Free cash for signing up, bonuses for referring friends and free contests are just a few bonuses and rewards available to Canadians from online sportsbooks. We shall start by headlining and explaining the sign up bonus (the most common bonus redeemed on sportsbooks), how to receive the bonus and what a rollover requirement is, before moving into more significant details about other bonuses, rewards and promotions available from the best online sportsbooks.
Sign Up Bonuses Explained
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As competition is stiff in the digital marketplace, it is not uncommon to see businesses offer some form of first time user or sign up bonus. Online sportsbooks are no different, with many offering new users a welcome bonus when creating an account.
The sign up bonus is one of the first things most people consider when picking an online sportsbook. Although it is not the only factor when choosing, it can help narrow down the search from many options to just a few.
While a sign up bonus is great, they do come with a few rules that are important to understand. We shall explain the standard 100% sign up bonus and what a rollover requirement is before exploring other types of bonuses and promotions available to Canadians from our top-rated online sportsbooks.
100% Sign Up Bonus
Though not all, the majority of great online sportsbooks available to Canadians will match your first deposit by 100%. When making the first deposit, any online sportsbook offering the bonus will ask if you would like to receive the bonus. If you choose to accept the bonus, then the online sportsbook will match your first deposit. Most online sportsbooks match only up to a certain amount of money, often between $200 and $300 and these bonuses come with a rollover.
Depending on the sportsbook, you may need a bonus code to receive their sign up bonus. While most will ask if you want to receive to receive it when making your first deposit, some will have a box on the page where you need to enter in the code.
What Does Rollover Rate Mean?
Many people opt to receive the sign up bonus, without knowing about the rollover attached to it. A rollover is a requirement set out by the sportsbook when you receive certain types of bonuses. Rollovers are standard on all sign up bonuses.
A rollover requires you to wager a minimum amount of money before you are eligible to make withdrawals on winnings. Say you make a first deposit of $100 and receive a 100% bonus with a 5x rollover. The amount you need to wager is the sum of deposit plus the bonus amount times the rollover (($100+$100))*5). The total you need to wager with funds from your first deposit is $1000 to reach your rollover requirement.
Rollovers on most online sportsbooks range between 5x and 10x. Any rollover greater than ten times is too high and receiving a bonus is more of a burden than anything. Also, any online sportsbook offering a sign up bonus of 100% without a rollover could be operating a shady enterprise. Online sportsbooks are businesses and simply giving someone $100 without any stipulations is not a great way to make money.
Other Sign Up Promotions
Not every online sportsbook provides a 100% bonus when signing up. Some offer different rewards, as a way to provide a unique selling proposition to potential customers. Some offer smaller deposit bonuses. Instead of 100%, they may offer 50% but at a lower rollover rate. Other online sportsbooks will offer a free bet instead of a sign up bonus. These bets are usually capped at $10 to $20 and may require minimum odds for the bet to be considered valid.
Online Sportsbook without Sign Up Bonuses
A few options do not offer any form of bonus when signing up. Pinnacle is one that quickly comes to mind. Instead of offering bonuses (or much in terms of customer service and other features), Pinnacle provides better juice on just about every line. Sportsbooks that operate like Pinnacle tend to cater more towards high rollers and seasoned bettors.
Promotions, Rewards and Free Bets
Promotions, rewards and free bets are other ways online sportsbooks attract new customers and reward their current users. Each online sportsbook offers its own promotions, rewards and free bets. Some focus more on promoting the most exciting sporting events, while others offer up free bets, points and other benefits for being an active member.
Many online sportsbooks offer free bets and contests to their customers. These types of free bet are popular at the start of a sport’s season and help bettors prepare for a year of the sport. NFL opening weekend is a great time to see free bets.
Slightly different than a free bet, a free contest is more of you against other members of the sportsbook. Weekly NFL Pick’em challenges are a common free contest. Every member of the sportsbook is welcome to participate in the weekly challenge, picking the winners of each game with the top players receiving free prizes.
