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Free Bets & Betting Offers in New Zealand

The offer of free bets and other bets from online betting establishments is no different to that of retail outlets that try to entice customers through their doors with bumper discounts. Such enticements come with the assurance that customers can walk away with an extra item for buying something they would have otherwise bought at a rival merchandiser with no added bonus.

It’s human nature to bag a bargain. Customers want bigger bang for their dollars in terms of quantity or quality. In fact, most individuals — unless they desperately want something then and there — invariably eye long-weekend specials such as Christmas/New Year, Easter, Labour Day weekend, Matariki (stars used to mark the Māori calendar for New Year), or the Queen’s Birthday “giveaways” in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Well, the online sportsbooks merchants in New Zealand are no different. With rigid competition for Kiwi gamblers, the bookmakers want something more than the marginal differences in betting odds to entice players. Just like retail consumers, punters will have to figure out what’s tailored to their needs, especially those who don’t have a head for numbers.

That’s where we come in. We’re always digging around to compare and contrast the pluses and minuses for Kiwi bettors. You weigh up what’s best for you based on what we’ve unearthed. That stems from the logic of what suits one player may not work for another. In removing jargon, we hope you can better understand what free bet or other betting offers means, what benefits the bookmaker is giving to you, and whether you really have to use it at all.

Our goal is to clear free-bet or betting-offer wires you may trip on in the quest to find a suitable sportsbook. In doing so, we will list the different types of free bets and betting offers before defining them. A variety of free-bet offers will become the content of our test-tube experiment to show where certain bookmakers have the edge over their rivals. We will endeavour to pave an uncomplicated pathway for Kiwi bettors to opt for the most suitable methods of claiming those free-bet offers.

What are free bets?

In a nutshell, free bet implies New Zealanders don’t have to reach for their wallets to place a wager on their favourite codes. The truth? You’re going to have to spend money to make money. In effect, the free bet is a money generator, not a cash bonus. Kiwis can claim free-bet credits by making a cash deposit or access-code tokens.

You can use free-bet offers but can’t withdraw them. Any profits you make from the free-bet generator you can pocket. It’s akin to a lawyer’s pro bono gesture to pursue a low-income client’s case. The solicitor will only claim —for argument’s sake 10% — if the client wins and the court awards damages. Bookies adopt a similar mindset.

For example:

You accept a $NZ20 free-bet offer from a sportsbook. After wagering it on the All Blacks, you make a $10 profit. You can only withdraw $NZ10 after meeting the requirements, not the sum total of $NZ30 (that is, $NZ20 free bet + $NZ10 win). You’re only entitled to what you earn.

You may well ask: “So what’s in it for the online sportsbooks?” Easy. They woo New Zealand punters to their platforms to show them what other delightful opportunities they can offer to wager on at a nominal fee, or at no cost. Go back to the retailers’ analogy. In bagging a bargain you pick up three other items you buy regularly from another outlet. Not only that, you ditch your previous retail outlet to shop at the new one.

What New Zealanders must grasp is that bookmakers aren’t trying to deceive you. They’re simply investing in your trust to not only savour a different platform but offer long-term peace of mind at a reputable site. An online betting merchant runs an enterprise, so profits are a given to stay afloat. In other words, there’s no such a thing as a free meal. We will look at how bookies safeguard their interests with player requirements.

Different types of free-bet offers

Just as New Zealand players work out strategies to boost their profits on wagering, sportsbooks also crunch numbers to find points of differences to lure more Kiwis to their online betting sites. Those differences can be in your face or be subtle. That’s why we’re listing and defining each of them in everyday language so Kiwi gamblers can make informed decisions on what suits them.

With so many variations in different types of betting offers, we’ve cherry picked a few common ones to illustrate what they are and how they’ll influence Kiwis’ decisions. Again, we’ll elaborate on the terms & conditions further down this article.

Here is a compact list of free bets Kiwi bettors are likely to come across on trustworthy sportsbooks:

