Following a law change in 2018, more and more US states have legalised gambling, with several online sportsbooks rising to prominence and becoming mainstream. These bookmakers offer a variety of betting promotions in a bid to attract new customers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll detail the different offers and how you can take advantage of them.

Here’s a list of the most common betting promotions provided by bookmakers that are also a major selling point:

  • Deposit Match Bonus These new customer offers are key to enticing fresh punters to a particular sportsbook. A deposit match bonus involves the bookmaker matching a new customer’s first deposit — often up to a certain amount. So, if a new user makes a first deposit of $50, the bookmaker will match that and reward the punter $50 in bonuses. This offer typically manifests as bet credits, which can be used on the site’s sportsbook and subsequently turned into real cash should any of your bets win. Some sportsbooks will also offer a first bet match promotion, which is a similar premise but instead of matching a user’s first deposit, they’ll match their first bet stake.
  • No Deposit Bonus A no deposit bonus is brilliant as punters do not have to deposit any funds into their account in order to receive the reward on offer. You’ll qualify for the bonus by merely registering with the sportsbook, which means punters will likely have to enter a promo code to receive their bonus. This betting promotion comes with many perks for the new customer as they’ve got an opportunity to win without risking anything. You can also use your free bets as a way of testing out the sportsbook to see whether it fits your betting needs.
  • Enhanced Parlays Everybody loves putting on a parlay, right? Such bets are among the most popular among sports punters, especially novices. A parlay bet is when a better makes multiple wagers and combines them to create one big bet. While they’re a great way to win big money, they’re mightily difficult to pull off. Enhanced parlays, or parlay boosts, is a juiced-up version of your standard combo bet. Sportsbooks will boost the odds of your parlays to increase potential payouts. These boosts are usually proportional to the number of selections in your parlay. The more selections, the bigger the boost. This only adds to the entertainment of parlay betting, with punters not having to do anything different to earn a boosted parlay. However, some bookmakers might make these enhanced parlays sport or event specific.
  • Money Back Betting Offers This is typically a new customer offer in which the bookie refunds your first bet — usually via free bets — should it not win. However, some sportsbooks will also offer money back offers for various sports such as soccer. For example, punters could receive a refund if they place a goals-related bet on a soccer match which ends in a stalemate. The offer essentially gives punters a risk-free bet, but there’s still some risk as bookmakers will rarely refund customers with real cash. To make the most of this promotion, you’ve got to use the free bets you receive wisely.
  • Boosted Bets Such betting promotions are common among sportsbook, but they’re a handy way of punters garnering greater value for their bets. Some bookmakers may randomly boost odds, but, for the most part, punters will be able to see which markets have been boosted before the event begins. While the perks of boosted odds are obvious, they could also tempt punters into staking more. To combat this, some bookmakers limit how much you can bet on a boosted market.
  • Parlay Insurance As fun as parlays can be, they can also be incredibly frustrating. It only takes one erroneous selection for your entire bet — no matter how big it may be — to lose. Thus, bookmakers have tried to get rid of such frustration by introducing parlay insurance. Now, this offer isn’t as common as enhanced parlays which are borderline ubiquitous, so it’s worth doing some research into which sportsbooks offer it. The insurance gifts punters a full or partial refund should just one leg of their parley let them down. This refund will often manifest as a free bet as opposed to real cash.
  • Existing Customer Betting Offers VIP/loyalty programmes are imperative to retaining the interest of punters, especially high rollers who want to be rewarded for their betting from the bookmaker itself. The very best sportsbooks have generous rewards for their punters that transcend mere free bets and free spins. Some will even offer their customers the chance to win the most incredible real-life experiences.
  • Special Events Promotions Bookmakers will always put on a show when a major sporting event rolls around. Whether it’s the Super Bowl or March Madness, you can bet your bottom dollar that special promotions dedicated to such events are provided. March Madness brackets are common, and sportsbooks will give users the chance to win a lot of money should their bracket be accurate.
  • Available in 17 states
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  • Available in 16 states & Washington DC
  • In-depth betting options & odds
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  • Daily fantasy sports & horse betting
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  • Excellent sign-up bonus
  • Great betting options
  • Multi-sports parlay bet boost available

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There are various ways for punters to claim a sportsbook promotion. In some instances, you might have to click a link which will take you to the promotion page. From there, you’ll either automatically enter the promotion, or you’ll have to opt in. The latter is the most common way to claim a sports betting promotion and often merely involves a click of a button.

Promo codes might also be necessary, but these are typically more common with new customer offers as opposed to those for existing customers. These codes give punters access to the promotion and can be typed in when registering or making a deposit.

Sportsbook promotions are ubiquitous among online bookmakers, and it’s important that you opt in to offers that you think will benefit you the most or give you the best chance of winning.

