They sound too good to be true. $250 free bets, $500 signup bonuses, and $1,000 welcome bonuses seem amazing for bettors. Bettors may wonder how sportsbooks can offer that much money upfront. However, if bettors look closely at the terms and conditions, they’ll get a clue as to why sportsbooks can offer bonuses. It’s also easy to figure out why some sportsbooks don’t bother with bonuses at all. Here’s everything bettors need to know about sportsbook bonuses.
What Makes Bonuses Profitable For Sportsbooks?
Bonuses are enticing offers for new bettors. They’re plastered on billboards and featured in commercials. The idea is to give new bettors some wiggle room when they wager. Bettors have to put a little money in upfront. However, they get some help in placing their first bets. It seems like a good deal–especially for people unfamiliar with sports betting. But while bonuses can attract new customers, they can anger them immediately, too.
The Main Types Of Bonuses
There are two types of common bonuses at Colorado sportsbooks: deposit bonuses and free bets.
Deposit bonuses reward bettors for–you guessed it–depositing funds. Bettors put money into their accounts, and the sportsbook puts site credits at a rate proportional to bettor deposits. For example, part of DraftKings’ welcome bonus is a $500 deposit bonus. If bettors read the fine print, they’ll get a 20% match up to $500. So, if bettors deposit $500, DraftKings will put $100 of site credits in the bettor’s account. It encourages bettors to put money in their accounts and try sports betting.
Free bets are refunded bets. If bettors lose a wager, their sportsbook will refund their stake in site credits. FanDuel has this type of bonus. It offers a $1,000 free bet to its bettors. If bettors wager $1,000, they’ll get $1,000 back in site credits if they lose. But if bettors wager $250, they’ll only get $250 back in site credits. However, free bets require careful understandings of their terms. In fact, bonus terms can make bonuses feel more like curses to uninformed bettors.
Sportsbooks don’t hide their terms. The short version of the terms is often below the sportsbook bonus. However, the full terms are a link away in the sportsbook’s app and website. Understanding these terms is crucial to understanding the business of sportsbook bonuses.
For example, risk-free bets are often only valid for a bettor’s first wager. Bettors can’t save that free bet for later. They must plan their first bet carefully to get the bonus’ full value. That means many bettors can miss their chance to cash in on a great bonus.
However, bettors have to be careful with deposit bonuses, too. Deposit bonuses require bettors to wager before getting any site credits. So, even though bettors deposited funds, they won’t get extra site credits until they bet their deposited funds.
That’s why it’s so important for bettors to check the terms of even the most promising bonuses. Colorado sportsbook app store reviews are full of disgruntled bettors who didn’t read the terms and conditions. But even if every bettor took full advantage of the bonus terms, the odds would still be in the sportsbooks’ favor.
Bettor Losses And Hard Cash
Colorado sportsbooks distribute risk across their lines. They tweak lines so they ensure they make money no matter who wins. However, paying out bets on the favorite is cheaper than paying out on the underdog. Sportsbooks already have the odds set in their favor, so they’re counting on coming out on top even if they fund a few winning bets.
Further, when sportsbooks payout bonuses, they pay them in site credits instead of cash. Bettors can’t refund site credits, so there’s little danger to sportsbooks losing money. Even the cash bettors deposit isn’t theirs anymore. Bettors can’t withdraw their deposits once they’re in. They can probably get it back if they make a big enough fuss with customer service. But once the money’s in a sportsbook, it’s for betting.
Bonuses Aren’t For Professionals
Sportsbook bonuses attract casual bettors. They’re used to get newbies to give sports betting a try. The theory seems to be if they try it a few times, then they’ll try it a few more. We don’t have hard data on casual bettor retention. However, we can assume there’s one group of bettors who don’t use bonuses: the professionals themselves.
Professional sports bettors don’t rely on sportsbook bonuses to make their money. Instead, they use research, data, and their skills to wager. That way, they can place wagers on bets that seem crazy to everyone else but make sense to them.
However, there are less ethical betting tricks bettors can use to play sportsbook odds off one another.
One of them is arbitrage betting. They can’t use look at different sportsbooks to find odds on the favorite and the underdog. The pros do some math to wager on both sides so no matter the outcome, they profit. However, sportsbooks frown upon this tactic. Colorado sportsbooks suspend users they suspect of using tricks like arbitrage betting.
Whether professionals are doing in-depth research or using betting tricks that sportsbooks frown upon, they don’t need welcome bonuses. And if the pros aren’t using them, the bonuses must be for all us averages Joes.
Why Sportsbooks May Or May Not Offer Welcome Bonuses
If bettors already have a dedicated user base, then they don’t need welcome bonuses. One Colorado sportsbook, SBK, doesn’t have welcome bonuses at all. Instead, it’s relying on its competitive odds to attract bettors. Time will tell whether that tactic pays off in the Rocky Mountain State. But it’s one way to allocate limited sportsbook resources.
Other sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses to build their customer bases. By attracting new customers from the beginning, they can establish a relationship that keeps Colorado’s bettors to themselves. Colorado sportsbooks are still choosing how they want to compete in this young sports betting market. Their different bonus offerings are insights into how they’re choosing to outcompete each other.