Free Bets Sign Up Offers - Do They Actually Exist?

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Unicorns. Leprechauns. The Loch Ness Monster. We all know, on some level that these things don’t exist. Yet if we saw a horse with a forehead rising to a point, or a ripple across the surface of Scotland’s most famous Loch (sorry, Lomond), then we’d all probably pause for a moment and wonder.

In some ways, free bet sign up offers for new customers are like unicorns, leprechauns, Nessie, and all the other things we’re not meant to believe in. We’ve heard about them, seen the stories, seen the reports… but we’re meant to know better, aren’t we? We’re meant to be the adults in the room, rolling our eyes at the idea of ancient sea monsters and generous bookmakers tempting people to sign up to them with offers of free bets. Of course such things don’t exist… right?

Well, we’re pretty sure the evidence is a conclusive ‘no’ for Nessie and the only leprechauns in the world are the ones on American cereal boxes… but bookmakers offering free bets in an attempt to secure a new customer? That’s a concept that’s a bit more grounded, isn’t it? Perhaps they could exist. Maybe some legends are real.

The Key Question

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So, let’s cut to the chase and focus on what really matters here: do unicorns actually exist, or is it just a big con by the Scots to try and make everyone else believe they named a mythical creature as their national… oh, sorry. Erm, right, the actual question we should be focusing on: do free bets sign up offers actually exist?

Yes.

Well, sort of.

It’s complicated.

You’ve probably heard the saying that fool’s gold only exists because the real stuff does. The same principle is true of free bet sign up offers: yes, they exist, but they’re incredibly rare. To try and compensate for the scarcity of real sign up offers that feature free bets, there’s an awful lot of “free bets sign up offers”, which aren’t actually worthy of the name.

Defining True Free Bet Sign Up Offers

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To dig deeper into this subject, we first need to define the real gold— what actually constitutes a genuine, yes-some-legends-exist free bet sign up offer?

We’ve narrowed it down to this definition:

  • A true free bet sign up offer occurs when you sign up to a new bookmaker and they provide you with either a bet token or funds in your new betting account that you can use to place a bet.
  • You do not have to deposit any money with the bookmaker to use these funds.
  • If the bet you make with the free bet token or funds wins, you do not have to deposit any money with the bookmaker to withdraw the funds you have won.
  • The entire transaction — opening the account, receiving the free bet token or funds, placing the bet, and withdrawing the winnings from the bet (if applicable) — proceeds without you having to give a bookmaker any money at all.

The above is a true free bet offer, and we’re going to stick to this definition of the real deal for the rest of this piece.

Now we know what users of free bet offers sign up to, we can continue our investigation into their reality. First and foremost, we need to ascertain if there’s any benefit to be had from free bet sign up offers. After all, if there isn’t any benefit to anyone, then it’s unlikely such a concept will exist.

Thankfully the conclusion to the above consideration is easy enough: yes, there’s benefit to free bet sign up offers— there’s benefit to bettors. With these deals, bettors are able to enjoy the chance to make a bet that may potentially be profitable, and they get to sample the betting experience on a new site without having to invest their own funds. As a result, we can conclude that yes, there’s a benefit to free bet offers — sign up, and you can make a profit. Therefore it seems reasonable to begin to believe they may exist.

Except, erm, what about the other side of the equation? We know the bettors can benefit from free bet sign up offers, but…

Why Would Bookmakers Giveaway Free Bets?

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Bookmakers, for the most part, don’t particularly have a reputation for being the most generous of companies. As the saying goes, you’ll never meet a poor bookie. So why would bookmakers be tempted to offer a free bet as a sign up offer? What exactly are they getting out of this transaction?

The key is in the term ‘sign up offer’. Bookmakers see that free bet — and the money they may lose if a free bet is successful — as an investment. It’s an investment in a potential new customer; the hope that a bettor will try out their genuine free bet deal, like the site, and continue to stick around.

The Key Two Reasons Bookmakers Offer Free Bet Sign Up Offers

  • First and foremost, there’s the necessity factor. While bookmakers could stand to lose out financially from free bet sign up offers, they see it as a necessary expense. After all, the world of online bookmakers is very much a bettor’s market. There’s literally hundreds of different options for online bookies from every corner of the globe. The competition between the bookmakers is fierce and, ultimately, this is helpful to bettors who are just looking for a good deal. The more the bookies compete, the more options bettors have.
  • Secondly, bookmakers understand that when it comes to trying to capture attention, they’re fighting against a key component of human  nature: the fact that we’re all creatures of habit. Most regular punters have favourite sites; sites where they know what to expect; sites they return to on a regular basis. Bookmakers know that they’re going to have to go all-out to even catch the eye of a regular punter.

These two factors combine, and produce an environment where a free bet sign up offer is a good deal for the bookies. They want to ensure that they stand out in a crowded marketplace, and they want to be able to catch the eye of committed bettors… and there’s no better way of doing that than by being generous.

