Online betting has grown enormously over the past two decades with all major UK and Irish bookmakers now offering a comprehensive sportsbook platform and many also adding an online casino. This has certainly made placing a bet far easier than in the past and the increase in competition has undoubtedly been good news for the customer, however with many new betting sites appearing in the UK and Ireland each year it can be a daunting task choosing one which best suits your needs.

All online bookmakers offer new customers a welcome bonus of some description and these vary enormously between operators, however by far the most common is a free bet bonus. These are very simple to understand and basically all you need to do in order to claim the welcome bonus is make an initial deposit and place a bet of a predetermined amount, for example bet £10 get £30 free bets. Some bookmakers offer a matched deposit bonus and this is exactly what is says on the tin – you make an initial deposit up to a certain amount and the online bookmaker matches this.

Indeed many operators who also offer an online casino will provide new players with free spins on certain games or slots and these are usually offered alongside a free bet or matched deposit bonus as detailed above. Always note that terms and conditions will be attached to these offers and you will generally need to meet the wagering requirements before you can withdraw any winnings from these bonuses.

These free bets are worth considering when looking for a new bookmaker and they certainly help get you off to a great start, however it is vital that you make sure that the bookmaker you are considering joining actually covers the sports and markets on which you like to bet. Similarly it is important that the odds on your preferred sport are competitive when compared to other operators.

There are a great many free betting sites on the scene and with fierce competition there are many great deals to be had. While a welcome bonus is undoubtedly a great way to get started with a betting operator, many leading bookmakers offer ongoing promotions for existing customers such as cash-back offers, price boosts and a rewards program. These are also worth considering when choosing a new bookmaker.

All of the trustworthy online bookmakers are registered and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and they all need to hold a licence to operate in the UK so always ensure that you register with a tried and trusted operator. Similarly it is important that you set yourself a gambling limit at all times and always bet within your means.