Online betting bonuses are an old marketing tactic designed to encourage you to take the critical final step in giving a site your business: making a deposit. US betting sites want your business and they’re willing to offer valuable signup bonuses and promotional offers to gain your business.
Most bonuses end up being a great deal for anyone interested in testing the waters, but there is a lot to know about the various types of bonuses for each type of gambling market and the terms and conditions associated with each offer.
Current promotional offers at legal gambling sites are listed below:
Best Betting Bonuses and Promotions
The thing I love most about betting bonuses is that they reward you for something you were planning on doing anyway. Sites are basically obligated to offer bonuses because it’s what their competitors do. Meanwhile, you’re free to taste and sample all the bonus cash you want. This is one area in which the customer holds the power over the casino.
Look around a bit and you’ll find thousands of dollars’ worth of bonuses in the regulated US market. Between the many mobile sportsbooks, fantasy sites, horse racing websites, online casinos, and poker sites, there is a lot of incentives being offered to new customers.
Of course, there are always going to be certain terms and conditions attached to promotional offers. Generally, the terms and conditions place limits on how much money you can get, what you need to do to “clear” the bonus and whether or not you can withdraw the bonus cash.
How Betting Bonuses Work
The vast majority of welcome offers come in three flavors: match rate, no-deposit and first wager refund.
Match Rate Bonuses
This is the largest and most common type of welcome offer in online gambling. The amount of money you get is directly related to the size of your deposit. A typical 100% welcome bonus, for example, would double your first deposit. Transfer $200 to your account and they’ll give you an extra $200 to go along with it.
Some welcome bonuses may be withdrawn as cash while others may only be used to place additional real money wagers. The vast majority of match rate bonuses are only offered to new customers and only for their first deposit. Once you make a single deposit, you won’t be able to claim that particular bonus offer ever again.
No-deposit bonuses offer a small fixed amount of funds in return for signing up for an account, without having to make a deposit.
First Wager Refund
First wager refunds offer is a common offer at legal sportsbooks. The basic idea behind most bet refund bonuses is simple: if your first wager loses your stake will be refunded you with an equal amount of money, up to the maximum amount allowed.
In a sense, it’s a risk-free wager because you either win outright or you get your money back.
Reload bonuses are just like welcome bonuses. The only difference is that reload bonuses are open to existing customers who may have already made a deposit in the past.
Any betting site that doesn’t have a refer-a-friend program is missing out on loads of potential customers. In this competitive market, all the big names have referral programs that are designed to reward you for inviting other people to sign up and play.
Each site does it a little differently, but most give you extra cash in return for every paying customer you refer.
Clearing Requirements and Rollover
Online betting sites are willing to spend a good bit of money on new customer acquisition, but most offers also come with certain clearing requirements (a.k.a. “rollover”) that help offset some of the cost.
Wagering requirements stipulate that the customer must place a total sum of wagers equal to X before withdrawing the bonus or anything won with the bonus. Sometimes customers are asked to wager up to 30 times the size of the bonus. Note that this does not mean customers to lose that much; it just means they need to place that many total wagers.
The good news is the clearing requirements at US-legal betting sites are much more sensible than what was previously seen in the unlicensed offshore industry. It’s actually possible to clear these bonuses and have something to show for it at the end of it all.
Mobile Sports Betting Bonuses
The online sports betting industry is heating up in the US and a growing number of operators are scrambling to establish themselves as major players. The increasingly competitive industry works out well for us sports fans because online and mobile sportsbooks are happy to hand out large welcome bonuses to new customers.
Match deposit bonuses and first wager refund offers are the two most common types of incentives you’ll find online right now. While some sites offer cash in return for a deposit, others are willing to return your first wager back if it’s not a winner.
- New Jersey Betting Bonuses
- Pennsylvania Betting Bonuses
- Indiana Betting Bonuses
- West Virginia Betting Bonuses
Sports Betting Bonus Codes
Many sports betting sites ask new customers to input a bonus code or promo code in order to claim a deposit bonus. This field usually appears somewhere on the new customer registration form or when making a deposit.
Bonus codes serve several purposes. For players, promo codes in some cases allow players to claim exclusive bonuses that aren’t publicly advertised. This is actually somewhat rare today, as most new customer bonuses are automatically applied whether or not a code is entered at all.
That being said, BettingUSA does occasionally receive exclusive bonus codes that we pass on to visitors. If you see a bonus code listed here at BettingUSA, make note of it and use it when you sign up for an account to claim a bonus that is likely bigger and better than offers advertised elsewhere.
For operators, bonus codes assist in tracking marketing efforts. If a customer enters a bonus code seen on a TV ad, for example, the operator knows the customer was inspired by that particular ad to sign up for an account. Bonus codes also provide a sense of exclusivity, which is known to be an effective marketing tactic in its own right.
Daily Fantasy Sports Bonuses
Online fantasy is the most competitive online wagering niche in the United States right now thanks to its widespread legality in the US. Most fantasy sites offer their services in at least 43 states. Combine that with fairly low startup costs and you have all the ingredients you need for a healthy, thriving and competitive industry.
Signup bonuses at fantasy sites can consist of straight-up cash or free entries to paid contests. The two largest fantasy sports sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, offer free tournament entries that allow you to compete for a real money prize without risking your own hard-earned cash.
Horse and Greyhound Racing Bonuses
Bonuses offered at horse and greyhound sites work in a similar fashion as those offered at fantasy sites. After you sign up and deposit, you’ll be given a bunch of “pending” bonus cash. Just place wagers like you normally would and the bonus money will be released to your account.
Dog and horse racing bonuses are nice and all, but don’t let them distract you from your ultimate goal: making money with your bets. Your handicapping skills will have the greatest impact on your return over the long run. Let the bonus money come naturally, choose your wagers carefully and don’t place bets you’re not in love with just for the sake of clearing some bonus.
Online Casino Bonuses
Real money casino sites are now legal in both New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia. You can see from the quality of bonuses that the New Jersey industry is much more competitive than that of Delaware. This is because in New Jersey, actual land-based casinos operate behind each online casino, and they all fight for your business. In Delaware, all three casinos are operated by one group.
In any case, all legal casino sites offer something in return for your business. Casino bonuses are earned out as you place real money wagers at various games.
Online Poker Bonuses
In my experience, online poker is home to the best bonuses. Clearing a poker bonus is easy because all you have to do is sit at tables and play poker. Every hand you play brings you that much closer to releasing your bonus.
Poker sites aren’t too shy about giving out bonuses because they still earn money as you clear the bonus. Every hand you play helps the site generate rake, which is how the poker site profits. Plus, poker sites need people like you seated at the tables in order to attract more new customers.