Sports Betting Bonus Guide 2018
Check the list above for top sports betting bonuses for British punters.
Online sportsbooks are not shy to lure you in with lucrative bonuses. They have money to spend, and if you’re smart, you can get (even a lot of) extra money to bet with.
Here’s the three most common type of sports betting bonuses available at UK bookies:
- Deposit deals
Deposit to receive more money to bet with. For example: deposit £50 to receive £50 bonus and bet with £100.
- Risk-free bet
Make a bet. If you win, you keep what you won. If you lose, the betting site pays you back.
- Free bet
The sportsbook provides you with free money to bet with. Most often you get to make a £10 – £20 free bet after making your first real-money bet.
The promotions have terms and conditions, which you have to meet before cashing out. More about them below.
Deposit bonuses match your deposit with bonus money you can bet with. These promotions hand you more extra betting money than any other kinds of promotions.
When you sign up to a betting site, you’re sometimes offered a chance to get a deposit bonus.
Deposit bonuses consist of two things:
- The maximum amount of extra cash you can get
- Match-up percentage
For example, a typical bonus at a UK betting site could be “100% bonus up to £50”.
Here’s how to interpret an offer like “100% up to £50”:
- The first number (100%) is the match-up percentage. In this case, if you deposited £50 the betting site would calculate your bonus like this: £50 * 100% = £50.
- The second number (£50) shows you that the maximum you can receive is £50. If you deposit a sum that would result in a bonus bigger than £50, the rest is ignored, and you’ll receive £50.
Putting all this together: if you deposited £50 at a site offering 100% up to £50, you’d end up with £100 to bet with (your £50 + £50 in bonus money).
Securing your bonus is easy:
- Choose one of the betting sites listed above
- Register at the site
- Deposit at the cashier
- Use a bonus code if required*
- Choose to accept a bonus**
- Start betting
* Bonus code is not required at most sports betting sites. If one is required, it’s listed above in the table.
** Some sites require that you choose to accept a bonus. If this is the case, there’s a box you need to tick at the deposit screen.
There’s always a limitation with bonuses: you need to clear your extra funds before withdrawing.
Clearing a betting bonus
Before you can withdraw your winnings, you need to meet a rollover requirement. Every deposit-based sports betting bonus comes with a rollover requirement.
The rollover requirement is usually stated somewhere in the terms & conditions (aka “the part of a gambling website nobody reads except the editors of Bonussource.com”). This number tells you how many times you need to wager your money before you can cash it out.
For betting, the rollover requirement is usually 3 to 5. Compare this 3-5 to casino bonuses, which have a rollover requirement of 30 to 50!
In sports betting bonuses the rollover requirement is most often calculated like this:
Wagering needed before cashing out = rollover * (bonus money + original deposit).
Bonus clearing example:
You deposit £50 and receive £50 with a rollover requirement of 3
You need to wager: 3 * (£50 + £50) = £300
You need to bet with certain odds for your wager to count towards clearing your bonus. This limit is often 1/2. Bets below the limit are ignored as far as clearing the bonus goes.
The rollover requirement doesn’t depend on the currency or sport. However, players from different countries have different play-through requirements. The good news is us Brits are classed as no-risk by online sportsbooks and therefore we always have very low rollovers (yay!).
When you place a no-risk bet you either win the bet or get your money back.
Risk-free bets (often incorrectly called “free bets,“ which are explained below) are common betting bonuses. Gamblers love them, so UK sports betting sites too are more than happy to offer them.
Deposit bonuses are usually only available for new customers, but risk-free bets are also offered for existing customers. These kinds of loyalty promotions are common especially during big sporting events. Big events include the likes Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, big football events (World Cup, Champions League Finals) and the Rugby World Cup.
A typical risk-free bet has these restrictions:
- Stakes limited to £10 – £50
- Bet only available for a specific match
- Bet only available for some markets
- Minimum odds apply (usually 1/5 or higher)
- Maximum win is limited (usually £10,000)
This sounds like a long list of restrictions. In practice it’s all quite simple though: “Place a £20 risk-free bet today on Liverpool – Man United.” That’s about it.
Here’s what happens after placing your bet:
- If you win with your no-risk bet, great. You keep your winnings.
- If you lose with your no-risk bet, the betting site refunds your stake.
- If you lost, you may need to contact customer support to receive your refund.
Important thing about losing:
Depending on the internet sportsbook you bet at, you may need to contact customer support to receive your refund. Not all betting sites in UK, or elsewhere, do these refunds automatically. If the return is automatic or not, is always mentioned in the promotion so make sure to read it. Plenty of gamblers forget to claim their funds!
When you do get money back, it’s usually in the form of a “betting token.” With the token you can bet again but you can’t cash it out immediately.
Free bets are the simplest betting promotion: the sportsbook hands you a lump sum of money (most often £10 or £20), and you bet it.
