Should You Take A Deposit Bonus
Whenever you sign up or refill your account at a legal online West Virginia sportsbook like Bovada, SportsBetting, or any other top site serving the Mountain State, you’ll have the opportunity to accept any of a number of deposit bonuses. But whether or not you should take a deposit bonus is always debatable.
Though these bonuses can be lucrative, they are not appropriate for every kind of sports bettor, and unless you take the time to figure out exactly how deposit bonuses work, it can be difficult to tell when you’re getting a good deal or when you’d be better served ignoring bonus offers altogether.
At most legal WV sportsbooks, you will see a handful of deposit bonuses. For new members, there is usually more than one bonus to choose from. Welcome bonuses are the most common, and these can provide newcomers with a percentage match of their first deposits. For example, SportsBetting will give new members a 50% Welcome Bonus worth up to $1000. Thus, if you deposit $2000, SportsBetting will credit your account with $3000.
Similarly, you might get a different match bonus rate when you sign up and deposit with various cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, etc.). Returning members can also get deposit bonuses at most West Virginia sportsbooks. BetOnline is famed for its lifetime refill bonus, where you can earn a 25% bonus free-play worth up to $1000. In other words, if you deposit $4000, BetOnline will credit your account with $5000.
You can also earn bonuses for referring friends, betting via your sportsbook’s mobile interface, and placing your first live bets. Of course, each different sportsbook and deposit type carries different terms and conditions related to cashing out any winnings associated with those bonuses, and that’s the fine print here. This “catch” is called “rollover.”
Most new bettors at online West Virginia sportsbooks are unfamiliar with rollover. That’s crucial, and you should never accept a bonus until you learn exactly how rollover works. When you make a deposit and accept a bonus, that bonus comes with a rollover requirement that must be met before you can withdraw any of your winnings associated with the deposit to which your bonus applies.
This can best be illustrated via an example. Take the above SportsBetting Welcome Bonus, which is a 50% deposit match of up to $1000. You put in $2000, accept the bonus, and receive an extra $1000, for a total of $3000 with which you can now place your wagers. However, that bonus carries a 15X rollover. Rollover represents the total handle you must play on that deposit before you can pull out any winnings. In this case, the 15X rollover requirement means that you must wager at least $45,000 (15 “times” $3000) before you can pull out any of your money.
Bear in mind, that number is much higher than it seems, as it’s the total amount you wager, win or lose. You do not have to invest $45,000 of your own money into your account to meet this requirement. Rather, you simply have to bet that much over whatever time period you wish. If you place a bet and win $500, you can take those winnings and place another bet. This action applies to your rollover, and you could conceivably turn a $45,000 handle betting on sports without ever investing more than the initial $2000 you put in to begin with. That said, if you deposit $2000 and earn a $1000 bonus, you could lose more than you win. In that case, it will be extremely difficult to withdraw any money at all over the life of your account.
Mitigating this is the fact that you don’t have to take the maximum bonus amount. If you deposit $100, BetOnline will give you $50 on top of that, and you’d only have to turn a handle of $2250 before pulling out your cash, which is far more reasonable for the average bettor. In other words, if you accept any bonus, make sure your deposit is of a monetary amount that corresponds to a rollover handle you are actually likely to meet.
One of the main things to understand about deposit bonuses is the difference between a free-play bonus and a cash bonus. Most West Virginia sportsbooks will not offer cash bonuses to players (albeit a few of the smaller books still limitedly utilize this practice). Here’s why that matters:
The Free-Play Bonus
The free-play bonus is what all the biggest, most reputable West Virginia sportsbooks use, and it has to do with how winning wagers are paid out. With most normal wagers (where no bonus is selected), you place a bet at a given moneyline and receive your winnings plus the amount you initially risked (aka the stake). So let’s say the moneyline on a bet is the common -110. You risk $110 and win $100, for a total of $210 that the bookie gives you (your winnings plus your stake).
Because most bonuses are “free-plays,” your stake is not returned. This impacts your ability to quickly turn the required handle that a given bonus calls for. In other words, you use $110 of bonus free-plays on a -110 wager, and if you win, you get $100 credited to your account. That’s profitable only because it’s using the bonus pool of cash you earned when you made your deposit, and it’s important to note that this setup applies only to the amount of bonus money in your account (though the rollover handle you must turn applies to your entire deposit).
The Cash Bonus
The cash bonus, when you can find one, doesn’t work the same way. Instead, cash bonus funds are treated the same way as the actual money you put in your West Virginia sportsbook wallet, and when you win a wager, the bonus stake and the winnings are credited to your account. It is faster and easier to fulfill rollover terms when using cash bonuses, but the practice is so limited that it’s hard to make these kinds of bonuses truly profitable (when you can even find them).
Even though there is a lot of nuance and intricacy when gauging whether you should take a deposit bonus or not, it’s actually pretty simple for 99% of sports bettors. If you’re going to stick around at your West Virginia sportsbook of choice for a long time and bet on sports on a daily or near-daily basis, you will probably meet the bonus rollover requirements.
Additionally, if you’re a high roller and commonly place hundred-dollar bets instead of one-dollar bets, you’ll also likely hit your rollover in a reasonable amount of time. These are the instances that it makes sense to take deposit bonuses.
The times to avoid deposit bonuses are when you fall into one of these three categories: you’re a nickel-and-dime bettor, you only wish to wager on infrequent, popular events (like the World Series or Super Bowl), or you are betting for supplementary income that you need to withdraw to pay bills and buy groceries and the like.
In these cases, it will be extremely difficult to meet the rollover requirements that will allow you to actually get your money out in a timely fashion, and many bettors who didn’t read the fine print have never been able to meet these requirements, essentially losing all their money to the sportsbook without actually spending it all through actual sports wagering.