We all love free stuff. Even those of us who have been using the same betting sites for years would probably struggle to resist the idea of a legitimately free bet sign up offer; it’d be enough to persuade us to give a site a try, just to see what might happen. The curiosity factor alone would convince most of us to sign up.

So, having gone through everything above, we can conclude that this all makes sense. Bettors want free bet sign up offers; bookies are incentivised to provide them; there’s lots of deals to be found, fill your boots, no myths here, let’s all go back to investigating unicorns.

Oh, hang on, that’s not actually the case at all. Sorry.

The Reality Of Free Bet Sign Up Offers

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We’ve established what free bet sign up offers for new customers are. We’ve explained how they are beneficial to both punters and bookmakers. It seems like we should be coming to the end of the road, concluding free bet sign up offers exist, showing you a few links and moving on.

Sadly, we can’t quite do that, because we’ve skipped a key consideration: risk.

Bookies know free bet sign up offers are popular; they know that they’re eye-catching; and they know that they’re going to differentiate their company from the legion of competition.

However, bookies also know that there’s a huge risk to giving away a free bet to anyone; new customers, existing customers, returning customers, anyone at all. After all, a free bet offer could literally cost a bookmaker a small fortune.

Let’s imagine that you get a free bet sign up offer, a genuine one that allows you to make a bet without spending any money at all. You decide, because it’s free money, to place a bet on something completely ludicrous, with huge odds; an occurrence that you would never normally consider if you were betting with your own funds. Many people use free bet sign up offers like this; they don’t see them as ‘real’ funds that should be used as part of a well-researched betting strategy. Instead, punters tend to see these free bet offers, sign up and try a site out, bet on something daft, and not really think too much more about the matter.

How Bookmakers Are Impacted When The Impossible Happens

We’ve all heard the stories of incredible long odds that come true— Leicester City’s 5,000-1 odds of winning the Premier League are fresh in most bettors memories. Sometimes, the unlikely does happen, and the bookies have to empty their pockets to payout on someone’s audacious bet.

If the above scenario were to happen, what have the bookies got out of it? Zero. Actually, worse than zero, because they’ve had to pay out a substantial amount on an unlikely bet. They may have a new customer, but that customer is going to have to play for years if not decades for them to stand any chance of recouping their cash.

Seen through the eyes of a bookmaker, it’s tough to disagree with their inevitable conclusion: free bet sign up offers are just too much of a risk. While they know every punter could eventually make a bet that means the bookmaker having to pay out thousands and thousands of pounds, bookies tend to expect that they will have something of a reciprocal arrangement with that punter— the punter will lose bets, and the bookie will either break even or profit off the relationship. With free bet sign up offers, there’s no relationship; there’s not even the promise of a relationship, just an outside chance that hopefully the bettor will enjoy the site and choose to stick around. Therefore, it’s too much of a risk for bookies to want to offer free bet sign up offers.

So, we’ve finally done it, we’ve come to a conclusion: bookies might benefit from sign up offers, and they know bettors love them, but they’re simply too much risk for bookies to want to offer. Now, unicorns: let’s dig deeper in that riddle. Maybe someone misrecognised a deer and the whole thing has spiralled out of control since…

Oh, what’s that? There’s another question?

Why Do So Many Bookies Advertise Free Bet Sign Up Offers, Then?

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Ah. Yes, this is a bit of an issue. If free bet sign up offers are such a risk for bookies, why is it that half of the bookies in Betting.org’s bookmaker countdown are currently running promos about “free bets”?

The vast majority of the free bet offers you’ll see being offered by bookmakers are actually “free bet sign up offers”. The use of the word “free” is perhaps an exaggeration here. These deals usually include terms and conditions that explain punters need to make deposit before they’ll earn their “free bet”. Additionally, there’s usually a huge restriction on what is needed to both qualify for and then to use the “free bet”. Essentially, the “free bet” is comprehensively watered down by risk-mitigating factors for the bookie who is offering it.

Nevertheless, that’s not to say that some of these “free bet offers” aren’t worth considering. Reputable bookies like William Hill, Betway, and 888sport may not offer completely free bet sign up offers, but the terms and conditions of their are kept relatively limited, and there’s still plenty to enjoy by trying these deals. Think of these deals as gold-plated sterling silver rather than fool’s gold or the real deal; they might not be the top choice, but there’s still plenty of fun to enjoy.

Talking Of Fool’s Gold…

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The saying suggests that it only exists because sometimes a bookie decides to be brave, and genuinely does offer a free bet sign up offer. We at Betting.org will always strive to bring you news of genuine free bet offers if we do ever find them, but it’s important to know they’re unlikely, and the “free bet” offers from reputable bookies such as William Hill and Betway are likely to be your best bet. The real deal does occasionally crop up, but don’t lose out by waiting for it— you’re probably more likely to see a leprechaun riding a unicorn to visit Nessie, if we’re honest.

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