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If you are looking to sign up with a new online bookmaker then Betting.com’s list of the best welcome bonus betting sites will prove to be extremely useful. Betting.com bring you a comprehensive guide to the best sign-up offers out there and tell you everything you need to know about welcome bonuses in the UK.

Top 5 Welcome Bonus Betting Sites for the UK

I have looked at a range of online bookmakers in the UK and have analysed their welcome bonuses, looking at the amount on offer, payment methods available and conditions such as wagering requirements or minimum stakes. I then looked at the overall performance of the betting site. From this I have compiled a list of the five best welcome bonus betting sites in the UK.

RankBetting Site NameWelcome Bonus
1bet365Bet £10, get £30
2BetfredGet £40 In Bonuses When You Stake £10
3LadbrokesGet £20 in Free Bets when you bet £5
4CoralGet £20 in Free Bets when you bet £5
5UnibetMoney Back as Bonus up to £40 + £10 Casino Bonus

1. bet365

At first glance, bet365’s welcome bonus looks as though it is pretty much inline with most UK online bookmakers. However, when you look closely at terms and conditions this is one of the best sign-up offers around. The payment methods eligible for this bonus are more flexible than most while the minimum deposit and minimum odds are standard. What really sets this apart is the lack of restrictions on the £30 free bets. These can be used in any way the customer chooses, ranging from 30 £1 bets to a single bet of £30, and there is a generous period in which to use the free bets. 

T&Cs: Bet £10 and get £30 in free bets for new customers at bet365. Minimum deposit requirement. Free bets are paid as bet credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Minimum odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude bet credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.

2. Betfred

Betfred give new customers a high amount of bonuses for an industry standard stake. For a  £10 stake new players are credited with £40 worth of bonuses. £30 of those come as free bets while the remaining £10 is for the casino.  The positive side of this is that punters get a chance to explore other areas of Betfred’s portfolio, while this may not suit some who are exclusively interested in sports betting. It is worth noting that the free bets and bonuses expire after seven days.

T&Cs: New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on sports (cumulative odds of evens+) within seven days of registration. First bet must be on sports. £30 in free bets and £10 in free spins (50x 20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have seven-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or proof of ID and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.

3. Ladbrokes

For customers who want to unlock a welcome offer with a £5 bet rather than £10 or £15 then Ladbrokes could be an attractive option. Furthermore the £20 free bets come as 4 x £5 which will allow you to explore different wagers at Ladbrokes, making it one of the best betting site sign-up offers in the UK.

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £5 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.

4. Coral

Like Ladbrokes, Coral offer new punters a good return on a low stake. The free bet comes as a single £20 bet, which is more restrictive. Nevertheless, for a low stake there is a good return and this makes Coral one of the best welcome bonus betting sites.

T&Cs: 18+ New UK and Ireland customers only. Minimum deposit £5. Minimum first bet of £5 at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excluded. Free bet valid for seven days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.

5. Unibet

Unibet’s sign-up offer is a little different to the other betting sites on this list. Rather than a set deposit amount triggering a free bet, Unibet offer up to £40 back if your first sports bet loses, meaning that you have an almost risk-free bet. There are, however, wagering requirements. These are not as restrictive as their casino bonus, however, punters need to look at this on an individual basis to ensure that they get good value. However, Unibet can be considered to be one of the best welcome bonus betting sites in the UK.

T&Cs: 18+ BeGambleAware.org. New customers only. Minimum deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at minimum odds of 1.4 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires seven days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&Cs.

Top 5 Welcome Bonus Betting Sites for the UK: Did you know?
Outside the welcome bonus bet365 have a number of other promos aimed at new customers

How did we evaluate the best welcome bonus betting sites?

