With hundreds of sports betting sites, poker sites, and gambling sites out there looking for your business, competition is at an all-time high in the industry. Not only is it important for sites to get new signups, but it is also important for them to keep players. All that competition is to your advantage as a player. You have many options, and every betting site out there is offering incentives for you to join and incentives for you to stick around. These incentives come in the form of signup bonuses and player loyalty programs.
You will notice that all poker, sports, and casino sites have two different things up for offer. First, they give you a cash bonus as a reward for signing up and making your first deposit. After that, they hope to keep your business by offering ongoing promos and VIP programs.
The concept of evaluating the value of promotions and the process of keeping time-sensitive offers accurate is so complex we launched a comparison website at BettingBonuses.com that constantly updates and explains the restrictions attached to each new offer. We recommend giving it a look!
Sports Betting Bonuses and Promos
Sportsbooks tend to welcome new customers in one of two ways. They either add a little bonus money to your first deposit or give you a free bet. If it’s bonus money, the sportsbook will give you something like 10% extra added to your first deposit. So if you deposit $100, they’ll throw in an extra $10.
If a sports betting site doesn’t give you extra cash, it will give you a free bet. The details vary from one site to the next, but it’s normally something like your first bet will be refunded if it loses. So if you make a $20 bet and win, nothing happens. But if that bet loses, they’ll refund you $20.
Most sportsbooks do not have long-term VIP programs. Instead, they host new promos every month. In most cases, those promos revolve around the sports that are in season at the time. During baseball season, they will give you special rewards for betting on baseball. The promos are always different, but the main point is that you get extra perks for being an active bettor.
Poker Bonuses and Loyalty Programs
The welcome bonuses at poker sites tend to be quite a bit larger than the bonuses at sportsbooks. It is common for new players to get 100% bonuses worth up to $500. That means the poker site is willing to match your first deposit for up to $500 in extra cash. So if you deposit $200, you’ll get an extra $200 to go with it.
One thing you’ll find with poker bonuses is that they must be “cleared.” In other words, the bonus money stays locked away until you play a certain number of hands. As you play in real money ring games and tournaments, the bonus is released in $5 or $10 increments.
Loyalty programs are also big in the poker world. Every poker site has a rewards system that gives you points for participating in real money games. The more you play, the more points you earn. These points accumulate over time and can then be used to unlock cash prizes, gifts, free tournament tickets, and other things of that nature.
Casino Bonuses and VIP Programs
Casinos have the biggest welcome bonuses of them all. It is not uncommon to see a 400% casino bonus worth a thousand dollars or more. These bonuses are massive, but the catch is that you have to clear them just like poker bonuses. So before you get the money, you’ll have to place many real money wagers in the casino.
It is always smart to read the terms and conditions for any bonus, but it is vital for casino bonuses. Some bonuses may look good at first but fall apart when you read the fine print. Make sure you stick with reputable casino sites that treat their players well.
The VIP programs at online casinos work similarly to the loyalty programs at poker sites. As you play in real money games, you earn points. Most casinos keep it simple and give you cash for points.
A Few Things to Know
This page is just a brief overview of the most common types of bonuses and reward programs out there. Remember that every betting site does it a little differently. Check the terms of every bonus and reward system out there and make sure you understand how it all works.
Also, note that if you stick to reputable sites (the ones we recommend here), everything will work out for the best. You’ll get your bonuses and be able to participate in VIP programs that actually reward you for playing.
And finally, don’t let all these bonuses and reward programs distract you from the ultimate goal: winning money. Bonuses and VIP programs are nice, but they will probably never account for most of your earnings. Remember to pick your bets carefully and apply strategy to the games you play. That is where the bulk of your earnings will come from.
Mike Murphy founded BettingWebsites.com to help educate bettors navigate the legal online sports betting market in all countries. Mike has been an expert in the gambling industry since 2008.