Betting on horse racing has always been a popular pastime in the UK, but that popularity has headed to the stratosphere in recent years. Aided by accessible and mobile-friendly online betting platforms, Brits are now betting more than ever on the races.
Unsurprisingly, the bulk of horse race wagering in the UK takes place across a very small number of high-prestige events. The Grand National, Ascot, Cheltenham, and Epsom Derby all take the lion’s share of UK horse racing betting, with hundreds of millions of pounds wagered on each of these events.
To capitalise on the popularity of high-profile racing events, it is now standard practice for bookmakers to offer free bets on these events, in order to encourage punters to create an account and make a deposit. Of course, a free bet is a great way to get the most out of your favourite races, but it is worth reading the small print before you claim. This will help you to get the most value out of your free bets this year.
First off, it is important to note that many free bets for major events consist of “bet and get” promotions, where you must spend some of your own money first before you get a free wager. This might not sound like a free bet, but some of the promotions on offer can be generous. For example, the latest Cheltenham betting offers from the UK’s top bookmakers offer promotions such as “bet £10 get £30”, where you just need to make a single £10 bet to get an additional £30 to wager on Cheltenham. If you know how to shop around, you can rack up plenty of free bets this way.
One common stipulation in betting offers is that you must meet minimum odds requirements on a bet before you can use your free cash on that bet. This varies depending on the bookmaker, but it is typical for an offer to state that you must use your free bet on a wager with 1.5 odds or higher, or 1/2 odds or higher. This should not be much of a problem for most of the bets you can make on the likes of the Grand National or Cheltenham, but it is definitely worth keeping in mind if you are trying to claim a free bet to use on a very specific wager.