Bookmaker promotions are a big part of the online sports betting experience. For bookmakers they are a great marketing tool to attract new customers and to stimulate existing ones to make bets. Sports betting promotions offer incentives for both categories of punters. They can promise a lot and that’s the purpose of them, to appeal to players to play in a sportsbook.
While top betting companies in Nigeria offer many betting promotions that can be useful tools for trying to make a play for some extra value in your sports betting, it’s worth taking a step back and assessing them. Because of the terms and conditions attached to bookmakers’ bonuses, they can often trip punters up.
With this handy guide to betting promotions, you will know what to look out for and how to play them safely and accurately.
How To Claim a Welcome Bonus
Welcome bonus offers by bookmakers are attractive things. You sign up, fund an account and claim an offer – in bonus cash or in free bets – for placing your stake.
However, you will have already faced some potential pitfalls of the T&Cs through deposit and bet restrictions attached to the promo, which are explained below. To start with, however, having bonus funds in your account is not the same as having real cash.
This is easily explained by looking at a common Risk Free Bet scenario.
Lost Stake Refund
It’s common to get a promo for a lost stake refund to cover a losing bet. That all sounds good. But the value is returned as a free bet bonus. Not cash. Sometimes referred to as a Risk Free Bet, it’s technically not, because you have already staked and lost real cash.
Also, more often than not, a free bet credit has to be used as one lump sum. It means you can’t split it into smaller stakes like with real cash. So there are restrictions, and restrictions are a big part of welcome bonus offers.
You Don’t Keep the Stake
Another key factor to understand about free bets is that their value isn’t returned. So if you win a bet that was placed with a free bet stake, you would only collect the profit, not the stake value. You have to remember that.
Restrictions that apply to deposits are perhaps the ones that catch the most punters out. A deposit restriction for welcome bonus offers is the exclusion of certain payment types.
While debit card and direct banking options will likely cover any betting promotion that you come across, other payments may not. Sometimes it’s e-wallets, sometimes other payment systems – those types of third-party payment platforms aren’t very compatible with betting bonuses. So if you don’t check the deposit terms of an offer, then you may find yourself missing out.
Bet restrictions are what you can or can’t do in making a qualifying bet to try and claim a bonus. For example, a bookmaker can demand that a stake can only be placed on certain markets to qualify for a stake refund or get winnings. A bet on any other market wouldn’t count.
Another area of bet restrictions is the value of the stake. There may be a qualifying threshold of stake value that needs to be played to qualify for a betting promotion. So if you bet less than the specified minimum, then you are not getting the bonus.
One more thing to watch out for is that an offer may only apply to your first bet of the day on a market, or for welcome bonus offers, the very first bet that you place on the account.
Bonus Bet Restrictions
Restrictions may also apply to any free bet credit that comes back to you. It’s not particularly common, but a free bet could only be for play only on a specific sport or market. The biggest type of bonus bet restriction is the expiration time.
A lot of free bet credits that are put into accounts don’t get used, because players forget that they are awarded on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. Free bets generally expire 7 days after being credited.
One final aspect of bonuses is wagering requirements. These are not too high when it comes to sports betting, but dip into any casino promotion and you’ll see things like 30x wagering requirements.
Wagering requirements mean that you have to play through the value of either the bonus or the winnings collected from a bonus, a set amount of times before winnings are released as withdrawable cash. Wagering requirements are very prohibitive things because the outlay of play-through money to fulfil them can stack up.
Don’t Skip the T&Cs
If there is one big takeaway from all of this, it is to read T&Cs. It’s not particularly fun, but if at the very least, you look at the key T&Cs listed under any promo on a betting site, then you will be steering yourself in the right direction. The way to think about T&Cs is that they aren’t there to put in tricky clauses to trip you up, they are a map to completing an offer.