Noticeably, the trend has been catching fire over the past couple of years. The aforementioned trend relates to the use of free bets as a promotional tool to draw new customers to online bookmaking sites. It turns out that sports punters prefer getting free bet offers as opposed to some matching amount based solely on their deposits.
Free Bookie Bets Versus Cash Bonuses
One might begin to wonder what differentiates free bet offers from cash rewards. While it might be subtle, the primary difference lies in the terms and conditions. With free bookie bets, the bonus amount is directed towards punting on sports. Under that notion, online bookmakers tend to use less restrictive terms and conditions because of the inherent level of risk. When cash is given, punters may opt to use said cash for casino gambling, gaming or poker, which represents a higher amount of risk for the bookmaker. Also, punters who focus on sports and horse racing very seldom do anything other than wager on those options. It simply makes sense to call the free bet bonuses exactly what they are, free bet monies.
About Free Bets in Australia
Historically, European sportsbooks have been in the habit of using matching deposit bonuses because that's what the punters were always expecting. Punters in the U.K. have always been equal opportunity punters who enjoy casino action as much as sports betting. In North America, the whole concept of using online sports and race books is still mired in legal processes, though Americans have been betting on sports and horses online for years regardless of what the laws say. For the most part, they either didn't have access to bonuses or were only given token bonuses for signing up with an online bookmaker.
As online bookmaking began to take hold in Australia some 5-6 years ago, online bookmakers were greeted by a customer base that was much more fixated on sports betting and punting on the horses. The Australian punters didn't seem to be all that impressed with cash bonuses that carried strict terms and conditions. In order to inspire this new breed of punters, online bookmakers decided to try a different approach. They decided to try offering free bets to Australian punters. It was the change in the terminology and reasonable terms and conditions that seemed to catch the fancy of the punters from down under. It has finally gotten to the point where free bet bonuses have to be included as part of the recruiting process unless an Australian bookmaker wants to face the possibility of losing market share and going out of business.
A Worldwide Phenomena
It could be said that what transpired in Australia with free bet offers has quickly become the standard throughout the world. If an online gaming site offers all forms of gaming, it will usually advertise separate bonuses for sports and horse punters versus the casino gamblers. This allows everyone to get what they need in order to feel valued. The point is sportsbooks throughout the world have officially shifted away from monetary bonuses in favor of free bet options.
Forms of Bonus Bet Offers
Today, punters can expect the typical free bet offer to come in one of two forms. In some cases, online bookmakers will still calculate the amount of a punter's free bet allocation based on the punter's deposit. The majority of the time, punters have to earn the right to free bets by making a qualifying bet. In both cases, the terms and conditions are substantially more lenient than the terms and conditions associated with casino offers. As an example, most bonuses directed at sports and horse racing punters only come with a 1X-3X rollover requirement. On the casino side, those rollover requirements can reach 40X-50X. Anyone who has ever played online video slots knows how difficult is is to have to wager bonus monies that often and still have something left at the end.
With many of the world's top online bookmakers now resolved to offering free bets as a primary promotion, it will be fun to watch the amounts escalate because of the level of competition. In the end, punters figure to end up being the real winners. For a more detailed look at the competition on the field of Australian bookmakers, including current bonuses and offers check these free bookie bets.