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Casino Bonus: All information you could ever need!

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Casino bonuses are very common in the (online) gambling world, almost every online casino offers them to (new and existing) players. Contrary to the popular belief though, a casino bonus is not free money. There are always certain requirements that need to be met before an individual can claim the ‘prize’. 

As a result, anyone interested in taking advantage of a bonus offer should carefully read the fine print (the applicable bonus terms and conditions). These online casino’s bonus terms and conditions can often be the cause of frustration if they are unclear for the receiver of the bonus in question. 

For this reason, this article will go over a few key points about online casino bonuses in order to help you better comprehend the bonus offers and the conditions that come with them. Furthermore, the article will be divided into three parts. In the first part, some general information about the online casino bonus will be presented, such as the definition of a bonus, the online casino’s purpose for offering a bonus, and so on. In the second part of this article, the various bonus terms and conditions will be discussed. The third part of this article will go through the various types of bonuses that online casinos offer.

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Part I: General information on Casino Bonus

Part I of this article will provide some general information relating to online casino bonuses. The topics that will be discussed in the first part of this article are the following:

  • The definition of a  casino bonus
  • Why do online casinos offer bonuses
  • Useful terms to know
  • Online casino bonus: How does it work and who is eligible for one?
  • Online casino vs land-based bonuses

The definition of a casino bonus

Before diving into the many types of casino bonuses and the applicable terms and conditions, let us first define what is meant by the term “bonus”. What exactly is an online casino bonus?

Casino bonuses are incentives and/or rewards that a person receives when they sign up, make a deposit, play gambling games, or become a ‘loyal’ player at a particular casino. It is crucial to understand that bonuses are not free money that can be cashed in at any given time. Bonuses often come in the form of opportunities to increase your bets or ways to multiply your earnings. A webpage can typically be found on the website of the online casinos that is dedicated to the current promotions that the casinos offer. These promotions/bonuses can change over time. In addition to this, casinos typically offer bonuses to both new and existing players.

Why do online casinos offer bonuses? 

Online casinos have a variety of reasons for offering a bonus. One of the biggest reasons, of course, is to attract new customers. However, bonuses are also offered as a way to stand out from other competitors/casinos, seeing as the bonuses from different online casinos can differ from one other. Players are generally more likely to play at a casino that provides them with a bonus (that suits them). Furthermore, casinos aim to not only attract new consumers, but also to keep these new clients playing at their casino. 

Useful terms to know regarding online casino bonuses

In this section, you will find several bonus-related terms that can be of help in better understanding the applicable bonus terms and conditions. A number of these terms will be discussed in greater depth, further in this article.

  • Wagering Requirements / Rollover amount – Before a player can withdraw a bonus, they are required to play a certain number of times. They are thus required to wager/bet numerous times in order to successfully redeem the bonus. This is an important bonus requirement, which will be discussed in further detail in part II of this article.
  • Cash bonus – Cash bonuses allow players to withdraw any remaining funds that are still in their account once they have bet the appropriate amount according to the wagering requirements. 
  • Play bonus – Unlike the cash bonus, the play bonus does not allow players to withdraw the bonus itself, after having satisfied the wagering requirements. Players are, however, allowed to withdraw the winnings that they have accumulated with the bonus.
  • Weightings – If a bonus includes game weightings, some games will only contribute a portion of the wagering requirements.
  • Restrictions – If a bonus has game limitations, certain games will not contribute toward the wagering requirements at all. Players can normally still play certain games, although playing restricted games may result in the forfeiture of a bonus.
  • Time limit – Bonuses have an expiration date. They (or at least a part of them) are only valid for a limited time.
  • Withdraw limit The maximum or minimum amount of money that can be withdrawn.
  • Bonus code – If an individual wishes to be eligible for a bonus, they are sometimes required to submit a bonus code while making a deposit or registering for an account. Bonus codes can be found in a variety of places, such as promotional e-mails and/or adverts on the websites and social media of a casino or an affiliate.
  • Bonus percentage – This is the percentage or rate at which a given bonus is matched.
  • Bonus size – The maximum amount of money an individual will get out of a bonus offer.
  • Opt-out – Players have the possibility of opting out of a bonus. Players can decline a bonus, the bonus sum and, in some cases, any wins will then be forfeited.  There is usually no way to reverse the forfeiture should a player proceed with it. 
  • Withdrawal – Withdrawal is the process of when a player recalls their winnings into their bank account in a real currency (such as euros).

Online casino bonus: How does it work and who is eligible for one?

