As is the case with the online casino industry, online bookmaking is seeing a growing number of new entrants. These are either new specialist sport bettings sites or, increasingly, casino brands that are extending their range of services by offering bookmaking.
So how are these newer sports betting sites seeking to impact on a highly competitive industry and grab the attention of punters? Signup offers have long been the preferred method of attracting new customers, so it’s a useful exercise to compare the offers of newer brands with those of the more established and biggest names in the business.
What is noticeable is that newer brands are tending to be more innovative in the types of signup bonuses they offer — while the straight bonus bet deal is still available, we also see brands offering new features such as enhanced odds on winning bets, extra casino spins, or ongoing bonus bets being included in online sportsbook Welcome Bonus deals.
In addition, it’s not just in the field of signup offers where new and established sports betting brands are seeking to attract new players and retain their existing ones. It’s also the case that they offer a regular and growing schedule of promotions and special offers that give added value and the chance to better the odds, and so the range and scope of these promotions offers another useful point of comparison between new entrants to the industry and those who have been in the business for a longer period of time.
New Online Bookmakers
An established casino brand that has recently ventured into online sports betting, Royal Panda offer new UK punters a deposit match bonus worth up to £100 (minimum deposit £10). Bets made with bonus funds need to be at odds of 1.80 or greater, and any winnings come with a 10x wagering requirement. Royal Panda also has a mobile betting site, so you can bet on a range of devices across platforms using the one account and one set of log in details, which is a feature that a growing number of brands are using in order to attract new players.
Sunbets, from the eponymous newspaper, gives new players a £30 bonus bet when you open a new account and make a first sports book bet of at least £10 (make sure you enter the bonus code G30). You can use your bonus bet on sports, racing or special markets at minimum single or each-way odds of 1.50 or better, but any winnings do not include the stake. Since launching the sports book, SunBets now also has an online casino, with live dealer games as well, and so is establishing itself as an omni-channel brand in line with much of the industry.
21Bet is also aiming to be a comprehensive online gaming brand, as it too now offers sports betting and a casino site featuring live dealer games. For new UK punters signing up for a sports book account, the Welcome Offer is an unusual one — as well as receiving a bonus bet worth £10 when you sign up and place 5 x £10+ bets in the first week (minimum odds 2.0), in every 7-day period after this where you place 10 x £10+ bets (at evens or better) you get another £10 bonus bet credited to your account. This is an innovative deal that not only acts as an incentive for new punters, but could prove to be an effective method of retaining existing ones as well.
Leo Vegas is another example of a well-known and established online casino brand that has also expanded to include sports betting. A hallmark of Leo Vegas has always been innovation and this is the case with its signup bonus for new UK sports book punters as well; instead of bonus bets, you get a 100% profit boost on your first two winning bets. This means that after you make a first deposit of at least £10, your first two winning bets that come in at odds of 20-1 or below (maximum bet size £5) will pay you out at double the odds (although note that if you deposit using Skrill or Neteller, you aren’t eligible).
Mr Green started out life as an online casino, becoming a bookmaker 2 years ago, and it takes advantage of this by combining its sports book Welcome Bonus with casino extra spins. When new UK punters make a first deposit of £20 or more and then place a £20 bet at odds of 1.80 or greater, you get a £10 bonus bet automatically credited to your account. On top of this, you also get 100 extra spins in the casino (20 spins a day for five days) on the NetEnt online slot Starburst. There’s also a weekly £5 Bonus Bet Club, where if you place an acca of £25 or more, you also get a £5 bonus bet each week.
Established Sports Betting Brands
888 also gives its new sports book punters the chance to pick up a bonus in its online casino as well, along with a bonus bet in the mobile sports book. Once you make your first bet of at least £10 (at odds of 1.50 or greater), you get 2 x £10 bonus sports bets, plus a £10 bonus bet that you can use in the mobile app. In addition, a first sports bet of at least £5 also gives you a £10 casino bonus. This reflects the way brands are beginning to make better use of their multi-platform presence and are attempting to become one-stop shops for all of a player’s online gaming needs.
Betway offers its new UK punters a relatively straightforward sports book signup bonus, which gives you a 100% deposit match up to £30 once you make a first deposit of at least £10 and a first bet up to the value of £30. To be eligible, a single bet must be at odds of 1.75 or better, while an each-way bet needs to be at 1.40 or over, and the signup deal only applies to deposits made with credit or debit card, or PayPal. Once you’ve signed up at Betway, you are also incentivised to stay through the Free Bet Club, where any bet of £35 or more on football single line multiples (3 or more) at odds of 2-1 or better gives you two additional £5 bonus bets each week.
Bet365 is the world’s biggest online sports book (especially if Denise Coates’ £217 million salary is anything to go by), although as such it’s not especially innovative or generous in its bonus offers for new players (it doesn’t really need to be). Perhaps as a result of this, or perhaps because it’s reviewing the T&Cs and structure of its signup offers in the light of the recent CMA intervention, Bet365 is currently not offering any Welcome Bonus for new UK punters.