Gambling has been around for a good few thousands of years now. Ever since ancient times, humans have begun creating and participating in all sorts of gambling and betting activities. The more sports were born, the more options people had to wager money and other goods on their favourite athletes. One could think that after hundreds of years of “modern” gambling, new things don’t appear as often – but that is a mistake.
The technological revolution and movement to online and connected devices has greatly influenced the gambling business and shaped in into what it is today: a global, mature and strong industry with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of fans. And the gambling industry contains so many different things: take casinos, for example. In the last couple of decades, casinos have moved from those gigantic, brick-and-mortar buildings into the online world and have gathered even more fans than before.
Sports betting, another large branch of the gambling industry, has also moved online. More and more bookmakers are relying almost entirely on online betting portals in most countries around the world. Classic games such as poker, blackjack and slots now have online versions which rake in just as much money and fans as their real-world variants. Even bingo and other similar games now have moved onto the internet! And although all these parts of the betting industry have some fascinating stories, today we’ll be focused on the biggest two: casinos and sports betting.
Moving into the online realm hasn’t only come with benefits – it also brought companies a fair share of new challenges which they never considered before. The biggest one, arguably, is attracting new customers in this age of information. 10 or 20 years ago, the process to attract new people was fairly easy, and customers used to play with the same casino and bookmaker tens of years.
These days, people are quick to switch from one bookmaker to another and have lots of information about them for comparisons. This means that the best bookmakers have to be on points about their offers, and also make sure that their customers get a comprehensive, full experience: good customer supports, lots of options and betting markets, great money management, and, arguably, the most important part: a bonus scheme.
List of Bonuses From Top UK Bookmakers
Best Welcome Bonuses From US Gambling Sites
Types of Gambling Bonuses Explained
Bonuses are very important for new customers when it comes to choosing their gambling company of choice. These bonuses come in all shapes and sizes and in various forms, and are more often than not tied to the object of the gambling company, such as sports betting and casino bonuses, poker or bingo new account offers.
Sports Betting Bonuses: Free Bets, Enhanced Odds, Sign Up Offers
Sports betting bonuses also come in multiple forms. The deposit matching bonus is also present in the sports betting industry, so we won’t go into detail about it again. Among the other bookmaker sign up bonuses, the free bet is the one which we absolutely need to discuss, since it’s one of the most present across the industry. It doubles both as a welcome bonus and a bonus for existing customers.
Simply put, after you make a deposit, the bookmaker opts to give you a free bet of a certain amount – usually ranges from a few pounds to 20 or 30. If this bet is a winner, you get to keep the money. If it’s a loser, the bookmaker reimburses your initial wager, making it a great win-win solution.
Since sports betting is such a vast domain, bonuses in this area tend to become very specific as well. For example, we haven’t even mentioned betting offers like enhanced odds for certain games, or accumulator bonuses, or many other tools which bookmakers use to attract new customers to their site. We did, however, mention the two biggest bonuses in the sports betting industry, and that should be enough for now.
Casino Bonuses: Deposit, No Deposit, Matched, Free Spins
For online casinos, bonuses usually come in two large forms: deposit bonuses and free spins. Deposit bonuses, in turn, come in two big categories: no-deposit bonuses (weird, we know) and deposit-matching bonuses. They work quite similar. The bookmaker offers new customers an amount of bonus money (not real money) which they can access and withdraw after they’ve met a series of conditions.
The difference between them is that some companies offer these bonuses just for opening an account, without any deposit – typically, these bonuses are much smaller than the deposit matching ones, and only amount a few dollars or tens of dollars at max. By contrast, deposit matching means that the bookmaker offers you a bonus, ranging from 50% to 200% of your first deposit. If you made a $/ £ 100 deposit and have a 50% bonus, you get another $/ £ 50 you can use on the website.
Free spins work a lot easier – the casino offers you a limited amount of free spins, ranging from a few tens to a hundred or so, usually in some of their games which need more players. These are great for the fun of the game and can bring some nice winnings, but you have to carefully check the pay ratio of the game they’re given in. If it’s less than 47-48% on average, just use your free spins and then move the rest of your money elsewhere. More on these bonuses later, but we hope you got the main idea – they’re not very complicated.
Poker has known an enormous rise in popularity since more and more people started playing it on the internet. Before, only the best were able to compete at events, and for most of them, it wasn’t a very profitable affair. Nowadays, millions of players register for the biggest online poker events, and a lot of them use bonus money to do so. Just as in other domains, online poker companies offer their new players bonus money to begin their journey, and even a free buy-in at certain tournaments – and they get to keep all the winnings, too. Usually, the companies who only deal with poker have better bonuses than “all-in-one” bookmakers.
Bingo bonuses are a thing too, especially since bingo has moved in the online realm as well. It doesn’t have the same popularity as other online gambling areas, but it still deserves a mention. First deposit bonuses (like the ones we’ve described above for online casinos or bookmakers) are the most common type of bonus in the business, while other, more niche-like bonuses tend to get stuck in second place.
We’ve mentioned “all in one” gambling sites above and want to offer a bit of a clarification. There are two main categories of gambling sites which you should be aware of: the first category is the “dedicated” websites. They’re either an online casino, or a bookmaker, or a poker room, with little to no interaction with other gambling disciplines. They’re usually great for expert players who are looking for top-notch solutions and bonuses, but no so much for the average gambler who might be looking for more fun.
