Guide to Sportsbook Bonuses
Sportsbook bonuses are a great way to boost your bankroll and get more out of your betting on sports. There is a wide variety of different bonuses and betting promotions available in various sportsbooks in Canada. A sportsbook operator won’t give you a bonus for free though. Strings are attached to it; this is called wagering requirements. We will go through different bonuses and explain the concept of wagering requirements on this page.
Different Types Of Sportsbook Bonuses
Welcome bonuses are the blockbuster bonuses you will come across on most sites. This is one of the main marketing tools for sports betting sites to attract new punters. The welcome bonus is always part of your first deposit in a sportsbook you recently signed up with. A welcome bonus could come in any of the formats we will describe on this page. However, the most common type of sportsbook welcome bonus is a matching deposit offer. Where you get, for example, a 100% match of up to $200. In this case, you deposit $200, and the sportsbook will give you another $200 in bonus money to play with.
Matching bonuses are often used for other deposit-type bonuses like:
- Reload Bonuses
- Deposit Bonuses
The bonus funds are almost always subject to wagering requirements. We will go through what wagering requirements are at the bottom of this page.
Free bets are often part of welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, deposit bonuses or simply a part of the standard promotional offering in sportsbooks. What is a free bet – a bet with bonus money where you do not have to risk any of your money while still having the upside of keeping potential winnings from the bet.
In Canada, the most common amounts for free bets range between $5 to $30. Often, free bets are restricted to specific markets such as Moneyline or Over/Under. Additionally, there is usually a minimum odds requirement that you need to wager the free bet on odds of 1.50-1.75 or higher.
Whether potential winnings from free bets are paid out in real money or not depends on the sportsbook. In the case you receive real money, then you are free to withdraw it right away. In other cases, if you receive bonus money, then this bonus amount would be subject to wagering requirements.
Odds boosts are part of the promotional offering in any well-established and modern sportsbook. When there is an odds boost campaign, the sportsbook will offer you enhanced odds for a match or a specific selection.
For Example, Toronto Raptors are playing versus Los Angeles Lakers. The Raptors are 2.10 to win. The sportsbook you are betting with currently has a 25% odds boost campaign running on the match, where you get Raptors to win at 2.38. The potential winnings from this bet are, of course, higher than without the boost. Ultimately, the sportsbook is giving up some of its vig in your favor. Say you bet $25 on Raptors to win at normal odds. Raptors end up winning, and you receive $52.5. With the odds boost and odds at 2.38, the same bet would net you $59.5.
This is a great sportsbook bonus that you will often come across in Canadian sportsbooks.
ACCA insurance is sometimes available for accumulator bets. You won’t find ACCA in every sportsbook, but it is common enough to include in this guide. Basically, if you compose an accumulator bet (betting on several selections from different games at a multiplied odds). And you miss one of the selections; then you will get a refund. ACCA insurance can save you some money while lowering the risk of placing accumulator bets.
For example, let’s say it is a full NHL night with plenty of matches being played. You want to have some action in on five of the matches. You place to win for five teams in five different matches. You bet on Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, St Louis Blue and Vancouver Canucks to win. If only St Louis Blues lets you down and lose, you will have your stake paid back to your account. If both St Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs lose, you will not have your stake paid back. ACCA insurance is only for one selection losing.
Cashback is when you get part of your money back when losing. Cashback can relate to just one, but more commonly, for all bets you placed and lost during a specific time period. The cashback amounts are often paid out as bonus money or free bets.
We mentioned wagering requirements (WR) at the beginning of this sportsbook bonus guide. We promised to explain it, so here we go. When you receive bonus money as part of a welcome bonus or paid out as winnings in free bets, this sum comes with strings attached to it. You won’t be able to instantly withdraw the sum because it is not real money — yet. The bonus money will be converted to real money by following what is stipulated in the wagering requirements as the bonus terms and conditions.
Wagering requirements vary between sportsbooks, some requirements are easy and some are more difficult. Typically, wagering requirements in Canadian sportsbooks are set at around 20x. If we take the example of our betting welcome bonus, where we deposited $200 and received another $200. Suppose the bonus amount is subject to 20x WR. This means that we have to wager the $200 amount 20 times for a total of $4,000 (20 x $200). Once we have wagered $4,000 in bets, then the bonus money is converted to real money that you can withdraw.
Wagering requirements are often referred to as playthrough requirements or clearing a bonus.
The Reason Why Canadian Sportsbooks Have Wagering Requirements
Wagering requirements are not in place to trick you or make life difficult. It is easy to forget that sportsbook operators are just like any other business. They need to make money in order to continue running their business. Giving out free money would not be a feasible option for a successful business, and this is why bonuses and wagering requirements need to be balanced, it needs to be difficult enough for players to clear the bonus while still having a fair chance of clearing the bonus and converting it into real money.
No wagering requirements would create an unsustainable situation where criminals could deposit money and withdraw their funds along with the bonus money. Wagering requirements are an important compliance requirement, related to keeping and maintaining online gambling licenses and adhering to rules regarding anti-money laundering.
If you made it here you are ready to deposit, receive that wad of bonus money and playthrough the wagering requirements. As a general rule, always read the terms and conditions of the bonus. There are as many different types of wagering requirements as there are sportsbooks in Canada. Don’t get overexcited by the huge dollar numbers and high percentages, take your time and read about the bonus offer to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.