Certain bonuses and offers may seem generous on the surface, but when you delve into the terms and conditions, their lack of value could become clear. Therefore, scanning these terms is imperative before taking advantage of a sportsbook promotion.

When deciding which betting promotion to opt in for, there are several things to consider. The most generous and least risky offers will include these:

  • Low minimum deposit amount: For offers that involve punters having to deposit in order to receive a bonus, the best will require a low deposit amount so you don’t have to risk a high stake early into your betting journey.
  • Low minimum stake amount: Similar to the deposit amount, but with some betting promotions you may have to place a bet before you receive your bonus. Again, you don’t want to risk too much early on — even if the bonuses are bigger with a higher stake.
  • Lower minimum odds for qualifying bet: Bookmakers set a limit on the minimum odds your qualifying bet must be to eliminate borderline guarantees. The bookie makes it harder for you to claim your bonus by including such limits. Thus, you’d be wise to take advantage of any offer with a lower minimum odds requirement.
  • Longer free bet expiry date: Once you’ve received your bonus, you have a limited amount of time to use it. If you receive free bets, you may have just a week to use them in some instances. The most generous sportsbook promotions will offer customers more time to use their bonus, which will likely give them a better chance of placing a winning bet.
  • No sport/market restrictions: You don’t want to be restricted to what you can use your free bets on, right? The best offers will give punters free reign over what they can do with their bonus.

Bookmakers like to confuse punters by including an endless list of terms of conditions with their sports promotions, which can often look quite daunting. However, when you break the terms down, there’s often only a few details that you need to be aware of to ensure you qualify for the promotion and reap the rewards.

Let's take a look at some of the most common T&Cs associated with betting promotions that you must be aware of:

  • Restricted countries/states/markets/payment methods: Bookmakers will generally give punters free rein over which markets they can use their bonuses on, but there are some instances where the bookmaker restricts your free bet usage to a particular market or sport. You must also check to see whether the promotion in question is available in your country/state as well as any restricted payment methods.
  • Qualifying bet odds: If the sports promotion in question requires you to place a bet in order to receive a bonus, that qualifying bet must boast odds that meets the bookmaker’s requirement. They do not want you backing huge favourites to take care of your rollover requirement, and often encourage a greater element of risk with your qualifying bets.
  • Maximum Bonus: The bookmaker will state the maximum amount you can win from your bonus as they don’t want you breaking the bank with your first bets!
  • Rollover requirement: This is the wagering requirement imposed by a sportsbook that punters need to bet before they receive their bonus. These are typically associated with new customer offers, but popular US sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel typically don’t include rollovers with their promotions.
  • Minimum stakes: To qualify for a particular promotion, you might be required to stake a certain amount of cash before you receive your bonus.
  • Time limits: This is the T and C that catches plenty of punters out. For new customer offers, you’ll likely have to take advantage of a bookmaker’s promotion within a week of creating your account. Also, once you’ve received your bonus, you must use it within an allotted time which is stated clearly by the bookmaker. Usually, punters will have anywhere between two weeks and a month to use their bonus.
  • Cash out: Prominent US sportsbooks allow their customers to cash out their bets, and it’s well worth checking out their cash-out policy for certain promotions.
  • One person per promotion: This is simple. Bookmakers will only allow punters to enjoy their sports promotions once (in most cases). A concerted effort is made to ensure nobody discovers any loopholes which allows them to create multiple accounts undetected. Strict punishments are handed out to anybody caught trying to dupe the bookmaker.

The four we have mentioned offer great sports promotions: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Borgata Online.

It’s hard to distinguish which is the best as it all depends on what the punter wants and values most.

Once you’ve signed up to the bookmaker, it should be pretty easy as they will always make it clear how to qualify for a particular promotion. You may need to opt in, deposit a certain amount, and so on.

Not necessarily, but you can expect the most popular sports like baseball, ice hockey, football, basketball, and soccer to each be supplied with some sort of offer. College sports are prominent, too.

There are various ways to claim a sportsbook promotion, the most common being via link, promo codes, or opting in.

Anybody of the legal age can claim a sportsbook promotion so long as they’re residing in a state where sports betting is legal.

Should the gambling laws in your state allow you to bet, the above guide shows how you can take advantage of the endless list of sportsbook promotions provided by bookmakers. It’s important that you find offers that best suit your needs and maximise your chance of success.

WRITTEN BY James Cormack
View all posts by James Cormack

Big sports fan specialising in football. Experienced the lows of Vlad Chiriches and Tim Sherwood as a Spurs fan along with the more recent ‘success’ under Pochettino. My following of the New England Patriots since 2012 somewhat makes up for the lack of silverware produced by Spurs in my lifetime.

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