Online casino bonuses offer different kinds of bonuses to players such as a sign-up bonus, a deposit bonus, cashback bonus, free spins and many more. All of these bonuses can have different requirements, which will be discusses in part II of this article. As mentioned before, the online casinos offer these bonuses in the hopes of attracting new players and/or in order to keep existing players content at their casino.

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In general, anyone who is not under the age of 18, can claim a bonus offer. Although most online casinos in some countries (the Netherlands for example) require players to be over the age of 24 in order to be awarded a bonus. In addition to this, casinos also restrict the bonus to only one household and or IP- address. Furthermore, the casino can set the requirement that an individual is only allowed to make use of a bonus offer only once. In conclusion, bonuses can thus be awarded to any individual who has an account at a certain online casino. No one is in principle excluded from receiving a bonus unless the online casino has not set further requirements.

Online casino vs. land-based casino bonuses 

Contrary to popular belief, land-based casinos also offer bonuses to players. However, unlike online casino bonuses, land-based casino bonuses require the players to physically be at said casino. In addition to this, land-based casino bonuses are usually more restrictive than online casino bonuses because the land-based casino bonus can exclusively be used at certain areas of the casino. Furthermore, the online casino bonuses can be more profitable for players because the worth of the bonus is larger. Players typically have more bonus and game options at online casinos. The variety of games and bonuses is thus much larger in online casinos.

Part II: The casino bonus terms and conditions

Part II of this article goes over a number of important terms and conditions that are set by the online casinos for their bonus offer. The bonus terms and conditions that will be discussed in the second part of this article are the following:

  • Wagering requirements
  • Time limit
  • Game restrictions
  • Limits
  • Withdrawal of the winnings

Wagering requirements for casino bonuses

The wagering requirements are one of the most crucial sections of the bonus terms and conditions and should therefore always be checked before accepting a bonus offer. As previously mentioned, the wagering requirement (also often called the playthrough requirement) obligates players to first wager the bonus a certain number of times, before they can redeem the (bonus) funds. Let’s clarify this with an example.

Player A gets a bonus offer at Casino X. Player A then deposits 50 euros on a 100% matching bonus offer. Player A has thus 100 euros on his account. In order to withdraw his winnings, player A needs to meet the wagering requirements of casino X, which are (for example) 30x the deposit and bonus.  (This can, of course, vary from one casino and/or bonus offer to the other, starting from a wagering requirement of 10 till usually 50 times the amount of the deposit and bonus.) In the case of player A, he is required to bet 30 times that amount in order to be able to clear the bonus in question. This means that player A needs to make a total of 3000 euros (100 × 30) in wagers in order to be able to withdraw his winnings. In the case that player A does not meet the wager requirement of casino X, he can not clear his winnings.

In conclusion, should an individual want to successfully withdraw the bonus funds, he or she is required to meet the wagering requirements set by the casino. It is therefore wise to go over the wagering requirements that are stated in the terms and conditions, before accepting a bonus offer. 

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Time limit casino bonus

Most of us would want to receive a bonus offer that has no time limit, but unfortunately this is usually not the case. Every casino sets a certain time limit for wagering the bonus offer. These time limits naturally cannot be extremely short, the most common time limit being 30 days or in some cases 90 days. However, there are even some bonuses that only last 2 or 3 days. Players should also keep in mind that a bonus offer could have various expiration dates for different components of the bonus.

Let us illustrate the time limit requirement with an example. Casino X offer a mixed bonus, which is composed out of a free spin and cash bonus, to player A. The time limit for the free spin is 15 days and 30 for the cash bonus with a wagering requirement of 30x. Player A accepts this bonus offer. After 16 days player A has only wagered 20 free spins, but he did manage to wager the cash bonus 30 times. Player A did not meet the wager requirement for the free spin portion of the bonus within the set time limit. He therefore cannot withdraw the winnings from the free bet portion.

Players are thus required to meet the wagering requirements within this set time limit in order to successfully withdraw the winnings. To be able to keep the bonus and the winnings from it, an individual should fully clear the wagering requirements within the set time limit. The remaining bonus, as well as any profits, will be lost if this does not happen.

Game restrictions

Players usually want to use the bonus as they see fit. However, online casinos can set some game restrictions. This means that the restricted games do not contribute to the wagering requirement. If for example player A enjoys playing blackjack, but he has accepted a bonus that can only be used for roulette games, the blackjack games that he plays will not contribute to the wagering requirements. Players can, however, avoid this by reading the terms and conditions and by only choosing bonuses that suit their interests.    

Limits

Casinos sometimes set minimum withdrawal limits. For example, if an amount is too low, players cannot redeem it.  In this case, online casinos usually let the players then know that the amount is too low and inform them about the set minimum.

