Online casinos are flourishing as COVID closes brick and mortar venues to push traditional gamblers online. Valued at a ‘modest’ $59 billion, global online gambling is expected to double by 2025, and so does the number of gambling fans.
But everyone willing to jump on the bandwagon of online gambling should be cautious as it’s rife with shady, untrustworthy casinos that lure players with allegedly generous bonuses and then just disappear with the loot.
On the flip side, though, any gambling platform without exception offers some perks for all categories of players, and it doesn’t mean they all want to defraud you. There are hundreds of credible casinos with really helpful bonuses, but it’s your task and obligation to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Luckily, dissecting the bonus offer itself is usually enough to understand whether the casino is worth your time and money. What’s more, this doesn’t require any significant knowledge and background in gambling; in fact, the information in this piece is enough to leverage bonuses at online casinos.
Wagering Requirements: the Dark Side of Bonuses
Casinos rarely give away money or free spins just like that. Oftentimes, you have to deposit some real money into your account and – drumroll – complete a wagering requirement. Now, what is it?
A wagering requirement is a multiplier representing the number of times you have to play through your bonus – and sometimes your deposit as well – before you can cash it out. For better understanding, let’s imagine you’ve deposited $100 to a casino offering ‘100% welcome bonus with 25x wagering applied to both the deposit and the bonus money.’ If so, you will only be able to withdraw after wagering a total of $5,000 on the eligible games (that is, the games participating in the bonus offer); before that, both the deposit and the bonus money are locked.
But not only that! In addition to wagering requirements, there may be other limitations, such as geographical restrictions, banking methods excluded from the offer, and so on, which is why you should always peruse the bonus terms and conditions webpage in the first place. Read it carefully as it may change the perspective on the bonus offer you’re going to grab.
No-Deposit Bonus: the Most Luscious Treat at Online Casinos
There are bazillions of bonuses on online platforms, but the only one that grants free money without any reservations is a no-deposit bonus, also known as a registration bonus. As the name of the bonus suggests, it’s granted for the very fact of registration – usually a small amount, up to a few dozen dollars, but hey, it’s free!
Even though you’ll likely be asked to complete the wagering before you can withdraw your bonus money and your bonus winnings, it’s still worth it as it bears no risks. The only thing to keep in mind is that some casinos may ask you to make a deposit to withdraw your no-deposit winnings. If so, then you have to calculate whether the game is worth the candle in your specific case:
- If you’ve won more than you’re asked to deposit before you can withdraw, then it does make sense.
- If the amount of money asked to be deposited is larger than the amount of your win, then the odds are not in your favor.
With all that said, no-deposit bonuses should always be on your radar as they are the best – and actually the only one – way to win real money without risks. And even if you lose it all, the thrill of the real-money play will be delivered to you on the house.
The second-best type of perks at online casinos, a no-wagering bonus does not require you to complete the wagering requirement, but it’s not free money all the same as you often have to deposit quite a lot to be eligible for a no-wagering bonus.
A typical no-wagering bonus of, say, $50 would require you to deposit just as much…and the body of the bonus might be locked for withdrawal. If so, then you would only be able to withdraw bonus winnings – if you’re able to win anything from your bonus, that is.
Baits are Countless, so Beware
From pure mathematics to ambiguous bonus conditions, there are so many tricks you can fall for that it might seem almost impossible to make it. However, most baits are on the very surface – and most can be detected by careful due diligence if not just common sense applied to the gambling realities. Stay vigilant, stay wealthy.