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First Deposit Bonus

Eric Kithinji

Updated: Aug 19, 2023


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Since the legalization of sports betting outside of Nevada, sportsbooks have been looking for ways to attract bettors and beat the competition; enter first deposit bonuses, the go-to welcome bonus for many sportsbooks.

Essentially, with a first deposit bonus, when you fund your new wagering account for the very first time, the sportsbook will give you a bonus equal to the amount of your first deposit.

Unlike free bets, you’re guaranteed a bonus when you opt for a first deposit offer.

First deposit bonuses are extremely common, and you’re bound to come across a few of these offers as you jump from one book to the next.

To help you take advantage of such offers, here’s a comprehensive guide that will cover the key things you need to note.

What Is A First Deposit Bonus?

A first deposit bonus, as the name suggests, is a bonus given to new bettors who are depositing funds for the very first time.

Typically, a sportsbook will match a certain percentage—usually 100%—of a new bettor’s very first deposit.

For example, BetRivers Sportsbook offers new customers a 100% deposit match up to $250.

This means that you’re guaranteed a dollar-for-dollar match on any deposit that’s less than $250.

So, if you were to deposit $150, BetRivers would reward you with a bonus worth $150.

What To Look For When Choosing An Online First Deposit Bonus?

A first deposit bonus may look lucrative, but you have to dig deep to ensure you’re getting a fantastic deal.

Here are some things that you should always keep in mind with this bonus:

Rollover – How many times do you need to risk your bonus before you can withdraw it? If a bonus has a high rollover, it’s going to be hard for you to convert it into withdrawable cash.

Consider this: if you receive a $250 bonus with a 1x rollover, you simply need to bet this amount once. However, if the same bonus has a 5x rollover, you’ll need to convert that $250 to $1,250 before you can withdraw it.

Bonus Amount That You’ll Receive – First deposit bonuses deal with both percentages and amounts, which can end up deceiving a lot of bettors.

To illustrate what we mean, we’re going to use two examples:

  1. 100% First Deposit Match Up To $500
  2. 20% First Deposit Match Up To $1,000

Most bettors will see the second bonus and immediately think that it’s the better one, but a quick calculation will disprove this.

In the first one, if you were to deposit $500, you’d end up with a $500 bonus since Sportsbook A is giving a 100% match.

In the second bonus, however, a $500 deposit would end up yielding a $200 bonus since Sportsbook B is only giving a 20% match.

See what we mean when we say the amount advertised could be deceptive?

The Expiration Date Of The Bonus – First deposit bonuses typically deal with large amounts, so you’re going to need as much time as possible, especially if the bonus has a high rollover attached to it.

Most sportsbooks give bettors 30 days to clear the wagering requirements, so don’t go for a bonus that gives you less time unless the attached rollover is extremely favorable.

How First Deposit Bonuses Work

As we’ve mentioned above, most first deposit bonuses deal with a percentage match.

For example, a sportsbook could advertise the following offer: 100% First Deposit Bonus Up To $1,000.

In such a promo, this simply means that the sportsbook will fully match your first deposit; a deposit of $100, in this case, would mean that a bettor would end up receiving a $100 bonus.

Let’s suppose that the sportsbook advertised a 50% first deposit bonus, and you still deposited $100.

This time, you’ll receive a $50 bonus instead of a $100 bonus.

Advantages Of A First Deposit Bonus

First deposit bonuses have a myriad of advantages. Here are a few of them:

  • Bettors can receive a hefty amount from this bonus.
  • Unlike bonus bets, you’re guaranteed a bonus.
  • Since you’re new to the site, you can use the bonus to help you navigate the sportsbook.
  • You can increase your bonus by making a larger deposit.

Disadvantages Of A First Deposit Bonus

Even though we rate first deposit bonuses highly, we still think that there are a few drawbacks attached to this welcome bonus.

Here are a few of those disadvantages:

  • First deposit bonuses usually have a high rollover.
  • Some sportsbooks match a small percentage, forcing bettors to deposit sizeable sums in order to unlock higher amounts.
  • Most times, you need to wager both the deposit and the bonus before you can withdraw any funds from this promo.

Restrictions Around First Deposit Bonuses

Before you opt for a first deposit bonus, always keep these restrictions in mind:

Minimum Odds Apply – Most sportsbooks usually restrict bettors to a certain price. For example, on DraftKings, you need to place your bonus on sporting events priced at -300 or higher.

Bonus Can’t Be Used On Casino Games – If the betting site you’re using also has a casino, you may be restricted from placing the bonus on casino games.

How To Get A First Deposit Bonus

The process of getting a first deposit bonus differs from one sportsbook to the next.

Since this is a welcome bonus that is only given to new bettors, you’ll need to find a sportsbook that has this offer—don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in the next section.

Once you’ve decided on a particular sportsbook, you’ll need to create sports betting account on the site; you’ll instantly be rewarded with a first deposit bonus after you successfully verify your account.

You may need to present a valid promo code during the registration process to trigger the bonus at some sportsbooks.

If you’re stuck between two sportsbooks, or if you want the best deal possible, always compare different operators to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything.

What Are The Best First Deposit Bonuses For Existing Users?

Since first deposit bonuses are exclusively given to new bettors, existing users don’t qualify for such a bonus.


About the author

Placed his first sports wager shortly after high school, and has been involved in this whirlwind of the industry since then. Fan of most of the major ...

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