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Payouts, Bonuses & Comps

Things you thought you knew about sportsbook payouts, bonuses and comps and how to get paid from sketchy books!

Well, it's back to basics for this week's column... for the benefit of new and old online gamblers alike: it's never a bad idea to brush up on old knowledge.

Sportsbook Payouts, Bonuses & Comps

We're focusing this week on payouts, bonuses and comps. And it occurred to me that, even to the most experienced gambler, these terms, though familiar, may never have been officially defined. So let's go ahead and clear up any possible confusion that may have been felt up till now.

When one hears the term "payout", one instinctively understands that this refers to the ratio of winnings per bet for each particular online sportsbook. The odds offered. But not everyone is really up to date with all the financial jargon used in present day gambling, so here's the legal, financial definition, for the benefit of all interested parties:

What is a Payout?

For all intents and purposes, "payout" is the equivalent of a dividend. In other words, a payout is a taxable payment, (in the case of casinos a taxable winning), given to gamblers on the occasion of a win. Payout rates are expressed in percentages, each casino usually clearly advertising their specific payout rate.

Understandably, there has always been a certain amount of doubt expressed as to whether or not a casino's advertised payout rate was in fact valid. Let's clear up that issue right now. Generally speaking of course, legitimate online sportsbooks and casinos have no need for false advertising in order to turn a profit. Let's be honest here folks, we all know that there's enough money to be made by simply relying on the house edge and player mistakes. But for those of you who still feel that suspicious, and perhaps healthy, need to make sure, there is a virtually endless array of sites which offer sportsbook and casino reviews and listings.

Now, if you, the responsible and discerning reader, noticed that in the previous paragraph, I qualified the term online sportsbooks with the ever dubious word "legitimate", kudos to you. And never fear, because the following section deals with differentiating between a "legitimate sportsbook" and one not quite so upfront and user friendly. Despite what I said earlier, only the chronically naive would believe that there aren't any crooked sportsbooks on the Net. The most common complaints, however, are not about false payout rates, but rather about the speed at which some winnings are received. It's not about how often you win so much as how long it will take for you to receive your winnings, if you end up receiving them at all. My best advice in order to avoid the hassle involved in that type of situation would be to keep well informed. By visiting gambling related sites as often as possible, one should, in time, become familiar with several names of sportsbooks that, either through advertising or reviews, show their authenticity simply by being longstanding members of the gambling community. Other bettors will obviously have spread the word about a crooked sportsbook, and this information can also be found in online gambling magazines. Of course, there are also many virtual sportsbooks out there that are simply offshoots of actual sportsbooks. These can, for the most part, be considered safe.

Getting Your Payout from Sketchy Sportsbooks

If, however, you happen to find yourself amongst the unlucky few who fall prey to a less than perfectly honest online venture, there are certain measures that can be taken in order to claim your hesitant winnings. Firstly, do not simply give up and forget about it. Write to the gambling magazine of your choice, explaining your dilemma and naming the sportsbook responsible for it. Make sure you are heard. If nothing else, this measure will help to keep other innocent parties from being taken in by the same scam. It is highly likely, however, that the sportsbook in question reassess its decision not to pay the sum due to you in order to avoid reams upon reams of bad publicity. Bad word of mouth has a tendency of making life very hard for any virtual sportsbook.

Once it is time to finally claim your winnings, be aware that this can be done through your credit card, by wire transfer, or through check or money order. The simplest and easiest way is obviously that of the credit card, but if the sum of your winnings, or other considerations, makes that an impossibility, there is always another option. There is no reason you should not get paid.

Sportsbook Bonuses & Comps

Now for bonuses and comps. A bonus usually takes the form of "free money" offered upon opening an account in a sportsbook. A comp usually refers to a sportsbook's promise to put in either a sum equivalent to that which you then put into the account, or a percentage of that sum. Both terms have been known to be interchangeable, but they usually follow those definitions. It is important to note that, when opening an account at a sportsbook that offers a bonus, it is not permissible to gamble only that sum. Although it is rare that the betting minimum will permit you to gamble only your bonus, if you do and win, the sportsbook is not required to pay out, and cannot be expected to do so. Another limitation, this one referring to comps, is that the sportsbook will invariably name the maximum sum to which the comp applies. If they announce that they will meet your deposited sum up to 200$, and you bet 300$, do not then expect them give you an equivalent sum.

So in short, this week's column was about being informed and discerning, not to mention reading the fine print. Sound advice for any situation. Good Luck to all!

Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2015 by The Commish

Tags: sportsbook bonuses, sportsbook comps, sportsbook payouts, winning money betting sports, cashing out your winnings