Home Best Online Sports Betting Bonuses – Free Bets and Promotions Explored 2021 The Best Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses – 2021

The Best Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses – 2021

Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses can be a great way to kick off with a new betting account. Therefore it’s important to know what you’re signing up for when choosing a new bookie to bet with. Players can pick from hundreds of online betting sites and as a result, have a wide choice of sign-up offers to choose from.

Here at PremierLeaguePress, we know a thing or two about what sets apart the good deals from the not so great ones. On this page we cover everything from types of welcome bonuses, to wagering requirements and also give our recommendations. So if you’re thinking of joining a new sports betting site, be sure to give this a read first.

Best Nine Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses UK

Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses – What Do They All Mean?

When you sign-up with a new account, you can expect to take advantage of a great welcome bonus. New customers tend to get the best deals when they sign-up, similar to other products, so it’s never a bad idea to find out what you can get your hands on.

Welcome bonuses come in many forms and some of the best offers are the ones that are achievable. Why do we say this? Well, you can sometimes find huge deals that sound too good to be true, and often they are. They will tie you with huge wagering requirements that you won’t really be able to meet.

If you’ve already taken advantage of a sign-up bonus, then you will likely already know what type of bonuses are around. If you've not, then these are the sorts of bonuses you can expect to use with most bookies in the UK:

Free Bet Bonus
Enhanced Odds – ‘Crazy odds’
Deposit Bonuses
No Deposit Bonus
Money-Back Specials
Risk-Free Bets
Free Spins

You may be surprised by the free spins addition to our list, but more and more bookies are including these with sports offers. In a similar vein, casino customers may be offered sports bets as part of their welcome offers. This is to tempt you to try out another product of theirs. With free spins, you have nothing to lose, so it’s worth giving it a bash if you want to of course. And as always – read the terms before you accept.

Free spins aside, the other bonus types mentioned will likely be what you are offered in some way or another. There’s more to each than meets the eye, so let's explore each in more detail.

Unibet Up to £40 in free bet and bonuses

Free Bets – Sports Welcome Bonuses

Ok, so you can figure out what free bet offers are. It is a bet given to you by your chosen bookmaker and is currently the most popular welcome bonus on the market. Big bookmakers such as William Hill and Betfair offer these in a ‘bet and get’ form meaning you place any bet and you get your free bet, or bets as the case may be. It’s popular for a reason and gives players a near-instant reward for an action. Free bet offers are great, but of course – they have their limitations.

Free Bets – restrictions

It sounds straight forward but there is always some sort of a catch. For example, if we look at the William Hill welcome offer which is currently bet £10, get £30 in free bets – it sounds great. But your £30 in free bets may not be all they seem. First of all, you can’t place say 6x £5 bets as your free bets are awarded as 2 x £15 free bets. Secondly, there will be some restrictions on the market you bet on. You will need to place your free bet on a market with minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) with the William Hill offer. In saying this, it’s unlikely you’d be looking for lower odds as a free bet stake is never returned with winnings.

Finally, there will also be an expiry date for the free bet offers. William Hill offer a generous 30 day period, where other betting sites may shorten the period to a week or even days.

William Hill WO 01/12

Risk-Free Bet – Sports Betting Offers

This is similar to a free bet but works slightly differently. In this case, you will be staking your own money, and if your first bet loses, you get your stake back. This again has become very popular with bookmakers, and offers a good deal of value to players, in the right circumstances. Paddy Power currently promotes a £20 Risk-Free bet for new customers with the free bet stakes being returned in cash, which is great. You can place each-way bets with this particular offer, but read the terms to make sure your bet qualifies. These are especially good for football betting, check out our top football sites page for more information.

Risk-Free Bets – restrictions

In a similar vein to the free bet restrictions, there are some drawbacks. With the Paddy Power offer, you need to stake a minimum of £20 on your first bet in order to qualify. This is possibly a higher stake than some players want to go, but with no risk it could be worth going for. Expiration dates also come into play here, as do minimum odds – so be sure to read all the terms to avoid disappointment. Things like promo codes can also come into play, if you don’t enter the promo code, you risk forfeiting the betting offer.

