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Smart advertising ploy or beneficial financial prospect? It is easy to be cynical about the idea that some multi-million corporations will want to give you free money to help you win more free money, but what are the facts behind casino bonuses? Are they worth investing in, or are they just there for those who do not care either way?

This article will explain the mechanics of all the casino bonuses you can find online. What they are, what you get, what they mean, and what you can win.

What are online bonuses?

So, what are bonuses? Well, firstly, they are not a scam. Yes, they are smart advertising tools that do lure players into joining but the bottom line is this. If a bonus tells you that you can play with $5,000 in extra money, then you can, and here is why.

Before a casino goes online, it must comply with the regulations of governing authorities that licensed businesses to serve as online casinos. By meeting the standards of the regulators, they are complicit in providing fair and safe service to customers. If honesty is not met or there is a breach of the code of ethics that casinos online must subscribe to, then there is a very large fine heading their way.

It is of no benefit for the casino to oversell or falsify information regarding any aspect of service or feature.

Bonuses will change from casino to casino so your rewards will differ depending on what the terms and conditions state. Overall, casino bonuses are one of two things. Cash credit that allows you to play certain games and recoup more profit from. Or you have free spins which allow you to play all digital gaming formats from slots to scratch cards.

Should you use a casino bonus?

All casino bonuses are optional, even if they are 100% free, there is no obligation to use them. But any decision made should be done based on what the terms of the deal are.

Have players benefited from using bonuses before? Do they have any real worth? Well, this is had to know because it wouldn’t make any news that one player won £10,000 from a free spins bonus. It might happen, it may never happen, but the fact players are able to use spin in a game for free with the potential to win, then it’s nothing lost and perhaps everything to gain.

But surely, with so many bonuses out there in the online casino world, there must be a reason they still are provided. To get a perspective of bonuses from the inside of the business, we spoke with Ingerlise Dalen, Editor-in-Chief of norskonlinecasino.info which is the #1 bonus comparison site in Norway.

“Bonuses are a strange casino feature, but it is one that our business focuses on and we like to think successfully at it also. We provide players in Norway with exclusive bonus content across all the top casinos online that are open to Norwegian players. The data shows that welcome bonuses are more of a hit than any other special offer. Players tend to bypass reviews and head straight into the casino with the largest offer, despite our reviews actually providing more information. We try as much as possible to tell players to read the terms and conditions, but whether they do or not is unknown to us.”

The terms and conditions of bonuses online

The small print of any offer is enough to put any human off reading the finite details and either having them give up or press-on regardless.

The terms and conditions of a bonus is very important to know about because we are dealing with financial gains or losses.

Now, each online casino can make their own rules, but they must comply with regulatory standards and basically be honest and clear about what they are selling to the customer.

The offers will vary across sites and promotions, but there are key factors that remain and can be seen throughout all bonuses presented.

Here are the main key points of a casino bonus terms and conditions.:

  1. What the min and max deposit amount is
  2. The sum of the bonus
  3. The games which are eligible with the offer
  4. What the wagering requirements are for withdrawals
  5. The bonus expiry date

Players must absolutely know these factors prior to using any bonus offer.

Many bonuses require the player to make a cash deposit for it to become redeemable. There are minimum amounts you can pay in and there is a max that will alter the return of the bonus depending on the cost you put into your account.

The sum of the bonus will be less in return by just depositing the minimum amount than what you could get by paying in the maximum amount.

The bonus types are specific to the eligible games. For example, free spins do not work on sports bets or live casino games. You can, however, you can get welcome bonuses that do provide cash for sports betting or casino games. it really is a mixed bag, but there are certain rules to what games can and cannot be played.

The wagering requirement tells players what the overall costs are should their winnings need to be withdrawn. This is basically the sticking point, the difference from making a bonus good to making it god-awful. If you win from your bonus money, then the wagering requirement tells you how much you need to deposit and play before that winning money can be withdrawn. It’s the biggest catch-22 going, but the only one, and it has been approved by regulators. Every casino bonus has this term. On average, the wagering requirement is about 35 times the amount of the bonus money provided. So, if your deposit returns a $100 bonus to play with and you win using that money, you will need to pay $3,500 into your account and play with it before you can withdraw the bonus money winnings. Now, if that sum is greater than $3,500 (in this example) then the bonus is worth it.

This will have an expiry date that could be days or months to pay the money in by and use the bonus by.

Online casino bonuses

So, how are you feeling about casino bonuses? Well, it’s a business practice that has been going for years, give customers something that is somewhat useful, but that we can benefit from in the long run. That said, you can still win real money from these offers, there is no doubt about it.

There are some things to consider. One: a player is going to need to deposit to play games anyway, this is gambling 101. If the casino is going to give you cash or free spins, or perhaps both, then you haven’t lost. If there is any gain to make, then it can only be done where the rewards far outweigh the wagering costs.

So, let us present the most popular bonuses you will find online…

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus is a reward that is only eligible for newly registered players. The welcome bonus is always a deposit bonus, 99% of the time. The welcome bonus can be a single deposit reward or with the larger bonuses, can often provide multiple deposit opportunities to help reclaim large rewards.

The reward themselves often are a combination of free spins and cash allowances. You will find there are also available Bitcoin welcome bonuses presented by bitcoin-friendly online casinos should you wish to use them as your banking preference.

No deposit bonus

The no deposit bonus is a rarity online but as the bonus says, no payment is required, this makes it 100% free. There will still be terms to read, but the reads from these bonus types are minimal. You can be rewarded with free spins that vary between 5 spins and 50. If the offer is cash, this fluctuates between $5 and $25.

Free spins bonus

The most popular bonus is the free spins bonus because it can appear within all other bonus forms. The spins rewarded can be used on many games, from slots to scratch cards. Free spins can be part of a promo campaign of a developer, so if, for example, if there are new releases of NetEnt games they may present free spins to trial the games out or if they are used as Games of the Week promotions.

Free spins may sometimes come with bonus codes to unlock them, again terms and conditions will specify how to use the bonuses correctly.

Loyalty bonus

Loyalty bonuses are gifted as thank-yous from the casino to players that remain week in and week out. They are minimal prizes but nevertheless, you can still win real money from them and 99% of the time they are entirely free, whereas on the odd occasion you may pick up a loyalty bonus by depositing. These rewards drop into your account at random intervals either each week or month.