Industry Standards

Only three years ago in 2017, the global sports betting market had a net worth of just over $100 billion. Given projections for annual growth in the coming years, this worth is expected to balloon to over $150 billion in just four years (in 2024).

These figures should come as no surprise. Betting has been a common pastime throughout the world, and recent iterations of sports betting date back centuries to horse races throughout Europe and the Middle East. Fans love to engage with their favorite franchises by doing more than just donning a jersey or buying a ticket—in fact, many punters also pay close attention to sports statistics and other technical aspects of the game just like professional sports analysts do.

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Sites like Oddschecker compile leading bookmakers to offer visitors a peek into which sites offer the best odds and most trusted analysis for sports betting. However, they also offer casino features and bonus bet deals for those interested in trying something new, with top deals offered by the likes of BETMGM and Foxbet. However, at this point, many may be scratching their heads, wondering just what a ‘free bet’ or a ‘bonus bet’ is.”

There are three types of bets that fit the definition of ‘bonus’ and ‘free’ bets: risk-free bets, bet credits, and free money. Risk-free bets or risk-free money is money that is matched by an online site and can be used to earn money by winning, but that can’t be deducted from a player’s account balance in the event of a loss. 

Free money is, simply put, money given to a new user after they sign up. Sometimes, free money is only applicable for certain promotional bets. However, as with any industry, each company listed below has varying rules in terms of where free money can be applied and how long it’s valid for.

Bet credits work on the basis that, in the event of a win, a punter is paid out a dividend of the win. However, in the event of a loss, the bet tokens are taken rather than a real money payout. Promotions pages are regularly updated to change or expand the realm of bonus bets, which can include matched betting or lay bets. Bonuses are extremely popular in the betting world and also provide newcomers with the chance to try their hand at various bets.

Most bonus bets consist of $500 deposit matches, but bonuses can also include free money allocated in tokens for those who have just signed up. Below are some top bonus bet offers by leading gaming sites.


BETMGM is an online gaming site run by the well-known MGM Resorts International franchise. The group, started in Las Vegas, now has successful hotel-casinos in the US and, most recently, on Macau. Their online sector serves the state of New Jersey in the US.

BetMGM has a variety of exclusive and competitive deals for their online sector. As of 2020, BETMGM features risk-free $500 sportsbook bonus bets. This means that a first bet is placed for $500, but in the event of a loss, this $500 remains in a bettor’s account balance. The site also offers ample bonuses, which include a 100% deposit match up to $1,000. There are also rotating casino bonus opportunities, such as $25 free play.

Remember that BetMGM sportsbook bonuses will be valid for US major sports leagues and also subject to US gaming laws.


Bet365 is an online gaming site that is based in the UK. They offer bookmaking services, sports betting, and online gaming features. It was founded in 2000 as an online franchise.

Bet365 also features a variety of rotating deals. For those who make a minimum deposit of £5, they can later claim a bet credit offer that becomes valid within thirty days of their account registration. The amount of money that is deposited into the newly-opened account is reflected in bet credits for up to £100. While they can’t be withdrawn, these bet credits also can’t be lost—in other words, they can be bet and the money won can be withdrawn, however, lost bet credits incur no withdrawal from a punters account balance (as aforementioned).


Fanduel is based in the US. Not only is it a bookmaker, but the site is also a fantasy sports provider and organizer. In 2016, they merged with another popular US fantasy-based site known as DraftKings.

Fanduel bonus bets are some of the most technically complex bonus bet systems listed here. Bonus bets are allocated on Fanduel for signing up and making deposits. Sign-up bonuses offer newcomers $5, with other similar deposit bonuses offered on a promotional basis.

Fanduel, similar to Bet365, also offers new customers a ‘risk-free’ $500 bet. This means that losses on a bet will be reimbursed for up to $500 for new punters. This differs from their deposit bonuses, which are accrued after periods of successful bets.


While other sites that offer bonus bets are international, Unibet has a massive presence around the globe, serving North America, Australia, and Europe. They offer sports betting and gaming services, but are also making forays into eSports betting.

Unibet bonuses are subject to various promotional waves. Bonus bets can be applied on casino, sports betting, or poker games depending on the specific promotion. As with other sites, there are special deals allocated for newcomers. They offer free $10 for newcomers and $500 bonuses on a punter’s first deposit.


Foxbet is a brand-new sports betting site that currently serves the US states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They are associated with Fox Sports, which is a breaking news outlet in the US that covers major league US sports.

As the youngest betting site on the list, it should be no surprise that Foxbet offers the most competitive deals. The site offers newcomers a $1,000 sign-up bonus, which includes a $500 risk free bet and a $500 deposit bonus.

Foxbet utilizes a team of sports analysts to provide sports betting insight. They also offer a variety of promotions and prop bets. Unlike the other sites listed, Foxbet has a very easy-to-navigate website that is friendly for first-time punters, offering ample explanation on common terms and bets that new punters may not be familiar with yet.