How Do Sportsbook Bonus Bets Work in North Carolina?

Breaking down how sportsbook bonus bets work for new North Carolina users on FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars and Bet365.
March Madness Viewing Party At The Westgate Las Vegas
March Madness Viewing Party At The Westgate Las Vegas / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

With the upcoming launch of sports betting in North Carolina on March 11, sportsbooks have all started rolling out their best promo offers. There's over $1,000 in bonuses available to new users, and a good chunk of that money doesn't even require a deposit to claim.

But for new bettors, an obvious question stands out: How do these bonuses work?

And that's a fair question. The $1,000 in promos isn't hitting your account in the form of pure cash, so you're going to want to learn a little bit about how these bonuses work. The answer isn't the same on every site, so I'll walk you through the specifics of each one.

How FanDuel North Carolina Bonus Bets Work

How to Use FanDuel Bonus Bets

The steps to using FanDuel's bonus bets are simple:

  1. Make sure you have active bonus bets (visit your "My Account" page)
  2. Select the bet you'd like to place
  3. Click "Add a Bonus Bet" on your betslip
  4. Choose how much of the bonus you'd like to wager

FanDuel Bonus Bets Payout

It's important to note when you're placing your bets that unlike a typical cash bet, bonus bet payouts on FanDuel will not include your bonus stake. Here's a quick example to clarify the difference:

Usual cash bet: If you bet $10 cash at +100 odds and win, you get your $10 back plus $10 in cash winnings ($20 hits your account).
Bonus bet: If you bet a $10 bonus at +100 odds and win, you get $10 in cash winnings ($10 hits your account).

FanDuel Bonus Bet Expiration and Restrictions

FanDuel bonus bets expire 7 days after hitting your account. So when you get your bonus bets on the March 11 launch day, you'll want to make sure you've used them all before March 18.

There are almost no restrictions on how you can wager with your bonus bets: regular wagers, same-game parlays, traditional parlays, live betting and futures bets are all eligible. One notable exception is that you can not place Round Robin wagers with bonus bets.

How Caesars North Carolina Bonus Bets Work

How to Use Caesars Bonus Bets

Caesars bonus bets function as a form of site credit, and using them to place your wager is incredibly simple:

  1. Select a wager for your betslip (all markets are eligible)
  2. Check the "Bonus Bet" box on your bet slip (this will appear as long as you have active bonuses on your account)
  3. Place the wager with your bonus stake

Caesars Bonus Bets Payout

Caesars bonus payouts do not include your bonus stake in the returns from your bet. For example, a $10 Bonus Bet on -110 odds would return $9 if you win your bet, not $19 like it would if you placed a $10 cash wager (which would return your original $10 stake plus your $9 in winnings).

Caesars Bonus Bet Expiration and Restrictions

Be sure to check your account page to view any limitations on your specific bonuses. In general, however, bonus bets expire in 14 calendar days from when they are awarded.

It is also worth noting that Caesars' pre-registration bonus in North Carolina awards "100% profit boosts," not bonus bets. These can be added to a betslip in much the same way as bonus bets, but what they do is double your potential winnings on a cash wager.

How Bet365 North Carolina Bonus Bets Work

How to Use Bet365 Bonus Bets

Bet365's bonus bets are kept in a separate balance from your account's cash. Rather than having discrete bonus bets (i.e. bonus bets of a specific amount), Bet365 let's you place bonus bet wagers like you would cash wagers.

Select the bet you want to place, indicate on your betslip that you are using your bonus balance, and enter the amount you'd like to wager.

Bet365 Bonus Bets Payout

Any returns from your bonus bet wagers on Bet365 will be added to your regular withdrawable cash balance on your account. Note that these returns will exclude your stake. So while a $20 cash bet at +200 odds would give return $60 cash if you won (your original $20 stake back plus $40 in winnings), a $20 bonus bet at +200 would return $40 in cash (no stake returned, but your $40 winnings are in cash).

Bet365 Bonus Bet Expiration and Restrictions

Bet365 is very lenient with the expiration of bonus bets. Their policy is that your bonus balance will be forfeit and removed if you account is inactive for 90 consecutive days. Making a deposit or placing a wager is deemed as having "activity" on an account.

Bet365 does exclude some wagers from bonus bets, however. This includes parlays with odds boosts, Bankers, If Bets, Reverse If Bets and Teasers.

How DraftKings North Carolina Bonus Bets Work

How to Use DraftKings Bonus Bets

You can confirm your bonus bets on DraftKings by checking the "My Rewards" Overview for your account. This will show not only your active bonuses, but any that you have placed, used or have expired.

As long as you have active bonus bets, they will appear on your bet slip when you begin to put one together. Just check the box on your bet slip to use the bonus bet.

DraftKings Bonus Bets Payout

Like the other sportsbooks, DraftKings' bonus bets only pay out your winnings in cash, not the stake. So placing a $50 bonus bet on a +500 wager would return $250 (cash) if you won your bet. But if you placed a $50 cash bet instead, that would have returned $300 (your initial $50 stake plus $250 in cash winnings).

DraftKings Bonus Bet Expiration and Restrictions

Visit the "My Rewards" overview to see when your DraftKings bonus bets expire — this won't always be the same for every bonus, so this is the safest way to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

DraftKings bonus bets can not be "split", meaning you must use each bet in its entirety on a single wager. If you have a $50 bonus bet, you can't place two $25 bonus bets with it.

Bonus bets are not eligible to be used on Teaser wagers.

How BetMGM North Carolina Bonus Bets Work

How to Use BetMGM Bonus Bets

BetMGM makes it just as easy as any other sportsbook to user your bonus bets. You don't need to do anything fancy, just select the wager you would like to place and check the "bonus bets" box on your betslip. Like on DraftKings, you must wager the full amount of the bonus bet.

BetMGM Bonus Bets Payout

Winnings from your bonus bet will be credited to your account in the form of cash, but like the other books you won't receive your bonus stake back. Once those winnings hit your account you can use them like any other cash balance that you may have.

BetMGM Bonus Bet Expiration and Restrictions

Bonus bets for BetMGM new-user offers and for existing user offers all expire in seven days from the time of being issued.

BetMGM limits users to having six bonus bets in their account at any one time.

Bonus bets on your BetMGM sportsbook account can not be used on any of their other brands (poker, casino, etc.).