Calling these free bets is slightly misleading. They’re reserved for customers who’ve shown they’re willing to put their money on the line. For example, at LeoVegas sportsbook, you’ll receive a £10 real-money free bet once you’ve bet £10 of your own money first.
Free bets have simple terms and conditions. As long as you don’t split the bet and don’t exceed a time limit there’s nothing of consequence to know.
Here’s free bet terms and conditions in a nutshell:
- No Splitting:
You can’t split free bets. If you receive, for example, £20 then you need to bet £20 on a single market.
- Minimum odds:
There’s usually 1/2 (1.5 in decimal odds) minimum odds you have to meet
- Maximum win:
The maximum tends to be in the tens of thousands, so it’s not something to worry about.
- Time limit:
Free bets have strict time limits. Usually, you only have seven days to use a free bet token you’ve received.
Can I Use Bookies’ Free Bets in an Acca?
It depends on the bookie. Most times, however, you can use your free bet in an accumulator. At Mr Green, for example, you can use your free bet in an acca.
UK: Best Betting Sites
|Best Mobile Betting Site||Leo Vegas|
|Best In-Play Betting Site||Leo Vegas|
|Best eSports Betting Site||Betway|
|Best UFC Betting Site||Mr Green|
|Best Premier League Betting Site||Rizk|
|Best NHL/NFL/NBA/MLB Betting Site||888 Sports|
|Best New Betting Site 2018||LeoVegas & Rizk|
You’ll find all the best UK betting sites from the list above. Below you’ll find the detailed description of best bookies for different sports.
Best Site for Mobile Betting: LeoVegas
LeoVegas is the best sportsbook for UK mobile punters. It’s an instant play sportsbook (no download needed), fast, and easy to navigate. Just get the LeoVegas sports bonus and you’re set.
You can play at LeoVegas with your tablet or phone, as long it is a smartphone (so no Nokia 3310s). The sportsbook works smoothly on iOS and Android. You can use an iPhone, Samsung or even a Windows Phone to get your bets in quickly at LeoVegas.
Leo Vegas has one of the best overall sportsbooks in the market. They’ve got very competitive odds, their selection of sports is right up there with the best of them, and they cover all UK payment methods.
It’s a no-brainer for anyone who uses their phone or an iPad for betting.
Best Site for In-play / Live-betting: LeoVegas
LeoVegas’ sport section is the best option for in-play betting if you’re betting go the go. It is fast, responsive on mobile and you’ll get your bets in in no time.
You can bet plenty of sports live, such as:
- Premier League
Leo’s sportsbook is mobile optimised, but not necessarily the best option if you solely use a desktop for in-play betting.
For desktop-only live betting, you should head over to Betway’s sports section. It’s smoother on a desktop than Leo’s, and they offer pretty much the same sports and leagues as LeoVegas does.
Best Site for UFC & Boxing Betting: Mr Green
You’ll find a huge amount of markets for UFC and boxing betting at Mr Green. For the biggest fights, you’ll also get markets such as over/under round betting and method of victory. And yeah, you’ll get live odds too.
For UFC and boxing, there’s always various markets to bet on for the main card of noticeable fight nights at Mr Green. For the undercard, you’ll typically see a market for the bout winner and over/under round betting.
It’s common for markets to open the closer the fight night gets. You’ll rarely see a lot of markets a week before the fight (unless Anthony Joshua is involved), but on the day of the fight they open more markets and lift their betting limits so you can get more dollars in.
In case you’re a hardcore MMA fan and follow Bellator or KSW, that’s no problem. Mr Green usually doesn’t have in-play betting available for Bellator or KSW, but you’ll always get bout odds for these fights too.
Best for eSports: Betway
Betway is by far the best sportsbook for your eSports betting. They don’t just stick to the majors, as they offer lots of smaller tournaments like Hellcase Cup in CS:GO. In addition to the obvious esport games like League of Legends and CS:GO, Betway also got games like Rocket League and Starcraft Broodwar.
Betway has taken a real stand in embracing eSports. You might even recognise their logo if you’ve watched Majors on Twitch. They’ve sponsored ESL Cologne, CS:GO Pro League, and booked two sponsorships for major ESL events in 2018. They’re also a long time sponsor one of the most storied franchises in eSports history, Ninjas in Pyjamas.
eSports betting can be very lucrative, as there aren’t as much stats available yet for the oddsmakers. While oddsmakers have massive amounts of data for football and tennis, eSports is still a new kid on the block, so you can definitely make a buck if you know what you’re doing.
Betway’s offers so many tournaments and games, in which you have an excellent chance to gain an edge if you have a good grasp on how Fnatic matches up against Cloud9 in CS:GO, or Serral against Classic in Starcraft.
Best for EPL: Rizk
Fancy a cheeky flutter on Man United? Rizk has got you covered. They offer a massive selection of football odds from all over the world.
Rizk also has a lot of more exotic variants than just normal match betting. If you want to place a wager when Jose Mourinho is sacked or if Harry Kane remains scoreless in August, Rizk delivers.