There is not only a minimum withdrawal limit, but casinos can also impose a maximum amount. If the maximum amount (for example) is 1000 euros, but a player has accumulated 2000 euros, then the player will receive the set maximum amount. In this case, the player will only receive 1000 euros. 

Withdrawal of the winnings of your casino bonus money 

When individuals play at an online casino, they, of course, want to withdraw/cash out their winning funds. However, when a bonus is involved, withdrawing becomes more complicated, seeing as a certain individual first need to meet the set requirements such as the wager requirement and time limit. The bonus can thus impose some restrictions on the players when it comes to withdrawing winnings. Together with deposits, withdrawals are also one significant transaction that is carried out at a certain online casino.

Part III: Types of online casino bonuses

Part III will present a number of online casino bonuses, which will include:

  • Sign up/welcome bonus
  • Deposit bonus
  • No-deposit bonus
  • Free spins
  • Free bet
  • Cashback bonus
  • Minimum deposit
  • Reload bonus
  • Loyalty bonus
  • Refer a friend bonus
  • Match bonus
  • Device-specific bonus
  • High roller bonus/VIP bonus

Sign up/welcome bonus

In part I of this article, it was stated that online casino’s offer bonuses because they want to attract new customers. By offering a sign up/welcome bonus, they try to get potential players to sign up to their online casino. The goal of a welcome bonus is thus to attract new players.

In principle every player is entitled to a sign-up/welcome bonus, but players are required to be over the age of 18.  Some online casinos require players to be above the age of 24. This age requirement is quite common in the Netherlands. The welcome bonus is received by new players as soon as they make an account at an online casino, however the bonus does need to be activated by the player if they wish to receive it. Players also have the option of refusing a welcome bonus/sign up bonus. 1

Furthermore, individuals that want to make use of a bonus offer should always check the applicable bonus terms and conditions. Herein are the important requirements for the welcome bonus stated. One of the requirements that can be applicable to the welcome bonus/sign-up bonus is the game restriction. Some casino games do not count for the bonus. Another requirement that can be set for the welcome bonus is the fact that the bonus needs to be wagered a number of times. For this reason, players are advised to always look at the bonus requirements in order to avoid unwillingly being bound to them. 

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Deposit bonus

A deposit bonus is also very common in the online gambling world. Players will receive a deposit bonus offer if they deposit a certain amount to their game balance.  New players as well as existing players are eligible for this type of bonus.

The deposit bonus also has certain requirements that need to be met. One of this is the wagering requirement. Deposited and bonus amounts have to be wagered numerous times before a withdrawal can take place. Online casinos may also set a maximum withdraw limit. 

No deposit bonus

Every player wants to try out different online gambling games without risking their money. Online casinos fulfil this wish by offering players a no deposit bonus. This type of bonus does not require players to deposit an amount to the online casino, however the no deposit bonus is not offered to new players. The no deposit bonus is usually offered to existing players.

Even though this type of bonus is a great opportunity to try out different online games of chance, there can still be requirements that are applicable to this bonus offer. Players can for example be required to wager the bonus amount a number of times, before it can be redeemed. Moreover, certain online casino games can be restricted, meaning that only the non-restricted games count for the wagering requirement. Furthermore, online casinos can also set a maximum limit for withdraw. In this case, players are only allowed to withdraw the set maximum amount. 

Free spins

The free spins bonus is also a common bonus offer. In order to receive free spins, players are not required to deposit a certain amount. This bonus offer can generally be used for slot games and fruit machines. In the bonus terms and conditions, players can see for which games specifically this bonus offer is applicable. With this kind of bonus, players get a number of free spins (as the name suggests), which can be used for free rounds on slot games and/or fruit machines.

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You can probably already tell that there are always certain requirements for each type of bonus offer. In the case of free spins, players can be required to wager this bonus numerous times before they can withdraw the won amount. However, the online casinos can also set a maximum limit for withdraw. It is therefore advisable to read the applicable bonus terms and conditions when accepting a free spin offer.

Free bet

The free bet bonus is also a type of bonus that is usually offered to existing players at an online casino. The free bet bonus gives players the opportunity to place a free bet. In order to receive this bonus offer, players may be required to first place a bet. The free bet bonus is also commonly accompanied by a special event or match.

Free bet bonuses also carry certain requirements with them. One of these requirements is the fact that players may only be allowed to use this bonus for a specific match. In addition to this, online casinos may also set a minimum odd amount. Once the wager has been declared a winner, the deposit that is associated with the free bet will be forfeited. Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Player A get a free bet bonus of 10 euros and places a bet on a 1.80 odd. Player A will then receive 8 euros instead of 18. The deposit comes from the online casino and expires after the bet.

