The Gambling industry is a huge contributor to the UK economy with over £14 billion being generated in revenue each year. Of that figure, some £5 million is derived from online play alone so this is an important sector.

Those numbers suggest that there is room for additional operators to come on board but they also indicate that the market is hugely competitive. There are literally hundreds of online casinos, sportsbook, bingo providers and more all vying for a share of those billions.

With so much at stake, one method that companies use to attract attention is a selection of offers and promotions. These are all designed to provide a little extra value for customers in the battle for business but what form do these deals take?

Welcome Bonuses

The best time to catch a player’s eye is at the start of their journey. If an operator doesn’t offer any form of welcome deal, whether they are a casino, bingo provider, sportsbook or covering another sector, chances are they will find it tough to build up their customer base.

Welcome deals can take many forms but often, they will provide a match on a player’s opening deposit. This could be set at 50% or 100% and they can range between a few quid and several hundred pounds.

As an alternative, a sportsbook might provide a ‘no risk’ free bet which refunds an opening loss and gives the player another attempt. Look for qualifying terms and, perhaps most importantly, check to see if there is a wagering requirement.

A wagering requirement also referred to as a rollover, asks the customer to play through the amount of their deposit and bonus combined a certain number of times before any profits can be withdrawn.

Enhanced Odds

Many of us enjoy a flutter on the horses or the big football match at the weekend. Sports betting is a seriously competitive side of the injury and, as an alternative to a static welcome bonus, companies will often produce an enhanced odds offer.

These come in many forms but the principle is the same: The standard market odds will be boosted significantly in order to create a striking, enhanced price. For example, let’s say Manchester United are 4/11 favourites to beat Wolves in the English Premier League. A bookmaker may then take that 4/11 figure and lift it up to 15/1 or even higher.

Like all offers and promos, there will be terms and we advise all players to check ts and cs before proceeding. Some general points to note are the fact that enhanced odds deals will be exclusive to new customers. Stakes are likely to be fixed, often at £1.00, and the enhanced part of any profit may well be returned as free bet tokens rather than cash.

Loyalty Programmes

We’ve seen how new customers can be tempted into casinos, bingo providers and sportsbooks but existing players are vital to any operator. There are some who will simply look to take the welcome deal and then leave to stick with their preferred brand so how do companies aim to keep them onside.

One-off, ongoing promotions are available but for those who like a regular flutter, we’ve seen a rise in loyalty programmes in recent months. For sportsbooks, this may take the shape of a ‘Bet and Get’ deal where a £5.00 free bet token may come your way in return for staking a certain amount of money during a set period of time. Loyalty programmes at casinos can work in a similar way but the sums involved can be larger and the reward may come in the shape of cashback or free spins.

We’ve seen how free bets and cash can be used as an incentive for certain loyalty programmes but others can be far more creative. If we cross over into the world of online bingo, we find that the operator Bingoport has a similar offer but in return for playing at the tables, a host of different prizes are at stake.

Rewards including Amazon vouchers, books, DVDs, tech, home and garden items and even bingo merchandise are up for grabs. Reward points are earned which can be exchanged for those prizes and while there are cash and tournament entries available too, this is a programme that underlines how creative the industry can be at times.

Free Spins

As the title suggests, this promotion offers players the chance to play with free spins at the online slot machines. It’s a nice promotion to have but players should really only view this as a chance to get a feel for the casino concerned.

While the choice of games may differ, they are usually restricted to the most popular titles such as Starburst or Gonzo’s Quest. And, while it may be possible to eventually keep a profit from those spins, there is likely to be quite a high rollover sequence to play through.

Refer a Friend

Many casinos and online bingo halls like to encourage a community spirit within their players. There are chat rooms where you can meet like-minded people and set up a virtual friendship.

For those that already have enough chums in the real world, there may be the option to take advantage of a Refer a Friend bonus. We’ve seen this applied in many areas of eCommerce and it’s used in the gambling industry too.

One of the best things about Refer a Friend is a fact that there are very few terms attached. Of course, we still recommend that you check the ts and cs but in general, you should be able to look forward to a quick and easy, modest cash sum in return for the introduction.