Some online sportsbook will offer a treble bonus to a new user. A treble bonus will see your odds triple on your first wager, giving you a larger payout if your bet is correct. These types of bonuses are usually one-time offers and come with minimum odd requirements.
Some online sportsbooks offer some type of reward every time you top up your account. The reload bonus is rewarded typically as either cashback or points. Points are often used to enter exclusive contests or redeemable for betting. Some point and cashback services require a member to activate (or sign up for) the service.
Losing Bet Bonuses
One of the more unique rewards available is to regain a small percentage of funds on losing bets. If you place a bet, which ends up missing, the online sportsbook will either give you a small amount back in cash or points. Points redeemable for betting purposes only are the most common form of this reward. These bonuses often come with a rollover requirement.
Level or Tier Based Reward Structures
Some sportsbook run a points and tier system that rewards user for activities on the site. The user can receive points for depositing funds, placing bets and participating in contests. While this type of reward sounds similar to losing bet bonuses, it often is very different. On some of the larger sportsbooks, users who are more active gain access to more perks (such as higher limits or specialty contests). An easy way for users to judge how close or far they are from unlocking new perks is through some type of level or tier based system. Bodog is one of better-known online sportsbooks that uses this type of system.
When user accounts go quiet for a lengthy period, some online sportsbook will try and entice users to reactivate or redeposit into their account by sending them special offers. These offers can include bonus cash on deposits, free bets or entries into special contests. To receive these offers, make sure your account preferences are set to receive emails from your online sportsbook.
Preferred Member Rewards and Bonus
If you use an online sportsbook for a while or make large deposits, you could be eligible for a preferred member bonus. Typically, these types of bonuses are only available for those depositing over $1000 at a time or someone with a long and healthy relationship with their online sportsbook. If you are new to online sportsbook it is recommended to start smaller and work towards this type of bonus, instead of depositing a large sum of money right off the bat.
Specific bonuses and promotions are only available with a particular bonus code. You may receive bonus codes through your email or through certain websites that allow you to access specialty contests or gain access to a more extensive selection of freerolls.
Friend Referral Bonuses
If a friend recommends an online sportsbook to you, make sure you ask for him or her for a friend referral code. When signing up for the online sportsbook, you can enter this code to receive some free cash once you make your first deposit. In addition, your friend will get a cash bonus (often around $20), making it a win-win situation.
Bitcoin Bonuses and Promotions
Some online sportsbooks are now accepting Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) as a form of payment. If you use Bitcoin to deposit funds into your account, you could receive an additional bonus or a higher match percentage (150% compared to 100%).
Seasonal Bonuses and Promotions
Some online sportsbooks have free promotions and contests at certain times of the year or during specific sporting events. A popular time to see these bonuses at the start of a new season. These types of bonuses usually appear close to the start of significant events, such as the beginning of the NFL season or in the lead up to the Stanley Cup Finals. Signing up for emails and frequently checking the website is the best way to avoid missing any promotional offer.
Rules, regulations and Restrictions
When accepting a bonus, there are sometimes additional rules, restrictions and regulations. If you are unsure, it is a smart idea to read the fine print before accepting a bonus. These are a few standard requirements or rules you will see on online sportsbooks.
Some bonuses require minimum odds on bets. Say you claim a bonus for 25% cashback on a deposit. While the online sportsbook may have no rollover requirement, they may only allow for bets with odds greater than a certain amount. For example, say you deposit $100 and receive a $25 bonus. You wager the $125 on a heavy favourite (odds of -800 for this example). The heavy favourite wins with ease and you pocket around $15 on your bet. If the sportsbook requires odds of -300 or greater, your bet could be voided or the bonus money taken off the wager.
If you have created a second account on the sportsbook, you are not eligible for a sign up promotion. If the sportsbook determines you have created a second account to receive additional benefits, you will face some type of sanction from the company. You will likely have your bets void, bonus money taken away and could potentially be blacklisted from the site. If you wish to receive another sign up bonus, we recommend trying a different sportsbook. Our sportsbook reviews can help you pick another site offering a 100% sign up bonus.
