With a potential $30 billion in bets every year, California has long been considered the holy grail of sports betting markets. So far, efforts to amend the state constitution and allow sports betting at tribal casinos, racetracks, cardrooms or online have fallen flat.
That could change soon, though, with a new tribal-backed initiative to allow sports betting at retail sportsbooks inside tribal casinos and a push to add mobile sports betting to the same ballot. Should voters approve, many of the biggest sportsbook brands in the US will come to California to fight for your action.
That means every type of sportsbook bonus and promotion will be coming your way along with them. Free bets, risk-free bets, deposit bonuses, event-based bonuses, odds boosts, profit boosts, and betting insurance will all be in the mix. Here’s what you need to know in advance about potential online sportsbook bonuses and promotions.
How do I claim a sports betting bonus?
When it is legal in California, you’ll see many attractive sports betting bonuses and promotions, from free bets and deposit bonuses to odds boosts and bet insurance. How you claim your specific bonus depends on the type you’re collecting. If you’re claiming a first deposit signup offer, you need to sign up for a CA sportsbook first, then make your deposit according to the terms and conditions to gather your bonus and wager it to convert it to withdrawable cash.
Bear in mind that you may also be required to enter a promo code or bonus code during the registration process in order to claim your sports betting bonus. Since there are many different types of bonuses and promotions, read below for a detailed breakdown and how you can claim each bonus.
Types of sports betting bonuses in California
Here are the different types of bonuses and promotional offers that will be available when the largest companies eventually launch CA sports betting apps:
The original enticement from US sportsbooks, free bet bonuses usually come with very few strings attached. While free bets are generally small, they often deliver completely on the promise the name suggests. That is, they give players the chance to bet for free.
Essentially, this is free bonus cash with which you can place a bet. If there is a string attached, it’s that you can’t do anything else with the money but bet. Of course, anything you win with a free bet will be yours to keep and use however you like. DraftKings online sportsbook has long been the free-bet leader in the US, offering a $50 free bet to new players.
Risk-free bets have become the go-to bonus for US sportsbooks. You have to make a deposit and place a bet, but the risk-free bet bonus offers you a second chance on that wager. That means a win if you win the bet and a refund if you lose.
Of course, there will be a limit on the size of the refund. And it’ll almost always come back to you as site credit, but it is truly a second chance. Bet again with the site credit, and anything you win will be yours to keep and spend however you like. The FanDuel betting site was one of the first to offer risk-free bets in the US. It still offers new players a risk-free first bet of up to $1,000.
Another one of the original enticements from US sportsbooks, deposit bonuses generally match whatever you deposit into your account with bonus dollars. Of course, there are certain strings attached.
First of all, you have to make a deposit. Then, you have to bet the amount of the bonus a specific number of times to release it. Unfortunately, these wagering requirements could force you to bet as much as 20 times the bonus just to get your hands on it. Obviously, the smaller the wagering requirement, the better the deposit bonus.
BetRivers Sportsbook’s deposit bonus of up to $500 for new players comes with only a one-time wagering requirement, making it among the best in the country.
No deposit bonus
No deposit bonuses are basically free bets or are akin to the free bet. The difference is you can use it as a single free bet or turn it into multiple free bets. It’s bonus cash with a wagering requirement attached, but it’s a no-strings-attached sportsbook bonus since all you have to do is sign up for a new account to get it.
These days, free bet and risk-free bet bonuses have replaced the no deposit bonus at most online sportsbooks.
A lot of US sportsbooks offer odds boosts daily in an effort to keep you betting with them. Essentially, odds boosts get you better odds on a specific bet. Sometimes, you can even choose the bet to which you apply them.
The catch is that odds boost promos have value only if the boosted bet wins. To cite an example, the BetMGM sportsbook app has daily odds boost promos giving you up to 20-1 odds on big events, local teams and certain parlays.
Like odds boosts, profit boosts offer bigger payouts on specific bets. You’ll get a certain percentage more paid out to you if you win a profit boosted bet. But once again, this promo has value only if you win the boosted bet.
Caesars Sportsbook often gives away a 33 percent profit boost on NBA and NHL game bets. It’s free money if you can pick winners.
Are online sports betting bonuses worth it?
Most of the time, deciding whether to take advantage of a bonus or promo is easy. If a California online sportsbook is truly giving you something for nothing, take it.
Of course, whether a bonus or promo is worth the effort required to claim it is another question. Ask yourself its true value and how easy it is to get.
If all you have to do to get a free bet is sign up for an account, then do it. This is a truly free bet and if you pick a winner, you’ll fund your account without ever making an initial deposit. Keep picking winners, and you’ll build a bankroll out of thin air.
Risk-free bet offers aren’t the same thing. You have to make a deposit, place a bet, and lose it to get the value. Even then, the refund will often come in the form of site credit you have to bet. You should think of risk-free bets as insurance. Make sure that site credit refund has just a one-time wagering requirement attached. If there are any other stipulations, the risk-free bet might not offer great value.
