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Sportsbook Bonus fineprint: It’s worth reading

Sportsbook bonuses can offer incredible value. If you're depositing at a sportsbook and loading up before baseball season, and are not darting in and out at multiple shops, it often makes sense to take the biggest and best offer available.

However, one piece of advice: Read the fineprint, and save yourself a hassle come withdrawal time.

Sportsbook Review received a complaint from a GR88 (SBR rating D) player this morning. He deposited €40 and received a 100% bonus. The first wager was a multiple (parlay), followed by a €40 straight wager.

The player's multiple won, but the second wager lost.

His balance stood at €316. He asked for a payout and was then told the bonus rollover requirement had to be fulfilled. The player became outraged, thinking that his first bet was placed with his deposited fund, and that his subsequent usage of the bonus was a loser, so there are no profits to play-through, right?


You've got to roll it over
The industry standard for sportsbook bonuses is that once a bonus is accepted and used, it has to be rolled over. In fact, even if a bonus is not used, 99% of the time it cannot be voided. If players could pick and choose when to cancel bonuses, they could deposit for a big bonus offer, go all-in with their deposited funds in their first wager, and if it wins, decide they no longer want to use the bonus. The sportsbooks would take a beating if they allowed this, and the size of the bonuses offered would end up decreasing industry wide, a bad thing for all players.

Next, the GR88 player complains that after making hundreds of euros in wagers, he realized that a majority of his action did not count, as all bets on favorites over a certain price-point (-200) did not count toward his play-through. This is again not uncommon. European sportsbooks often set odds cap on rollovers, whereas offshore sportsbooks traditionally say the lesser of the risk/win is used to count bonus action.

Lesser of risk vs. win
For example, if you wager $150 to win $100 (odds of -150), the $100 counts toward your wagering requirement. The reason this requirement is in place is to encourage action; if you could simply coast through wagering requirements by betting the biggest favorite on the board, you essentially are not truly risking your funds, and the house takes a beating.

Players need to understand that sportsbooks are not the federal reserve: They are in the business of making, not printing money.

There's a simple solution, make a habit of taking five minutes to read sportsbook bonus rules, and avoid a hassle come withdrawal time.