Sportsbooks maintain consistent profits by offering players less than true odds on their wagers. But the “juice” is small enough that a savvy player can find ways to temporarily turn the book’s advantage on its head.
One of the most effective ways to do this, that doesn’t require advanced statistical modeling, arbitrage or chasing stale lines, is by taking advantage of promotional offers.
Unfortunately, brick & mortar books don’t exactly offer tons of promos. Not so online, where players can find a wealth of lucrative promos that run the gamut from free bets to deposit matches and bet protection. With Indiana now offering online sports betting, players from the Hoosier State now have plentiful opportunities to claim these offers, and by extension, rake in some extra cash.
Read on to learn all about how Indiana online sports betting sites are weaving in bonus codes, promos, and welcome packages as part of their offerings, and learn how promos work and which ones provide the best value.
Best Indiana sportsbook bonuses
What are promo codes are how are they beneficial?
Sometimes, in order to receive an offer, players must opt-in through the use of a special promo code (or bonus code). These typically take the form of a short word or phrase, and usually appear in all caps, “WELCOME50” or “HSBRF” being examples of what they might look like.
Sports betting promo codes are effectively coupons, except that instead of receiving a discount on a good or service, bettors win added monetary value. The most common use of a promo code is upon first registering for an online sportsbook. Most, if not all, books even integrate a promo code field into their registration forms. Here’s an example of one found at BetRivers, a legal online sportsbook in Indiana:
By entering a promo code at signup, players will earn one of the most valuable promotions they’ll ever receive at a sportsbook: the welcome package. This is often worth hundreds of dollars in added value, and should not be missed. Of course, players could just use a promo code provided by the online sportsbooks. However, our sites, and sites like this, are sometimes able to provide exclusive promo codes where the bonus amount exceeds that offered to the public.
One final note: Sometimes players looking for a bonus have an “either/or” option, meaning they can either use a promo code found on this site, or just sign up through one of the links found on this page, negating the need for a promo code. In either case, a first deposit will still generally be necessary for players to receive their full welcome package.
Indiana online sports betting bonuses: Who is eligible?
In any legal U.S. sports betting environment, there are eligibility parameters that must be adhered to, and the Indiana market is no exception. Luckily, they’re not too stringent.
Before receiving any sort of bonus in your account, you must successfully complete the registration process, and in order do so you must:
- Be of legal casino gambling age: In the state of Indiana, you must be at least 21 years of age to register an account. We do realize that most forms of gambling in the state, like pari-mutuel wagering, only ask that players be 18 years old, but sports betting is linked to the state’s casinos, and abide by the same age requirements.
- Prove your identity: Every account registration will be subject to a stringent verification check, put in place by the Indiana Gaming Commission. At minimum, this means supplying your full name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. If everything is in check, then your application will be approved and verified seconds after hitting “Submit”.
In addition to this, remember that in order to place wagers on a licensed Indiana online sportsbook, you must be physically located in the state of Indiana, and must be able to prove as much by having your location successfully geolocated via 4G or WiFi. That is not to say you have to be located in Indiana to register an account, check lines, or make a deposit — that can be done from anywhere.
Also, there is nothing in the law stating that players that don’t hold residence in Indiana are forbidden from using Indiana sites, meaning tourists to the state are free to place wagers, pending they meet the eligibility requirements.
What’s the catch with bonuses offered by IN online sportsbooks?
Just like any other for-profit operation, online sportsbooks are in the business of making money. So why would they throw hundreds of dollars at new players when it’s unknown if those players will stick around for more than a few bets?
In short, it’s a calculated risk that the books are willing to take. Remember, bonuses aren’t free money, so players can’t just claim the bonus and withdraw immediately. Instead, they’re going to have to give the book some action. How much action is dependent on the offer, with some books taking massive risks by enticing players with extremely easy to clear and lucrative offers, and others mitigating risk via more stringent terms and conditions.
The hope for the books is that you’ll sample the product, enjoy it and stick around long after your bonus funds are unlocked. Worst case scenario, the online sportsbooks now have you in their database and can market to you via email until you specifically tell them not to.
Therefore, promotional offers act as a sort of win-win for the operator and consumer. A real-life example: BetRivers in Indiana offers an extremely generous 100% match up to $250 to all new players with a scant 1x wagering requirement. The advantage for the operator is that it got a new player to sign up, which they can now market to via other, less lucrative (but still decent) offers in the future, and who might roll the dice on games regardless if there is a promo running or not.
On the flip side, players get the opportunity to turn the house edge on its head right out of the gate and will have ample opportunity to do so again throughout their life span on the book.
Indiana online sportsbook welcome bonus offers
We’re already seeing a variety of promotional offers on Indiana online sportsbooks, and based on what we’ve witnessed from similar (or equivalent) books in other markets, we can ascertain the full-breadth of welcome bonuses Indiana players can expect to see going forward.
Here’s what to expect, with an evaluation of how generous each offer type is:
No-deposit bonuses are the easiest bonus types to understand. They also incur the least amount of risk on the player since, as the name implies, bettors won’t have to make an upfront investment to claim this offer. The only requirement in most cases is that players successfully register an account with the online sportsbook. Do so, and the bonus is yours.
