No matter what time of year it is, online sportsbooks are on standby. Business picks up the most for the biggest events on the calendar, such as the Super Bowl and March Madness, but you can also get in on the action for random MLB games, PGA Tour stops, and much more. Whenever you plan to bet, you should be on the lookout for bonus and promo offers.
For example, you can get some more bang for the buck by taking advantage of odds boosts, while risk-free bets provide you with some insurance on select wagers. On this page, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sports betting bonuses and promos, including how to spot a good deal and when to take a pass.
Best sportsbook bonuses and risk-free bet offers August 2022
Top sports betting bonuses and promo codes
Sportsbook bonuses and promotions are common for online sports betting sites. They are a way for the books to attract users and boost ongoing play, while customers benefit by having the potential to gain a little something extra for their efforts.
The competitive nature of the industry means that there are a good number of incentives available. If you’re looking to try a new site or app, you should be doing your due diligence to maximize your benefits and also looking for sportsbook promo codes to lock in the offers.
Most of the bonuses and promos are pretty straightforward, but terms and conditions will apply. While researching welcome bonuses or ongoing promos, be sure to check the fine print to make sure that the offer is one that works for you and your situation.
|Online Sportsbook||Total Welcome Bonus||Promo Code|
|DraftKings||$1,050||Click to Claim Promo|
|bet365||$200||None - Use Links|
|FOX Bet||$500||None - Use Links|
|Hard Rock||$100||None - Use Links|
How sportsbook bonuses, risk-free bets, and promo offers works
As mentioned, the actual offers will vary by the sportsbook. Many will make them exclusive to sports betting, while others will also tie in incentives for other products. For example, DraftKings and FanDuel may also offer casino bonuses for their offerings in that space. Here are some of the most popular offers and how they work:
Risk-free bets explained
Some sportsbooks will allow new users to make their first bet in risk-free fashion after an initial deposit. If you place the wager and it loses, you’ll receive a refund for the amount of your stake in the form of site credits or free bets up to the maximum value of the offer. The amount returned isn’t withdrawable, and you must play it through on the site. Here’s an example of how it works:
- Caesars offers a risk-free bet of up to $1,500 after your first deposit.
- After making your first deposit of $100, you place a moneyline wager for that amount on the Chicago Cubs to beat the Cincinnati Reds.
- The Reds win the game. Caesars refunds your bet stake of $100 as site credits that you can use to wager again.
If you happen to win the bet, there is nothing to be credited for. Both your winnings and initial deposit are yours to do with as you wish. Assuming the above scenario happens and the Reds win, you can use the site credit in full to place another bet.
If you win that one, Caesars will credit your account with the profit from the wager, but not the site credit with which you placed the bet. In addition to Caesars, sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM have all used risk-free promos of varying amounts, sometimes for as much as $1,000.
Things to consider: The standard risk-free bet offer for new users will typically apply to your first placed wager only, so be sure to choose wisely. There’s no need to rush and bet on a random event that you have no interest in just for the sake of using it. Take your time and review your options before making your bet while being mindful of the terms, conditions, and timeframe that you have to work with.
Sportsbook deposit matches
Certain books will match your first deposit after you sign up. Naturally, there will be limitations, but sportsbooks have dished out some generous offers through the years, sometimes for as much as $1,000. The matching funds will arrive as a percentage of your deposit. Some books offer just 20%, but many will match 100%.
- You come across a deposit matching bonus of $250 for new enrollees at a sportsbook.
- You sign up and make a $250 deposit.
- The sportsbook credits your account with an additional $250.
- You now have a beginning bankroll of $500.
The matched funds are now yours to do with as you wish, but some restrictions will apply. There may be a time limitation on using them up, and the actual amount of the credit is not withdrawable. As always, review the terms and conditions of the offer for specifics.
Things to consider: A deposit match provides you with free funds to play with, and it can be a real boom for your bankroll. Taking advantage of the maximum on these types of offers makes plenty of sense as a result. That said, it’s important to always be mindful of your own personal comfort level and total sports betting budget, which should consist solely of disposable income that’s equivalent to what you would spend on another entertainment-related expense.
