Online Casino Bonus: Do They Really Work? What’s The Catch?

Online casino bonus, better known as “Sign Up” or “Welcome” bonuses are presented as a way to catch your attention and draw you into their casino. It is offered when a person signs up or deposits into that casino for the very first time. These are designed to persuade the “fun players” to drop real money into their casino.

Free money sounds great, doesn’t it, but what’s the catch? Let’s face it: no one out to make money is going to give away money for free. Sure, they’ll give you a set amount of money, but there are terms and conditions to the bonus before it’s usually released to the player.

Let’s say I’m the casino and you’re the player and I’m offering you $300 to sign up specifically with my business. This could be through free chips or free slot spins. You don’t have to deposit any money to open the account. However, my conditions are that you have to deposit a certain amount of money before I will release your bonus to you. See how it works? You’re still spending money at my casino and I’m not incurring much of a loss because gamblers have a tendency to keep coming back to crack a chance at that jackpot. Obviously the terms and conditions will be different wherever you go, but as with any contract, it’s a good idea to have full knowledge of what you’re signing into.

What I have just described is a no deposit bonus. However, there is another bonus called a match bonus, where you deposit money based on the percentage listed in the terms. We’ll use my $300 example again. I’m offering you $300 to sign up with me, but instead of not having to deposit money, you have to deposit a specific amount. Let’s say my match offer is 50 percent. You would have to deposit $600 to get the full amount of your bonus back. If I wanted to be really stingy, I could go with 25 percent or even 10 percent, leaving you to pay $1,200 or $3,000 respectively. That is a lot of money to think about when deciding where you want to register.

It is vitally important to read through the terms and conditions thoroughly before you make your first deposit. You wouldn’t sign a loan or a mortgage without reading the contract and this is no different. The terms dictate how much you must wager before the bonus is released. You don’t have to spend that much; just bet. This is what is called a play through requirement. You can’t deposit just enough money to get the bonus and then cash it all in and go. You have to actually play. It’s not that it isn’t done by exploiting loopholes here and there, but it simply makes it harder.

The casino also dictates which games count toward bets and at what amount before you have to play another game. Certain games may be disqualified from the terms altogether. This is most likely determined by the casino’s advantage rather than your own.

Another point to consider is that casinos tend to be affiliated with each other and don’t always disclose this information, making you possibly ineligible to receive another sign up bonus. You can demand a bonus from one of the partners all you like, but you will be refused regardless if you’ve already signed up through another casino within that group.

My last point is this: how close to you pay attention to the amounts you’ve wagered? Are you writing the amount down or keeping track of it in your head? Be mindful or you may be out of a lot more money than you originally intended. Then again, you could get lucky and win big.

There is also what is called a percentage bonus, which is very similar to a match bonus. Many casinos go with around 50 percent and this decides what you get back of your first deposit. This doesn’t count the new deposit. Some casinos offer a substantially larger amount, but again, it varies on the casino you visit.

Casino bonuses work well for both parties concerned as long as the casino is honest and you have full knowledge of what you’re getting yourself into. Just remember it’s not the amount of money that’s important, but the strings attached. Good luck and happy gambling!