How to Use Match Bonuses, Responsibly

7 min read
Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Fact checked by:
Paruyr Shahbazyan
Last Updated: May 27, 2024, 3:02 PM

All About Match Bonuses

Match bonuses are a prevalent form of promotion offered by online sportsbooks to both new and existing customers. These bonuses match a percentage of a deposit with bonus funds, up to a certain limit. While match bonuses can significantly enhance the betting experience by providing extra funds to bet with, it's crucial to use them responsibly. This comprehensive guide explores the nature of match bonuses, strategies for responsible use, their pros and cons, and includes examples from the sports betting industry.

Pros and Cons of Using Match Bonuses


  • Increased Betting Capital: Match bonuses give you more funds to bet with, increasing your potential betting volume without additional personal financial risk.
  • Opportunity to Explore: With extra funds, you can explore markets and betting types you might not usually consider.
  • Enhanced Entertainment Value: More funds mean more betting opportunities, which can enhance the enjoyment of sports betting.


  • High Wagering Requirements: Some match bonuses come with high wagering requirements, making it challenging to convert bonus funds into withdrawable cash.
  • Limited Betting Options: Restrictions on eligible markets or bet types can limit how you use your bonus.
  • Pressure to Bet More: The lure of using bonus funds can lead to betting more frequently or on events you're not familiar with.

Understanding Match Bonuses

A match bonus is typically advertised as a percentage, such as "100% match bonus on your first deposit up to $200." This means if you deposit $200, the sportsbook will give you an additional $200 in bonus funds to bet with. The specifics can vary, including the match percentage, the maximum bonus amount, and the applicable deposits (e.g., first deposit only versus multiple deposits).

Key Features of Match Bonuses

  • Percentage Match: The rate at which your deposit is matched, commonly ranging from 50% to 100% but can sometimes be higher.
  • Maximum Limit: The cap on the bonus amount you can receive.
  • Wagering Requirements: Conditions that dictate how many times the bonus amount must be bet before winnings can be withdrawn.
  • Eligible Markets: Some bonuses may only be used on specific sports or events.
  • Expiration Period: The timeframe within which you must use the bonus and meet wagering requirements.

Strategies for Responsible Use of Match Bonuses

  1. Read the Terms Carefully: Understanding the terms and conditions is crucial to take full advantage of a match bonus without misunderstanding its limitations and requirements.
  2. Plan Your Bets: Use the bonus as part of a considered betting strategy rather than placing haphazard bets just to meet wagering requirements.
  3. Stick to Your Budget: The availability of a match bonus should not tempt you to deposit more than you can afford to lose.
  4. Consider the Wagering Requirements: Assess whether the wagering requirements are reasonable and within your betting capabilities before accepting a bonus.
  5. Keep Track of Time: Be aware of the expiration date for your bonus funds and ensure you use them and meet any requirements within this period.

Examples of Match Bonuses

  1. DraftKings Sportsbook: Has offered a "20% match bonus up to $1,000" for new users, requiring a 5x wagering requirement. This means for every $1,000 deposited, you receive $200 in bonus funds, which must be bet through five times.
  2. BetMGM: Has provided a "100% match bonus up to $500" for first-time depositors, with a wagering requirement that varies depending on the bet's odds.
  3. FanDuel Sportsbook: Occasionally offers a "100% match on your first deposit up to $250" with a 1x wagering requirement, allowing for an easier conversion of bonus funds to cash.

Final Thoughts

Match bonuses offer a compelling way to enhance your betting experience, providing extra funds to explore and bet on a variety of sports. However, the key to responsibly enjoying these bonuses lies in understanding their terms, maintaining a disciplined betting strategy, and always prioritizing responsible gambling habits.

It's essential to view match bonuses as an addition to your betting strategy rather than the foundation of it. By carefully considering the bonus's terms, assessing its true value, and integrating it into a well-thought-out betting approach, bettors can responsibly enjoy the benefits while minimizing potential downsides.