Paddy Power Sign Up Offer - Risk-Free £20 Bet

Deposit Bonuses – Sports Betting Offers

We’ve seen these worded in many different ways; matched deposit, double your first deposit, 100% deposit boost and a couple of more obscure ways but they all mean the same thing. Whatever you deposit, you get the same again in bonus funds from the bookmaker. Furthermore, some only offer 50% so if you deposit £100, you’d get an extra £50 in bonus funds. The bonus amount can also vary greatly with some capped as low as £10, while others can go to £100 and above.

From the sports betting welcome bonus side of things, these are a dying breed. In saying that, you will find them as casino offers because higher turnover requirements are easier to achieve. Bookies are unable to restrict where you bet with these types of sign-up offers too, so free bets are more favourable from their side.

Deposit bonus – restrictions

Wagering requirements. Those are the main restriction with these types of bonuses. You will need to play through your bonus amount x number of times before you turn it into withdrawable cash. On top of that, you will most likely need to play through your cash first, before activating the bonus – therefore you need to lose before playing your bonus. Of course, if you do lose your money then the bonus can come in handy.

No Deposit Welcome Bonuses

If deposit bonuses are on the way out for sports betting bonuses, then no deposit bonuses are basically extinct. Sadly they are extremely rare to come across. Similarly to deposit bonuses, they are also almost exclusively reserved for casino players in terms of free spins. Regulations have played their part in this with so many legal hoops to jump through, it’s difficult to give players something for nothing. If you do stumble upon one, check the terms carefully as we expect it won’t be as great as it seems.

Enhanced odds – Sports Betting Bonuses

Enhanced odds promotions are common in sports betting. Not only are they used to attract new customers, but they are in place for existing customers regularly too. The difference is that new customers will be offered what are known as ‘crazy odds’. The great thing is it’s usually on a ‘dead cert’ which of course doesn’t really exist. But the odds will be boosted to something ridiculous giving you the chance to scoop a big win.

Enhanced Odds – restrictions

There will be a low maximum stake in place, usually around the £1 mark. Ok, you still get a good win if it comes in, but the winnings will also usually be paid out in free bets. Furthermore, minimum deposits are always higher than £1 so you will need to deposit more. In saying that, these type of welcome offers so give decent value.


*Example of an enhanced offer

Best Sports Betting Sign-Up Offers in the UK

To help give you a better understanding of what these mean, we’ve picked out three of the most highly rated bookmakers welcome bonuses. We’ll show you how they work in practice so you will know what to expect when you sign-up.

bet365 – up to £100 in bet credits

This doesn’t sound exactly like any of the above bonuses mentioned, but it is a combination of them. And it’s accessible for all punters from low stakes to high rollers. Here's how to claim it.

  1. Register for a new bet365 account.
  2. Make a qualifying deposit of at least £5 and up to £100 within 30 days.
  3. Place bets to the value of your deposit (capped at £100) at odds of at least 1/5 (1.20).
  4. Initial bets must settle within 30 days.
  5. Once settled, Bet Credits will be released.
  6. Use Bet Credits after adding selections to your bet slip.

You can play through your initial deposit in as many bets as you like (minimum £5) and you receive that same amount in a bet credit, or free bet, when each bet settles. It’s a great offer and if you’ve not already got a bet365 account we recommend this one. Find out more in the bet365 review here.

SportNation – £20 Risk-Free Bet

A risk-free bet token can be used on your first bet. If your bet wins, you win and if it doesn’t you get your stake back to either withdraw or play again. To claim this offer:

  1. Open a SportNation account
  2. Make your first deposit
  3. Select the risk-free token when placing your first bet of £20
  4. Get a cash refund if your bet loses


Consider more than the Welcome Bonus Before signing up

Sure, a welcome bonus is great but it’s not the be-all and end-all when choosing a sports betting site. You could, of course, sign up purely for a welcome bonus which is completely your prerogative as a player. Check out the best-betting sites page to find out what other factors you should consider before signing up.

