Online casino bonuses are plaguing the internet, much to the delight of online gamblers like yourself. Unfortunately, all that glitters isn’t gold, and among many great offers are some shadier deals that will end up leaving with you with less money, rather than more as promised.
The only way to protect yourself from bonus scams and unfair bargains is to understand exactly how casino welcome bonuses work and know what risks are involved. Most importantly, you need to know how hard it is to cash out and if the bonus cash can even be used on your game or games of choice.
The following five questions will get you exactly the information you need to determine if a casino bonus will help or deter you on the path to riches.
1. Is It a Reputable Online Casino?
While it’s unfair to say that only the big names in the industry like Bet365 or 888Poker are the only reputable casino sites online, but the truth is that the less familiar the name the more vigorous your background research should be. This is because the online market for gambling is highly saturated with rogue casinos.
These rogue casinos are easy enough to spot if you know what to look out for. One of the first things is to check where the site is licensed, which needs to be clearly stated on their site (usually on the footer). The second step would be to search the web for casino reviews, and see how it’s promoted online to identify if any shady cases have occurred there in the past.
2. How Big is the Deposit Match?
Once you’ve confirmed that the casino is legit, when checking out their welcome bonus don’t get distracted by those dollar signs. While a 10% welcome bonus of up to $1,000 sounds better than 200% up to $25, in the end the percentage is what matters most.
The percentage is the multiplier of what you put in, so unless you’re after high roller bonuses like these, you’re a lot better off choosing bonuses that pay higher multipliers with lower caps. Also, it’s best to start with a smaller deposit when testing out a new site, and one of the most important tests you should be doing after this stage is try and cash out.
3. What are the Withdrawal Requirements?
Withdrawal requirements, often termed as rollover or wagering requirements, are the fine print terms and conditions that make casinos so comfortable handing out cash. This is because most people don’t bother checking them, and unless you do your bonus cash and any wins derived from it will be trapped in the casino forever.
Getting around them is simple: know what you’re dealing with up front. The lower the wagering requirement, the less you need to play over your money before being able to withdraw. This is one of a few surefire ways to never be disappointed in your casino choice again.
4. Do They Accept Your Preferred Payment Method?
Always check out the site’s accepted withdrawal and deposit methods before signing up and dropping any cash. Moreover, you should familiarize yourself with the monthly and daily cash out limits, and processing time for each payment method available.
This is as important as the bonus information, since the whole point of the bonus is to use it to win and cash out more money. There is no way your withdrawal will be smooth if you aren’t aware of what kind of waiting times and restrictions the casino has set up.
5. Can You Play Your Favorite Games?
This is an obvious point, but surprisingly overlooked by many players who get sidetracked by big numbers only to realize that the casino bonus can’t be used for their preferred games. Free spins bonuses are clearly restricted slots only, but for cash bonuses it may not be as clear.
Very often, deposit matches can’t be used on live casino games. Of course, this varies from casino to casino, and even from promotion to promotion. Always check whether there are game restrictions on your bonus cash before acquiring it. You may find that the free cash gift is not so appealing after all if you’re a blackjack pro who can only use it on bingo.