit cards or bank transfers. Not to mention, each payment is 100% encrypted and untraceable so everything is absolutely private. When you realize how great Bitcoin and the other crypto coins are, you won’t be able to believe that they’re actually paying you to use it.
And you shouldn’t be surprised when you see that casino reloads have higher percentages than sportsbook ones because this is just how the online gambling industry works. The House makes much more money on table games than sports wagers so they always prefer blackjack players to sports bettors.
Some operators keep the greeting as simple as possible with a free bet, which is when they give you one small sports wager for $5 or $10, usually on a specific league or event of their choosing. The terms vary, and sometimes you’ll have to make a deposit first to get it, which is always annoying for new players. Technically you should get it when registering for a new account because No Deposit Free Bets exist solely for the purpose of trying out their betting interface and/or mobile product before deciding to play for real money.
Larger free bets may be restricted to wagers on odds of greater than 2 to 1 or something similar. Others may offer risk-free bets with prescribed limits and return half the stake on losing plays, and/or cap the amount that you can win. When cash bonuses are offered the rollover runs from 3x to 5x, and usually only bets at odds of 3 to 2 and greater are credited to the play-through total.
The wide world of sports offers a vast playing field for creative promotional minds, and someone somewhere figured out that returning small nuggets of money to bettors for poor results is a popular way to build some good feelings among unfortunate gamblers. If a team gets shutout, if a boxer gets knocked out, if the top three favorites in a horse race all finish out of the money…these are all an opportunity to refund a little bit back to people. Just like a “Bad Beat Bonus” for a poker player who loses a big hand to an opponent on the River card.
There’s only one true leader in this category today and that’s the MyBookie Sportsbook who offer tons of promotions that pay out for results that are usually crushing to players. For example, if you lose 10 consecutive wagers there they’ll give you $25 cash to get back on track with their “Snap Your Skid” promo that turns losers into “not-so-bad losers”.
One of our personal favorites at MyBookie is their “No Fun Refund” that will return 100% of your wager amount if you’ve bet on an NFL game that has a touchdown in the last 5 minutes with a player getting an excessive celebration penalty that ends up costing them the game. And for the record, this type of guarantee is pretty much unheard of.
Some operators might offer a weekly promotion on traditionally slow days like Tuesday or Wednesday to entice players to make a deposit and fund their casino accounts so they have a balance ready to go. Obviously the hope here is that the player will then take the time to look at that night’s small slate of games and place a wager on something that they normally wouldn’t have, such as Division 4 German soccer or Canadian lacrosse, (and for the record, both of those sports are actually fun to bet on).
There is usually a sports event to wager on at pretty much every hour of every day somewhere in the world but for the rare time that there’s not, some places will offer something “virtual” to wager on, with animated horse races seeming to be a favorite. Of course, their table games and slot machines are available 24/7 for those who want to keep themselves busy until game time.
Every sportsbook always has similar odds on the same events so one way to stand out from the crowd is with innovative proposition bets on the in-game action. These “prop bets” were popularized by the Super Bowl where gamblers can wager on everything from the outcome of the coin toss, to the length of the national anthem, to which player scores the first touchdown, and many many more.
Proposition bets are now found for most sports, such as the specific round or time a boxing match will end, or the exact number of goals in a World Cup match. Most places will of course offer free prop bets to new players for all of the big acquisition events of the year like Kentucky Derby and March Madness since it’s a great way to attract new customers.
Proposition bets have evolved into live in-game betting where players can bet on the result of the next play, with different odds on the various outcomes. What began as a cool promotion is today an expected part of sports betting, and all of the biggest European books even offer live streaming of events so players can watch on site and wager in real time.
We are truly living in a Golden Age of gambling.