Some bonuses may require you to use the bonus within a specific timeframe. For example, a bonus specific to March Madness may expire after the National Championship Game. If you received additional funds to wager on March Madness and opt to save them, these funds could be removed from your account after the tournament ends.
Time limitations can also apply to sign up bonuses. If you receive a sign up bonus and do not use any or all of it within a certain timeframe, the sportsbook may retract some or all of the bonus. Most have a window to use the bonus of two to six months. However, as most people sign up to use an online sportsbook right away, this is rarely an issue.
Forfeiting a Bonus
If you received a bonus and wish not to use it, contact customer service before you start betting. Once you use bonus funds to wager, you are required to follow the rules set out by the sportsbook. If you received a bonus by accident or do not wish to use the bonus, customer service can remove any additional funds from your account before you continue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before accepting a sign up bonus or any other promotion, here are some of the most commonly asked questions Canadians have about online sportsbook bonuses and promotions. If you find your question is not answered here, directly contact the online sportsbook’s customer service department for more information and help.
Are Sign Up Bonuses Legal in Canada?
There is no law in Canada directly stating you cannot receive a bonus or reward when signing up for an online sportsbook. Sign up bonuses are treated like as new customer reward. Also, as the bonus is not given as a direct payout, you do not need to concern yourself with tax laws when receiving a bonus.
Should I Accept Bonuses When Signing Up?
If you are new to online sports betting, then accepting a sign up bonus is recommended. Although rollover requirement may scare off some, the additional funds can help new bettors gain experience and better understand online sportsbooks.
How Long Until I Receive my Bonus?
Most bonuses apply to your account instantly. If it is a first deposit bonus, you should see the funds added once your first deposit is processed. If you use a slower method to deposit into your account, then it will take longer for you to receive your bonus.
Where Do I Find More Information on My Sportsbook’s Promotions?
If you want more information on a sportsbook’s promotions, you are recommended to check out the website’s help centre. In this section of the site, they will have more details on different promotions and, whether or not you are eligible.
Can I Request a Bonus?
In rare exceptions, an online sportsbook will provide a customer with a bonus upon request. Typically, this is only done when the customer is willing to make a large deposit (usually no less than $1000). You would need to contact their customer support team directly, for more information.
Can I Withdraw my Money Before I Hit My Rollover Requirement?
Depending on the sportsbook, you could be able to withdraw a portion of your winning without completing your rollover requirement. Some sites may require you to achieve your rollover before collecting winning or return some or all of your sign up bonus.
Why are Sportsbook and Casino Sign Up Bonuses Different?
When signing up for an online sportsbook, you may notice most have a casino and poker rooms. These features of the website often have a different sign up bonus. Typically the bonus percentage for poker rooms and casinos are noticeably higher. Most of this has to do with the odds of winning in a casino, compared to the odds of winning in a sportsbook.
How Will I Know When I Have Hit my Rollover Requirement?
The best way to know if you have hit your rollover requirement is to keep track of your bets and earnings. Most online sportsbooks send betting receipts and have an option in your account to view previous bets. If you try to withdraw all your money and have not hit your rollover requirement, the sportsbook will tell you how much you can withdraw. You can also contact customer service if you need additional help figuring out where you are at in your rollover requirement.
What is the Quickest Way to Hit my Rollover Requirement?
There is no clearcut way to hit a rollover quickly unless you wager all your funds at one time. This strategy is not recommended to people new to online sportsbook, as you are much more likely to lose everything than clear your rollover. It best to mix up your approach and use the bonus as a way to try out new bets or place some parlays you would normally avoid. Doing this allows you to truly experience the greatness of online sportsbook, while you work away at the rollover requirement.
What if I Want to Close my Account Before Hitting my Rollover Requirement?
If you wish to close an account and withdraw your money, you should contact customer service directly. If you have not placed any wagers, you could receive a full refund on your deposit. If you have started to wager, you likely can only collect a percentage of your initial deposit and could be required to forfeit any winnings.
Canadian Sportsbooks Guide
- Lesson 3: How do sign-up bonuses and promotions work