What’s the Deal With…Sports Bonuses & Promos?

Guide to sports bonuses and promos
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Betting Expert, James Pacheco

Updated 18/02/2022

Categories: WTDW

Bonuses and promos are a way of betting sites attracting new customers, keeping existing customers engaged and active, and standing out from their competitors. In essence, they’re a marketing tool that makes sure new customers arrive and also, that they’re less likely to leave.

In our guide to sports bonuses and promos, we’ll use our expertise to explain why betting companies offer them, how they work and which ones to look out for.

What’s the difference between a bonus and a promo?

A promo is an offer that can take many shapes and forms. One of those forms is as a bonus, meaning that in effect, receiving a bonus is a type of promo. But it’s not the only one. Let’s have a look at the different types of offers available.

Deposit Bonus

This is possibly the most common type of bonus. A betting site may offer customers a bonus on their next deposit, whether it’s the first-ever, the fifth or the tenth.

There are two key elements to a deposit bonus.

The first is the percentage. A 50% deposit bonus means they’ll add 50% to what you deposit; 100% means they’ll double what you deposit, and so on.

The second element is the maximum amount. If they say ‘up to 10000 Rupees’ then that’s the maximum you can get as a bonus once the percentage(above) has been applied to your deposit.

Free Bet

Another popular form of bonus. Here the betting site will give you a certain amount of money to bet with so you don’t have to risk your own money when placing it.

For example, they might give you a ₹1000 free bet as a reward for you placing lots of bets the previous week. That free bet could be used on any sports event you like, or in some cases, they’ll tell you which event you have to use it on.

It might be on the next day’s IPL betting, for example. As with any promo, read the terms and conditions carefully.

There may be restrictions on the event you have to use it on, when you need to use it by or what are the minimum odds at which you can place your bet.


You don’t see this one so often and it’s used more by Casinos than sports betting sites.

Essentially it means the site sees you’ve incurred some losses recently and is happy to give you back a percentage of what you lost (usually not more than 10%) so you can play with it again.

Leaderboards and Draws

These are two types of offers that are contests rather than bespoke offers to individual clients. Leaderboards mean customers at a particular site try to beat others by having more winning bets over a particular period, or at higher odds.

The customers who opted-in are then competing to have their names on a leaderboard, like in a golf tournament. Draws are when you get free entry into a draw/tombola as a reward for placing a certain number of bets, or wagering a certain amount.

In both cases, the betting site will give cash prizes to the winners, or bonuses in some other form.

The Welcome Bonus

Each and every online betting site worth its salt will offer a welcome bonus. There’s a huge amount of competition among betting sites focused on the Indian market like 10CRIC, Betway and Pure Win to get new customers through the (virtual) door, which is the hardest part.

So they need to have welcome offers- rewards for new customers for opening accounts with them- that are at the very least competitive with what other sites are doing.

Or even better: more generous than what their competitors are offering. Here you can easily see what the betting sites in India are currently giving out as a welcome offer.

Normally, a welcome offer will mostly be made up of a big deposit bonus on your first (or first three) deposits. It may then also include something else like a free bet. Or if the site also has a casino, some free spins on a particular slot.

Did you know?

Sadly, bonus money isn’t free money. If you deposited 1000 Rupees and were given a 50% bonus, you’d have an extra 500 Rupees to play with. But betting sites can’t just allow customers to take the money and run!

If they did, they’d all go bankrupt very quickly. So instead, bonuses carry wagering requirements.

So for example, if there was a 20x wagering requirement on those 500 Rupees, you’d have to wager those 500 Rupees through 20x (wagering a total of 10,000 Rupees by ‘recycling’ that money through the site) before you could withdraw the bonus, and the winnings from it.

The higher the wagering requirement, the harder that will be to do.

Customers should also be aware that in some cases the wagering requirements apply to the money you deposited, in addition to the bonus you were given.

This then makes it hard to withdraw your deposit and winnings generated from that, as well. So as ever, read the terms and conditions carefully. 

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Advantages of bonuses

The above may seem that bonuses aren’t all they seem and are just a waste of time. But it’s not as simple as that.

Advantage 1 – Good Practice

Imagine you’ve just opened an account and were given a 100% bonus on a deposit of 5000 Rupees; that’s an extra 5000 Rupees to play with. For novice players, it provides a chance to try out different sports, different leagues within each sport and different types of bets.

For example, to see how you fare on a top batsman betting market, in addition to just the match-winner one. Even if you lose your bonus, you will have discovered what works best for you while playing it.

It’s worth remembering that bonuses are “real money“, they’re not “pretend money“. But as we’ve just seen, they carry wagering requirements.

Advantage 2 – Not Impossible to Turn Over

It may seem like hard work to turn over a bonus 20x through the site before you can withdraw it.

It is hard work.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’re very careful about what you’re betting on, study your bets with time and get a few lucky breaks, you can actually wager it through several times and withdraw it.

Tricks for sports offers and bonuses

The best way to be up to date with all the latest offers your betting site is giving away is to ‘opt-in’ to receiving news about them.

By ticking the box, you’re asking the betting site to send you emails and SMSs about their offers so you know what you can get.

Then it’s up to you to decide which are with it and which aren’t, but at least you know.