The online casino industry is thriving, and new operators are sprouting up all the time. Gambling has always been a lucrative industry, generating hundreds of billions of dollars for millions of providers. But what’s been making the difference as of late is how comparatively easy it is to set up and launch a new casino online.
All of which has led to the kind of ferocious competition that has never been seen on the gambling landscape before. For every quality Aussie online casino that opens its doors, another dozen are waiting in the wings. Each time a dynamic new casino Francais joins the party, so do another hundred or so EU-based casinos.
Spoilt for choice, all this availability can make it difficult to know where to start. But at the same time, there’s a huge benefit that goes hand in hand with this kind of competition:
Bigger and better bonus offers.
One of the most effective ways for a casino to capture its desired market base is by offering Biblical bonuses and promotions. However, not all bonuses are always as they seem. Contrary to popular belief, bigger isn’t always better.
Getting something for nothing is always appealing, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. At least, in the sense that online casinos are not in the habit of handing out free cash.
Not that this means casino bonus offers are best avoided. Quite the contrary – it simply means that you need to take the time to read the attached terms and conditions. Not to mention, get to grips with the different types of casino bonuses you’ll come across.
For example, the single most common type of casino bonus is an initial deposit bonus.
A deposit bonus is a bonus you receive when you deposit money into your account. More often than not, this is a one-time-only offer for newcomers, credited only on your first one, two or three payments.
Typically, the amount you credit into your account will be matched (or bettered) by the casino. You could be offered anything from 50% of your deposit amount right up to 1,000% in the former bonus credit. But what’s important to remember is how all such bonus funds will be issued subject to terms, conditions and wagering requirements (more on those later).
No-Deposit Bonus Offers
These are considered the Holy Grail by many, given how you do not have to put a penny of your own money on the line. As the name suggests, a no-deposit bonus is a bonus issued without your having to credit any money into your account.
For the most part, these bonus offers tend to be quite modest in nature. Understandable, given how the casino does not ask that you part with any of your cash. Hence, you cannot realistically expect to be handed any more than around £10, or maybe £20 at a push.
But what you will also find is how this ‘generosity’ comes with the caveat of even steeper terms, conditions and wagering requirements. No-deposit bonus offers are really just about bonus credit – not the kind of money you can withdraw from your account.
Free Spin Bonuses
A free spins bonus offer can be fantastic for sampling what’s on offer, without having to hand over any real money. They are often in the form of no-deposit bonus offers, and can also be combined into something of a welcome package.
Free spins are self-explanatory – the opportunity to try a selection of online casino games, 100% free of charge. But as is the case with the bonus offers above, terms and conditions almost always apply.
Occasionally, you will come across no-wager free spins – an outstanding offer that is well worth checking out. With these free spins, you are able to withdraw your winnings in the normal way. Winnings that may be capped to a low amount, but are still way better than nothing!
Last up, a cashback bonus is more of a loyalty programme than a bonus in the traditional sense. This is where a proportion of the money you spend (usually 1% to 5%) is returned to you at the end of every week or month.
What’s great about cashback bonuses is how they are typically (though not always) credited in the form of actual cash. This means that when you receive your cashback bonus, you can do with it as you please – gamble with it or withdraw it.
1% to 5% may not seem like a lot, but it is certainly better than nothing. Particularly if you plan on spending significant sums of cash on a regular basis, you may as well get something in your pocket in return.
Important Notes About Bonuses….
Under no circumstances is it worth signing up for a bonus offer before reading the attached terms and conditions. Wagering requirements almost always apply – aka the ‘play thru’ requirement for the bonus.
An everyday example to illustrate how wagering requirements work:
- You credit £50 into your account as a new customer
- You claim a 100% deposit bonus of £50
- You now have £100 in your account to play with
- Your bonus is subject to wagering requirements of 30X
- Your minimum play-through requirement is 30X £100 = £3,000
This means you will need to place wagers totalling £3,000 before being able to withdraw this bonus money, or anything you win from it. Difficult in its own right, but something that also needs to be satisfied within a limited period of time – usually one month or less.
What you will tend to find is that the more modest the bonus offer is, the easier it is to get your hands on it. Conversely, bonus offers claiming to be worth three or even four figures are practically impossible to profit from.
You can have a tonne of fun playing for free with bonus credit, but it is not the same as real cash. Something to remember before crediting funds into your account, in hope of claiming a bonus that seems (and probably is) too good to be true.
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