Like it or not, those terms and conditions are there for a reason! You might think you’ve got a pretty good grasp on the way things work with online casinos, but if you aren’t willing to read the small print…well, let’s just say the odds might not be on your side!
Let Casino Papa guide you through the real importance of checking bonus terms and conditions in full!
The fact that there are so many dodgy and misleading bonuses on the market these days was one of the very reasons Casino Papa went into business in the first place. Chances are that if you’ve been in this game for any time at all, you will have probably fallen foul of a few false promises here and there. You expected a hefty bonus and indeed there is was, but when the time came to get your hands on it…yeah, good luck with that!
Bitter as the pill may be, in each and every such instance there is only one person to blame…and that’s you! Online casinos are required by law to publish comprehensive terms and conditions in accordance with their bonus offers and indeed 99.9% do exactly that.
If you personally don’t bother to read them, that’s your problem!
When an online casino speaks of terms and conditions in relation to bonuses, they are essentially speaking of wagering requirements – aka play-through requirements. If the cash they were giving out was in fact free, they would be out of business within a week as everyone in the world would exploit the living daylights out of them.
But it isn’t…free that is…as in order to get your hands on the bonus cash or anything you win with it, you must satisfy the wagering requirements laid out by the casino in question.
Let’s look at a working example:
- You find a casino offering a generous introductory match bonus of 300%.
- You decide this offer is too good to miss and credit the maximum £500.
- Making good on the offer, the casino adds a bonus of 300% to your account, £1,500, giving you a total balance of £2,000.
- The brand’s wagering requirements are set at 30X and include both the bonus and your initial deposit.
- There will also usually be a strict deadline imposed of around one to two weeks.
- This then means you need to wager 30X your £2,000 balance – £60,000 – within the next two weeks, in order to access any of the money or its winnings.
It may sound a little on the steep side, but it’s not as if you can realistically expect these guys to give away thousands and thousands of pounds every single day to anyone looking for a pay-out. In instances where wagering requirements also cover your initial bonus, it is often worth considering opting out of the bonus offer entirely.
The idea of wagering requirements in the region of 30X or even 60X might sound bad enough, but it’s important to remember that different games will always contribute different amounts to the total required. More often than not, slots contribute 100%, but other games may contribute as little as 5%, increasing the overall play-through requirements TWENTY-FOLD!
Scratch cards, slot games and bingo are usually the best bets for 100% contribution, followed by a number of table games including craps, blackjack and roulette, which usually contribute around 50%. Right to the bottom of the table, video poker may not in fact contribute anything at all!
Needless to say therefore, it is of crucial importance to read the terms and conditions in full, before going ahead.
The House Always Wins
The single most important thing to remember is that every type of bonus across the board exists for the benefit of the house, NOT the player. Regardless of how generous the bonus appears to be on the surface, the terms and conditions attached will 100% guarantee that one way or the other, the house will be repaid more than it paid out.
As such, the best way to look at bonuses is as something of an additional, optional extra which exists simply for enjoyment and not for making money. If there was a realistic way of exploiting bonus offers in order to make easy money, you can rest assured everyone would be doing it by now!
If you do decide to take advantage of a bonus offer, you might want to consider checking in advance whether it is a ‘merged’ or ‘non-merged’ bonus. As already mentioned above, in the case of a merged bonus you are bound by the wagering requirements set out with both the deposit you made and the bonus payment. In the case of a non-merged bonus, it is only the bonus itself that is bound by the wagering requirements and you can access/withdraw your own money any time.
Common Bonus Rules and Restrictions
While each and every casino will have its own unique terms and conditions with regards to bonuses, there are certain rules and restrictions which tend to be pretty universal. Most such rules exist for the sole purpose of preventing fraud and exploitation – all of which is, once again, laid out in the terms and conditions published.
A few examples of these rules and restrictions include:
- Each member being allowed to operate a maximum of one active account at any one time.
- Additional proof of identity may be required before withdrawals are permitted.
- Only one bonus offer may be used at any one time.
- Wagering requirements are not negotiable and if you fail to meet the required terms, will result in funds being forfeited.
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