In today’s world of online gambling and casino play, everyone is looking for the biggest and best bonuses. When you’re a casino player, is claiming a bonus the right move to make?
There are many reasons that it may not be the best decision to claim a bonus from a casino. Let’s take a few minutes and talk about some reasons you may want to pass on your next casino bonus opportunity.
Outrageous Wager Requirements
When you claim an online casino bonus, you are also committing to their ‘fine print’ or requirements of that specific offer. Many times (nearly every time), this includes outrageous wager requirements.
What do we mean by outrageous wager requirements?
Most bonus terms & conditions will have a ‘rollover amount’ in place with each bonus offer. For example, if you accept a 100% up to $500 bonus. You may have to wager 20x the bonus and deposit amount before you can cash out.
In this example, if you deposit $500 and claim a $500 bonus. You would have to wager $20,000 in total before you can cash out any winnings. All online casinos and bonus offers have different wager requirements set with them. From 8% to 10% to 20% rollover. But in the end, these massive wager requirements make it hard to cash out.
When casinos first began to appear online, they would usually offer bonuses that did not come with any wagering requirements whatsoever or very low ones. Clever casino players would accept the bonus and then work through their wagering using a game such as blackjack where the chances of winning each hand are practically the same as losing each hand, especially if the tactic known as ‘perfect strategy’ is used. Many online casinos were taken to the cleaners, hence stricter wagering conditions were put in place.
One of the safeguards used by online casinos to prevent themselves from being bankrupted by dozens of online casino players taking advantage of a casino bonus and working through wagering is game weightings or game contributions. This is where a game (or type of game) does not contribute one hundred percent towards your wagering.
With slots (or keno or bingo) you are generally safe. Each spin you take of a slot will take the necessary chunk out of your wagering requirements.
In the example above you took a £500 bonus, and have $20,000 of wagering to perform. You take one $1 spin of a slot and you now have $19,999 left of wagering to perform – it is as simple as that.
With table games, it is not so simple. Most casino bonuses have contributions of only ten percent (or even less) when it comes to blackjack of roulette.
This means that whatever your wager, only ten percent of that wager contributes towards wagering.
If this sounds complicated, then rest assured that it is not. Say you have $20,000 of wagering to perform, and you pay $1 to take a hand of blackjack at a casino that only allows a ten percent contribution towards wagering from the game.
Of that $1, only ten percent of it ($0.10) contributes towards wagering, so after that hand, you would still have a mammoth £19,999.90 of wagering to go before you can cash out your bonus.
Some casinos do not even allow casino games to count at all. In such circumstances, you are largely stuck with slots to meet your wagering.
When you take any bonus, you must check any terms and conditions with regards to game weightings or contributions.
Imagine this – you go to an online casino, grab your $500 bonus and start plugging away at the famous NetEnt slot Starburst to meet your wagering.
You are only twenty minutes in when – miracle of miracles – you land the maximum 50,000-coin jackpot, and win $50,000! Whoopee!
By the time you’ve completed your wagering, you have $48,000 left – a decent pay-out. You head to your withdrawal section and cash out $48,000 … only to have $47,800 of it immediately confiscated by the online casino. Huh?
You raise a dispute and the online casino reminds you of the cause in the bonus T&Cs that limits your withdrawal from a bonus to $200.
You’ve ‘lost’ $47,800 (or you haven’t as you never had it in the first place) – can you imagine how gutting that might feel?
Most casinos now place a ‘maximum withdrawal’ on their bonus T&Cs. This, in effect, limits the amount you can withdraw from any wins using bonus money while wagering. Sometimes it is a set amount (like the $200 bonus limit above) and other times it is a percentage or multiple of your bonus.
If you play slots using bonus money you always run the risk of landing a hefty jackpot that you simply cannot cash out.
You Use (And Could Lose) Your Own Money
When a casino says you must “wager your bonus money” that is not, exactly, what they mean. They mean you must “wager your own money based on the amount of your bonus”.
Bonus redemption is in three phases. In the first phase – typically – you wager your cash. In our continued example, you must wager the $500 you used to get your bonus money before you can touch your bonus money. Once all your cash has gone, your bonus money comes into play.
With your bonus money of $500 (as in our example), you could make $500 spins of a slot. Say you do this 500 times, and end up with $400 in winnings. Now you move onto to stage three – wagering!
The wagers you’ve made with your own money and your bonus money will have already contributed towards your wagering, but the likelihood is that you still have some way to go. In our example, say by the time you’ve completed wagering you’ve $250 left. You can now cash out – $250, yippee!
Except, you lost $500 of your own money to chase the bonus. So at the end of the day, you’re $250 down. Was it worth it?
Strict Time Limits and Other T&Cs
In an ideal world, you would have as much time as you need to meet your wagering, but this is not an ideal world. The general time limit for bonus redemption is usually around 30 days.
If you’ve not completed your wagering within this timeframe, then your bonus and any winnings from your bonus are confiscated. Wagering for free spins winnings can be even tighter – as little as seven days or even, 24 hours!
There are other T&Cs that you need to be aware of. Many a time if you make your first deposit at a site using any method aside from a card or bank account then you will not receive a bonus.
If you make a withdrawal (even of your own money) while you still have wagering to go you could find your bonus winnings are taken out of your account.
There are plenty of ‘sneaky’ tricks an online casino may try to find ways not to pay any bonus winnings to you. They are out to take your money, after all!
Cash Out Becomes Tougher
This next one goes directly along with the points made above. Due to these large wager requirements, it is nearly impossible (or way tougher) to cash-out.
Many think they can deposit, claim a bonus, win quickly, and cashout.
NOT THE CASE when you accept a bonus offer. You have to meet strict rollover and wagering requirements. Remember there may also be certain games that don’t count towards these wager requirements.
No casino’s in this business to just GIVE OUT free money. If you are wanting to cash out quickly, you may want to pass on the next offer you get.
Our Casino Bonus Section
Hopefully, this will give you a little insight into why you may want to avoid accepting casino bonuses. We want to be super honest and transparent here at NewCasinos.org — so taking these bonuses isn’t always the best option.
But there are times you DO WANT to claim a bonus. If you are a grinder and in it for the long haul, meaning a quick cashout isn’t needed — you may want to claim a bonus. We have a very detailed section with all of the latest bonuses from trusted online casinos.
If bonuses are still for you, feel free to browse our bonuses and claim the one that suits your needs.
Good luck as you get started with your next online casino. Whether to accept a bonus or not is the first question you need to ask yourself. Most people automatically assume the answer should be YES. But with tough wager requirements and cashout limitations — the right answer for you could be NO.
Also, reading online casino reviews is a great idea before you make a decision to opt-in to a bonus. Reviews like ours, give players full details regarding the wagering requirements that must be fulfilled. This will give players the opportunity to make a smart decision where to play.