Why you should never sign up for an online casino sportsbook free offer

Because it’s risk-free for the casino — not you

Ben Rothke


Source: https://www.fanduel.com/

A free, no-risk bet you say?

The ads are everywhere — online, YouTube, train stations, billboards, airports, apps, and more. Casinos offering you free initial risk-free bets for their online sportsbooks. You’ll be enticed with offers like these:

  • Bet $1 Get $50 In Free Bets
  • Risk-Free Bet up to $500
  • $500 New Customer Offer
  • Risk Free First Bet up to $500
  • $1,000 Risk-Free Bet Bonus

At first glance, they seem to be an easy and risk-free way to make some quick money. It is the nirvana of gambling — betting with other people’s money with no risk.

But in the irrational exuberance of having the casinos show you their money, most of the betters signing up don’t seem to be taking the time to read the Terms & Conditions (T&C) of what they are signing on and agreeing to. And if they did, they would know rather quickly that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch in the betting world.

As Maxwell Strachan writes in The Rise of Mobile Gambling Is Leaving People Ruined and Unable to Quit, financial catastrophe is now only a few clicks away, a problem that is showing quiet signs of becoming a crisis. Many gamblers get so addicted to gambling, that they can’t put their phones down. And that is precisely why casinos offer these free offers. They never want you to put the card down.

And if these offers sound too good to be true, it’s because they are. If these offers were made without the T&C, the casinos would quickly go bankrupt.


The importance of reading the T&C is that the casinos make it eminently clear in them what you are really getting. While it is indeed true that they will give you, say, a $500 initial free bet, what you can do with that, and what you can wager on is often highly restricted.

But even if you do place that initial $500 bet, it’s not like you can just take your huge payout, cash out, and walk away to the next risk-free bet offer. Most of the T&C mandate that you…



Ben Rothke

I work in information security at Tapad. Write book reviews for the RSA blog, & a Founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance and Cybersecurity Canon.