Online sports betting promotions are common to see. There are a lot of opportunities around for bettors to snap up. Just a quick browse through Match.Center, a site featuring ratings of bookmakers and their betting offers and available in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and other countries can shed insight into the best available promotions out there. Many of them offer some very enticing incentives, but is the face value of a betting bonus everything?
There are some pitfalls to bonuses that players could slip into, meaning that they could miss out on actually claiming the offer. Researching the terms and conditions of any betting promotion will paint a clearer picture of exactly what is involved.
But here, we look at some of the betting bonus disadvantages you may come across and how to avoid some of those pitfalls.
Online Betting Bonuses
Let’s start with a look at the purpose of betting bonuses. Bookmakers are in the business of making money. They want to attract new customers and also keep the ones that they currently have, engaged. The more people that bet, the more the bookmaker is happy.
So they can afford to throw incentives out there, like price boosts on markets, risk-free bets, matched deposit bonuses and the hugely popular welcome bonus offer. The latter is what bookmakers use to get people in the door.
But it’s not all cut and dry. Look at any online betting promotion and you will see some terms and conditions attached to it. While these are to determine the exact nature of qualifying for a bonus, they can prove to be pitfalls as well.
It could be that one needs a promo code that you may miss entering, or that another you are required to place a certain bet on a certain market to activate a bonus.
This is one of the biggest pitfalls of online sports betting bonuses. Wagering requirements severely limit the player from getting their hands on the bonus funds that are offered. Although wagering requirements are more commonly found in casino bonuses, they can pop up in sports.
The total winnings earned from the bonus have to be wagered x-amount of times with further real cash before those initial bonus winnings are released as withdrawable cash. Even if it’s a 2x wagering requirement, that’s a lot of extra stake that has to be risked to get your hands on the bonus winnings. So putting money into this type of offer, may be tough to get it back out.
Beyond Your Betting
Wagering requirements in a bonus deal can take you beyond the bankroll that you initially wanted to play with. This is never good. Any time that you see a betting promotion which is going to push you beyond your regular betting, perhaps a rewards club that wants you to place a set amount of football acca bets in a week, take a pass. Always bet within your limits and don’t just go chasing bonuses because they are there. That’s a massive financial pitfall.
A lot of sports bonuses are linked to deposit methods. This is quite a big area of restrictions really which can hinder players. If you have a preferred payment method that is excluded from the particular bonus, then you simply miss out. Most commonly it is third-party payment platforms such as e-Wallets that are excluded from offers.
This is a type of bet that is heavily pushed by betting sites. What exactly is a risk-free bet and are they worth it? A risk-free bet will return the lost stake of a bet that you have played with real cash. The thing with free bet offers like this, is that if your qualifying bet (which usually has to meet a certain threshold) wins, then you take your normal winnings and don’t actually get a bonus.
An alternative, better format of betting bonus is something like a matched free bet, where the operator gives you free bet credits regardless of the outcome of the qualifying bet.
Having a free bet on the account is just not the same as real cash. Any free bets that are credited to your account will come with an expiry time. It’s very common to see free bets expire 7 days after they are credited, so you have to use them or lose them.
But if you have earned one back through a risk-free bet welcome offer, but then forget to play it, you have lost everything including the value of the initial stake. Sometimes free bets also have further restrictions insofar as they can only be played at certain odds or on certain markets.
What You Can Do for Yourself
Some of these pitfalls can hamper your ability to get a bonus. But that’s not to say that it’s not worth going for promotions at all. Some are great, especially those that will issue things like win bonuses and free bets.
It’s knowing how to use them and the first step in understanding them more deeply is by simply reading the terms and conditions. Those have to be listed alongside any published offer. It’s not necessary to read the long-winded small print, but at least get the overview of a bonus from the key T&Cs.
Don’t just be blinded by the big shiny lights bonus offers. Take some time to see what you need to do to successfully fulfil them and just as importantly, see if they fit into your way of betting.