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Most, if not all, sports betting markets in the US have multiple sportsbooks operating online. Deciding which one to go with can be challenging. Since they all have relatively competitive odds, sportsbooks need a different way to stand out from the rest. That is where bonus offers come in handy.

Bonus offers are one of the most common marketing tools for sportsbooks. Who does not want more money to work within their bankroll or the comfort that comes with a risk-free bet? Every bettor does, but you must be careful about jumping on an offer because of its perceived value.

You must read the fine print, or as they are often referred to by sportsbooks, the “terms and conditions.” Fail to meet them and that fantastic bonus could end up being a big dud.

See our complete guide to the Top US Sports Betting Apps, with the best bonus offers for new bettors. 

What Are “Terms And Conditions?”

Sportsbooks want you to sign-up, but they also want you actively betting once you do. That is where the terms and conditions often come into play.  While the bonus’s perceived value gets you to sign-up, to take advantage of it, you have to meet specific requirements.

Those requirements, described in the terms and conditions, are designed to keep you betting.

What Is The Roll Over Or Play Through Requirement?

There is often a roll-over or play-through requirement attached to first deposit bonus offers. Sportsbooks are not going to just give you money because you deposited some. They want to know that you are going to gamble.

Before you can withdraw any bonus money, you will have to place bets equal to or higher in value to your deposit a set number of times. For example, if a sportsbook has a $1000 first deposit match bonus and has a 10x roll-over requirement, you will have to bet $10,000 before you can withdraw any bonus money.

Sound simple? That depends on how much time you have to work with.

How Much Time Do You Get?

Sportsbooks will not give you $1000 for betting $10,000 over a few years or even a few months. They want to see you betting early and often before they give you any free money. To that end, you will have anywhere from seven days to thirty days in most cases to fulfill whatever requirements must be met.

Or, in the case of free bets received in conjunction with risk-free bet offers, you will have to use those free bets within a given timeframe or lose them. If you do, great. Enjoy your bonus money. If you do not, you can forget about that bonus.

But just any old bet will not count toward the requirement. They will have to be qualifying bets.

What Is A Qualifying Bet?

The purpose behind a bonus is not to give you free money but to get you actively betting. That is why just any old bet will not count towards your bonus requirement. Sportsbooks want there to be some risk on your end, so betting big on heavy favorites will often not work.

Typically, bets will have odds longer than a given number. For example. Let’s say the odds cannot be shorter than -200. If that were the case, a bet with -250 odds would not qualify, but one with -150 or +150 odds would.

It would be too easy for bettors to meet roll-over requirements if bettors could just put money on Clemson to beat the Citadel.

How Do You Choose A Bonus?

Bonuses can be great tools for bettors of all levels. But before signing up for one, you need to make sure you understand all requirements. Once you have a grasp on what is required, take a moment to think about whether you can meet those requirements, or if you want to.

A $1000 deposit match sounds excellent, but is it if you must make $10,000 in bets inside of two weeks? That depends on just how active you plan on being. A $250 deposit match may not sound like much. But if you only have a 1x roll-over requirement and two weeks to meet it, that may be the better option. 

Every bonus offer can be a great one, but only if you are willing to make the necessary commitment to meet the terms and conditions attached to the offer.

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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