What could possibly be wrong with taking free money as a bonus offered to players by an online casino when all you were trying to do was deposit to play? They offered it to you, so why not? It means you will be able to play longer, but what about actually cashing out? Free money is free money right? There are a lot of questions about extra casino money and it is one of the ways where online and land based casinos differ tremendously.
What is a welcome bonus and why is it a percentage?
Playing slot machines at your local casino earns comp points on your player’s club card. In the same respect, playing online earns you comp points on your casino account. Money on your player’s club card can be wagered and cashed out right away, with little to no restrictions in place. The same goes for a comps online, they are worth real cash and can be applied directly to a slot machine, but this is not how a casino deposit bonus works. Bonus money is usually additional spending cash for that particular casino but has rules, like it can not be transferred to another casino or it has wagering requirements to cash out. Unfortunately, at online casinos, the flow of free chips or bonus money is controlled more heavily than elsewhere. This all comes down to one principle, because you are already located at the one place where the casino least favors you being, at home, they want to do what all casinos collectively would like to attain…
The goal of all casinos is too keep you playing and that is actually not as hard to do at a land based casino as it is to do for players online. Free buffets and free play on the slots is enough to keep most people on the floor where their bankrolls are at risk. The environment is much more competitive online and the casinos had to adapt their policies so that people could not take advantage of these free play offers so easily. There have been too many bonus abusers in the past. These are people that make a deposit when they had no intention of putting their own money at stake by back-charging their credit card. Once a credit card is back-charged at a casino, that player will be banned from all online gaming permanently. They really do have a way of letting every other casino know through the processors that handle the money and this is why an online casino will usually have to delay large payments to US players in order to complete a background profile for any evidence of this kind of abuse.
One way many online casinos regulate this abusive behavior is by implementing terms and conditions attached to a scaled percentage bonus. Another way they regulate free play is with a set amount of real money free spins for any amount deposited. This is usually best for a small depositor as the value of the spins does not change based on the amount deposited. There is so much information regarding a casino bonus for USA players as well as information about how to understand the rules and stipulations of one; it is difficult to discuss it all in one article. Now we will talk about which kind of bonus is best for which situation, and is it worth it in the long run for you to even use one in the first place.
The Benefits of a Casino Bonus
First of all if you want more playtime this is your best option period. No matter what the situation, a bonus means more playtime on average than playing without a bonus if the wagering were to remain consistent. Some slots players really only want more play time and a bonus will always provide that for them statistically. Some slots players want to hunt a jackpot. This is when the player plays quickly with the intention of spending their bankroll trying to get one particular jackpot that is hopefully close to the boiling point or already over inflated.
For illustration purposes let’s use a low roller this time in Casinoexperts example. Remember that this is an example and what happens to another player will be different, that’s kind of the point of playing slots anyway right? He deposits $100 at the same online casino with a 375% bonus.
$100 x 1(375%) = $475 required to be wagered before a withdrawal is permitted. At $1 a spin that is 475 spins. To keep averages, at one fifth the value of the $10,000 jackpot, his jackpot would have been $2,000 at only $1 a spin. Casinoexpert is pretty happy he can withdrawal soon or keep playing for quite some time if he wants as he only has a couple of hundred in wagering to go before his bankroll is released. The difference equates to a couple of hundred spins because of scaling, or the percentage increased based on the amount of the initial deposit.
The Pitfalls of a Casino Bonus
If you read the article we recommended you will understand how the casino hides the rules of an online bonus and you will also know why it can be your “bread and butter as an online player”. It can also be the avenue that turns that couple of thousand dollar withdrawal into a couple of hundred real fast. Before we use a real world example, all players should read reviews of US casinos that illustrate the rules and terms of their casino bonus codes in detail. Now, let’s use a high roller example to show how it could hurt a withdrawal. Remember that this is just an example and the results from your play could be totally different.
Casinoexpert deposits $1,000 at a flashy looking online casino with a 375% new player welcome bonus and doesn’t read the terms and conditions. He goes and plays the slot machines at $5 a spin and is having a great time. Down only $50 after a short time, he hits a random jackpot! Not a progressive jackpot (we will get into this later), but a random jackpot worth $10,000. Of course Casinoexpert is so happy about his wins he wants to withdraw and then play with just his initial deposit.
If he had read the terms he would know that the wagering requirement was a very fair 25x bonus and deposit. Also he was extremely lucky that the bonus did not have a horrid rogue casino term like a “max cash out”! *all deposit bonuses at CBR have No Max Cashout limiting how much can be cashed out in total no matter how much the player wins. So let’s work out what he would have to do in order to withdrawal:
$1,000 x 1(375%) = $4,750 required to be wagered before a withdrawal is permitted. At $5 a spin, that is 950 spins. All Casinoexpert can do is keep playing and pray that he hits some decent wins from here because he is locked in at gambling four and a half grand at that casino. After all is said and done, the chance he will lose a few more thousand before meeting the wagering requirements is high, and hitting that jackpot of that size to begin with is very rare to begin with.
OK I understand Percentage Casino Deposit Bonuses, What About Free Spins?
Free spins given to a player from a deposit bonus have a different statistical value completely, and needs an explanation as well as a strategy that we will outline for you later. In addition there are great ways to win more money as a high roller using a deposit bonus especially when wagering large amounts in short sessions. If you know they will give you a welcome bonus first as a new player, there are things you can do to maximize your chances to play longer, but you will have to wait for our next update to find out.