SBR Mailbox: Should My Sportsbook Bonus Be Honored?

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One of the most common sportsbook complaints that players file involve bonuses.

In most cases, there is a disagreement over the house and the redeeming user on whether or not the player was eligible to receive the bonus.

For instance, a player who was previously restricted from bonuses might have been erroneously emailed an offer or rang up with a cold call from a clerk. While it is inherently unfair, most of the time players who were restricted once before with bonuses will not be given the benefit of the doubt if a clerk accidentally offers them a bonus, though the good sportsbooks will waive early payout fees or rollovers because they clearly did not want the player's business in the first place.

It gets complicated when the sportsbook decides a player should not have been eligible after the fact. For instance, a player recently wrote in and detailed that although he had fully completed his bonus turnover, his online sportsbook confiscated his bonus winnings on the grounds that he was not eligible as a "non-recreational" player.

It is a controversial buzz word in the industry that can be used to describe a player that is constantly chasing the best numbers and beating linesmakers to the punch if the market moves (chasing steam), or even finding obscure loopholes in the software to be afforded a bigger edge.

Scam sportsbooks have been known to use the label of non-recreational or wise guy even if a player has been betting at the worst available odds and has managed to run up a significant balance. is notorious for this and has confiscated over a quarter million dollars to date from "wise guys".

The fact is that if a player was credited a bonus and has fully rolled it over, the bonus should be paid in full. Sportsbooks are responsible with performing risk management and screening user eligibility. It would be considered a freeroll to accept all of a player's action and decide after the fact that the player isn't eligible for a bonus or bonus winnings.

However, if a sportsbook has performed reasonable risk management and decided to limit a player mid-bonus rollover completion, that is within their right, though if the limits imposed are so unreasonable that the player would have to make many hundreds or more of wagers, a good sportsbook would prorate the player's bonus and allow an early withdrawal.

Players who are in need of assistance are asked to submit a sportsbook complaint form.

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