Casino bonuses can be defined as free money to be used within the casino. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new player or an existing player, you’ll always come across tempting bonus offers and the added extras that often comes along with it. Deciphering the terms and conditions is the most important part of understanding the casino bonus and we’ll look to explain the important parts of that in this article. The different types of casino bonus, the wagering requirement, and gameplay restrictions all help to define the value of each and every bonus. But first, we’ll take a look at exactly why the casinos choose to give free money away to their customers and why online casinos have it so much better than the mega-casinos down on the Vegas strip!
Why do casinos offer bonuses?
The casino bonus is used to attract paying customers and this goes for both online casinos and the huge casino-hotels found on the Vegas strip. What the actual bonus consists of will differ between the online and offline world but the idea behind the offer is the same – to keep the customer happy and spending money at the casino. Walk into the Bellagio and you might be offered free room upgrades, free meals, free drinks at the tables, perhaps some free playing chips for your favourite game. All of these offers are intended to charm you and make your stay at the casino all the more relaxing and entertaining. Perhaps you might even decide to stay a little longer because you’re enjoying the service and experience so much!
Online casinos offer a much simpler deal for their customers because they don’t need to worry about all of those material things such as rooms, meals, and drinks. The online casino has minimal overheads and so all of these ‘savings’ are often passed down and transferred into huge bonus deals. You’ll find various types of bonus offers as you explore the numerous online casinos available today, but the main thing to understand is that they are all very similar when you break them down. Some bonuses offer more value for money than others and some bonus offers should be left well alone due to unfair T&Cs. It’s a bit of a minefield out there so let us now explain some of the most common bonus offers that you are likely to come across, this should help to give you more of an understanding about how the casino bonus can be used to your advantage:
Different types of bonuses
The traditional welcome bonus is where it all started. Your initial deposit is matched by the casino with a percentage, usually, around 100% or 200% but casinos are known to offer up to 1000% over multiple deposits. You’ll see these types of deals often displayed as ‘Deposit £10 & Get £10 Free’ or ‘200% Welcome Bonus’. The offers can be very enticing on the outside but you’ll need to keep a close eye on the T&Cs, there are many restrictions and limitations that can be placed on the bonus money that actually makes the offer out to be not so attractive after all!
No deposit bonus
The most common deposit bonus in existence today is the ‘no-deposit bonus’. It’s easy to understand and comes with minimal restrictions attached to it and, well, it’s absolutely risk-free on your part! If you’re happy to give your email address away then in return, the casino is willing to give you a small amount of free bonus money to test out their site and games. You might find some free spins thrown in with the offer as well and the only downside is that there is usually a cap on how much you can win and withdraw. But after all, you didn’t have to sacrifice any of your own money so it’s best to view this type of bonus as a way of testing out casinos to see if they are suited to your tastes and gaming preferences.
You might see the offer displayed as a reload bonus or a monthly bonus, however, they both mean one thing and that is that loyalty is rewarded at the casino. Regular players at a casino will know that a monthly bonus will be coming their way each and every month, with various sized offers available in relation to their level of play that month. The more you deposit and wager, the bigger your monthly bonus will be. It’s a way for the casino to give something back to their loyal regulars, it’s also often a strong promotional feature that helps to attract new customers. The guarantee of regular free bonus money is hard to resist for any casino player!
Casinos will often promote new payment methods with a bonus deal in the hope that customers will change over to cheaper banking methods. So these types of payment method bonus offers are actually in place to help out the casinos, but there are some benefits to gain for the customers who take up the offer. For example, a casino might offer customers a 100% deposit bonus if they make their deposit through the e-Wallet Neteller. It may or may not have a minimum deposit amount tied into the offer but the upshot of this is that you’ll now have a Neteller account if you didn’t already. As we said, this is to the casino’s advantage because transaction fees are cheaper with the likes of Neteller and PayPal as opposed to the likes of Visa and Mastercard bank transfers.
Remember, you don’t have to continue using the payment method suggested by the casino and you are more than welcome to return back to your preferred banking option.
VIPs tend to place wagers that are on a completely different level to most casual casino punters, so it only seems right that their bonus offers are in keeping with the higher amounts that they are depositing and wagering. VIP clubs for high rollers come with specialised treatment from personal account managers and professional one-to-one customer service, with many benefits including increased deposit limits that suit the level of gaming of high stakes players. The high roller bonus offers are usually very secretive and are almost always tailored to the specific player, so you’ll rarely see these offers being promoted on the site.
Refer a friend bonus
The refer a friend bonus is a simple yet often very lucrative offer that involves you inviting your friends or family to sign up with the casino. You’ll be given an email link to share and for every depositing player that you send to the site, you’ll be rewarded with a bonus – sometimes up to €50 per player or more depending on the generosity of the casino. The number of players you can refer will likely be limited but it’s still one of the easiest ways of earning free bonus money at an online casino.
Understand casino wagering requirements
Wagering requirements represent the true value of a bonus offer. In simple terms, a wagering requirement represents a restriction on any winnings that you make from the bonus. It stops players from claiming free money and withdrawing winnings straight away, this is known as ‘bonus abuse’ in the industry. The wagering requirements are the casino’s way of keeping control of their money and bonus offers. All you need to remember is that the higher the wagering requirement, the less chance you have of getting your hands on any winnings. It is possible to get offers that have no wagering requirements.
Wagering Requirements Example
- BigBonus casino has a welcome package offering a 200% bonus up to £200
- You deposit £100 and receive £200 in bonus money
- Your BigBonus casino balance is now a total of £300
- The BigBonus T&Cs state that the deposit + bonus wagering requirements are 10x
- A quick multiplication reveals that £300 (deposit + bonus) x 10 = £3000
- You must now wager at least £3000 before you can withdraw any of your winnings
As you can see, although you’ve got £300 sitting in your BigBonus casino account from a £100 deposit, any winnings that you might make from this balance will be subject to wagering requirements and other restrictions stated in the bonus T&Cs, such as only being able to wager on specific games to satisfy the wagering requirement. £3000 in wagering is quite a lot of work, especially on only a handful of games. You’ll be lucky to reach that £3000 amount and still have your casino balance intact. This is the main reason why casinos are happy to offer free bonus money, because of the fact that most players will never satisfy the wagering requirements tied in with the bonus. Keep an eye out for low restrictions such as 10x or lower for the best bonus offers and good luck in your hunt for the best casino bonuses!