This is about as close to a handout as a bettor can expect. However, there are usually terms and conditions attached to no-deposit bonuses. For one, bettors simply cannot cash the funds out. Instead, they’ll have to use them on the site. More generous books will only require that players bet the no-deposit funds one-time before cashing out, others might require a 5x or 10x playthrough, or might insist that the funds not be cashed out until a qualifying deposit is made. As always, read the fine print.
Also, no-deposit bonuses tend to be much smaller than other bonus types, ranging from a few bucks up to about $30 – $50, with the higher sums usually attached to exclusive offers found on sites like this. No-deposit bonuses also expire, and often enough, the window for players to use these funds is smaller compared to other bonus types. Typically, players will have only about a week, but sometimes up to a month or longer to meet the wagering requirements of their bonus.
Regardless of the fine print, no-deposit bonuses should never be glossed over, as it’s impossible to lose money on them. Take advantage.
Free bets are certainly one of the most common new player promos utilized by online sportsbooks, in Indiana and elsewhere. The concept is simple: bettors get to make a wager on the house, and any winnings from those wagers are immediately awarded as cash. Notice, we said “any winnings” as the original free bet amount is not cashable.
For instance, if a player is awarded a free bet of $200, and they wager it on Houston to win the World Series at +200, they would receive $400 for a winning wager, not $600 as if they used their own funds.
Free bets are handed out in a couple of different ways:
- Matched free bets: This one is common. A player will wager a certain amount, and receive a free bet of an equal or lesser amount. For instance, a promo might award a $500 free bet if the player places a $500 wager first. Look out for this very generous promotional type when a site first launches.
- No-deposit free bets: Instead of awarding players bonus funds for registering, an online sportsbook may offer players free bet wagers. They’re essentially the same thing, except free bets are almost always subject to just a 1x wagering requirement. No deposit bonuses could see 1x, but also 5x or more.
- Deposit matched free-bets: Similar to matched free bets, except the player receives a free bet just for registering. The amount of the free bet is usually low, since this option doesn’t require the bettor to make any upfront wagers.
Free bets usually have some restrictions affixed to them. Primarily, players may be forced to bet only on select markets at odds greater than -200 or -300 (+200 would be OK, -400 would not). Additionally, free bets usually have expiration dates. That being said, this is still one of the better promotion types from the player perspective.
Risk-free wagers sound great, but they’re really just lesser versions of free bets. Unfortunately, as the legal U.S. industry matures, this promotional type is becoming more and more common, especially as part of new player packages.
How it works is players who make a deposit, and lose on their first wager, will receive a refund of the amount of their wager, up to a certain amount. So a $500 risk-free bet offer will award up to $500 if the bet loses. The problem here is apparent: Players who win their first bet don’t receive anything (beyond their winnings of course). This lies in stark contrast to free bets, where the bet is delivered win or loss.
Risk-free wagers are still decent, but they have about half the expectation of a similarly worded free bet.
Deposit matches are exceedingly popular among online casinos and are gaining headwind in the online sports betting industry as well. How these work is relatively simple: Players deposit a certain amount of money, and the book matches this amount (either fully or partially) via a bonus.
Match bonuses are easy to recognize because they always follow a similar format of “x% up to $xxx”. For instance, if a book offers a 50% match up to $250, that means for every dollar players deposit, they’ll receive 50% of that as a bonus. So a $100 deposit will yield a $50 bonus, a $500 deposit a $250 bonus, and so forth. Note that because the bonus is capped at $250, $500 dollars is the optimal amount to deposit, as deposits above $500 will yield the same $250 bonus.
How good or bad a deposit match is depends on a variety of factors. Most important is the wagering requirement, which is the number of times a player must wager their bonus before it is converted to cash. For instance, a 1x wagering requirement, like the one offered by BetRivers Indiana, is awesome, because once the bonus is wagered one time ($250 in wagers on a $250 bonus), the money can be immediately withdrawn. By contrast, DraftKings imposes a hefty 25x playthrough requirement on its $1,000 match bonus, offered to new players. That’s rough.
Other factors to look out for are the match percentage, with the higher the percentage the better. The gold standard is usually between a 50 – 100% match, but some books have been known to go as high as 200%, and DraftKings Sportsbook has gone as low as 20%. The monetary cap is also important, with $500 being about average, and $1,000 exceptional. Also, be sure to check if there are expiration dates: deposit matches often expire after a certain period of time has elapsed — sometimes as short as a few days.
Super (duper) boosts
Every now and again, books will offer new players ridiculous odds on an event, like 100-1 on a team winning a game when the true odds are 1-1. Of course, the amount bettors can wager on these super boosts is usually limited to about $5, with winnings paid out in bonus wagers.
In the outlined scenario above, the new bettor will either win a $500 free bet or lose the initial $5. The pro is that players don’t have to make a big bet to claim a big bonus. The downside is that they’ll lose approximately half the time.
