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Beginners’ Guide to Bookmaker Welcome Offers

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Whether you are just getting the shtick of online gambling, or you’re a seasoned pundit who has been around since you had to get out of the house to place a bet on your favourite team, you’ve certainly been tempted by a bookmaker’s welcome offer at least once.

The main difference between a land-based bet shop and an online one is that the online bookmaker will help you get started by offering you a certain amount of cash. It is non-redeemable, of course, but in the form of a free bet, deposit bonus, or website credit. Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s actually not – online betting shops and casinos do, in fact, give away these free bonuses, but you’ll have to play by the rules in order to enjoy them to the fullest.

Here is the ultimate guide to online welcome offers – from the silliest of questions to the concept of minimum wagering requirement:

  • Types of welcome offers

Welcome offers come in different forms, but some of the most common ones include no deposit and deposit bonuses, free bets, enhanced odds, and first bet insurances. Online casinos, poker platforms, bingo and games sites will usually add up a certain amount to your first deposit – anything from 200% to 800%, and sometimes even more.

Betting sites can offer you one or more free bets, enhanced odds on your first bet, or bet insurances. For instance, if you lose with Betfred  on your first try, you can get up to £30 back.

  • Do you have to pay for it?

Most bookmakers require you to make a minimum initial deposit before offering you the bonus. The minimum required deposit is usually between £5 and £10. However, some sites do offer no-deposit freebies.

  • Can you hit the jackpot with the bonus you received?

Don’t get your hopes up too high – while you can win a pretty significant amount from your welcome bonus, it is limited in the interest of fair gambling.

  • Can you withdraw the money you’ve won from the welcome bonus?

Yes you do, but most bookmakers require that you meet the minimum wagering requirements first.

  • What is a wagering requirement?

We’re glad you asked – as this is probably the most important thing you need to know about gambling welcome offers.

The website will usually require you to turn over (also referred to as wager or play through) the bonus amount you received a number of times in order to be able to withdraw what you’ve won. It can be anything from 2x to 40x the amount, and usually has a deadline as well. If you fail to meet the deadline, you bonus funds and winnings will probably be abducted from your account.

You must always read through the T&Cs of the offer before you claim it – it is the easiest way to find out what the wagering requirement is.

  • Always check if you’re eligible for welcome offer in the first place.

Some bonuses will only be available for customers from a certain country, and others will ban the use of certain payment methods when making a deposit. Some sites might even have special requirements, so again, reading carefully and thoroughly through the T&Cs is your best bet.

This is pretty much all you need to know about online gambling welcome offers. Bottom line is – as long as you’ve done your research on the offer and the bookmaker, you’re pretty much guaranteed to use these free bet offers to your advantage.


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