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What is a Rollover or Play-Through in Sports Betting? How to Churn Play-Through Requirements

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

As sports betting is becoming bigger and more common across the country, more sportsbooks are offering lucrative deposit bonuses to sign up for their service.

You have probably seen countless commercials and ads saying something along the lines of, “Free $100 bonus if you deposit $100!” First and foremost, this is not too good to be true. Yes, there is technically a catch, but this article will explain how to properly use the catch to get real money back in your pocket for doing nothing.

The term that you will see in the fine print of these deposit bonuses is known as a rollover or play-through.

If you are not careful, you will end up not ever seeing that in the form of real money, and you’ll lose it either through gambling or rollover/play-through expirations.

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What Is a Play-Through Requirement In Sports Betting?

A rollover or play-through is the total amount of money one must bet in order for their bonus money to unlock and be eligible to withdraw.

For example, say a sportsbook offers $100 in bonus money if you deposit $100. If you read the terms, there will be a play-through amount, usually in the form of a multiplier (i.e., 1x play-through, 3x play-through, 10x play-through).

If the sportsbook terms say there is a 3x play-through, that means you must wager $100 x 3 = $300 of your real money in order to have that $100 bonus unlocked and be eligible for withdrawal. Keep in mind that this is money that just has to be wagered cumulatively, so if you are feeling bullish and want to bet $300 at once, you are able to do that.

One thing you must also pay attention to is if there is an odds requirement for bets to count toward the play-through. Typically, there are cases where only bets that are -200 or better will count toward the play-through.

Lastly, you should look at the length of time the play-through must be completed in. You will see terms stating that play-through requirements must be met in one week, 30 days or 60 days from the date of initial deposit. This is where most people end up losing their play-through because they do not bet enough money in time for the play-through requirements to be met.

Examples Of Rollovers/Play-Throughs  

We can go over two real-world examples of rollover/play-throughs for a couple of popular sportsbooks. The first one we will look at is BetRivers Sportsbook. You can see that they are offering a $250 bonus when you deposit $250 of real money.

They boast on their website that, “Simple 1X wager and Bonus Money is yours for the taking.” This means that in order for you to get the $250 for yourself to withdraw, you must wager $250 of real money. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, this is where you have to pay attention to the terms and conditions.

Looking into those terms, we find that, “Bonus Money wagers in the Sports Book must be on games or events with odds longer than -200.” This means wagers that are -225 or -300 odds will not count toward the cumulative $250 play-through, but -100 or +150 odds will count.

Continuing to scroll through the terms, you will also see, “As a general rule, Bonus Money will expire 30 days after issuance, whether or not you have already activated it to begin fulfilling its cash conversion requirements.” You will have to wager $250 at -200 odds or longer within 30 days of the deposit, otherwise you will not receive your play-through and that money will disappear into thin air.

Next up, we see DraftKings. They have many bonuses and promotions for new users that switch frequently, but here is the current offer:

Although this seems like it is a no-brainer, you again need to pay attention to the terms and conditions. Checking them out, you will understand that there are two separate parts of this bonus that you need to fulfill. First, you can get a $50 free bet with a minimum deposit of $5. This does not have any extra loopholes, and you will receive that $50 in the form of a free bet. That means you cannot withdraw it, but any winnings you make using that free bet are yours to withdraw or keep.

The second part is a deposit match of 20% up to a maximum of $1,000. If you want the full $1,000, you would have to deposit $5,000. Here’s the kicker: The bonus unlocks for withdrawal in $1 increments for every $25 you play on the site. This means that in order to be able to withdraw the bonus of $1,000, you would have to bet $25,000 cumulatively. Pretty outrageous if you are just getting started in the betting world. On top of that, you have 90 days after depositing to meet the play-through requirement to clear the bonus.

Rollovers & Withdrawals

Rollovers can be found in most major books with the terms and conditions clearly stated. On global sportsbooks, you still see some bonuses that have rollovers, but typically those are almost unreachable play-throughs, so make sure you are fully reading all terms and conditions before opting in.

On the major sportsbooks, like BetRivers and DraftKings, you usually can find a landing page that tells you the status of your play-through and how much more you need. Make sure you navigate to that in order to see which plays of yours are counting and which are not.

Strategies For Churning Rollover/Play-Throughs (Low Holds, Arbs, Etc.)

As you are deciding whether or not to take advantage of the play-through requirement or rollover, here are a few strategies and tips to take note of:

  • These offerings can literally be looked at as free money, so sportsbooks will not make it easy to get your money and withdraw. Read all the terms and conditions carefully.
  • It would be beneficial to get the play-through finished up as fast as possible. If you do not like making very large bets, we would recommend playing multiple smaller bets. You do not want to risk the play-through period expiring and you walking away with no bonus money.
  • Try to take advantage of other betting strategies such as arbitrage betting and low holds plays to minimize the risk of losing any money and still contributing to your play-through requirements.


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