Bonus Money vs Real Money
For this category, you have the complex sites: which are both a casino, a sports betting website, and which offer other games as well. Nowadays, due to more and more technology and money being invested in the gambling industry, the quality difference tends to fade – more and more “all-in-one” betting sites now offer top-notch services across the board.
One thing has to be remembered about all the mentioned bonuses, though: in most cases, the winnings you receive come in the form of bonus money, not real money. This means that certain terms and conditions have to be fulfilled before this bonus money can be withdrawn from your betting accounts. Ergo, knowing these terms and conditions before you opt in for any kind of bonus is extremely important.
About The Terms of Gambling Promotions
Most first deposit bonuses have a playthrough condition. If you receive $/ £ 100 in bonus money with a betting broker, you have to bet at least 3 or 4 times the money before any bonus money you still have left over can be withdrawn. When it comes to free bets, only certain types of bets qualify: usually, with odds greater than a certain value or only on a handful of sporting events. These are all things which can be found on a gambling company’s website, and we strongly recommend reading them before opening an account with a new betting site.
Account Opening: The Steps
Speaking of opening an account, are you familiar with how the process looks, between selecting a broker and opting in for a bonus, then making your first play? Quite easy!
A) First off, choose your gambling partner. This can be an easy task (compare the 2-3 which you already know), or a daunting one, which requires a good few months of analysis.
B) Open your gambling account. The entire process takes a few minutes, because financial details also need to be submitted.
C) Opt in for any welcome bonus the gambling company has. Be very careful to read the terms and conditions of the bonus BEFORE opening your account. Some gambling websites have very easy opt-in solutions, while other are a bit of a hassle and require some studying before.
D) Make your first play! Either hit a slot game, or place a sports bet, or even sit at a poker table. Time to put your money to work!
Choosing The Right Gambling Site
Nowadays, this entire process takes between 5 to 10 minutes, tops – that is, considering that you’ve done your homework regarding your gambling partner. That process can be very easy for some people, but the more serious you are about gambling, the more time and effort you need to invest in choosing the right gambling site. If you’re uncertain about what the major points which you should look out for are, look no further:
Security and Licenses
Playing with a website which is regulated and working under the laws of a certain country or region is the standard in this day and time. Make sure that your website of choice has all the necessary approvals and settle for nothing less than 100% legal.
Reputation and Ratings
The internet is a wonderful thing sometimes – meaning that you are now able to see the real-world feedback from hundreds of thousands of players about a certain gambling site at any given time. Take a few minutes to read through them, explore our bookmaker reviews pages too, and choose a partner which other people love to play with. Pay attention to those who have long-term relationships with a gambling provider – those are usually great signs of quality.
Sign Up Bonuses and Promotions
Nowadays, you should never settle for anything less than a great bonus scheme. This doesn’t only mean a big signup bonus. Try to find out about how often they treat existing customers with bonuses, and how these bonuses look and feel.
Financial management has gone a long way since brick-and-mortar shops and casinos, where you only needed cash. Nowadays, the modern gambling website has to have quick deposits and withdraws from lots of different providers: credit cards, online wallets like Paypal or Skrill, prepaid cards are just a few. You can find out more about each deposit and withdrawal method bellow:
Customer support becomes increasingly important. The option to have live chats with a representative of the betting company is always handy, together with an e-mail and phone call. Remember that some bookmakers only offer support between office hours.
Website Features and Mobile Apps
Website & app performance. If all the other things are in order, but the website or mobile app that you’re using is slow and crashes often, you’ll quickly become frustrated and be on the lookout for a new partner. In this age of technology, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than top performance.
Games, Odds and Betting Markets
Quality of games/odds. Last but certainly not least, remember that gambling is a number’s game: make sure you’re receiving close to the best odds or games the market has to offer.
While these are all great general pieces of advice, there are some particularities which should be investigated in every country or region, depending on local traditions, market type and regulations. Let’s give a few examples of what we mean.
Online Gambling Regulations by Countries
Different countries in the world value different sports, depending on local traditions or national team performance. While baseball,rugby and basketball betting are very important to the US, it isn’t the case in the UK – where tennis or horse racing betting are second and third to the ever-leading football betting.
Also, gambling regulations are usually more relaxed in the UK than the US, but if you live in various countries around the EU, you should certainly be familiar with your state’s regulations: Germany has some very tight conditions, while the likes of Spain and France are more relaxed and open-minded.
When it comes to casinos, you’ll quickly find out that a European casino is built differently from an American one or an Asian one – not necessarily better or worse, just different. A final note on this topic would be to always know what kind of gambling is outlawed in your country. You never want to be anywhere close to it.
Summary and Final Thoughts
In the end, we hope this gambling guide was a useful starting point for a long and fruitful experience with the gambling industry. We recommend setting realistic expectations, in accordance to what you want to get out of the gambling market: if you’re looking to have fun and spend some money here and there, don’t expect to become a millionaire overnight.
Even if you’re a seasoned gambler, remember that gains are made over long periods of time, and overnight success is luck and nothing more. That being said, remember to take the games with a mix of relaxation and seriousness, and contact your local gambling hotline if you have any issues with addition. These games can provide endless hours of profitability and fun, if you treat them responsibly and with the seriousness they require.