The same can be said for deposit bonuses. Their value is tied to wagering requirements. Tough playthrough requirements make it hard to get your hands on the bonus, rendering it almost worthless. Always read the terms and conditions and understand these wagering requirements. If they’re too tough, don’t bother.
Odds boost, profit boosts and other betting promos are different altogether. With these sportsbook promos, you have to look at the bet. If the boost is on a bet you were going to make anyway, go for it. Just remember, a boosted loser is still a loser. A slight boost shouldn’t sway you if you wouldn’t place a bet at the listed sports betting odds.
Only when the boost is a massive one should you ever consider changing your mind. In other words, take advantage of boosts on your bets, but don’t let small boosts guide your bets.
What are bonus wagering requirements?
Basically, the wagering requirements attached to a bonus or promo is the number of times you must wager the bonus amount before any money is released to you. This ensures you can’t just take a sportsbook’s money and run. Instead, you have to gamble with it a certain number of times. After that, anything you win is yours to keep.
Every different bonus comes with different wagering requirements, but obviously the lower the wagering requirement, the better it is for you.
BetRivers’ $500 deposit match bonus has just a one-time wagering requirement, which is as good as it gets. In contrast, DraftKings Sportsbook offers a 20 percent match bonus of up to $1,000 with a massive 25-times wagering requirement. That means depositing $5,000 to get the maximum $1,000 bonus and making $25,000 in bets to release it.
As you can see, wagering requirements are something you’ll need to seriously consider when you’re thinking about taking advantage of any bonus or promo offer.
Sportsbook sign-up offers and bonuses
Once sports betting in California is legalized, there should be a lot of quality sportsbook apps available. This also means a wide choice of sports betting bonus offers for new players. Here’s a look at many of the bonuses online sportsbooks apps might offer new players.
|Free Bet||Risk Free Bet||Deposit Match||Odds Boost||Profit Boost|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||$50 with deposit||N/A||First deposit matched 20% up to $1,000||Lakers win and LeBron James scores over 25.5 boosted to +270||100% Profit Boost on LA Rams bets|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||N/A||Up to $1,000||N/A||Dodgers to win by 3+ runs boosted from +200 to +300||N/A|
|BetRivers Sportsbook||N/A||N/A||First deposit matched 100% up to $500 W/ one-time wagering requirement||‘House Specials’ boosting odds +200 or more||20% profit boost for MLB, NFL, or NCAAF parlays|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||$50 no-deposit required||Up to $1,000||N/A||20-1 Odds Boost for Rams/Seahawks game||10% Parlay Boost for the NBA|
|Caesars Sportsbook||N/A||N/A||First deposit matched 100% up to $1,500||Rams Super Bowl Win & Lakers 2022 NBA Title Winner Boosted to +3500||33% profit boost on NBA and NHL bets 3x per day|
Bet insurance promos
Sportsbooks have tried overtime insurance, third-quarter insurance and point insurance promos for all kinds of sports. These are types of betting insurance that offer refunds on losing bets that looked like they were going to be winners at one time.
What most have settled on is parlay insurance, offering refunds on parlay sports bets if you hit every leg except one. There’s almost always a limit on the size of the refund and a minimum number of legs required to get it. For example, DraftKings Sportsbook runs parlay insurance of up to $25 for 5+ leg parlays in any sport. Then, FanDuel Sportsbook runs a $25 Same Game Parlay Insurance promo for Same Game NFL Parlays with three legs or more.
Daily and weekly promotions
Most online sportsbooks will also run daily, weekly or monthly promos to keep existing clients betting. For example, Caesars runs different three-team parlay boosts every day. BetMGM also gives players making $50 in bets a $10 free bet every week.
Most online sportsbooks will also run promos and bonuses surrounding big sporting events like March Madness or the Super Bowl. For example, DraftKings and FanDuel ran 56-1 odds boosts, and BetMGM ran a 20-1 odds boost for certain Super Bowl LVI bets.
Sportsbooks go all out with Super Bowl prop bet offers, so make sure to check out all of them.
Taking advantage of bonuses and promotions
Ultimately, capitalizing on the best sportsbook bonuses and promos coming to California might mean signing up for every available sportsbook. First off, it’s important to understand there’s nothing wrong with doing that. You can sign up for an account with as many sportsbooks as you want—as long as it’s just a single account with each.
In fact, you’ll have to do that if you want to get ahold of more than just one bonus. Sign-up is always free, and there’s no reason not to have an account with every online sportsbook in the state. Doing so will give you the chance to take advantage of all the ongoing promos and bonuses each one is offering you.
Just remember, read the terms and conditions to understand the wagering requirements for any offer beforehand. Try to take advantage of only the sports betting promos and bonuses you have a chance to clear. That way, you won’t be giving away the value you find at one sportsbook to another one.