When it comes to gambling, there are a lot of places that will try to draw you in with a “FREE BET!” hoping to tempt you into signing up, putting some real money into the funds, and having a go on their games, slots, or gambling opportunities.
But is there any such thing as a free bet? Are you being drawn to these sites under the impression that you’re going to be given a freebie, only to find that you’re expected to jump through a load of different hoops, sign up and register for services that you’re not sure you want, and have to provide information that you weren’t told you’d need to give?
What do you need to know about a site before you decide to provide your personal information and sign-up to spend with them?
Gambling in the UK
There are several different ‘official’ bodies that regulate gambling, and sometimes one site will have multiple commissions responsible for different games or operations on the site – this is because the game or software being utilized is registered or located in that particular location, and comes under that Commission’s jurisdiction.
In the UK, the UK Gambling Commission is responsible for regulating the UK betting market; they are responsible for regulating:
- Gaming Machine Providers
- Gambling Software Providers
- Lottery Operators
- External Lottery Managers
- Remote Gambling (Online and by Phone)
For companies who are using British-based equipment. The Gambling Commission has some very clear terms that have to be adhered to when a betting site is offering up a ‘Free Bet,’ and they have some hefty fines or possible jail time (up to 2 years) waiting for those who are found to be in violation of their terms.
These terms include:
- Being upfront about the conditions that apply to the offer
- Making it clear whether you’re playing with ‘Bonus Funds’ or ‘Real Money.
- Take out unspent cash whenever you want (and inform the user if their bonus funds will be affected by doing this)
- Being clear on any restrictions applied to using the bonus funds
There are several different terms that these sites will use to gain your attention, from offering Welcome Bonuses, Sign-Up Bonuses, and First Time Deposit offers to Free Bets, Matched Bonuses, and No Deposit Bonuses.
Understanding what the difference between these are and whether you’re getting a ‘free bet’ can be something of a challenge.
Gambling in the UK is only legal for individuals who are aged 18 or above, and when registering with a gambling site, you will be asked to provide proof of identification – this may not be done at the point of registration (although some sites do require this), they may not ask you to verify your age, identity, and home address, until you reach the point where you’re trying to withdraw funds from the account.
What do The Different Types of ‘Free Bet’ Mean?
When you’re trying to work out what a particular gambling site is offering you, this handy article on Free Bets at Bookie Review breaks down the particulars, describes what each ‘bonus’ means (or should mean), and gives you a list of suggestions for sites that have active bonuses, that not only clearly display what you’re going to get – but have been rated and reviewed by individuals using the site, allowing you to make decisions based on facts, and other users experiences.
They clearly explain the difference between Welcome Bonuses, No Deposit Free Bets, Matched Bonuses, and more. So, you’re sure to be able to understand what a site is offering you and whether it’s a trusted site (that’s legally compliant) that you can safely deposit funds to – if you should wish to.
Playing Safely is Important
Gambling can be an issue or even an addiction for some people, and the vast majority of gaming sites or gambling operations work to offer safer gambling with the Safer Gambling Standard, to reduce or “limit the risk of problem gambling and gambling-related harm.”
Playing and enjoying the occasional game or taking a bet can all be done in good fun and safe – but it should be carefully monitored, and you should never bet or spend more than you can afford to lose. If you feel that you’re spending too much time and money on gambling sites, then you should utilize their Safer Gambling functions to restrict spending or the amount of time spent on the site.
But if you’re happy in your level of play, and can afford what you’re risking, then the sites listed by Bookies Reviews will give you a great first place to start in finding bonuses and free bets that you can make the most of.