Do Free Sign Up Bonus Betting Sites Exist For UK Players?
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In the past, if you wanted a bit of free sign up bonus betting cash for joining an online sportsbook or casino, you would find them everywhere you looked.
The UK was rife with them, but then, well, they disappeared.
Many people are left wondering where they have gone and whether they will return.
Well, let's explain.
Where Did All Of The Free Sign-Up Betting Bonus Offers Go?
Nowhere, sort of.
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 free could lead to gambling issues.
This is fair enough.
Because most online bonuses will require you to deposit to take advantage of them at some point, the word ‘free' could be somewhat annoying.
So, in one swoop, the UKGC told everybody to eliminate 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 sign up started to disappear.
If online bookmakers and casinos couldn't use the word ‘free' anymore, 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 triggered 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 discussed again in 2022), but the online gambling platforms haven't returned yet.
After all, everything could be snatched away from them, and it simply isn't worth the marketing.
Still, some places will offer free sign-up joining offers offer, albeit rarely and probably not at the exact lavish figures that previous free bonuses would have. We seriously doubt that online gambling platforms will ever return 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.
Remember 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 includes matched deposits, enhanced odds, free bets for betting a certain amount, etc. Well, they are still alive and kicking in the UK and are not going anywhere soon.
You may see the regulations tighten up on them slightly, 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 welcome bonus betting offer incentivizes you to sign up for the site.
You didn't have to deposit any money into your account. Once registered on the platform, you had some cash to play with.
This was a way to test out an online betting site with minimal risk.
These bonuses would have been designed so 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 an excellent 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 the UKGC does not as tightly regulate them), we will not 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, occasionally, 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 most significant events on the sporting calendar.
Free Casino Credit
Free casino credit tends to be much more common. This credit will generally 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.
No matter the type of bonus it is attached to, most casino credit will have an astonishingly high rollover requirement.
Do not ever think you will be able to withdraw cash from free casino credit because you will 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 will get a couple of free spins on the fruits, and if you are lucky, you could end up with a rather sizeable win.
Free spins credits tend to be a fixed value, and, in most cases, you can only 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, which 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 incentive for getting signed up for the site. However, as we have repeatedly stated, the free bonuses will be somewhat rarer. 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. They are one of the largest gambling companies in the world.
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 find some free bet credit.
Even if William Hill is not running a free sign-up bonus betting offer, it is still worth registering because the site is excellent.
How Other Sites Do Things
It is tough to pinpoint another website in the UK because straight free bonuses are now so rare. We will keep you updated on them, though.
If a site offers them, you can expect them to (mostly) come in free spins. You may get a couple of quid in a 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, you could be waiting forever.
We promise you that whatever bonus they have up now will be much better than waiting for the free bet credit.
We know some of you are sitting around thinking this free sign-up bonus is a great way to make money.
Companies hate giving away cash; you will never earn from these offers.
They are a great way to get 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 their available bonuses.