Casino bonuses must be one of the greatest inventions of online casinos! They allow players to play from a real money account without ever depositing any money (no deposit bonus); or give you double or more of the money you have just deposited (match deposit bonus); or give you free money simply because you have been a loyal player to the casino (reload bonus); or even give you free money simply for signing up to the casino (sign-up bonus). So, of course you want to play with free money, that’s a no brainer, right? Wrong!
For some people, the mention of bonuses is fantastic news and cashing in on all this money should be a no-brainer. But for others, it seems a bit too good to be true so there must be a catch. There is… It is called a Wagering Requirement (WR).
Simply put, a WR is the number of time that a player needs to wager the bonus amount in order to be allowed to withdraw winnings resulting from that bonus. For example, if a casino has a wagering requirement of 25X and you accept a bonus offer from them of $100, you may not withdraw any winnings from that $100 until you have wagered at least $2,500 of your own money.
In addition to this, you may find that wagers on certain games do not count towards the wagering requirement. In fact, it is often the popular games such as blackjack that casinos disallow from contributing to a player’s wagering requirement. This makes it that much more difficult to meet the requirement especially if your favourite games are amongst those that do not count. So now you have a couple of thousand dollars in winnings but cannot withdraw them until you put in enough money to take your own winnings out.
Other than the WR, some bonuses will be restricted in terms of their use. This will be done by making the bonus only available for use on either certain types of game (e.g. table games) or on specific games (e.g. Thunderstruck video slot). This is not much of a big deal for people willing to play any online casino game; but it is something important to consider before tying yourself to a bonus if you are a game-specific player.
If you happen to reel in every single bonus offer made by a casino and end up being hit by a nasty surprise when after winning sizeable amounts of money you find out that you cannot withdraw your winnings, it is probably because you did not read the casino’s Terms and Conditions. Such information will always be made visible in this section of the casino and one should be careful to take note.
In reality, there are many terms and conditions tied to online casino bonuses. When, where, how and on what they may be used are questions you need to ask yourself before opting to make use of one. The principle to remember is that casinos – online or not – are created to make money, not give it away. So while bonuses are a good way for them to reel unknowing players, it is recommended that you do your own homework to find out what terms are attached to using them. No one can force you to attentively read through the Terms and Conditions that each online casino comes with. The onus is on you to do so willingly as it will prevent you from making rookie mistakes when playing online.