Cashback bonus 

The cashback bonus is every player’s dream because it allows players to get a part of their lost amount. The cashback bonus is not very common, but some casinos do offer them to players. In order to receive the cashback bonus offer, players need to have lost a wager. Only then can they get a percentage of their lost amount. In the applicable bonus terms and conditions, players can check the percentage that they will receive of their lost amount. Different online casinos have different cashback percentages.  The cashback bonus gives players a percentage of their lost amount back over a set period of time. This can be daily, weekly or monthly losses. In addition to this, usually only loyal players at a certain casino will receive the cashback bonus offer.

Minimum deposit bonus

Online casinos may require players to make a minimum deposit in order to be eligible for a bonus, such as the minimum deposit bonus. The online casinos usually require players to make a minimum deposit of 10 or 20 euros. The amount of money that players will get from an offer is usually dependent on the amount that they invest.

For example, if a player gets a 200 percent deposit bonus with a minimum deposit requirement of 20 euros, then they will get twice as much bonus money. In the case of a 20 euros deposit, players will receive 60 euros in total.

The minimum bonus offer usually comes with certain limitations, such as a minimum amount of money that should be deposited and a maximum amount players may deposit in order to be eligible for the promotion. These amounts will, of course, be disclosed in the applicable terms and conditions.

Reload bonus

Another type of bonus that may be offered by online casinos is the reload bonus. In general, the reload bonus mostly gets offered to loyal players who have made deposits in the past. The reload bonus is similar to the welcome bonus. The reload bonus unlike the welcome bonus does not cover 100 percent of the made deposit, but it might cover 30 or 40 percent of the deposit. In addition to this, online casinos usually set wagering requirements that need to be met in order to successfully withdraw the amount of the reload bonus.

Loyalty bonus

As the name suggests, the loyalty bonus is intended for loyal/VIP players, that are regulars at the online casino. Online casinos usually offer this type of bonus to players in order to keep them coming back for more. The loyalty bonus could be any kind of the aforementioned bonuses, such as deposit bonuses or free spins. However, online casinos may even offer vacations to their loyal players. In order for an individual to know whether to accept the loyalty bonus offered by the online casino, they are advised to go over the bonus terms and conditions that are applicable to the loyalty bonus. 

Refer a friend bonus

Online casinos always try to think of ways to attract new players. The refer a friend bonus is a good way to achieve this although it should be noted that not many online casinos offer a refer a friend bonus. As a result, referral bonuses are not a common bonus type that is offered by online casinos.

Referral bonuses are frequently offered to existing players who promote a certain casino and bring in new players. In other words, the casino will reward individuals with bonus money each time they refer a new player who makes a deposit using their link/code.

Match bonus

A match or matching bonus is often combined with a sign-up/welcome bonus and/or reload bonus. As the name says, the amount that the players deposit, will be matched with the match bonus. Thus, this bonus allows players to multiply their deposit by two, three or in some cases four times.

Just as it is the case for the welcome and reload bonus, the match bonus also has set requirements that need to be met, such as the wagering requirements. The match bonus can only be withdrawn after a player has satisfied the wagering requirements. 

Device-specific bonuses 

Online casinos sometimes offer players a device-specific bonus, such as a mobile bonus. This bonus type gets offered to players that participate in a game of chance via a certain device, for example mobiles, for which the bonus is intended. Players will receive the mobile bonus offer as a ‘thank you gift’ when they download the mobile apps of a certain game of chance provider.

High roller bonus/VIP bonus 

A high roller is a person that consistently deposits large sums of money. As a result, only these types of exclusive players are eligible for a so-called high roller bonus. Every individual can become eligible for a high roller bonus if they make a substantial deposit. The required deposit amount can vary from one casino to the other. In addition to this, the high roller bonus is not excluded from the bonus requirements. This type of bonus also needs to be wagered numerous times before it can be withdrawn.

Final remarks

Online casino bonuses are incentives and/or rewards that an individual receives when they register, deposit, play at a casino, or commit to becoming a “loyal” player at a certain online casino. The offering of bonuses is a promotional strategy that online casinos use to gain new players and keep existing players playing at their casino. In general, everyone who is over the age of 18 is eligible for a bonus, but online casinos can of course set additional requirements. This can also be dependent on the bonus type that the online casino offers. Furthermore, the bonus that is being offered (regardless of the type) always comes with certain requirements. Players should therefore always read the bonus terms and conditions, before accepting the bonus that is being offered to them. Individuals should thus not be deceived by the bonus offers, because it is not free money that they can withdraw whenever they wish.

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