Do Free Sign Up Bonus Betting Offer Sites Exist For UK Players?
In the past, if you wanted a bit of free cash for signing up to an online sportsbook or casino, you would find them everywhere you look. The UK was absolutely rife with them but then, well they disappeared. A lot of people are now left wondering where they have gone and whether they are going to come back. Well, let's explain.
Where Did All Of The Free Sign-Up Betting Bonus Offers Go?
Nowhere, sort of.
Back in 2017 (or roughly that time, as you get older, it is tough to tell when years start and end), the UK Gambling Commission decided that online sportsbooks in the UK were using the term ‘free' way too much. They figured that claiming something as free when it wasn't really free could lead to gambling issues.
This is fair enough.
Because most online bonuses will require you to deposit at some point to take advantage of them, the word ‘free' could be somewhat annoying.
So, in one swoop, the UKGC decided to tell everybody to get rid of the word ‘free' in their promotional materials. Most sites tended to oblige.
This did mean that welcome bonuses and the like that would require you to do nothing more than just sign up started to disappear.
If online bookmakers and casinos weren't able to use the word ‘free' anymore, then they had no choice.
Things continued like this for a while. In 2020, the government got involved and said that what the UKGC had done wasn't good enough.
So, they proposed ditching free offers altogether. This was the trigger for many online bookies and casinos in the UK to start shutting down some of the big ‘free' offers.
Now they can rarely be found. This law never came to pass (although, it was brought up for discussion again in 2022), but the online gambling platforms haven't gone back yet. After all, everything could be snatched away from them, and it simply isn't worth the marketing.
Still, there are some places that will offer a free sign-up bonus betting offer, albeit rarely and probably not at the same lavish figures that previous free bonuses would have, and we seriously doubt that the online gambling platforms are ever going to go back to that.
The gambling industry in the UK seems to be going along fine without them, and there do seem to be far fewer complaints from those that were a little bit confused about how rollover and wagering requirements work on a free bonus, which we suppose makes a lot of sense.
Do bear in mind that we are only talking about 100% free stuff where you do not have to put your cash on the line here.
Your standard bonus such as matched deposits, enhanced odds, etc. Well, they are still alive and kicking in the UK, and they are not going anywhere any time soon.
You may see the regulations tighten up on them a little bit, but probably not too much.
What Is a Free Sign-Up Bonus Betting Offer?
So, what is a free sign-up bonus betting offer? Well, it depends on which perspective you are looking at things.
The traditional free sign-up bonus betting offer gave you an incentive to sign up for the site.
You didn't have to deposit any money into your account. Once you were registered on the platform, you had some cash to play about with.
This was a way to test out an online betting site with the absolute minimal risk to you.
These bonuses would have been designed in such a way that you would rarely have been able to withdraw the cash due to ridiculously high rollover requirements, but at least you could know whether a site offered a great experience for you.
Nowadays, when most people think of a free sign-up bonus betting offer, they tend to think more about the matched deposits, etc.
However, these are not like the traditional free sign-up bonus betting offer. They are a completely different thing, and since they can be found pretty much everywhere in the UK (and they are not as tightly regulated by the UKGC), we are not going to be discussing those on this page.
Types of Online Betting Free Sign-Up Bonus Offers
The online betting free sign-up bonus offers tend to be split into three categories.
This is the rarest category. Gone are the days when bookies are throwing free bet credit at you.
This was the main issue for the UKGC, and most sportsbooks also want to avoid the idea of matched betting.
However, every so often, you may find a paltry free bet for signing up for an online bookie, particularly when the bookmakers are clambering for punters during some of the biggest events on the sporting calendar.
Free Casino Credit
Free casino credit tends to be much more common. This credit will normally allow you to play certain games at an online casino (you won't get free reign to try them all).
The free casino credit will unlikely be straight cash, although it can happen. Instead, they are bet credits with fixed values that you can use to gamble.
Most casino credit, no matter what type of bonus it is attached to, will have an astonishingly high rollover requirement.
Do not ever think that you are going to be able to withdraw cash from free casino credit because you are going to have to get extremely lucky.
This is probably the most common bonus at any online casino and sportsbook (most UK online bookies have an online casino attached).
Free spins do what they say on the tin. You are going to get a couple of free spins on the fruities and, if you are lucky, you could end up with a rather sizeable win.
Free spins credits tend to be fixed value and, in most cases, you will only be able to use them on select slots at an online casino. In most cases, this will be a couple of options from NetEnt (one of the first companies to build this feature into their games).
There will be rollover requirements, but these requirements will be nowhere near as high as the other type of casino credit.
Do Any UK Betting Sites Offer a Free Sign-Up Bonus?
Every online sportsbook and bookmaker in the UK offers some sort of incentive for getting signed up to the site. However, as we have stated several times, the free bonuses are going to be somewhat rarer. In fact, there is just one viable option right now.
The Best Free Sign-Up Bonus Betting Site: William Hill
William Hill is one of the leading online bookmakers in the UK. In fact, they are one of the largest gambling companies in the world.
Every so often, the company will offer £10 just for signing up. There is no need to deposit any cash into your account.
Their bonuses will often be focused on their casino games, but during major sporting events, you may also be able to find some free bet credit.
Even if William Hill is not running a free sign-up bonus betting offer, it is still worth getting registered because the site is great.
How Other Sites Do Things
It is tough to pinpoint another website in the UK because the straight free bonuses are now so rare. We will keep you updated on them, though.
If a site does offer them, you can expect them to (mostly) come in the form of free spins. You may get a couple of quid in free bet or casino credits here and there, but nothing drastic.
We encourage you not to wait around for these free sign-up offers. If you want to play at a site, then take advantage of whatever bonus is there already.
Are Online Betting Free Sign-Up Bonus Offers Worth It?
They are worth it if you see them, but we wouldn't go out of our way to get one.
For starters, if you are waiting for a site to include a no-deposit free bet bonus, then you could be waiting forever. We promise you that whatever bonus they have up now is going to be so much better than waiting for the free bet credit.
We know that there are some of you sitting around thinking that this free sign-up bonus is a great way to make money.
Companies hate giving away cash, and you are never going to earn from these offers.
They are just a great way to get some cash into your account without depositing yourself. This allows you to check out some new sites.
You will rarely find free sign-up bonus betting offers in the UK now.
You can thank the UKGC for that. William Hill does sometimes offer this type of bonus, though.
We wouldn't suggest that you wait around for this type of bonus.
Instead, check out a top online bookie or casino and use whatever bonuses they currently have available.