How to Identify Bad Bonuses

Online casinos offer bonuses such as no deposit bonuses and free spins to increase their new player base and give existing ones an incentive to play. Players love bonuses because it gives them a risk-free opportunity to boost their casino bankroll. Bonuses, therefore, benefit both players and operators of online casinos.

However, not all bonuses are as great as they sound and some of them are too good to be true. Before signing up at an online casino, you need to learn the art of identifying the bad bonuses so that you avoid them. If you claim a bad bonus, you are going to lose a lot of money in the long run.

So how do you identify bad bonuses? By the time you finish reading the following tips, you will become an expert in identifying and avoiding bad bonus offers at online casinos.

Bad Bonuses Have Unreasonable Wagering Requirements

Before you can find out what makes a wagering requirement unreasonable, you must understand the concept of wagering requirements.

To put it very simply, a wagering requirement is a multiplier value, which indicates the number of times you have to play through your bonus amount or your bonus plus deposit amount before you can cash out your bonus winnings. Wagering requirements are also known as playthrough or rollover requirements.
Here is an example to help you understand this.

Let’s say that an online casino is giving away a bonus of 100% up to $100 on your first deposit amount. You deposit $50 into your account and receive a bonus of $50. This bonus has a wagering requirement of 40x. This means that you have to playthrough your bonus amount of $50 forty times or wager $2000 on the games before you can cash out your winnings.

Before you claim a bonus offer, you must ask yourself whether you can satisfy those wagering requirements. This is important because you cannot take your own sweet time to do it. Online casinos give you deadlines within which you have to either clear your bonus and cash out your winnings or lose whatever is left of your bonus and bonus winnings.

If a bonus has a wagering requirement that is too high, you have to bet more money to clear the bonus and you may find this very difficult to do.
Let us try to understand this with the help of the following two examples:

Example 1: $100 bonus with a 40x playthrough requirement

You have to wager $4000 to clear your bonus. You try to do this by playing a game with a house edge of 4% and suffer a theoretical loss of $160. If you remove this amount from the bonus you received, you would have theoretically lost $60.

Example 2: $100 bonus with a 50x playthrough requirement

You have to wager $5000 to clear your bonus. You try to do this by playing a game with a house edge of 4% and suffer a theoretical loss of $200. If you remove this from your bonus amount, your theoretical loss will be $100.

You lose money in the long run if you claim either of the above mentioned bonuses. But you will lose more if you claim a bonus with a higher wagering requirement.

So avoid bonuses with high wagering requirements.

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Bad Bonuses Have Unfair Terms

Bonus offers have many terms & conditions, which you must read and understand before you claim one of them.

Here is a list of some common bonus terms:

You have to claim the bonus within the given time.

You have to satisfy the wagering requirements within the given time.

All games do not contribute equally to bonus clearance.

If you deposit using certain payment methods, you don’t qualify for the bonus.

If you live in certain countries, you don’t qualify for the bonus.

You cannot claim the bonus offer multiple times.

Bonus terms at licensed and reputed online casinos are quite fair and reasonable. But you have to watch out for certain unreasonable clauses. For example, the online casino may not give you sufficient time to clear your bonus.

If anything in the bonus terms confuses you, don’t hesitate to contact customer support and clear it at the earliest possible.

Restrictions on Too Many Games

As already mentioned above, all the online casino games do not contribute equally to satisfying the wagering requirements. Usually, games with a high house edge contribute more and games with a low house edge contribute less, which is quite reasonable. But some online casinos take this a bit too far by excluding several games or drastically reducing game contributions.

Why do online casinos impose game restrictions? The following example gives the answer to this question.

You claim a $50 bonus with a wagering requirement of 40x. You have to play through $2000 before cashing out your bonus winnings. You try to do this by playing a game with an RTP of 99.5% and suffer a theoretical loss of $10. If you deduct this from your bonus amount, you would be making a profit of $40.

Naturally, your gain is the casino’s loss. And the casino will lose a lot of money if it allows you to unlock your bonus by playing games with high RTPs. So it’s reasonable for the online casino to restrict a few high RTP games.

The problem arises when an online casino goes too far and restricts too many games, literally forcing you to play only games with a low RTP and unfairly reducing your chance of making a profit from the bonus.

Considering the fact that online casinos profit from bonus offers in the long run, they ought to give players a reasonable chance of making a profit too.

Bad Bonuses Have Vague and Unclear Terms

Some casinos try to cheat you with bonus terms that can be interpreted in many ways. A good bonus offer is one with clear and easy-to-understand terms & conditions. Even if you cannot understand a term, the casino’s customer support should be able to clarify all your doubts and answer your questions. Avoid a bonus with confusing terms & conditions.

Welcome Packages with Multiple Bonuses Are Best Avoided

A large first deposit bonus is always better than a welcome package spread over several initial deposits.

Let us try to understand this with examples.

A 100% or a 150% match bonus with a wagering requirement of 40x is a great deal compared to a welcome package comprising the following offers:

100% up to $300 on first deposit

75% up to $300 on second deposit

50% up to $300 on third deposit

The first deposit bonus is quite good, but the second and the third deposit bonuses are not that good because of the lower match percentage, especially when they have wagering requirements as high as 40x.

If you come across such welcome packages, check their wagering requirements. If the wagering requirement is as low as 10x or even 20x, you may consider it to be a great deal.

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Bad Bonuses are not Credited Instantly

If the online casino takes too long to credit your bonus to your account, consider it to be a bad deal. It simply means that the operator is not financially fit. Such casinos make all sorts of excuses not to credit your bonus to your account.

It is quite reasonable if an online casino wants to verify your account details before crediting a bonus. However, rejecting your identification documents multiple times on grounds that they are “not clear” makes no sense. It just indicates that the online casino is not honest and has no intention of giving away the bonus it promised.

Too Many Player Complaints

Do not accept a bonus if there are too many player complaints about the online casino offering it.

To find out if there are any player complaints about a particular online casino, you have to talk about it on social networking sites or online gambling forums. You can read multiple reviews about an online casino to find out if there are any complaints such as unreasonable or vague bonus terms, poor customer service, and delayed payouts.

If you sign up at an online casino that has clearly upset many players, you are in for a disappointment. Avoid such casinos and save your time and money.

Making the Most of Casino Bonus Offers

Online casino bonuses serve the dual purpose of encouraging players to sign up and play for real money and giving players a risk-free opportunity to make a profit. Many smart players have used bonuses to boost their bankrolls and you can too if you take a few precautions.

A bonus that is great for one player need not necessarily be great for you too. Don’t accept a bonus just because it sounds good. Take the time to read its terms & conditions. If you don’t understand something, contact a customer support agent and ask them to clarify it. If the customer support does not respond favourably, avoid the online casino and its bonus offers.

A good bonus offer is one that is not only big enough to give you the incentive to play, but also one with terms & conditions that are easy to meet. If a bonus is large but comes with wagering requirements you know you cannot meet, you had better avoid it.

Fortunately, reputed online casinos never force you to accept a bonus. If you don’t like a bonus offer and its terms, you can just inform the casino that you do not wish to receive it. Some casinos allow you to opt-out of the welcome bonus when you are filling in the online registration form.

To put it very simply, a good bonus is one that gives you a fair opportunity to win prizes and boost your bankroll without frustrating you with unreasonable or vague terms and conditions.