"A quick search for online casinos turns up an inordinate amount of seemingly huge bonus offers. A new player can get free money, free spins, deposit bonuses, and even cash back from the casino. Casinos only award bonuses on real money deposits, but if a player just wants to play for fun plenty of casinos offer free play. It’s important to understand the types of bonuses and promotions available. Perhaps more important, the player needs to understand wagering requirements that they must meet before withdrawing from the casino.
The best online casino promotions offer simple terms for redemption with little or no play through or wagering requirements. A wagering requirement means the player must wager the deposit and/or bonus fully or multiple times before qualifying for cash out. Also referred to as play through requirements, the casino may also require that a player must play through any winnings from the bonus deposit a specific number of times before qualifying for cash out. For instance, if a terms and conditions statement requires 25x play through, that means the player must bet through the deposit plus bonus in real money game play before qualifying for cashout. Pay careful attention to wagering requirements since these can make an otherwise good deal awful.
Similar to a favorite bar or restaurant’s happy hour, an online casino provides great deals during this short time period. Rather than a single hour, an online casino’s happy hour usually lasts between two and four hours, once per week. The bonus awarded during happy hour varies by casino. Common awards include free spins, deposit bonuses, or cash back on losses. When the bonus is cash back on losses, the casino normally awards the bonus the following day, at the request of the user. A more rare award is the no deposit bonus. It provides free play via money or free spins that requires no matching funds. Casinos use the most strict wagering requirements for these awards. Pay close attention to the time zone used for happy hour. A player may think they have qualified for happy hour, but arrived during that time in their own time zone, not that used by the casino. Casinos provide the specific time data in the offer’s terms and conditions.
Think of this as a rebate on a player’s losses. Online casinos that offer cash back promotions usually do so on a weekly or monthly basis. Frequency varies by casino. The percentage of cash back paid also varies. It only applies to losses. The terms and conditions vary widely, too. Some casinos only offer cash back payments to players that suffered total losses during the wagering period.
Online casinos often award free spins on their slot machines as a part of the sign-up or welcome bonus. The number of spins awarded depends on the amount of the deposit. A player usually receives between 10 to 50 free spins. As with other bonuses, wagering requirements apply. Free spins often carry some of the most strict wagering requirements.
Free spins allow a new player to familiarize themselves with a casino’s slots without spending much money. They can lead to development of a bank roll. They must be used on real money machines.
Join the casino’s VIP program to ramp up the number of available bonuses. VIP members earn complimentary points on every wager that the player can trade in for prizes or cash. The other great reason to join the VIP program is that its members get additional bonuses. Members may get a higher percentage of cash back, shorter withdrawal time limits, additional weekly or monthly free spins, and/or additional deposit bonus days. VIP programs are free to join, but a handful of casinos invite members to the VIP program. Most online casinos open it to all players though. A monthly reload bonus and a high roller bonus are also common offerings of VIP programs.
Don’t get fooled by impressive bonus percentages. A 500 percent bonus means nothing if the wagering requirements are so ridiculous that withdrawal becomes nearly impossible. For instance, Box 24 Casino advertises a 500 percent bonus. Read the bonus requirements though. A player must wager at least 25 times the deposit and the bonus amount. With respect to free bonus money, the player must wager the full bonus amount 99 times before requesting a withdrawal. Even the sign-up bonus requires a 75 times wager requirement and the casino has a maximum withdrawal limit of $100 on a sign-up bonus winnings.
Although casinos with lower wagering requirements also offer lower bonuses, the player actually has a decent shot at withdrawal. For instance, Mr. Green Casino, based in Malta, offers a welcome bonus of up to £100 on the first deposit with a minimum deposit of £20. The player also receives 100 free spins for ‘Starburst’ and 5 spins for 20 days on various games once the minimum deposit has been wagered. The player must wager all winnings from bonuses 35 times before requesting withdrawal.
While most casinos offer bonuses that look good on a graphic, the fine print changes the quality of the deal. Free money isn’t free if it can’t be withdrawn. Good deals do exist. It just takes some reading to find them. Generally, the bigger the bonus, the more extreme the wagering requirements. Casinos don’t really want to just give money away."