Up to £100 extra winnings on your first bet with LeoVegas

Full terms apply • Significant terms - New customers only • Deposit min £10 and claim in "My Offers" • 1x 100% mobile in-play profit boost • Max Bet £10. Max Winnings £100. Valid for 30 days • Skrill deposits do not qualify • 18+ • begambleaware.org • #ad

PayPal Sports Welcome Bonuses and E-wallet Restrictions

One of the most popular ways to move money online is with PayPal. The great news for punters looking to use this for betting is that it is becoming more widely accepted. Check out our recommended PayPal bookies here.

Using your PayPal account makes sense for all kinds of internet transactions, and therefore for your online betting too. Bookmakers do tend to accept these as a payment method, but they can exclude from claiming any betting offers, including sign-up offers. It is up to each bookmaker to decide these things and if it’s not an accepted method for bonuses, it will state it in the terms of the offer.

PayPal is gradually being accepted, however, other e-wallet solutions such as Neteller and Skrill are not. To avoid disappointment or sheer annoyance – check the terms before you deposit or you could miss out.

Mobile Betting For A Sports Sign-Up Offer

Always on the move with your mobile in your hand? Then fret not if you’re looking for sports betting bonuses as pretty much all bonuses are available on your mobile device. In fact, not only can you claim offers, there are even some which are exclusive to mobile sites or apps. Since most betting companies now accommodate mobile betting, registering for a new betting site should take less than a minute.

Check out our best picks for mobile betting sites and apps here, and discover all you need to know.

Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses – Pros and Cons

In a nutshell, that’s what sports betting sign-up offers are all about. The easiest way to recap is with a simple pros and cons list;


  • You don’t have to spend a huge amount of cash to take advantage of offers
  • They are easy to understand, and getting started is easy
  • There is a huge variety
  • Wagering requirements tend to be kinder than bonuses offered later down the line
  • You can get something for nothing


  • Wagering requirements can be restrictive
  • Some payment options exclude you from offers
  • Need to pay close attention to the terms
  • You will need to play with your own cash before being able to take advantage of an offer – on some occasions
  • Free bet stakes are never returned
  • The bonus amount will be limited

Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses Conclusion

Find a sports betting offer that suits your style of betting, and don’t grab one just for the sake of it. It is so important to read the terms as they will vary from offer to offer and bookie to bookie. It’s not wise to assume anything with sports betting bonus, and some with huge bonus amounts can be too good to be true. The ones listed on this page are clear and we would recommend them all, so feel free to sign-up and grab each if you want to. It’s also worth remembering that gambling should be fun, and to keep an eye on your own gameplay. Responsible gambling is key and if you need any help or know someone who might there are plenty of options available. Find out more about responsible gambling here.

Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I withdraw my free bets?

A: No, you can’t. Your free bets can’t be withdrawn as they are not yet cash. Winnings from free bets can be withdrawn, as long as there are no wagering requirements to meet. It’s also important to note, free bet stakes will not be returned with your winnings. Therefore if you place a £10 free bet at odds of (1/2) 1.5 you will receive £5 as winnings (£15 win – £10 stake).

Q: What is the best sports betting bonus?

A: This depends on what you’re looking for as a player. As a general rule, the best bonuses are the ones with low wagering requirements and a few restrictions as possible, giving you freedom to choose where you want to bet. Betting Offers come in a wide range of options, and choosing the best one for you is what counts. Check out bonuses page for information on all betting bonuses.

Q: What Betting app give free bets?

A: Betting apps are becoming more popular and you’ll find that all the big bookies now have them. Furthermore, you can take advantage of regular bonuses on them, including sign-up free bet offers. William Hill offer free bets from the beginning and have betting apps.