Online betting bonuses are a marketing tactic designed to encourage bettors to take signup and make a deposit. US betting sites want your action and they’re willing to offer valuable signup bonuses and promotional offers to gain your business.
Most sports betting deposit bonuses are a great deal for new bettors, but there is a lot to know about the various types of betting bonus offers for each type of gambling market and the terms and conditions associated with each promotion.
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. Sportsbooks offer bonuses because it’s what their competitors do.
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 depositing customers.
Of course, there are always going to be certain terms and conditions attached to betting 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.
DraftKings offers up to $1,000 in bonus funds to all new customers spread across a first deposit bonus and a first bet match offer.
- Deposit Bonus: New customers get an extra 20% on their first deposit for up to $500 in bonus funds
- First Bet Match: Place your first bet and DraftKings will match it 100% for up to $500 in free bets
FanDuel Sportsbook offers a risk-free bet for new customers and year-round parlay insurance along with a regular lineup of short-term promotions geared toward special events and the big in-season sports.
- $500 Risk Free Bet: Sign up for an account, place your first wager and if it loses, FanDuel will refund it with up to $500 in site credit
- Parlay Insurance: Place a parlay wager including 5+ legs in any sport and lose by just a single leg, FanDuel will refund it with up to $25 back
BetMGM runs several longstanding promos, including a $500 risk-free bet offer for new customers. Other promotions vary based on the season and ahead of major sports events.
- $500 Risk Free Bet: New customers can place their first bet almost risk free – if it loses, BetMGM will refund it with up to $500 in free bets
- Multi-Sport Parlay Boost: BetMGM offers up to 40% payout boosts on parlays that consist of 4-7 legs on any combination of sports
- Money Monday Club: Opt in and get a $10 free bet every Monday whenever you place $50+ worth of wagers the previous week
BetRivers is not a particularly promotion-heavy sportsbook, but an easy to clear welcome bonus for new customers is attractive.
- $250 Deposit Bonus: BetRivers offers a 100% deposit bonus for all new customers worth up to $250 with a 1x rollover that makes it easy to clear
Unibet has an attractive pair of new customers offers along with regular odds boosts, profit boosts, parlays specials and other promotions catered to the season.
- $20 No-Deposit Bonus: Sign up for an account to receive two free $10 bets with no deposit necessary
- $250 Risk Free Bet: Place your first wager using your own money and if it loses, Unibet will refund it with up to $250 within 72 hours
BetAmerica Sportsbook is quite active on the promotional front with a variety of bonuses and other offers for new and existing customers.
- $1,000 First Bet Refund: Opt in and place a wager within seven days of signing up to get up to $1,000 in bonus funds as a refund if your first wager loses
- $20 Live Betting Bonus: Place your first in-play wager of $20 or more to receive $20 in bonus funds
- Parlay Insurance: BetAmerica will refund your 5+ leg parlay with up to $25 in bonus funds if it loses by just one leg
- Bet $5, Get $20: Opt in, place a bet of $5 or more on any sport to get $20 in bonus funds
Monkey Knife Fight offers real money fantasy prop games in most US states and offers all new customers a reasonable welcome bonus.
- First Deposit Bonus: Sign up for an account at Monkey Knife Fight and make a deposit to claim a 100% welcome bonus worth up to $50
TVG maintains an active rotation of bonuses for new and current customers alike. Be sure to check back often as offers change regularly.
- $200 Risk Free Bet: Place your first wager with TVG and if it loses, they’ll refund your account with up to $200 in bonus funds
AmWager offers a large welcome bonus to new customers alongside ongoing cash back rewards that put money back into the accounts of existing players.
- $500 Welcome Bonus: Earn 10% back on all win and exotic wagers made during your first 30 days for up to $500 back
- Cash Back Rewards: Customers who stick around are rewarded with 2% to 5% cash back every day on all betting volume, win or lose
How Betting Bonuses Work
The vast majority of welcome offers come in three flavors: match rate, no-deposit and first wager refund.
Signup bonuses at legal US betting sites almost always come with terms and conditions attached, and wagering requirements should be clearly displayed and easy to understand.
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.
Free Bets and Risk-Free Bets
Free bet offers give new customers what is essentially site credit – a chance to place a wager using house money. In many cases, free sports bets are sized to match the customer’s first real money wager.
For example, a customer signing up and placing a first wager of $50 would get an additional free bet worth $50.
Risk-free bets are similar but are only issued if the customer’s first wager is a loser. For example, a mobile sportsbook might advertise a risk-free bet along the lines of, “if your first wager loses, we’ll refund it for up to $500 in site credit.”
Read more about how each type of offer works, along with terms and conditions to watch out for and how to maximize one’s value with our free bets guide here:
No-deposit bonuses at betting sites offer a small fixed amount of funds in return for signing up for an account, without having to make a deposit.
Reload bonuses are just like welcome bonuses. The only difference is that reload bonuses are open to existing customers who have deposited 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 spend large marketing budgets 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.
Clearing requirements at legal US betting sites are much more sensible than what was previously seen in the unlicensed offshore industry.
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 first deposit 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 betting 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
- Colorado Betting Bonuses
- Indiana Betting Bonuses
- Pennsylvania Betting Bonuses
- West Virginia Betting Bonuses
- Michigan 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.
In most cases, betting promo codes are completely optional and do not offer any extra value – they are simply a tracking mechanism for betting operators.
In other cases, sportsbook promo codes allow players to claim exclusive bonuses that aren’t publicly advertised.
Most new customer bonuses are automatically applied whether or not a code is entered at all.
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
Daily fantasy sports serves as an alternative to sports betting in states yet to legalize sportsbooks and is the most competitive online wagering niche in the United States right now thanks to its widespread legality.
Most daily fantasy sports 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 deposit match bonuses and/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 cash.
Horse Racing Betting 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 legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and (soon) Michigan.
You can see from the quality of casino deposit 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 our experience, online poker sites offer the best value in 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 offer aggressive signup 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.