Whether it is your first time signing up for an online gambling profile or whether you are a loyal customer of a specific online casino, bonus offers will come your way. And who doesn’t like a freebie or being rewarded for loyalty?
A popular rule in basic economics is that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and for good reason. This principle applies to Casino Bonus Offers too. Whether it is a sign-up bonus, a loyalty bonus, or a high roller bonus, there will always be terms and conditions the receiver needs to be aware of.
Although picking an offer isn’t a marriage proposal, your hard-earned money is on the table, and nothing can crush the thrill of a great win quite like finding out your bonus deal has strings attached.
Here follows some GamblersPick notes on what to look out for when picking your bonus offer. Using these wisely can help you navigate a new online casino to find your favourite games, without harming your bank balance.
Bonus Offers 101
The most important factor to consider when selecting a Bonus offer is the legal status of the casino platform presenting it to you. Read reviews about the platform and be sure to check that they have a valid operating license. Risks involved with gambling at unlicensed online casinos range from terrible customer service to losing your money. GamblersPick rates the top regulated online casinos and the best bonus deals they offer to their members, so definitely look at some of our guides.
Secondly, punters need to understand that all Bonus offers have terms and conditions and these vary according to the type of bonus on the table, and different operators have different terms. Sign-up Bonus Offers serve the purpose of getting players to wager with the casino for an extended time, so these will have wagering requirements. No Deposit Bonus Offers and Free Spin Offers will usually require a punter to gamble within a set period or lose the bonus. Some Bonus offers only include specific games and many exclude games like Blackjack.
Understanding Bonus Types
Deposit Match offers often have multiple-deposit conditions, so look out for the fine print on these as well as playthrough or wagering requirements. Certain bonuses encourage players to deposit via specific methods, like e-wallets, and others reward players who use cryptocurrency.
This all sounds like a mouthful, but it is not as daunting as you may think. Our Bonus guides are here to make the decision much simpler with all the choices available. An important determining factor is what type of games you like to play. If you love slot games, an offer that includes free spins would be the best choice for you. For novice gamblers who still need to find their favourite games, Free Play would work well. High rollers may get more satisfaction from VIP Bonus deals or deposit match deals.
We can categorise all bonus deals into three different groups. The first is non-sticky or cashable, the second is type-one sticky bonuses, and the third is type-two sticky bonus deals. As you can guess, this has to do with the conditions relating to withdrawals.
Read the fine print before you make your final decision and once you are satisfied with the details, accept your offer, and enjoy some online gambling. Below, we look at some popular conditions that can help you avoid a situation too sticky for your liking.
But First, You Shall Wager
This is an unavoidable condition for Bonus Offers that include No-Deposit, Deposit Match, and Free Spin offers. These bonuses are subject to wagering requirements, so understanding how this works will ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises. The fact of the matter is that bonus money isn’t real money, from the get-go. Only after completing your wagering requirements will your bonus money become payable.
In a nutshell, a wagering or playthrough requirement is the amount of money the player needs to bet before they can make a withdrawal. Usually, this figure is a multiple of between 1x and 50x your bonus and/or the betting amount. If you received a 100% Deposit Match Bonus and made a €50 deposit with the wagering requirement of 10x your bonus amount, you need to wager 10 x €50 = €500 before you can withdraw any winnings.
We must stress how important it is to read through the wagering requirements before choosing a bonus. Some casinos only include the bonus amount, while others require the bonus AND deposit amount multiplied by the wagering requirement.
Also, some casinos only allow certain games to contribute to your playthrough requirement or they assign limits to how much certain games contribute. With the above playthrough example, if you select a game that may only count 50% towards the total wagering amount, it will cap at €250, regardless of how much you spend on it. Forcing you to play another game that could make up for the balance required to reach the total playthrough of €500.
Free Spins and No Deposit Offers
Slot games are by far the most popular choice for online gamblers and, thanks to the tremendous demand, software developers have an abundance of titles for punters to choose from. Free Spins make it that much more fun to explore the options available before finding your favourites. Carefully choose your deal based on the playthrough and pay-out conditions, as these are a given, but some are better than others. Free Spins offers can sometimes be part of a package bonus deal that includes a deposit match or no deposit bonus.
More often than not, Free Spin Bonus offers will apply to specific slot games, have a wagering requirement, bet limits, and an expiry date. Platform operators present Free Spin deals to existing as well as new customers and they usually promote newly released slots through this. The great thing about Free Spins is that it is possible to get a return on the bonus which you didn’t pay a cent for.
Naturally, terms and conditions apply, and punters need to familiarise themselves with these before selecting the deal.
They may split the number of spins over a period and usually, the player needs to use the spins, or lose them, by a specific date. The offer may give 200 spins, but only 20 are available straight away and you might only be allowed to claim the balance once you make a deposit.
A popular sign-up bonus deal is the No Deposit Bonus offer. Once again, the deal with the highest amount flashing for your attention isn’t necessarily the best deal. Wagering requirements apply and usually the bigger the amount they offer, the stricter the requirements are.
Keep in mind that No Deposit offers and Free Spins offers could also have cash-out limits.
Jackpot Wins with Free Spins or Free Money
Every punter’s dream is to hit the jackpot and walk away with bags full of cash. In the event of this happening, while playing with free money and/or free spins, it would be good to know the fine print.
First, let’s look at the two different jackpots a player might come across while playing slots. A regular jackpot has a set amount the player can win, while a progressive jackpot grows over a period and resets once someone wins it.
Although most casinos allow the player to hit the regular jackpot on their slots while using their free spins, almost all of them have restrictions on the payout amount. For example, a 50% cap of the total amount won while playing with your free spins. Progressive jackpots require max bets to qualify and most casinos put a limit on the amount a player can bet while using free money. Some of them even state in their T&Cs that they exclude the progressive jackpots.
Remember that wagering requirements will still apply, and players still need to play through the required betting amount before they may cash out.
Other Offers and Conditions
Many online casinos have loyalty programs, whereby they reward gamblers for spending more time and money with them. These programs can be tier-based where you accumulate points and progress to new levels, or specifically geared toward high-rollers who stake substantial amounts at any given time.
Part of these reward structures are better conditions when bonus deals come around, so it is worthwhile to explore what your chosen platform provider offers.
New players who create an account will have a couple of Welcome Bonus or Sign-up Bonus deals to choose from and these can have a combination of the above offers available. Some casinos require punters to deposit a minimum amount before they can take advantage of the deals. Others will give their new members no deposit deals, free spins, and even Free Play opportunities. Remember to familiarise yourself with the wagering and withdrawal conditions.
Expiry dates can apply to certain bonus deals, especially free spin deals, and some casinos will only allow players to withdraw funds generated from a bonus after a certain amount of time has lapsed.
Why Even Bother?
These points can make you question whether it is worth it to sign up for a bonus deal, but if you use a reputable online casino and make sure you understand the requirements, bonus deals can be a significant advantage. The above notes will help you make an educated decision on which deal is best suited to you.