Free bet with no deposit
For this offer, you get free funds to play with after signing up. The amount will vary, and you won’t be able to immediately withdraw the funds, but there are few other restrictions. If you win, the sportsbook will credit your account with the winnings.
- You create an account at DraftKings and receive $50 in free bets.
- You place a $50 point spread bet on the Carolina Panthers +3.5 versus the Tennessee Titans.
- The Panthers cover the spread. DraftKings credits your account with the winnings, but the credit for the free bet has been used up.
If the bet loses, the free bet credit has also been used up, so you’ll have to make a deposit to continue playing on the site. There are also variations of this offer that require you to make an initial deposit in order to receive the free bet.
Additionally, be sure to view the terms and conditions of the free bet, as you may need to use it within a certain timeframe, such as seven or 30 days after account creation. DraftKings, BetMGM, and other top sportsbooks have featured this type of offer at various times.
Things to consider: Free bets provide you with the chance to wager without risk and potentially get a feel for a new site, but that doesn’t mean that you should be using them in a haphazard fashion. Since the choice is the potential for profits if you win and nothing if you lose, they should be treated like any other wager and used on the games or events that you feel best about.
Common promotions at online sportsbooks
Once you’ve signed up to bet online, you can expect to see ongoing promotional offers. Many sites and apps display current offers in the main betting lobby and have dedicated sections for the latest promotions. At times, you may see special offers via email or social media.
Just like the sign-up offers, be sure to take the time to review the exact terms and conditions. There may be limitations on the amount of the wager or on what you can bet on. Here are some examples of what you might see:
Money back on losing bets
At times, you’ll come across risk-free offers that provide a refund up to a set amount on certain wagers.
- A sportsbook offers up to $25 back on losing bets for a slate of NBA
- You place a $25 over/under bet and come up short.
- You receive a refund of $25 in site credits.
Things to consider: Always take the time to review current offers before placing your bets, such as the opportunity to have some insurance on your side for a bet that you planned to place anyway. At times, a money back offer can also make sense when you want to try out a new sport or bet type, or when you’re looking to spread out some risk for other placed wagers.
If you lose a single leg of a parlay, you’ll receive a refund for the amount of your wager in the form of site credits up to a certain amount.
- Say a sportsbook offers $50 back if you miss one leg of a parlay with four or more legs.
- You place a $50 four-leg NFL parlay and lose on one selection.
- You receive a $50 credit in your account that you can use to play on the site.
Things to consider: While they can be entertaining, parlay bets are incredibly challenging to win with consistently. If you play them regularly or are just looking to try them out, always be on the lookout for insurance offers. Parlay bets that you miss by a single leg can be awfully frustrating, but much less so when you know that at least part of your stake is covered.
Sportsbooks will enhance the odds on certain bets to attract more action, including standard pregame bets, props, futures, and parlays.
- A sportsbook offers an odds boost on a Mike Trout player prop, boosting the odds from +100 to +150 on bets up to $100.
- You place a $100 bet at odds of +150.
- Trout hits the mark. You get back $150 in winnings as opposed to the $100 you would see at the normal odds.
Things to consider: Odds boosts offer the chance to earn even more on your winning wagers. It’s good practice to regularly review the current boosts whenever you log in to play. As always, the potential return shouldn’t be the sole determining factor for what you wager on, but odds boosts should always be taken advantage of when they fit in with your plans.
Why do sportsbooks offer bonuses and promos?
With so many sportsbooks jockeying for position, it can be tough to make headway in current legal sports betting states and as new markets open up. To help stand apart from the crowd, many books lean on incentives as a way to attract new business and to keep current customers satisfied.
The total outlay for bonuses and promos can be extensive, but it’s a cost of doing business in today’s competitive environment. From the eyes of the sportsbooks, if it translates into a new customer or increases loyalty among an existing one, then it’s money well spent. While not all customers will be regulars, the hope is that many of them will evolve into that.