The online gambling industry is among the fastest-growing industries not just online, but in the world. Among other things, that means that the competition is fierce and the fight for every new player is ferocious. The best way to attract new players (and retain old ones) is through bonuses. Over time, casinos have developed numerous types of bonuses they offer to both new and old players, in an effort to keep them. The amounts of money casinos sometimes give can be astounding, like a 400% deposit bonus. That just goes to show how hard it is to stay competitive in this cut-throat environment. It also demonstrates how much money a casino expects to make from you, so tread carefully.
Wagering requirements are the way online casinos make sure you don’t take their money and run away. Since they are forced to give bonuses to players, they want to make sure you give them a chance to win it back from you. Wagering requirements are stating how many times you have to wager a bonus before withdrawing it to your bank account. For instance, if a wagering requirement is x10 and your bonus is $100, you have to make wagers in a total amount of $1,000 before removing the money from your account. That is why not everyone likes them and many players opt-out of them. It is easy to see why casinos came up with this system since, without it, there would be nothing to stop players from simply collecting a bonus and immediately transferring it to their bank account. All new players should make sure to understand the wagering requirements that come with their bonuses to prevent any nasty surprises when you click that withdrawal button.
Sticky vs. Non-sticky Bonuses
Regardless of the way you obtained it, all bonuses fall under one of two categories, sticky and non-sticky bonuses. The main difference is what you can do with them. Sticky bonuses are the ones you can’t withdraw, the ones that stick with the casino, hence sticky in their name. That is usually the only restriction they have. You can use them to play all games a casino has to offer and you can gamble it in any way you want. Since they are restricted, casinos are more generous with them, providing the players with 200% to even 400% bonus on their deposits. Although limited, they will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the way the casino operates and discover what games you enjoy playing, all without risking your own money. Non-sticky bonuses are the opposite and you can do with them whatever you like, including withdrawing them, provided they don’t come with wagering requirements. This makes them probably the most popular casino bonus among the players. That also means they are not as bountiful as their sticky cousins, rarely exceeding 100% matching.
The most common type of casino bonus is a deposit bonus. Depending on whether the bonus is sticky or not, you can get from 100% to even 400% of your deposit. Before accepting it, make sure to read terms and conditions carefully to see what kind of limitations are coming with it. Wagering requirements can be quite steep in some casinos and you want to know them beforehand. Many casinos will give deposit bonuses on all deposits, but some will have limits. For instance, a deposit bonus can be limited to deposits exceeding $100 or some other sum. This is also information you want to discover before you grab your credit card. Imagine depositing $80, only to discover that you could have gotten free $400 by adding $20 more.
The welcome bonus is also sometimes called a sign-up bonus. You qualify for it by simply making a verified account. They vary greatly from casino to casino, from modest sums like $20 to larger sums, often split up over a period of time. The welcome bonus doesn’t have to be money, as some casinos give out free spins as a part of their welcome package, but more on that later. If you are not sure that you want to stay in a particular casino, the welcome bonus is a great way of testing the waters and discovering whether it is a good match for you.
Reload bonus is casinos’ way of rewarding loyalty in their players. If you have ever made a deposit in a casino, you are eligible for a reload bonus. More often than not, however, your deposit must meet certain criteria to claim a reload bonus. Don’t expect a matching sum from a reload bonus. They usually run in the 20% to 40% range, but every little bit helps. After all, it’s not like you have to jump through hoops to get it. Wagering requirements also tend to be lower for reload bonuses because they are smaller.
Cashback bonuses are a fairly new addition to the world of casino bonuses. In essence, they will give you back a portion of your losses. Mind you, not 100%, or even 50%. They rarely exceed 30%, some giving back even less. But since it is the money you already lost, nobody is complaining. Getting even a fraction of your lost wagers is rather nifty, anyway you look at it. Depending on a casino, they can be hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly and they will come with wagering requirements.
Free spins are a specific bonus that can be only used on slot machines. Some free spins are universal, meaning they can be used on every slot casino has to offer. Others are more specific and can be spent or either a single slot or sometimes on slots made by a certain developer, usually as a part of a promotion of new slots. Casinos tend to be fairly generous with them, often dolling them out in batches of 50 or 100. They tend to be time-limited, so make sure you read the conditions and use them before they expire.
Read the Fine Print
Bonuses are an excellent example of how competition can benefit the consumers. After all, you are getting free money. However, that money comes with strings attached, and reading the fine print in terms and conditions is a must if you want to take full advantage of them.