Sportsbook Review occasionally receives wagering disputes from sports bettors who are unhappy with the bonus terms and conditions set forth by their online sportsbook.
Most of the complaints center on how rollover is calculated, what rollover is, and why it is necessary in the first place.
Below are some pointers that may save headaches, but as always, Sportsbook Review advises players to check the small print associated with each and every bonus offer, and to consult the general house rules which can be found at the footer of many sportsbook websites.
And remember, if in doubt, ask to speak with a manager at the sportsbook.
#1 What is rollover and why is it necessary?
One of the most simple ways to think about sportsbook bonuses is like this: The sportsbook is handing you free money, but they want to maximize their return on investment, and as such there is an expectation that as a new or existing player, you will give them a chance to win their money back.
Let's say you deposit $1,000 and accept a 20% cash bonus, accompanied by a 5X rollover. Most online sportsbooks, especially those located off-shore, will require players to wager the deposit plus bonus the amount of times specified in the rollover. In this example, the bonus is $200, so $200 multiplied by five ($1,000) plus the amount of the deposit ($1,000) equals $2,000 in rollover.
#2 The lesser of the risk/win amount
Now that we know why rollover is important, let's get to the next point: the 'lesser of the risk/win amount' that is plastered on most sportsbooks' rules pages like graffiti on the subway.
Example A: the Green Bay Packers are -500 money line favorites to win their next game, if a $1,000 wager is placed on this, you're half-way there, right? Wrong. $1,000 is risked to win $200 in this example, so the lesser of the two is used ($200).
By using the lesser of the risk and win amount sportsbooks ensure that players do not breeze through rollover like a summa cum laude graduate taking a first grade math test, and consequently have a greater chance at earning some or all of their bonus cash back.
This is a standard rule at most shops, though some international sportsbooks will simply pick a cutoff point and say all wagers placed with odds greater than -150 do not count toward rollover fulfillment.
#3 Check for exceptions
Something that has a tendency of grinding the gears of sports bettors is the realization that some of their wagers will not advance their rollover; for instance, many sportsbooks do not count any form of casino play toward a sportsbook bonus rollover, or have entirely different rollover rules in place for the casino, and many have market specific restrictions, like no in-play bets counting toward rollover.
Once again, reading the small print will avoid this frustrating experience and ensure that players are on their way to cashing out a fat check from their online betting site.
#4 Bigger is not always better
Do not automatically assume that the larger the bonus amount, the better the offer. Most critically, players must not compare the bonus program of a sportsbook open for business for six months vs. that of one of the industry's best sportsbooks: because dodgy operators, or possible fly-by night scammers will offer everything but the kitchen sink to receive your hard-earned money.
When comparing bonuses from sportsbooks with equal standing or payment track records, consider the type of the bonus in relation with the rollover. For instance, a free play bonus is only worth about half the value of a cash bonus, because with a free play bonus the bonus money is not added to your balance when you win. A cash bonus functions exactly as funds deposited. With that in mind, common sense dictates that a smaller rollover is easier to complete.
Players that have strictly followed the rules set in place by their online sportsbook, but who still find themselves ensnared in a wagering dispute, or an argument of the facts, are encouraged to submit a sportsbook complaint with SBR.