Bonuses are widely prevalent across the online casino industry. In fact, when compared to their land-based counterparts, one of the biggest selling points is their frequent (not to mention generous!) promotional offers. Given that the online casino market around the world is a multi-billion-dollar sector that is growing at unprecedented rates, the competition within the market is cut-throat. For them to thrive, they must offer lucrative bonuses.
Online casinos use bonuses to lure in players. They are one of the best marketing strategies and are highly effective not only in attracting new players, but also in keeping existing players wagering actively.
However, these offers come with a slew of terms and conditions. While many generous casinos do come up with valuable offers, there are also tons of them with highly restrictive terms and conditions that are simply better avoided. In short, the squeeze is simply not worth the juice.
For a player, choosing the right casino and bonus is key to having a good experience. Let’s go over some of the golden rules of claiming such offers. Follow these tips for a hassle-free experience when you next claim a casino bonus.
DO: Sign up with a Legitimate and Reputable Casino
When you’re going to gamble with real money online, you need to pick a casino that’s trustworthy and legitimate. There are many bad apples out there that promise great bonuses and convince you to make a real-money deposit and you’ll simply never see your money again. So, make sure you sign up with a well-reputed site that holds a valid license issued by a well-known and trusted licensing authority. Moreover, make sure you read reviews from verified players at neutral casino forums before you sign up.
Finding yourself on a lucky streak is all well and good. But what you need to do is ensure you’re taking full advantage of the offer. The internet is full of recommended lists promoting casino bonuses. Some are reliable, others, not so much. Fortunately we’ve got quite a bit of experience under our belt in this regard. But for the purpose of filtering out the countless promotions, we thought of highlighting a list of no deposit online casinos, from NoDepositExplorer.
DO: Check the Bonus Wagering Requirements
When you claim an offer and receive bonus funds, you can’t just cash out those funds and walk away with a profit. This is understandable, since casinos would go broke if they gave away free money by offering bonuses. In order to prevent this, they impose wagering requirements that dictate how much money one needs to wager from their own pocket before they can cashout a bonus that they have claimed.
Unfortunately, some casinos take this too far and have unreasonably high wagering requirements which make claiming such offers a very expensive affair.
Chasing high wagering requirements can actually result in you losing money by claiming the bonus and therefore, we suggest avoiding claiming any offer with high wagering requirements. Unless you’re a high-roller with a massive wagering budget, it’s better to stick to wagering requirements of 35x or below.
DO: Go Through the Wagering Requirements… with a fine tooth comb!
Before figuring out which games are eligible to be played when choosing your desired bonus, make sure to go through the outlined wagering requirements. The percentage that different casino games contribute to respective wagering requirements varies. In fact, some games don’t contribute at all.
While a majority of slots contribute to the entire 100%, certain game categories may contribute to far less. Table games such as blackjack, roulette, and video poker always have a lower percentage contribution (usually between 5% and 20%). This is because such games have a lower house edge and casinos would rather have you playing games with a higher house edge.
The game weighting percentage can vary significantly among casinos as well. This is why it’s important to check the game contribution rates and plan your wagering accordingly if you want to complete the play-through requirements efficiently and cash out your bonus funds. This information is usually presented in a tabular format within the ‘Terms & Conditions’ or the ‘Bonus Policy/Bonus Rules’.
DON’T: Ignore Time Limit Attached to Wagering Requirements
If you find a bonus with reasonable wagering requirements, you also need to check the validity period before you claim it. Contrary to what most players think, the validity period does not just entail that you need to use up the bonus before it expires, but you also need to fulfill the wagering requirements before the expiry date. Failure to do so within the allotted time frame will result in the entire bonus being forfeited.
The bottom line: never claim a bonus without checking how long you have to complete the wagering requirements.
DON’T: (forget to) Read the Bonus Terms and Conditions Thoroughly
The key to having a good playing experience is in understanding the offer in its entirety. You need to be aware of the minimum qualifying deposit, and the payment options accepted since deposits by certain banking methods like Neteller and Skrill are sometimes not eligible. In addition you need to know the maximum bet accepted per spin or round, maximum cash out, games permitted, etc.
The only way you will be acquainted with this information is if you read the casino bonus terms and conditions thoroughly. We know reading terms and conditions is not what you signed up for, you would rather play entertaining games that keep you on the edge of your seat. However, if you want to make a profit from your bonus, there’s no workaround, you’ve got to read all the terms and conditions and abide by them. If you need further clarity on certain rules, you can always reach out to the casino’s customer support for answers. If the casino is one that’s highly regarded (and we’re assuming that it is), its customer care should be top-notch!