Online casino bonuses - A users Guide
Over the past decade, the online casino scene has skyrocketed in popularity.
New platforms, that are mobile-friendly, appear every day, and every single one of them is desperate to attract new members by offering something that is a step above the rest.
That sort of competitive marketplace spells good news for gamers and gamblers, as it means there are some mouthwatering offers out there.
There are numerous angles the casino sites can take to try to position themselves above the rest.
These might include clever use of the latest technology with things like social gaming and virtual reality. Or they might seek to offer the widest possible game selection.
But the most common method is by offering up bigger and better promotions and bonuses than the competition.
Background to casino promotions
We see promotions all the time in competitive industries. A grocery store will offer BOGOF deals on particular product lines, or a car dealership might offer free servicing for a year on its vehicles.
It’s all aimed at persuading you to make the purchase from them instead of going to their competitors.
The same principle applies in the casino world, but in this case there are vastly more bonus structures, meaning things can get complicated, especially for those who are new to online gambling.
It is important to understand how each of these bonuses works so that you can compare one with another and work out which is really offering you the superior deal.
Here’s a simple online casino bonus that you often see in casinos. Free spins need no special explanation and do exactly what they say on the tin.
Sometimes, free spins are offered within games as special bonuses, and these usually behave in exactly the same way as paid spins.
Casinos might offer you a certain number of free spins on joining.
There will be specific rules as to which games you can use them on, and winnings might be subject to a wagering requirement – we will discuss that in detail in just a moment.
Welcome deposit offers
This is the most common type of promotion for new members. You will often see a casino screaming that you will get a free 100% bonus on your opening deposit up to, let’s say, £1,000.
What this means is that when you join this online casino and make an opening deposit into your gambling account, the house will match that deposit up to a set maximum.
So here, the amount depends on how much you decide to put into the account.
Open it with a £50 deposit, you get a £50 bonus, open with £200, you get a £200 bonus.
To take advantage of the full £1,000, you will need to deposit at least that much of your own money.
Note that deposit bonuses are always subject to a wagering requirement of some sort.
This type of bonus is the sort that looks too good to be true. Unlike the welcome deposit bonus, there is no need for you to invest any of your own funds at all.
A no-deposit bonus is essentially “free money” that is placed in your betting account. Two questions are probably popping up in your mind at this point.
The first is “what can go wrong?” and the second is “what’s the catch?”
The no-deposit bonus is relatively modest compared with the “matching” type welcome bonuses, but it really is free money.
You can use it to play games, and if you lose, it hasn’t cost you a penny.
But what if you win it? This is where the wagering requirement comes in, and now is the time for us to take a look at it.
Any of these promotions can only be used for playing games.
That’s fair enough, you can’t simply withdraw the bonus money and spend it at the shops, that would hardly be fair.
But there will also be rules that any winnings from your bonus must be reinvested a set number of times before they can be withdrawn.
This is known as the wagering requirement and is the key piece of small print you need to read and understand.
It is always easier with an example. Suppose you join a new casino that’s offering a 100 percent welcome bonus with a 10x wagering requirement.
You decide to deposit £200 and the casino matches it. So now you have £400 in your account, but half of this is subject to the wagering requirement.
It means that the sum of all your wagers must reach a total £2,000 (10 x £200) before you can withdraw any winnings.
To meet the requirement, you might place 200 £10 bets, 100 £20 bets or some other combination.
Wagering requirements can sometimes get complicated, and this is why it is so important to read the small print. Specifically, look at the following:
Online Casino bonuses can help you to beat the house and might even represent free money.
But remember, the biggest bonus is not necessarily the best deal, and always read the wagering requirements before you sign up.