  • Cash-back offer: Bookmakers who don’t want to leave a sour taste in the mouth of cautious New Zealand bettors tend to resort to this style of free-bet offer. In essence, it helps the Kiwi punters to manage their risk-taking process to cover any ensuing losses. It’s simply an assurance of a refund should their wager fall flat. It’s quite common for most reputable bookmakers in New Zealand to offer rookie punters that leeway, especially on maiden settled bets. Bookies tend to honour such refunds in cash or free bets. However, you’ll receive nothing if you register a win.
  • Deposit-matched bonus: This isn’t a common free-bet offer from bookmakers seeking the custom of Kiwi newcomers. Matching your deposit is the sportsbook way of telling bettors it isn’t mucking around. The bookies are telling the high rollers to put their money where their mouth is and they’ll match it, kiwi dollar for dollar, up to a ceiling amount. Typically, this 100% deposit-matched offer tends to be around the $NZ50 to $NZ200 mark. It almost always comes with a sign-up or welcome offer. It’s ideal for those New Zealanders who are not so sportsbook savvy but seek regularity in wagering. However, some bookmakers deposit free bets straight into the accounts of loyal players to ensure they remain.
  • Enhanced odds: Every sports-loving Kiwi will embrace the benefits of this type of offer, although it is markedly different from your run-of-the-mill form of placing a bet. Effectively, sportsbooks react to hype in offering free-bet tokens based on marquee-match predictions. For instance, bookmakers may boost the odds of the rugby union and rugby league world cup playoff matches. They tend to have new arrivals in mind when offering enhanced odds although the offer is open to everyone.
  • Existing-member bonuses: Generally sportsbooks recognise the need to maintain the loyalty of existing punters rather than dangle incentives to reward new arrivals. Bookmakers have ongoing promotions to keep the converted champing at the bit. They include free bets or a refund of a percentage of stake money disguised as consolation prizes, especially for those engaging in multiple bets where the loss in one leg can cause a domino effect on other legs. Existing members may also receive loyalty free bets with better odds or reload bonus free bets that work like a sign-up offer, even though they’re already subscribed. Some sportsbooks establish free-bet clubs that reward existing members every week, depending on how often they wager.
  • Extra bets: In this offer, you don’t harbour any thoughts of becoming filthy rich.The sportsbook managers go to bed knowing they won’t wake up broke the next day. It’s a sedate and gentlemanly gesture from the bookmakers towards New Zealand punters who are willingly to place a modest bet for realistic returns in exchange for a fresh experience. In other words, it doesn’t sound like a jaw-dropping, no-deposit free bet or come across like a matched-deposit bonus without a ceiling. It adds credibility on account of free bets to recognise Kiwis’ real-money stake with a “thank-you-for-your-custom” gesture.
  • No-deposit bonus: Hey, those New Zealand bettors who spot this free-bet promotion on a reputable sportsbook should act with some urgency. It’s a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of offer, so don’t even blink because they have a very short shelf life. No points here for guessing that the no-deposit free bets are loaded in favour of the Kiwi punters. For that reason sportsbooks offer gamblers a nominal amount, seldom exceeding $NZ5. No doubt, the bookies extend that courtesy sparingly because it’s a gamble. There’s no guarantee Kiwi bettors will leave when the free bets expire. The sportsbooks bank on terms & conditions to counter that.
  • Risk-free bets: New Zealand punters tend to find this type of bonus more palatable, so sportsbooks opt for this over no-deposit free bets. Essentially, the risk-free promotion returns non-winning stakes to Kiwi bettors. Bookies tend to offer risk-free bets to those who register to wager in the knowledge that they won’t lose their own money on making their maiden deposit. It’s ideal for beginners. Punters can’t withdraw any free-betting credits from their accounts. That often comes with matched minimum odds.

Which free-bet bookies match your needs best?

New Zealand punters who sift and rummage through countless words on websites to identify and isolate sportsbooks to suit their individual needs can be excused for battling confusion after visiting several review sites. Yes, it’s common to find different reviewers labelling a cross-section of online betting shops as their “favourites” or their “best”. Who should Kiwis follow?

We’d like to say just keep coming back to our review site because we’re always breaking fresh ground to ensure Kiwi bettors aren’t left high and dry when taking into account the number of new merchants entering the New Zealand cyberspace each year. That’s because we do a thorough check and appraisal of each sportsbook’s credentials to ensure you won’t be short changed.

In our recommendations, in-play betting, mobile devices, and a minimum $NZ10 deposit are a given. Sportsbooks accept kiwi dollars, unless stated otherwise. Read the bookies’ terms & conditions. Here are our preferences of New Zealand online bookmakers that’ll give you a solid comparison in making educated choices on what suits your individual needs best:

888sport

With a maiden deposit Kiwi bettors can instantly triple their free-bet offer. To boot, the bookie bolsters that with $NZ10 in casino credits. 888sport has no wagering requirement but it imposes 1.50 or higher odds. Be mindful that the free bets expire within seven days of activation. Also, pick your payment method with care because PayPal is among several providers that are deemed ineligible for free bets and other such offers.

bet365

A matched, capped $NZ100 free-bet offer in the form of bet credits, albeit only for newbies, comes with the minimum deposit. The 1.20 minimum odds is what differentiates bet365’s offer from other 100% up to $NZ100 sportsbooks whose odds hover around the 2.00 mark. To withdraw bet credits, Kiwis must wager to the value of their qualifying deposit to be settled within 30 days of claiming them. Streaming live matches on bet 365, including cricket, will appeal to New Zealanders. So will the cash-out feature.

