How do Online Casino Bonuses Work

I was browsing the internet the other day and started noticing some of the incredible bonuses that online casinos offer.  By simply placing in a modest deposit, you could receive a huge bonus of sometimes up to $500 all for free.   So let’s have a look and see if online casino bonuses are worth it?

Always looking for a mathematical certainty for early retirement, I thought I’d check out if it really were that easy to multiply your money.  Of course, after a few minutes it was obvious that these bonuses were not quite as straightforward as they seemed.   The bonus was usually there but it was associated with two specific caveats –

  • Wagering Requirements
  • Game Restrictions

These are what stops the bonuses from being free money, indeed they are not really as great as they seem initially.    The first are wagering requirements and these are the real killer, also known as play through requirements.  You’ll probably see these mentioned in smaller print alongside the bonus somewhere with a number and an ‘x’.   For example on the Betfair Bonus screen you’ll see that a 45x wagering requirement is specified.

What this means is that you have to stake or bet the deposit amount that number of times before it becomes cashable.   So in the Betfair example you’d have to stake 45x£100 to claim the entire deposit.  This in itself is pretty difficult, given that the house has an advantage in virtually all the online casino games.  As we’ve seen in these pages the best chance of winning is to make quick bets and cash in, these requirements stop you doing this.

Furthermore the game restrictions make this even more difficult.  Most of these will limit the number or proportion which can be gambled in specific games.  For example, you’ll usually be disappointed to find online blackjack is often excluded in these requirements simply because it normally offers the lowest ‘house edge’ of most casino games.

So we can see the reality is that most of these casino bonuses are of fairly little value.  Although the numbers sound significant, the restrictions completely obliterate any value – it would take a huge slice of luck to bet these amounts to cash in the bonus as pure profit.

Our advice is to ignore these bonuses if you’re choosing a place to gamble.  They’re simply not worth the bother and you’ll find that the more generous the actual bonus then the bigger the restrictions.


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