Best for NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB Betting: 888 Sports
888 Sports is the top bookie for major US sports leagues. It’s a sister site of the famous 888 Casino. They offer a vast amount of markets for every game for each of the biggest sports. They excel in NFL, where you’ll find tons of betting options from regular match betting to player props like Tom Brady’s over/under yards.
You can bet each sport in-play, too. Come playoff time, they’ve got every game on offer, and you can bet all the action live. In the regular season, you’ll get selected games to bet in-play, but you’re always certain to get at least a game or two for to bet live each day. You’ll see the games highlighted with “LIVE!” highlight between the game and the odds section.
You’ll find all the biggest sports at every sportsbook, but you’ll rarely come across such selection that Spin Palace offers. Another great option for NHL or NBA betting is LeoVegas (especially on mobile), while 888 Casino and Rizk are solid options for MLB and NFL.
Best New Betting Sites of 2018: LeoVegas, Rizk
The best new betting sites in UK have to be LeoVegas and Rizk. Both of them are established operators over in Northern Europe, but now they’ve brought their A game to UK, too. Tasty bonuses, UK-friendly payment methods, and sports that us Brits are interested in all play a part.
Rizk keeps up their no-nonsense policy also in their welcome offer. £10 Money Back Offer gives you your money back up to £10 if your bet slip doesn’t win. At LeoVegas you’ll get a £10 free bet, which activates right after you’ve made your first bet worth 10 quid.
Get Rizk £10 Money Back Offer:
- Read our Rizk review and open your account
- Fill the sign-up form
- Click “Deposit”
- Choose your go-to deposit method
- Claim the Sportsbook Welcome Offer with your first deposit of at least £20
- Confirm the transaction
- Make your selection/selections on a single bet slip and select £10 MONEY BACK BET from the drop down menu
- You’ll get 100% of your money back up to £10 if your bet doesn’t win
Get LeoVegas £10 free bet:
- Get your LeoVegas sportsbook bonus here
- Fill the sign-up form
- Click “My account”
- Click “Deposit”
- Choose your deposit method (you don’t need a bonus code)
- Confirm the transaction
- Bet £10 as your first bet with odds of 2.00 or higher, and you’ll receive the £10 free bet
Online Sports Betting in UK 2018
Here’s some random tips and tricks on how top UK betting sites operate. So we’ll go over how you can get your money in and out, if you need to pay taxes (yuck!) and more.
Deposit and Withdrawing
Getting your money in and out of sportsbooks is easy. The easiest ways are to use credit cards like Visa and Mastercard, PayPal, E-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill or Ecopayz. Depositing is instant, while withdrawals take a couple of days.
The most popular banking methods:
Online bookies have made it easy for people in the UK. They’ve brought on deposit options familiar to us like Paypal, E-wallets and Pay by phone.
Getting your money out is easy, although a bit slower than depositing. The most common way is to cash out winnings is to receive the funds to your credit card. Unlike deposits, cashouts aren’t instant. They take about 1h – 2 days to clear depending on the site. Then it takes another day or two until the funds are on your account.
Is sports betting income taxed in the UK?
In short, no. UK Government get their slice of the pie directly from bookies. There’s no tax for punters to pay on either bets or any winnings in the UK.
What is spread betting?
Spread betting is a fairly recent way to bet on sports. It’s also an exciting way of betting and can be much more profitable than traditional betting on fixed odds. Here’s an example how it works.
If you think Liverpool will win the Merseyside derby with a fair margin, you can opt to place a wager with one and a half goal spread. Or if you think there’s a decent change that Everton will be totally demolished, you can select even bigger spread for the Reds. Naturally, it also pays off bigger. If the traditional fixed odds for the Liverpool win would be something like 1/2, with spread bet of -2.5 Liverpool you might get odds of 4/1 or something close to that.
What is an accumulator?
An accumulator bet, or “an acca”, combines multiple selections on a single bet. For the bet to pay out, all selections must come true. Accumulator betting is super popular in the UK and why not? With an accumulator bet you’ll have a chance to rack up massive odds and potential winnings with a low stake.
An example of Premier League acca:
- Wolverhampton to beat Tottenham at 3/1
- Liverpool to beat Man City at 3/1
- Man Utd to beat Newcastle at 2/1
- Crystal Palace to beat Everton at 4/1
For your accumululator to pay out, you’ll need correct results from all four matches. Lets imagine your stake for the acca listed above is £20. If all of your results come in, your winnings are as follows:
- Your initial stake returns £80 from your bet on Wolverhampton to beat Tottenham (£60 winnings, plus your £20 stake).
- This £80 becomes your stake on the Liverpool vs Man City game, and pays out £320 (£240 winnings, plus your £80 stake).
- The £320 goes on Man United to beat Newcastle, and when they do so it turns into £640.
- Finally, Crystal Palace takes care of business against Everton. Congrats, you’ve just turned £20 into £3,200!