When evaluating each betting site for the quality of their sign-up offer there were a number of factors to consider. FIrstly I looked at the amount of welcome bonus offered along with the stake or deposit required. I then looked at other issues such as minimum odds, wagering requirements and payment methods. I have outlined the key factors as follows:

  • Amount of welcome bonus offered: Obviously the first thing to look at is what is on offer in a welcome bonus. Therefore the first criteria I looked at was how much new customers could get in terms of free bets and bonuses. Typically bonuses amounting to £20 to £40 are available, which gives new punters plenty of scope to experiment with the site. Then you then must balance this with other factors.
  • Type of bonus offered: Most of the leading bookies offer free bets, with varying conditions attached. Others will provide deposit bonuses, risk free bets, your stake returned if you lose, or bonuses to use on other areas of their site, such as the Casino. Some offer bonuses linked to big events such as cup finals in football or majors in golf or tennis. Much of this comes down to the betting habits of the individual. Remember to check the terms and conditions.
  • Minimum odds: When a betting site has a “bet to get” welcome bonus where you stake a certain amount to receive a certain amount of free bets/bonuses there will often be a minimum odds threshold. This is likely to vary between single bets and accas. Ensure you read up on these terms and conditions.
  • Expiry time: Bonuses and free bets often have to be used within a certain timeframe. Ensure that you are aware of this when selecting a welcome bonus. You will also find that the welcome bonus may have to be triggered within a certain period of time too.
  • Wagering requirements: A wagering requirement is a rule set by the bookmaker that states that you must wager the full amount of your bonus and deposit a set number of times before you can make a withdrawal. This could be as low as x5 or all the way up to x40. Obviously this can make a great difference to a bonus offer. A deposit match bonus of up to £50 may not appear so enticing if you have to wager that £50 forty times before you make a withdrawal.
  • Minimum/Maximum deposit: The minimum and maximum stakes for offers will vary between betting sites. It is important to look into this so you can choose the best option to suit your interests and betting habits and to ensure you get the best value.
  • Payment methods: Some sites only allow you to claim the welcome bonus with certain payment methods. It is fairly common for payments via e-wallets not to be eligible for the welcome bonus.
How did we evaluate the best welcome bonus betting sites?: Did you know?
Some betting sites, such as bet365, allow you greater flexibility in terms of how you use your welcome bonus.

What is a Betting Welcome Bonus?

A welcome bonus is a promotional offer given to new players who sign up for an account with an online betting site. These bonuses are designed to attract new customers to the site, provide them with an initial boost and allow them to try out different bets and features.

How can I claim a betting welcome bonus?

Claiming the welcome bonus on a betting site is usually straightforward. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the online bookmaker the site with the welcome bonus you want to claim
  2. Carefully read through the offer, paying special attention to the terms and conditions, which can usually be found through a small print link at the bottom of the offer advert
  3. Click on the Join Now or Sign Up button
  4. Complete the relevant identity details, including your name, address, email address, username and password.
  5. Where required, confirm your identity by uploading relevant documents such as a driving licence or a passport
  6. Choose your preferred banking method
  7. Make your first deposit/place your first bet. Often the size of your initial stake or deposit will determine the level of bonus you receive
  8. Make your first bet, where required. For some betting sites the new customer offer simply require you to make a deposit, while on others you must make your first bet
  9. Check that the bonus has been credited to your account

Is a betting welcome bonus safe and legal in the UK?

All of the betting sites covered by Betting.com are licenced and well regulated. This means that they must adhere to a strict code of conduct. Therefore all of the welcome bonuses are legal and your cash and data should be safe. However, as ever, it is important to read the terms and conditions thoroughly.

Is a betting welcome bonus safe and legal in the UK?: Did you know?
All betting sites reviewed by Betting.com are fully licenced. Uk betting sites are licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, therefore the terms of the welcome bonuses available will adhere to their code of conduct.

The most common types of welcome bonuses in the UK

There are several types of welcome bonuses and, within those, variations, available at UK betting sites. I have outlined the main ones that you will come across.

Free bets

 Most UK betting sites use free bets to bring in new customers. These usually go into your account as soon as you make a qualifying deposit or qualifying bet. This gives you the opportunity to explore the bookmaker in a  relatively risk-free way. Once you have met those initial qualifying requirements, you should not lose any further money with your free bets. They are not likely to have any wagering requirements so if you are lucky enough to back a winner with your free bet, you can withdraw the winnings straight into your bank account. Remember that the free bet stake will not be included in the winnings that you are able to withdraw and there is likely to be a minimum odds requirement. Free bets can also take the form of a matched percentage of your first deposit.