Betway

This sportsbook ticks the (limited) live-streaming and cash-out boxes, too, with its 100% match to a capped $NZ150 maiden deposit free-bet offer. Betway offers a diverse range of betting markets. Its odds are up there with the heavyweights, including British giants Ladbrokes and William Hill, and eclipses the TAB here. However, odds of 1.75 to at least 6x worth the free-bet’s value is required to be eligible for withdrawing.

22bet

It doesn’t have cash out, live streaming, or PayPal so why have we recommended 22bet? This sportsbook makes up for those omissions with free-bet bonuses via a robust ongoing promotion. With the 100% up to $NZ250 on first deposit comes a Birthday Bonus, Friday Reload Sportsbook Bonus, Losing Streak Bonus, Loyalty Bonus, Second-Deposit Bonus, and Weekly Rebate Bonus, to name a few.

LeoVegas

Live Streaming and Acca insurance are the minuses but the pluses from the ensuing 100% up to $NZ50 free-bet offer are difficult to ignore. You have 14 days to claim it and it must be used within three days. Neteller and Skrill users don’t qualify. What’ll excite New Zealanders is the betting markets which include A-League soccer, NPC rugby union, NZ domestic cricket, and all elite levels of rugby league.

William Hill

New Zealanders want trustworthy sites, so that’s why this sportsbook receives our tick although it doesn’t accept kiwi dollars. The key reason is William Hill offers betting markets that include cricket, rugby, rugby league, and soccer football that matter to many Kiwi bettors. On making the first deposit, New Zealanders can claim 3 x $NZ10 free bets within 30 days. The maiden wager must be placed at minimum odds of 1.50. However, PayPal, among several other payment providers, will not redeem the offer.

Read Terms & Conditions on Free Bets

As far as we’re concerned, this segment of the article is a game changer for New Zealand punters. It’s the last section on our list, not because of its lack of importance but only because we want Kiwis to become familiar with the nuts and bolts of free-bet and other betting offers before coming to grips with why there’s more to such offers than meets the eye.

To reiterate, as profit-driven enterprises, sportsbooks have rigid terms & conditions that New Zealanders need to abide by before they can lay claim to any wins from free-bet and other such betting offers. That includes meeting a swag of requirements which we have analysed for your benefit below (in alphabetical order rather than importance):

  • Bookies’ call: Quite often sportsbooks define the boundaries of betting engagement based on specific codes, matches, players, or competitions. It’s always good to know you have free bets but don’t dive on to a platform without checking when and how you can use them. It’s better to do that then come to terms with the disappointment of finding out the bookies’ offer was only applicable to certain conditions. For example, a free-bet offer for rugby union may be eligible for use on Super Rugby and test matches but not on the IRB World Sevens Series that you religiously follow every year.
  • Ceiling wins: We advise New Zealand punters to temper their excitement of a free-bet offer by checking out this limitation. No matter how reputable an online betting shop is, it won’t have a lid-free bonus pot from which you can claim free-bet wins. Every sportsbook has a maximum mark to protect its profit margins. In other words, they impose a cap on how much money sportsbook-savvy bettors can claim to prevent them from exploiting a bumper free-bet offer intended for more fun-loving players.
  • Deposit payment methods: Here’s one classic example where Kiwis can trip if they don’t read the terms & conditions. New Zealand punters who read the fine print will find certain sportsbooks have a list of deposit payment providers who don’t qualify for free-bet or other betting bonuses. Make sure you tick this box to avoid the frustration and stress.
  • Odds: These tend to be on the minimum end of the scale. Bookmakers slap minimum odds on free bets to prompt New Zealand punters into taking risks rather than hopping into the safe-bet wagon. That means Kiwi bettors whose promotional offer comes with minimum odds of 1.5 to 1.8 will have to keep their wagers above that threshold. If they place bets below that specified minimum odds, they’ll find those punts won’t count towards meeting their strict requirements.
  • Use-by dates: You don’t have open-ended sales at supermarkets and retail outlets in New Zealand, so Kiwi bettors shouldn’t be surprised to find out that sportsbooks also impose deadlines on how soon free-bet and other such related offers must be used. Our advice to New Zealanders is to read the fine print on expiry of free bets before committing to them. Different online betting sites have different time constraints. It can range from seven days to 90 days. Be prepared to wager on sports codes you may not fancy to ensure you don’t stumble on the free-bet deadline while trying to meet the bookmaker’s requirements.
  • Wagering requirement: Our experience shows this is the one many New Zealand punters stumble on. Also known as playthrough or rollover, and similar to what online casino operators impose, the wagering requirement is a tricky proposition. It’s the fine print that can be missed in the excitement of a free-bet offer. Kiwi bettors won’t want to end up like a dog chasing its own tail in trying to meet playthrough terms to claim a free-bet or other betting bonus. It can be in the shape of 20x to 40x or 1x deposit to 20x deposit with a minimum odds to boot. Read the terms & conditions thoroughly. Do your sums to ensure it’s a profitable exercise. Going to trustworthy sites is a good start.

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