Breaking down promotions at IN online sports betting sites
In addition to welcome bonuses, Indiana online sportsbooks often offer recurring and one-off promotions to returning players. All of the promotional types utilized for welcome packages can also show up as returning player promos, as well as the following:
This is a common one, and one loved by operators because it entices players to plunk down bets they might not otherwise make. It’s also a solid benefit for bettors, who have some insurance if they lose.
How this one works is the book will advertise a wager, encouraging players to make a particular bet, like who will win Game 3 of the World Series. If the bet wins, the player gets paid as usual. However, if it loses, they’ll receive a portion of their wager back as cash or a bonus bet. In this respect, cashback bonuses are pretty similar to risk-free bets, except that instead of getting 100% back (risk-free), only a portion of the losing wager is returned, say 20% or 50%.
Obviously, getting cash returned is better, but it’s more common to receive the funds as a bonus, which can be wagered on most events, and where only the winnings are returned to the player.
No one likes high vigs. Just the difference between a -110 and -115 line where the true odds are 50/50 can have a damaging impact on a player’s bankroll. Luckily, some books offer promos where they actually lower the juice. Sometimes, they won’t charge any juice at all.
Look out for this kind of promo during special events, like the kickoff of the NFL or NBA seasons, or even March Madness. If you see the point spreads and totals listed at -105 or +100, it means the book is actively pushing to get players to bet on these markets, and that’s good news for you.
Loyalty programs and VIP bonuses
The difference between a book that offers a loyalty or VIP program versus one that doesn’t can be monumental, especially for frequent players.
Take a site like BetRivers in Indiana for instance. Players earn iRush Rewards points simply for making sports bets, which can be exchanged for bonus money with a scant 1x wagering requirement. Not to mention, players that climb the loyalty tiers (also accomplished for placing wagers), will open up a bevy of goodies, including their own VIP manager, birthday gifts, special promotions, swag, free playing devices, and much more.
Another beautiful aspect of online sports betting loyalty programs is that they are often tied to brick & mortar accounts. So those points you earn for playing online? They can be spent at a partnering casino. Or the online sportsbook may simply offer to set you up with meals, entertainment packages, and rooms at one of its casino resorts, no questions asked.
Now compare this to a book that doesn’t offer a loyalty program, and it’s pretty evident how stark the difference is. That’s not to say all loyalty programs are as good as iRush Rewards, but even mediocre loyalty programs kickback about 10% of a bettor’s theoretical loss in cash, gifts, and other luxuries. Great ones may return as much as 40-50%.
Indiana offers a fair climate for sports betting operators, with very reasonable tax rates — so we expect books to respond by being more aggressive in their promotional offers and loyalty kickbacks.
Thanks to referral bonuses, players are incentivized to tell their friends about their favorite sportsbook. But telling them won’t be enough, as first, the referring player must already be signed up with the book. Then, the referred bettor can point back to the referrer’s username (or a uniquely generated code tied to that username) at the time they sign up.
Usually, both the referrer and referred played will receive modest bonuses in the vicinity of $20 – $50 once the process is complete, and any other terms & conditions have been met. As for those terms, the most common one is that the books may require both parties to place $x amount in wagers before receiving their referral bonus.
How to eliminate the house edge through bonuses at Indiana online sportsbooks
- Read the fine print: Reading the terms is the single best way to determine if an offer is favorable or not. With the tips outlined in this guide, you should know exactly what to look for in terms of wagering requirements, restrictions, and other caveats tied to a bonus offer. For wagering requirements, a 20x turnover is OK, 10x is good, and 5x or lower is great. And remember, an offer with tons of fine print isn’t necessarily bad.
- Free bets are better than risk-free bets: A risk-free bet actually does carry some risk, in that the requirement for receiving it is to first lose money. On the contrary, free bets are awarded simply by placing wagers, or sometimes, for doing nothing. Free bets are the better choice. But in either case, remember that only the winnings from free bets, and not the initial bonus amount, will be allocated to your account if your bet hits.
- Don’t dally: All bonus offers come affixed with an expiration date, and these dates vary widely. By letting a bonus expire, you’re essentially burning money. If you don’t think you’ll have the time to fulfill a bonus requirement, you’re better off not opting in at all.
- Stack promos: Whenever possible, combine two or more promos together for maximum value. For instance, if an Indiana online sportsbook is offering -105 lines, and 50% insurance on an event, this is way more lucrative than either promo individually.
- Maximize value through research: Sometimes, a book will offer kickbacks based on a certain event happening. For instance, a promo may offer a $10 bonus for every home run an MLB team hits, in so long as you place a $50 money line wager on that team. In this case, it would benefit you to research stats like a team’s ability to hit home runs, how many home runs the opposing pitcher and bullpen give up, and whether the ballpark is pitcher or batter friendly. A little data mining can go a long way.
- Consult this website often for exclusive offers.
The point is you don’t need to be a math wizard or rely on advanced data modeling to win at sports betting — cleverly harnessing promo codes, bonuses, and promos is enough on its own. Will you make a killing using this method? No, probably not. But it’s enough to at the very least ensure that you hold on to your bankroll for much longer than you would have otherwise.
Let this site do some of the heavy lifting for you, by advising you frequently on promotional offers, but through our exclusive bonus codes and transparent Indiana sports betting site reviews.