Updated: Nov 23, 2022
To say that the sports betting industry is highly competitive would be quite an understatement.
In such a cut-throat industry, betting sites need to use various tactics to earn your betting dollars. One such tactic that has become a norm is for sportsbooks to offer welcome bonuses to new customers.
All the top online sportsbooks know the importance of welcome bonuses; that’s why it would be folly for a site to operate without a welcome bonus in this day and age.
In this detailed guide, we’ll take you through the key things you need to know regarding welcome bonuses, and we’ll also highlight some of the best welcome bonuses, type of a free bet, offered by the top sportsbooks.
What Is A Welcome Bonus?
A welcome bonus is a reward given to a new user who registers on a betting site. To get the welcome bonus, you need to sign up and verify your new betting account.
Some betting sites may require a valid promo code, but most will give you the bonus right after you opt into the promo.
Welcome bonuses typically come in three forms. These are:
- Risk-Free Bets – With this bonus, your first wager on the site is insured. If that wager results in a loss, you end up with a refund.
- No Deposit Offers – A bonus awarded without requiring a monetary deposit. In this welcome offer, a betting site will match the very first deposit a bettor makes after signing up.
Most betting sites typically award users with one of these three bonuses, but it’s not uncommon for them to combine such offers.
For example, a betting site may offer you a $25 no deposit bonus alongside a $1,000 risk-free bet.
What To Look For When Choosing An Online Welcome Bonus?
If you’re looking for a great welcome bonus, here are three key factors you should always prioritize:
The reputation of the sportsbook – If you want to bet with no worries, always do your homework and search for reputable sites.
Instead of going for offshore alternatives—which may offer you lucrative bonuses but will most likely never meet them—we suggest you opt for local, regulated, and licensed sportsbooks.
The advertised bonus amount – After you’ve found a legitimate site, next, you need to consider the bonus amount on offer. If possible, try going for bonuses that give you more upfront, as this means that you’ll have more to play with.
This will also help you know the ins and outs of the site without needing to make a huge initial investment.
The type of welcome bonus – This consideration will depend on your preference. We’ve mentioned the three types of bonuses bettors can get, so it’s up to you to decide which of the three you prefer.
Of course, each bonus has its merits and demerits, and you need to keep such things in mind when you’re choosing between several welcome bonuses.
Betting Sites With A Welcome Bonus
Here are some welcome bonuses offered by the top sportsbooks:
DraftKings Welcome Bonus
- 20% First Deposit Bonus Up To $1,000
- Bonus is 20% of your first deposit
- Minimum odds of -300 apply
- Has a 25x wagering requirement
FanDuel Welcome Bonus
- Risk-Free Bet Up To $1,000
- If your first bet on FanDuel loses, you’ll receive a refund
- Bonus is given as site credit
- Unused bonus funds will expire after 14 days
BetMGM Welcome Bonus
- Risk-Free First Bet Up To $1,000
- Lose your first bet on BetMGM, and you get a refund
- Bonus is given in free bets
- Free bets must be used within 7 days
Caesars Welcome Bonus
- $1,100 First Bet Insurance
- Receive a free bet equal to the amount of your first wager
- Your first bet needs to have odds of -200 or higher
- The free bet expires after 30 days
PointsBet Welcome Bonus
- Get 2 Risk-Free Bets Up To $2,000
- Refunds are given as free bets
- Up to $500 back if you lose your first fixed odds bet
- Up to $1,500 back if you lose your first PointsBetting bet
BetRivers Welcome Bonus
- 100% Deposit Match Bonus Up To $250
- Bonus is equivalent to a dollar-for-dollar first deposit match
- The maximum bonus available to a new punter is $250
- Bonus carries a 1x play-through requirement
TwinSpires Welcome Bonus
- Up To $1,000 If Your First Bet Loses
- You’ll receive a refund if your first wager on TwinSpires loses
- Refunds given as free bets
- Free bets also expire after 7 days
How Welcome Bonuses Work
Welcome bonuses aren’t really hard to understand. If you look at welcome bonuses from a sportsbook’s perspective, such offers make perfect sense.
Sportsbooks are businesses and profit is still their principal goal. Just like other businesses, the easiest way that a sportsbook can get a bettor’s attention is by offering new customers a lucrative reward for signing up.
Once they entice you with an offer and you register on their site, sportsbooks believe they’ll earn your loyalty through their services. That’s why it’s also common for betting sites to reward existing users through other ongoing promos.
Advantages Of A Welcome Bonus
A few advantages of welcome bonuses include:
- They come in different varieties
- Allow new bettors to test out betting sites without investing too much
- No deposit bonuses are given for free without requiring a deposit
Disadvantages Of A Welcome Bonus
Despite the numerous advantages, welcome bonuses still have a few demerits. Here are some of the most common disadvantages associated with welcome bonuses:
- It’s common for welcome bonuses to have high play-through requirements
- A lot of betting sites use welcome bonuses as a tactic to lure in bettors but don’t offer ongoing bonuses after that
- It’s common for welcome bonuses to have a lot of restrictions
Restrictions Around Welcome Bonuses
Betting sites may freely give out bonuses, but they usually include a lot of restrictions that prevent manipulative bettors from exploiting such promos.
Regarding welcome bonuses, here are the most common restrictions that these bonuses have:
Only awarded to verified bettors – Even after you complete the registration process, you’ll still need to verify your betting account by sending valid identification documents to the betting site. Most sportsbooks won’t award you with a bonus until you do so.
The few that may give you a bonus before account verification will prevent you from making a withdrawal until you verify your account.
If you’ve previously registered on the site, you don’t qualify as a new user – For example, let’s say that a site has a casino and a sportsbook. If you previously registered as a casino player on that very site, you won’t qualify for the welcome offer that the sportsbook has.
Wagering requirements – To withdraw funds from a welcome bonus, you first need to meet certain wagering requirements. This means you’ll have to bet the bonus funds several times before you can claim them.
How To Get A Welcome Bonus
Welcome bonuses are awarded to new users, so you need to sign up on a betting site to enjoy a welcome bonus.
In some situations, new bettors may need to present a valid promo code, while some sites will freely give welcome bonuses to bettors without requiring such a code.
Before you settle for a welcome bonus, always compare different sites, especially if you’re aiming to get the best possible offer.
What Are The Best Welcome Bonuses For Existing Users?
Welcome bonuses are awarded to new bettors, so existing users don’t qualify for such promos.
RatingBet $5 Get $200 In Free Bets & $1,000 Deposit Match Bonus
RatingGet $1,000 No Sweat First Bet
RatingGet $200 In Free Bets When Betting $10 Or $1,000 In Free Bets
RatingGet 2nd Free Bet Up To $500
RatingGet Two Risk Free Bets Up To $2,000