Bonuses are a major attraction for online gamblers and often play a decisive role in choosing one online casino over another. Some gambling buffs consider them the equivalent of free money but these freebies are not without their downsides.
Playing with your own funds is sometimes better than claiming a bonus and you should be aware of all the caveats before opting in for one.
In this article, we put forward several compelling arguments for and against bonus redemption to help you make informed decisions about these promotions on your own.
Also included are several important bonus terms online gamblers often ignore to their own detriment. Let’s kick things off with the most commonly available bonus types at online casinos.
Commonly Available Online Casino Bonuses
Online gambling operators cater to players with various promotional incentives, the most common of which include no deposit offers, deposit match bonuses, free spins, referral bonuses, and cashbacks.
Learning to distinguish between them will allow you to easily identify the promotions that best suit your style and personal preferences. Without further ado, here are the five most commonly available bonuses you will find at online casinos.
Key Terms of Online Casino Bonuses
1Always Read the T&Cs
All online casino bonuses, regardless of their type, have terms and conditions attached to them. You should have a clear understanding of the promotional terms unless you do not mind having your bonus forfeited due to violations of the rules.
Wagering requirements are almost always in place when one gambles with bonus money. Also known as rollover or playthrough, the wagering requirements reflect the amount players must wager before they can unlock or withdraw the bonus funds. This usually must happen within a reasonable timeframe as specified by the casino.
Game weightings reflect how much of each bet counts toward clearing the bonus wagering requirements. Contribution percentages vary across the different categories of games.
Video slots usually count in full (100%), while games like craps have a significantly lower contribution, often 5% at best. A $100 wager on a game with a 5% weighting counts as $5 cleared from the bonus wagering.
4Restricted or Excluded Games
Restricted or excluded games are those that have no contribution toward clearing the bonus playthrough. Playing them results in bonus voidance and confiscation.
Terms relating to maximum bets stipulate how much players can wager per spin or round while having active bonuses in their accounts. Exceeding the limit can also lead to bonus forfeiture.
Cashable bonuses are those you can withdraw after fulfilling the wagering requirements.
Sticky bonuses are those you cannot cash out after meeting the playthrough. Only the winnings resulting from sticky offers are withdrawable. The bonuses themselves are voided and removed from players’ balance.
Winning caps are often imposed on no deposit and free spins offers to protect gambling operators against customers who unexpectedly experience huge windfalls while playing with promotional credits.
Regional restrictions apply at times, fully or partially excluding players based in certain countries from bonus redemption.
10Payment Method Restrictions
Payment method restrictions may prevent you from claiming deposit-associated bonuses when funding your balance with specific banking solutions. The most commonly restricted methods include Skrill, PayPal, Neteller, and Paysafe.
Arguments Against Redeeming Casino Bonuses
As appealing as they seem, online casino bonuses are not without their disadvantages. Some bonuses seem like great deals until you read their terms in detail and realize they are precisely the opposite. What follows are several of the strongest arguments against claiming online casino bonuses.
Arguments in Favor of Redeeming Casino Bonuses
Despite their downsides, online casino bonuses can still offer certain benefits to savvy players who know how to find value in promotional incentives. Below we cover several arguments in favor of redeeming online casino bonuses.
2Some Bonuses Do Have Player-Friendly Terms
Promotional incentives with player-friendly terms are sometimes beatable and can offer value to gamblers as long as they know how to identify them. This is easier than ever in the modern age we live in.
Some specialized gambling sites on the internet feature dedicated calculators that can help you work out the breakeven casino advantage of cashable bonuses.
All you have to do is enter several variables, including the bonus amount, the playthrough, and the wagering contribution of the game you intend to play. Players must also input the triggering deposit provided that the playthrough includes both the bonus and the deposit amount.
3You Can Extend Your Gaming Session with Bonuses
If you have a tight budget at your disposal, redeeming bonuses can help boost your bankroll and extend the duration of your gaming session. You get a good headstart and more play time without necessarily having to commit with larger deposits.
If you determine you cannot clear the playthrough within the stipulated timeframe, you can always forfeit the bonus and request to withdraw the funds from your real-money balance.
4Cashbacks Can Help You Partially Recover Your Losses
Many online casinos treat their loyal players to cashbacks, allowing them to recover a percentage of their lost deposits during a given day, week, or month. Some gambling operators are generous enough to credit the cashback amount directly in cash to your real-money balance.
If this is the case, the cashback money is yours for the keeping and you can withdraw it right away if you wish. Check the terms and conditions to ensure no wagering requirements apply to your cashback. Many online casinos are unscrupulous enough to credit such rebates as bonus monies with wagering in place.