The online gambling industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. From humble beginnings, it has developed into a behemoth worth more than $45 billion in the United States alone. In the next decade, it is expected to grow even faster, reaching $127 billion in 2027, with a CAGR of 11.5%. Not many industries can boast these numbers, especially during the Covid-19 recession.
One consequence of this speedy growth is the increasing number of online casinos trying to get a piece of the pie. The competition has never been fiercer and is only going to get worse. One method of attracting new and keeping old players casinos have developed are bonuses. Over the years, they have created a plethora of bonuses designed to give them an edge over the competitors. In fact, there are so many of them that they can be confusing for new players. In this guide, we will try to explain the best casino bonuses and how to get them. Before we start, you need to familiarize yourself with a couple of terms used to describe these bonuses.
Are Bonuses Free Money?
No, a bonus isn’t free money. First, a bonus doesn’t have to be just money, it can be on other forms as well, like free spin or table credit. Second, if casinos would give cash bonuses with no strings attached, they would quickly go out of business. There are several measures designed to prevent players from simply going from casino to casino, collecting bonuses, and cashing them in.
The most common restrictions casinos came up with are wagering requirements and bonus purposes. While wagering requirements define how long you have to play, bonus purpose limits what you can do with the bonus. Most bonuses come with either of these restrictions in place. Understanding them is key to using casino bonuses.
One limitation casinos place on the bonuses they give to their players is called wagering requirements. They are designed to prevent hits and runs. Without them, there would be nothing stopping players from getting a bonus and immediately withdrawing it to their bank account. Wagering requirements define how many times the bonus must be wagered before it can be withdrawn.
Depending on the type of the bonus and the casino, the wagering requirements range from x5 or x 10, going up to x50 or even x100. So, if you get a $50 bonus that comes with an x10 wagering requirement, you have to make bets in the total value of $500 before you can withdraw your money. This is the reason why some players choose not to accept bonuses that come with this type of limitation. This is why it is crucial to read the terms and conditions carefully before accepting a bonus.
Different Type of Bonuses
While there are numerous bonuses available to players, they generally fall into one of two categories, traditional bonuses and “for wagering only” bonuses. The difference is that traditional bonuses can be withdrawn, while “for wagering only” ones can’t. As the name suggests, you can only use them for making wagers. A traditional bonus is also called a sticky bonus as explained in the Askgamblers blog post on the account that they stick with you, making “for wagering only” a non-sticky one.
In practice, it would look something like this. You make a deposit of $100 and get a welcome “for wagering only” bonus of $50. You can now make bets with a total of $150. Let’s say you get lucky and win another $150, so your total balance is now $300. You can only withdraw $250 of that money to your bank account because the $50 bonus you received is “for wagering only”. If that bonus was a traditional one, you would be able to get the entire sum.
The most common type of bonuses is welcome bonuses, also known as sign up bonuses. They are given automatically to all new players and usually represent a fixed sum. Some casinos prefer to give other bonuses instead of money to new players, like free spins or specific game credits.
It is up to you to do your research and see which casinos offer a welcome bonus that best suits you. Generally speaking, a simple money bonus is more versatile and probably best for new and inexperienced players. However, if you want to play online slots exclusively, the value of free spins can often be greater, giving you more time to play, and a bigger chance of winning.
A deposit bonus is given to players when they make their first deposit. They are often matching, up to a certain sum, like $50 or $100. That means that if you deposit $50 to your casino account, you will get another $50 from the casino. Most likely, this bonus will be either sticky or come with wagering requirements.
The good thing is that you don’t have to do anything special to get it, simply depositing money will make you eligible for it. Again, make sure that you understand all the strings attached to it before accepting it. Some casinos limit deposit bonus on your first deposit only, but these days, many will give it for every deposit you make, regardless of how long you have been a member. It has been proven as a great way of rewarding loyalty and keeping old players.
Casino bonuses can be a great way of extending the fun you have while gambling, but only if you understand their limitations. All of them, together with other information, should be listed on the casino’s website. The government’s rules regulating this are very strict and casinos are controlled frequently to make sure they aren’t withholding any info from the players. Of course, it is up to you to actually read the terms. Reading them will help you do that, so you can enjoy playing without having any false hopes. This way you will avoid any nasty surprises when you try to withdraw your money.