The “Welcome Bonus” gimmick

Online casino bonuses come with Terms & Conditions that are not player friendly. Accepting these bonuses often leads to bettors not being able to withdraw their winnings, and in some cases having both their deposit and bonus confiscated by rogue casinos.

The average gambler, especially those unaccustomed to the online casino scene, are often not aware of some of these bogus T&C’s. Many see the welcome bonus sign and proceed to deposit funds, thinking it is all free money. Sadly, a lot of online casinos operate solely to cheat players, and do everything possible to ensure players lose.

Wagering Requirements

The most controversial welcome bonus condition set by casinos is called the wagering requirement. This is the amount set by casinos which a player has to bet before their bonus is credited into their cash balance.

Most times, when a player opts in for a bonus, they are unable to withdraw their deposits and bonus until they have made enough bets to reach the required turnover threshold set by the casino.

It is worth considering that casino games are always established to be in favour of the house. The house-edge, vig or over-round are set in a way that ensures players lose in the long-term. Even when gamblers go on winning runs, they eventually lose trying to reach the turnover limit set by the casino.

To add insult to injury, some bets are deemed ineligible for clearing turnover requirements. For example, bets made playing blackjack don’t often qualify because very good players are capable of devising strategies to minimize losses and increase their win rates.

In sports betting, the required odds are set very high by the casinos. This, coupled with the number of times a player must turn over their deposit and bonus amount ensures they lose it all. Generally casinos aren’t enamored towards winning gamblers and often ban or limit them as soon as possible.

Experienced online gamblers often say claiming welcome bonuses is too much of a hassle these days. However, there are still genuine offers that aren’t designed to cheat players.

Casinos also use this method to protect themselves from players that abuse sign-up offers. There are a few things a player can do to ascertain if a bonus is worth claiming or not, before depositing their hard-earned money into an online casino.

  • Look out for predatory T&C’s
    It is the player’s responsibility to always read the casino’s bonus terms and conditions. The player must make sure they fully understand all the clauses before making a deposit. If the turnover requirement is draconian, avoid the casino at all cost.
  • Operating with true fairness
    Before depositing into any casino, it is very important to confirm that they are either providing provably fair gambling, or in some way or another are regulated and have a license. If they don’t have any form of fairness system in place, avoid them at all cost.
  • Positive reviews and endorsements
    Players must try as much as possible to search online for reviews and feedback from other players, both positive and negative before making a deposit. This is often the best way to gauge if a casino will cheat you or not.
  • Verification & jurisdiction
    Most casinos require KYC to determine if a player is eligible to use their platform. Always confirm if a casino allows players from your country. And whenever possible, confirm your identity before depositing to save yourself future hassles during the withdrawal process.

Established casinos have a brand to protect and more often than not offer bonuses with reasonable terms. However, these conditions are designed to keep players betting for extended periods and only a lucky few complete them. The only way players can protect themselves is by researching and due diligence. Always read the T&C’s before committing.