Bet to Get

The most common form of new customer bonus is the ‘Bet to Get’ offer. Sign up to a new site, bet a certain amount and then receive a quoted figure in free bets. A typical case might be a ‘Bet £5 Get £20 offer’ in which you would bet £5 on a qualifying market and then get a £20 free bet in your account. The main advantage of this type of offer is that it doesn’t require you to make a certain level of deposit, unlike a deposit match bonus, although similar terms and conditions will apply.

Matched deposits/bets

Matched deposits are another type of welcome offer. Remember that these offers will likely have wagering requirements. Each offer is different so it is important that you understand the specific terms and conditions.

Enhanced odds

Another very popular welcome bonus is enhanced or boosted odds on specific one-off games or events. The stake will often be limited to between £1 and £5 but odds will be enhanced to prices of, for example, 50/1 on popular events. You are paid out winnings on regular odds as cash before the boosted odds are paid as free bets. Again these offers will have specific terms and conditions.

Risk Free Bets

Bookmakers often try to stand out from the crowd  by providing a cash-back offer to customers who sign up, deposit and place a bet, as opposed to the more usual free bet offers. To qualify you will need to place a bet with a specific stake amount and odds. If your bet loses, you will receive the same amount back as cash, up to a certain limit such as £20.

No Deposit Bonus

Free bets with no deposit are effectively free money to wager with. You don’t need to deposit funds to your account; just open a new account with a sportsbook and you’ll be given money to start betting with. The amount of free bet money with most no deposit free sports bets may be relatively low, beginning at roughly £5. There are two sorts of no deposit incentives: no deposit bonuses with no restrictions and no deposit bonuses with restrictions. The former is uncommon since it may be used on any sport or market, while the latter is limited to certain markets.

Casino Bonuses

Betting sites who also operate a casino often include a casino bonus as part of the welcome offer. Fafabet is a case in point.

Stake back as a free bet

Some bookies will offer you the chance of your stake,or part of your stake back as a free bet if your first bet loses. Lottoland, for example, have a welcome offer, which gives new customers their stake back as a free bet up to £5 when they bet £5 or more on the sportsbook, if their first bet loses.

The most common types of welcome bonuses in the UK: Did you know?
Many UK betting sites offer punters free bets once they have wagered a certain amount on their first bet as a sign-up offer. There are often restrictions regarding minimum odds and there are sometimes wagering requirements. Additionally if you are depositing via an e-ewallet you may not be eligible. Always read the terms and conditions.

Which type of betting welcome bonus should I choose?

The key point to remember is that selecting  a betting welcome bonus is a personal choice. You need to work out which sort of offer will benefit you the most and you must read the terms and conditions thoroughly. The following table compares some of the more common types of welcome bonuses:

Free BetEnhanced OddsMatched depositRisk Free Bet
Real Money Deposit
Offers a percentage matchΧΧΧ
Wagering requirementsΧ
Withdrawal LimitsΧ
Which type of betting welcome offer should I choose? :Did you know?
Many betting sites will tailor the welcome bonus to fit in with major events. So if you are looking to find a bookie to wager on a specific match or tournament (FA Cup final, US Masters) look out for the welcome bonus which will help you get good value on the bet you want to make.

Betting Welcome Bonus: Pick the best one for you

Selecting a bookmaker is a very personal decision, based on your betting habits, the types of wagers you enjoy and the types of sports and leagues you enjoy betting on. Therefore selecting the best sign-up offer also needs to be based on your individual situation. Betting.com have outlined the best welcome bonus betting sites in the UK and have provided plenty of information on the types of welcome bonuses available. You must use this information to ensure that you get value for money. I must stress that it is vitally important to read the terms and conditions thoroughly and to gamble responsibly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Betting sites may have restrictions on which payment methods are eligible for their welcome offer. Some operators will prevent you from receiving the promotion if placing your first deposit and bet with an e-wallet.

Most bookmakers should allow you to bet on all of their sports and markets once you have unlocked the promotion. However, some offers have restrictions. Always read the terms and conditions.

Usually you will have to place a wager in real money to activate a free bet with online bookmakers. As a result some consider free bets are not really free. Once activated, however, they most certainly are free to place with the chance to win real money.

Free bets themselves can not be withdrawn from your betting account however with the vast majority of offers any winnings from free bets can be withdrawn instantly.

A wagering requirement is a rule that demands you wager the full amount of your bonus and deposit a set number of times before you can withdraw.

Christopher

Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives.

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