UPDATED ON: by Shawna Dudley

With online casinos handing out plenty of free cash in the form of bonuses to both starting-out as well as loyal players, there’s a lot to be gained by anyone wanting to play regularly with them. However, locating the best casino bonuses requires you to be well aware of certain things. You should learn to read between the lines and know exactly what needs to be looked for.

While it may seem that online casinos offer these handsome bonuses completely free, in reality, these deals have certain terms and conditions associated with them. These T&Cs are meant to help them make their investment back. That’s the reason you should learn how to figure out clever marketing methods related to online casino bonuses. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we will cover in good detail here. Regardless, always keep in mind a golden rule to make the most of such offers – never avail an online casino bonus until you have thoroughly reviewed its terms and conditions.

Types of online casino bonuses

As emphasised earlier, all online casino bonuses have certain terms and conditions associated with them, else casino would be handing out free money to players, for nothing. They can’t offer any freebies, without any return insight, or some probability that the online casino bonusesplayer will stay loyal to them after exhausting the free money. Normally, these online casinos take different approaches regarding bonus offers.

The terms and conditions associated with these casino bonuses have become a hotly debated topic in the UK especially. When it comes to online casino bonus, UK Gambling Commission is very strict about unfair advertising used by certain casino businesses. In other words, cases, where the terms and conditions related to bonuses, are not laid out clearly for the players.

Below are some of the commonly offered bonus types to the players:

Matched deposit bonus – The most commonly seen online casino bonus, it requires the player to deposit a certain amount with the online casino, post which the casino matches that exact amount as a bonus, and deposits it into the player’s bankroll with them.

No deposit bonus – A heavily marketed bonus deal, it doesn’t require any deposit from the player. Players are only asked for some basic details for account creation. Thereafter, they can play some online casino games for free, without investing any of their own money.

Free spins – Another well-known category of online casino bonuses, free spins on specific slot games are marketed as an attractive initial welcome bonus offer, by a great multitude of online casinos. Such free spins can also be offered to regular players in the form of a normal bonus, to reward them for their loyalty.

Other than these, you might come across other online casino bonus variants like cashback deals, VIP club offers, monthly reload rewards etc. that more or less work the same way as the above deals.

What to watch out for while availing online casino bonuses?

In most cases, the online casino bonus terms and conditions are laid out like the usual legal jargon, extending to multiple pages. That’s the reason why many players skip reading them and dive straight into gameplay. Let’s highlight some of the important things you should watch out for while availing these bonuses:

Wagering requirements

Wagering requirements are provided in the form of a multiplier – x5, x10, x20, x30, going up to even x50 in some cases. This requirement is essentially about the amount of money you must wager with the online casino to be eligible to withdraw any funds from it.

You are required to multiply the bonus funds provided to you, with the multiplier, and play with the resulting total before being allowed to withdraw any funds. In case you try withdrawing anything before fulfilling the wagering requirement, you will have to forfeit the entire bonus amount, as well as the money won with its help.

Let’s explain it to you with an example – You avail a welcome bonus offer involving a 100% matched deposit of up to $ 200. As evident, it looks great! However, you have already gone through this article and make it a point to go through the terms and conditions. The T&Cs clearly state a wagering requirement of x20. You make only a $ 50 deposit, and the online casino matches it with a $ 50 from their end. Now, you have a total of $ 100 in your account. However, you must wager a total of $ 50 x 20 = $ 1000, to be eligible to make any withdrawals. And that’s not a small number by any means!

It’s pretty easy to understand why players get all annoyed and worked up when the time comes to withdraw jackpots won with bonus amounts. They can’t do it unless and until they meet the wagering requirement and other conditions set by the casino platform.

Lastly, it’s also important to consider if you’d have $ 1000 to spare at an online casino, before making that $ 50 deposit and availing the welcome bonus offer.

Excluded games

There are certain games that might not be allowed with the bonus funds, and would not count towards the wagering requirements either. For instance, an online casino might not allow you to play progressive jackpot slots like Mega Moolah that can win you millions of dollars, with the bonus amount. Hence, it’s always good to check what all games are excluded before you start playing.

Time limitations

Some online casinos also include a time limit within which you should meet the wagering requirement, to qualify for withdrawals. Fail to adhere to this time limit and you will lose all winnings that came through the bonus funds. While this time limit is less than seven days for some online casinos, the others stretch it to a maximum of one month. This means you should really have those $ 1000 available within a reasonable time, to withdraw any wins from your casino account.

Wallet restrictions

Some bonus deals offered by online casinos are tied to the method of deposit and withdrawal. For instance, the casino platform might hand out a cracking deal to you just because you used your debit card in place of PayPal. However, as emphasised above, don’t forget to read the related terms and conditions!

Maximum amount allowed to be withdrawn

This condition pertains to the maximum amount you’d be allowed to withdraw from your winnings, despite meeting the wagering requirements. This condition is normally witnessed in case of no deposit deals, free spins and free time offers. You should carefully check for it before starting playing, as you might end up terribly disappointed if you win a huge jackpot, only to discover that you can’t withdraw beyond a certain sum.

Is it a non-cashable or a cashable bonus?

In case you avail a cashable bonus, you’d be allowed to withdraw the free credits provided you’ve met the wagering requirements. For instance, Microgaming powered online casinos use something called ClearPay that instantly converts bonus amount into real money after the player meets the wagering requirements.

On the other hand, non-cashable bonuses, which are also referred to as sticky or phantom bonuses, cannot be withdrawn at all from the casino, and are meant to be used for only playing certain casino games. A phantom bonus will disappear from your bankroll as soon as you make a request for withdrawal. And a sticky bonus will stay put till you lose everything in your account.