You’ve probably seen that most online casinos advertisements usually offer some sort of bonus or FREE money to get you to start playing there. Like most things in the world, nothing really comes free, so before you start claiming this free money and then getting upset that you’ve been scammed, I suggest you keep reading and see how this all works.
First of all, you may ask; why do online casinos even offer this “free” money?
It’s part of their marketing and differentiation strategy. In a nutshell, online casinos are generally “skins” of a specific software provider, so actually behind the different owner, graphics, licensing etc under the bonnet there’s not much difference between let’s say all Playtech powered casinos, or all Microgaming powered ones.
So, if they are mostly the same below the hood, there needs to be some sort of difference which will convince you to play at “X” online casino and not “Y”. Besides the graphics, licensing, support and reputation, another way to pitch to potential players is by giving them something, in this case, a bonus.
1. Wagering requirements: Most bonuses have wagering or playthrough requirements, meaning that you need to play a certain amount before you can withdraw winning from your account. On average wagering requirements are usually between 15 to 40 times, https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/the-impact-covid-has-had-on-the-casino-industry/ however pay attention to what you are required to wager. In some cases it will be just the bonus times X and in others you will need to wager the bonus + your deposit amount X times. The latter by the way is more common.
Another tidbit you should pay attention to with regards to wagering requirements is, that at most online casinos, if you request a withdrawal before you have completed the wagering requirements, all your winnings to date will be void. Not really fair, but this is reality.
2. Games played: Make sure you read the T&Cs in this case. Because slots games are generally the most profitable games for online casinos, many bonuses tend to be valid only for slots games. Usually scratch cards and keno will comply with this rule.
Now that we’re all on the same page and speaking the same language, it’s time we went through the main types of bonuses available at most online casinos.
1. A Match bonus is the most common type of bonus. For every $ you deposit, you will be credited X% of what you deposited by the casino. So, if, for example, casino Z is offering a 100% match bonus, deposit $100 and the casino will give you an extra $100 in bonus money. This means that actually start playing at the casino with $200. Match bonuses are almost always limited to a certain maximum bonus amount you can claim. A match bonus can be a standalone bonus as part of a promotion (more common at US friendly online casinos) and/or as part of the welcome bonus
2. A welcome bonus is generally offered by most, if not all, online casinos to new players who sign up and make their first deposit at the casino. The welcome bonus is the sum of all the possible match bonuses you can accumulate as a new player at the casino over a specific period of time, or within your first X deposits, or a mix of the two; so if a casino advertises a $3000 welcome bonus, it’s actually the maximum you can get with the 1st deposit bonus, So, in fact, the welcome bonus advertised is the MAXIMIUM amount you can claim in bonus money during your first period of playing at the casino.