Remember, the most responsible approach to any form of betting is one that considers the long-term enjoyment of the activity, prioritizes financial well-being, and adheres to principles of responsible gambling. In this light, match bonuses can be a valuable and enjoyable part of sports betting when used wisely and within the boundaries of responsible gambling practices.

Meet Our Authors

Paruyr Shahbazyan began his business career in 2000 as a private entrepreneur. Over thirteen years, he developed a deep understanding for business and leadership, laying a solid foundation for his professional journey.

In 2013, Paruyr stepped into the sports and betting industry as the founder and president of Bookmaker Rating. This online mass media platform, which he led until 2020, focused on providing in-depth analysis and insights in sports betting, earning a reputation for its quality content. 

Continuing his innovative approach in 2022, Paruyr co-founded Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol. This venture showcases his dedication to integrating advanced technology in the evolving landscape of sports betting. Through these diverse experiences, Paruyr has continuously influenced and shaped the betting industry, driving new trends and setting high standards.

Engaged in private entrepreneurship2000-2013
Founder and President at Bookmaker Rating, an online platform focused on sports and betting2013-2020
Co-founder at Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol2022

"Innovation in sportsbetting comes from a deep understanding of both technology and the human element of sports." 

- Paruyr Shahbazyan, Founder, RG


Principles and Ethics

Paruyr Shahbazyan's core beliefs lie in the power of informed decision-making and integrity in the betting industry. He understands that the foundation of successful betting is not just about odds and predictions, but also about the trust and reliability of the information provided. Paruyr advocates for a betting environment where transparency and knowledge are paramount, ensuring that bettors are well-equipped with accurate data and insights.

Strategic Vision

Paruyr's vision is to revolutionize the sports betting industry through the integration of technology. He sees the future of betting as a blend of traditional sports knowledge with innovative tech solutions, like decentralized protocols, to enhance user experience and fairness. His aim is to create platforms that are not only user-friendly but also uphold the highest standards of ethical betting, contributing to a more responsible and enjoyable betting culture.

Future Perspectives

Looking towards the future, Paruyr envisions a betting landscape that is more inclusive, technologically advanced, and globally connected. He anticipates a significant shift towards more decentralized and transparent betting systems, driven by blockchain technology. Paruyr is committed to being at the forefront of this change, continuously exploring new possibilities and innovations that can redefine what it means to engage in sports betting in a digital world. His focus is on building systems that prioritize user empowerment, fairness, and the global growth of the sports betting community.


Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Sol Fayerman-Hansen

Sol Fayerman Hansen is the Editor-in-Chief at With over two decades of experience in sports journalism and iGaming content, Sol finds working with a refreshing experience focused on transparency and responsible, informed sports gambling. 

No, that bonus won't make you rich; it might lead to a gambling addiction even faster.

Notable Achievements

Sol is the creator of the world's largest book on digital art, a work collected by Harvard University libraries for its historic significance. He also served as the head of innovation at the Bank of Montreal, specializing in advanced technologies.

Personal Passion

Writing is Sol's daily practice and his art. He loves enriching readers with every story, reflecting his commitment to helping people through his work.


An avid sports lover, technology enthusiast, and a dedicated collector of both digital and physical art, Sol is habitually curious and a serial experimenter who loves to test new things…it's the only way to learn.

Cristina Varela Galan
Cristina Varela Galan
Problem Gambling Expert

Cristina used to work as a Psychology Assistant in the Bizkaia Pathological and Risky Gamblers Association. She was also part of a research team in Deusto University, specializing in pathological gambling area. While working there, she managed to develop her own project 

 “Exploring the association between emotional regulation, alexithymia, stressful life events and gambling in adolescent and young adult women”.

Nick Ashbourne
Nick Ashbourne
Senior Writer

Nick has been fascinated with sports since he was first taken to a Toronto Maple Leafs game back in 1998, and he's written about them professionally since 2014.

