As the number of online casino enthusiasts experiences a steady growth, one can’t help but wonder why people are so indolent that they do not want to leave a house for entertainment or an adrenaline rush. On closer examination, the reason turns out to be pretty simple, particularly, the abundance of bonuses offered by online casinos. There are many bonus categories that differ in wagering requirements in each specific online casino. A range of bonuses includes sign-up bonuses, vote bonuses, fixed and matchup first-deposit bonuses, risk-free (cash back) bonuses, payment method bonuses, refer-a-friend bonuses, no deposit bonuses, and some other promotions and bonuses. No deposit bonuses and other loyalty schemes on offer attract a lot of players.
Unfortunately, not every user understands that a bonus may be withdrawn after completing some specific requirements only. A gambling venue seeks to attract new customers to build a large user base (e.g., by offering a welcome bonus), and to entice existing users to make further deposits. Generally, players must bet a specific amount in order to withdraw a bonus. The aforementioned amount is called the wager (aka the wagering requirement or rollover requirement), and is calculated against the deposit, total bets or both. For example, the 30B wagering requirement means that you need to wager the amount of no-deposit bonus (let’s say, $5) 30 times to cash out the $5-bonus ($5 x 30 = $150). The 10D wagering requirement means that you must play the deposit amount 10 times to withdraw a bonus. Roulette, craps, baccarat and blackjack are often excluded from meeting wagering requirements in some online casinos. To withdraw winnings from the bonuses, you are to fulfill all conditions and rollover requirements, otherwise the bonus will be void. To summarize, bonuses are earmarked to warm up your interest, give you some incentives to size up your bets and boost your total winnings. So think twice before declining bonus offers.
Let’s have an overview of some bonuses offered by online casinos.
- First-deposit bonuses. These can be fixed and matchup bonuses. Fixed bonuses are provided in a fixed amount (mainly, $20 to $200). To clear the bonus amount, a player is required to make a deposit exceeding the minimum limit envisaged in bonus T&C. Matchup bonuses are calculated at a given percentage rate on the first deposit. Most online casinos offer a 100% matchup bonus. To initiate a withdrawal of bonus funds using any payment method, a player should complete all wagering requirements. Some casinos allow to withdraw a bonus before the rollover requirement is met, proportionally to a share of the bets placed against the target wagering amount. Some gambling venues permit to withdraw real funds after deduction of all active bonus amounts. Other casinos restrict from cashing out bonus amounts till all wagering conditions have been met. And some casinos will return your “buy-in” money only if you have won some cash at the moment. So on completing all wagering requirements you may collect your funds, including bonus amounts. The only exception is sticky bonuses that are removed from your account when you make a withdrawal.
- No deposit bonuses. To be eligible for a no-deposit bonus, you do not need to deposit at a particular casino. Normally the bonus is $5 to $25, and you’ll need to wager about $100 in total to make the bonus cashable. The rules in some casinos suggest that a player win some money before being able to withdraw a no-deposit bonus. Rules to apply for a no-deposit bonus vary from casino to casino, and may include sending an email to a customer service, filling in an online bonus application form or entering a promo code on a website. So be sure you know what you need to do. Some casinos may not accept bonus claims from visitors who live in certain locations. In some European gambling venues a player must complete the wagering requirements, and also make a minimum deposit in order to cash out a no-deposit bonus.
- Monthly bonuses. These can be referred to as first-deposit bonuses. A player basically gets a bonus rebate against the first deposit made in the current month.
- Non-risk bonuses (aka cashback bonuses). These are not very common nowadays, but they are worth mentioning in this review as you may come across them. Standard cashback bonuses refund a fixed percentage of losses within a specified time span (one day, one month, etc.). Similar to no-deposit programs, a player must claim a cashback bonus to get the money back. Yet there are some pitfalls hidden behind these seemingly attractive offers, since losses often have a wagering requirement.
- Refer-a-Friend bonuses. You can earn a small reward by inviting a friend to play. The refer-a-friend bonus is awarded when your referred friend registers in a casino, makes deposits and plays. To activate the bonus, you send an email invitation to your friend. After your newly registered friend has deposited and/or wagered a qualifying amount, your receive the bonus. Rollover requirements are mild or absent altogether.
- Vote bonuses (of no use any longer). A few years ago some casinos would promote their rankings by paying their customers $5–$20 for leaving a positive feedback on www.gambling.com. Nowadays, these rank boosting techniques are considered outdated.
- Payment method bonuses. Some casinos want their customers to use specific payment methods and offer them bonuses for using a certain deposition option. Playthroughs can vary from minute to immense amounts.
Casino bonuses can be broken up into a few categories, including regular, sticky and phantom bonuses.
- Regular, or cashable bonuses, are added to your account after you have completed wagering requirements.
- Sticky bonuses stay in a player’s account and cannot be cashed out upon your withdrawal request. When you have met playthrough requirements, you can continue to bet with the bonus cash.
- Phantom bonuses are removed from the account when you withdraw any profits. All bonus credits collected are lost on cashing out your winnings.
To get the best of a bonus package, pay particular attention at wagering requirements, look carefully at bonus types and calculate the amount you need to wager before claiming a bonus. Following these instructions, you’ll streamline your gambling practice and make the most of casino bonuses and promotions.