Question from SBR mailbag: The lesser of risk/win with bonuses?

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Sportsbook Review occasionally receives questions from players who are confused by some of the bonus terms published by their sports betting website of choice.

A third of complaints involving bonuses center around some disagreement on whether or not wagering requirements have been fulfilled, most often due to a miscalculation of what is called the sportsbook rollover.

What is rollover?
A sportsbook rollover or play-through requirement refers to the number of times you must bet through your deposit and bonus before you can make a withdrawal.

For example, let's say you deposit $1,000 and receive a 10% bonus of $100 which has a 3X deposit+bonus requirement. What this means is that you must make $3,300 in bets before you can place your first withdrawal. However, most if not all offshore sportsbooks also attach the following policy: Action counts on the lesser of the risk/win amount.

Rewind, what on earth is the lesser of the risk/win amount?
It's simple. Taking the same $1,000 deposit with $100 bonus ($1,100 balance), let's say your first wager you go all in on a -500 favorite, risking $1,100 to win $220. How many dollars do you think you have placed in action toward fulfilling your bonus wagering requirement? If your answer is $1,100, guess again.

This is where the "lesser" of the risk/win comes into play. You risked $1,100 to win $220 - the lesser of those two amounts ($220) is what counts toward your play-through.

If it seems unfair, it is really not. Think about it: If a sportsbook offered bonuses that had no such requirement, you could quickly churn through massive bonuses with hardly any risk, simply wagering whatever the biggest tennis favorite is on the board and quickly profiting.

If sportsbooks allowed that, then the biggest bonus in town would probably be somewhere between 0 and 1%.

On the other hand, if you're the type of player who bets the spread at around -110, wagering requirements often go through quickly and painlessly, depending on the size of the rollover of course. Players looking to shop by rollover or other categories should bookmark the sportsbook bonuses directory at SBR.

If you still believe you are getting the runaround from a betting website and that you have completed all wagering requirements, simply write to with bonus help in the subject line.

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