Nick has covered baseball and hockey for outlets like The Athletic, Sportsnet, and Yahoo Sports, and his sports betting expertise has grown since its legalization in Ontario in 2022. 

Between 2022 and 2023 he worked for a betting startup called NorthStar Bets, and in 2024 he contributed to Oddspedia before joining the Responsible Gambling team.

Anna Kravtcova
Anna Kravtcova
Problem Gambling Expert

Ph.D. in organizational psychology, an internationally certified psychologist (EuroPsy 2022, Cognitive behavioural therapy of mindfulness 2020, International Society for Emotional Intelligence 2017, Russian Psychological society 2014, American Psychological Association(Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologist) 2011), speaker of many international conferences (USA, Brazil, Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia, etc.). TEDx speaker.

Mike made the decision to dive headfirst into the booming world of sports betting fresh out of college. Back in the day, when 1-800 pick lines and sports pagers were all the rage, he couldn't resist the allure, having grown up idolizing sports legends like Sweetness, MJ, and Slammin Sammy. Mike dedicated his early years to the industry, tirelessly analyzing games, writing articles with free picks, and selling his expertise on reputable handicapping sites. Unlike many others, Mike was known for his integrity and only released one Game of the Year per sport, per season. His hard work and unwavering commitment paid off, earning him a devoted following and propelling his career to new heights. Then came the explosion of Daily Fantasy Sports. Believe it or not, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel used to pay Mike's company to increase their brand exposure. Now, those same industry giants don't even bother responding to his emails. While Mike appreciates the convenience of being able to place legal bets in his own backyard, he can't help but feel disheartened by what has become of the industry. People are being led astray, falsely believing that a mere $5 wager on a 20-team same-game-parlay will be their ticket to financial security. If there’s one thing Mike learned from making book back in the day, it’s that parlays are a bookie’s best friend. A bankroll is the only leg you have to stand on in the battle with the books, and Mike’s here to offer up advice on how to protect it.

Mark Medina
Mark Medina
NBA Reporter

Mark Medina is a longtime NBA reporter that includes stints as a Lakers blogger with The Los Angeles Times (2010-12), Lakers beat writer with the Los Angeles Daily News (2012-17), Warriors beat writer with Bay Area News Group (2017-19) as well as an NBA reporter/columnist for USA Today (2019-21) and (2021-23). Medina is also an NBA insider with Fox Sports Radio and frequent contributor to CBSLA's SportsCentralLA with Jim Hill and with Spectrum Sportsnet.

Daria Tuboltseva
Daria Tuboltseva
Hockey Journalist

Daria went to St. Petersburg State University and earned a bachelor of international journalism. Working as a sports journalist from 2014, from 2016 as a hockey journalist. Covered 5 World Championships, 2022 Winter Olympics, 2020 World Juniors, 6 Gagarin Cup Finals. 

Owner of a telegram channel Coolest Game on Earth.

Integrative nutritionist specializing on sports nutritionology.

Paul M. Banks
Paul M. Banks
Sports Journalist

Paul M. Banks is a professional Content Creator whose career has seen bylines in numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Yahoo, MSN, FOX Sports and Sports Illustrated.

Banks has made scores of guest appearances on live radio and television, featuring regularly on NTD News, WGN-TV, CCTV, ESPN Radio, the History Channel, SiriusXM and CBS Sports Radio.

He is the Founding Editor of The Sports, which has been featured and linked in hundreds of leading media outlets all across the world.

He has also authored two books, one of which, "No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in Sports Media," became an assigned textbook in journalism courses at State University New York-Oneonta.

Nikhil Narain
Nikhil Narain
Cricket Journalist

Nikhil Narain is a die-hard cricket romantic, published author, and has worked for some of the leading digital websites and broadcasters in India and overseas. An alumnus of the London School of Economics, Nikhil's forte is using data and numbers creatively to weave interesting stories and revolutionize the way cricket statistics are generated and analyzed.