Understanding Casino Bonuses

The biggest distinguishing factor of an online casino is the bonuses and promotions offered by it. It is also the least understood aspect of online casino gambling. Therefore we devote this section for explaining certain important aspects about online casino bonuses.

A bonus is money given to a player for wagering at the online casino. The first point to keep in mind is that bonuses cannot simply be cashed out. You have to wager the bonus as required in the bonus terms and conditions. The most important condition is the wagering requirement and this will be explained in detail.

Most online casino bonuses will be non-redeemable. These are also known as sticky bonuses. After you fulfill the wagering requirements these bonuses will be removed from your account and you can cash only the winnings. If the bonus is designated as redeemable then you can cash out the bonus along with the winnings after the wagering requirements are met.

Highlights & Main Points

  • Welcome bonuses are offered by online casinos as inducement to new players. They are mostly offered against the first deposits made.
  • Reload bonuses are the bonuses offered to players on an ongoing basis to keep them wagering at the online casino. Usually these are smaller than the welcome bonuses.
  • Free spins are unique form of bonuses in which the players can take a given number of spins on slot games without staking their own funds but will get credit for the payouts.
  • Wagering requirements specify how many times the bonus has to be turned around before the benefits can be cashed by the players.

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Deposit casino bonuses

In this case you will be required to make a deposit at the online casino before you can claim the associated bonus. This type of bonus is also referred to as a match bonus. The bonus is usually specified as a percent of the deposit. The online casino will also specify the minimum deposit that has to be made in order to be eligible for the bonus and the maximum amount of the bonus that will be awarded. A typical deposit bonus will be 100% of the deposit up to a maximum of €200 for a minimum deposit of €20. For a deposit of less than €20 you will not get any bonus. For a deposit between €20 and €200 you will get a bonus equal to the deposit amount. For a deposit of over €200 the bonus will be fixed at €200.

The first deposit bonus that you will encounter at the online casino is the welcome bonus. It the bonus available only on the first deposit made at the online casino. The specification of the welcome bonus varies considerably from casino to casino, but it usually is the largest bonus offered by the online casino. Some online casinos offer a multi-deposit welcome bonus package. The welcome bonuses run over the first few deposits. The percentage of the bonus and the maximum bonus may be different for each deposit. The total bonus package would be a few thousand euros. Thereafter you would be offered reload bonuses on a continuous basis.

No deposit casino bonus

Here you will be given a bonus without making any corresponding deposit. Such bonuses are also referred to as free bonuses. These are usually much smaller than deposit bonuses because players do not invest any funds of their own. There are different types of no deposit bonuses at online casinos.

Some online casinos offer a small no deposit bonus as a part of the welcome package. It would be of the order of €20. The objective is to allow the player experience the games without making any investment. After using the bonus if the player decides to stay on at the online casino they would be allowed to withdraw the winnings from the bonus subject to fulfilling the offer conditions. No deposit bonuses are also given as prizes to the winners in promotions hosted by online casinos. The promotions are usually lucky draw promotions or leader board contests.

Free spins bonuses

In such bonuses players are not given an amount to wager on casino games of their choice. Instead they can take a number of free spins on selected online slots without paying for the bets, but the winnings accrue to the player. The amount bet per spin is fixed by the online casino. The winnings from free spins is usually treated as a bonus and is subject to wagering requirements.

There are three common instances when free spins bonuses are awarded. The first is in lieu of a deposit welcome bonus. The new player is given a specified time to complete a given number of free spins (or a total bet amount) on designated online slots, with the condition that they can retain the winnings from the free spins. The second is when a new online slot is launched. Some online casinos offer free spins on the slot game in order to popularize it. Finally free spins may be given as a prize in a promotion.

Wagering requirements

Bonuses are meant to be played at online casinos. Therefore you have to wager them. Wagering requirements specify the extent to which you need to wager the bonus before becoming eligible for the benefits.

Wagering requirements are best explained using an example. Suppose a non-redeemable bonus is 50% of the deposit with wagering requirement of 30 times the bonus and deposit. For a deposit of €50 the bonus will be €25. The wagering requirement will be 30x(50+25) or €2,250. In the case of a no deposit bonus the wagering requirement will be a multiple of the bonus only.

When the wagering requirement is €2,250 you need to wager this amount before you can cash the benefits of the bonus. In the above example you will get a bonus of €25, which will be credited to your bonus account. When you wager from this and win the bonus balance will increase. When you wager and lose the bonus balance will decrease. You have to be able to place bets amounting to €2,250 without the bonus balance becoming zero. If you lose all the funds before you are able to wager this amount, then you cannot cash out anything. Suppose you are left with $100 in your bonus balance after meeting the wagering requirement. Since the bonus was non-redeemable it will be removed from the bonus balance, leaving you with $75. This amount will then be transferred to your free balance subject to the maximum cashout limit specified in the offer.

There is another important issue regarding wagering requirements. Different game categories contribute to different degrees towards wagering requirements. Online slots contribute 100%. If the wagering requirement is €2,250 and you successfully wager €2,250 on online slots then you are through. But if a table game contributes only 50%, then you have to wager €4,500 on that table game in order to complete the wagering requirement of €2,250.