Offering sports betting rewards is one of the most potent strategies to attract, retain, and engage bettors. But it’s not just about having a variety of freebies and player rewards.

The key to success is matching sports betting bonuses with different types of bettors throughout their journey. How do you provide the right rewards at the right time?

VeliTech is an adept B2B iGaming provider with a full suite of tools for sportsbook and online casino management. In this article, we’ll talk about the most effective bonuses and strategies to resonate with your customer base.

Why do bettors care about sports betting rewards?

Bonuses and loyalty programs help you keep players invested in your platform. These incentives, from free credits and discounts to tournament prizes and VIP statuses, are vital to attracting, retaining, and reactivating your players. 

Your reward system must correctly follow player behaviour to decide who’s eligible for a bonus. The criteria usually include betting volume, frequency, wagering types, and more. By combining the best sports betting bonuses, sportsbooks entice new sign-ups, maintain interest, and re-engage those who have drifted away.

A significant part of bettors select sportsbooks based on the reward system. The 2021 survey by the Gambling Commission reveals attitudes toward sports betting rewards. 

About 31% of survey practitioners agree that free bets and bonuses make them more loyal to the platform. Because of free rewards, 28% gambled for the first time or explored new activities.

Speaking about variety, let’s consider what rewards you could include in your betting platform.

Types of reward systems in sportsbooks

Different bonuses cater to various player segments and aspects of the betting experience. To help you, we have compiled a list of the most popular rewards and loyalty programmes.

Welcome bonuses

Welcome bonuses are granted to players after signing up or depositing for the first time. For example, some casinos provide free betting credits on your first or second bet. Usually, sportsbooks match the first deposit with equal credit funds that can be used for wagers.

Free Bets

Free betting credits let players wager without risking real money. When placing a winning bet with these credits, the gambler receives only the extra winnings (minus the stake amount).

No deposit bonuses

No deposit bonuses are free credits, percentage-based bonuses, or extra credits given to users who haven’t deposited funds for a long time. This type of bonus is used to re-engage existing players.

Stakeback and cashback

The stakeback system offers players a portion of their stake back after a losing streak. Similarly, a cashback (or rakeback) repays a certain percentage for every bet. A safety net like this makes users more sure of their actions.

Odds boost

Players can enhance their potential returns with odds boosts. Sportsbooks can offer multiplier bonuses for specific events, incentivising players to bet and boosting the popularity of certain sports.

Special offers

Rewards on special occasions, such as holidays, anniversaries, or player birthdays, create a sense of gratitude. You can further personalise these rewards to suit the needs and preferences of different customer segments. For example, you can offer exclusive perks and benefits to high rollers or re-engage inactive players with reactivation bonuses.


Sportsbooks often host competitive events where gamblers compete based on their number of wins or percentage of successful bets. The competitions reward them with monetary prizes or other bonuses, like free bets, discounts, and special statuses. In addition to encouraging betting, tournaments help to engage players with the community.


Achievements include free bets, cashback, special statuses, or perks for reaching certain milestones or completing tasks. For example, you can provide rewards for placing a designated number of bets on particular events or winning a certain amount.

Mobile device bonuses

Some promos can be exclusive to players who deposit or place bets via mobile devices. This type of bonus serves two purposes. You can incentivise players to bet more frequently and encourage them to download your mobile app.

Loyalty programmes

Loyalty programmes in sportsbooks reward consistent betting activity. Players accumulate player rewards cards or points through their deposits and bets. These can automatically qualify them for specific benefits or be redeemed for bonuses. Popular types of loyalty programmes include:

  • Tiered programmes. Bettors ascend through the ranks based on their betting volumes, unlocking awards like VIP events, exclusive contests, and priority customer support.
  • Point-based programmes. Based on the money they spend, wagerers earn points to acquire bonus cash, free spins, extra multipliers, and more.
  • Cross-product programmes. Continued betting on your sportsbook may let users play for free on your other gaming products.

So, what’s the best way to use these bonuses? It’s not about having all of them. You should use them strategically to maximise player engagement.

Top reward strategies to enhance player engagement

Having different kinds of bonuses won’t help without the right strategy. Based on our experience, we have outlined the most effective types of reward strategies and tips to get the most out of your reward system.

Align rewards with player lifecycle

Bonuses should match the stage of a player’s customer journey — acquisition (attraction), retention, and reactivation. This strategic alignment influences how players feel about the bonuses you provide and impacts their interactions.

How does this unfold? You encourage new sign-ups with a compelling welcome bonus. Then, you incentivise a player to fund their wallet with more money by offering a free bet that matches the first deposit. To nurture engagement, ensure the rewards are consistent with the player’s interests. And if the gambler starts to lose interest, offer a well-timed special offer.

Segment your bettors

Getting the right bonus to the right player matters. Sportsbooks often rely on data-driven decision-making using AI and machine learning. These technologies can help you segment your player base according to their interests and betting habits. Based on behaviour changes, types of reward systems can be tailored to each player.

By tailoring your bonuses, you increase the likelihood of players engaging with them. For instance, casual bettors can enjoy free bets, and high rollers will likely want odds boosts. Or, you can offer football fans a complimentary bonus for an upcoming major basketball game, encouraging them to try wagering on a new sport.

Prevent bonus abuse

An effective sportsbook must have measures to prevent exploitation of your promotions and free rewards. Some effective anti-abuse strategies include:

  • Minimum betting requirements
  • Game restrictions for bonus play
  • Payment method limitations
  • Caps on the size of promotions
  • Limits on the frequency of claimed rewards
  • An expiry time for each promotion

Implementing stringent ID verification prevents crafty individuals from creating multiple accounts to exploit bonuses. Combined with strong anti-fraud mechanisms, you can ensure the fairness and profitability of your reward system.

Clearly convey conditions

Lay out all the terms of your reward and loyalty system clearly in the Terms and Conditions. Disclosing the smaller details makes your platform transparent, fair, and compliant. Needless to say, it also prevents negative online reviews and legal disputes.

Ensure your terms cover the intricacies, like time bonus claim periods, withdrawal limitations, or regional variations. For instance, rewards might differ within a country or internationally.

Monitor and update your reward system

Assessing your reward system regularly is essential for improvement. As your player base changes, you should evaluate the impact of different bonuses and loyalty programmes to match their preferences.

Evaluate key performance indicators like the rate of enrollment, participation rates, the changes in average bet size pre- and post-enrollment, and the frequency with which rewards are redeemed. 

There are many factors to monitor. That’s why you may need a specialised platform to ensure your bonuses are executed smoothly.

Use a platform to manage sports betting bonuses

A diverse range of bonuses and bettors’ preferences calls for robust control. An iGaming platform can streamline how you segment players, allocate rewards, organise tournaments, and prevent abuse. 

VeliGames and VeliSports are designed to simplify the management of player rewards. They let you segment custom bonuses for different playstyles, games, and tournaments.

With these platforms, you can easily implement different reward levels, loyalty programs, and tailor-made cashback offers. Among other things, they include tools that detect and prevent bonus abuse.

Finally, these platforms have enough stand-alone features to help you launch your iGaming platform. 

Transform your player rewards system

While some overlook bonuses, a significant portion of bettors care about bonuses. A diverse reward system motivates gamblers to raise their bets, partake in more activities, and explore more sports.

Effective alignment of bonuses with the player journey and personalisation is essential for maximising engagement. The same goes for your monitoring systems, analytics, and abuse prevention tools. Our platforms can improve your reward system to match the standards of leading sportsbooks. They can also help manage betting categories, casino games, and other aspects of online gambling hassle-free. If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us.