Should You Go for the Bonuses at American Online Casinos?October 11, 2019 Jessica Whitehouse
The most common way for online casinos and sportsbooks to separate themselves from the competition is by offering bonuses. And because online betting just recently became licensed in states across the US, many American bettors are only now being introduced to this practice.
Often, these bonuses are presented as no-brainer deals: you deposit X amount of dollars, and the casino will match that amount by a certain percentage. Who wouldn’t want to instantly double their money? Further, no-deposit bonuses allow US bettors to start playing without making a deposit, another seemingly easy choice.
But behind these offers are common terms and conditions that any newcomer should be aware of.
The Different Types of Bonuses
Online casino and sportsbook bonuses come in three distinct forms.
The first is the Welcome Bonus, which is commonly a deposit-matching offer that may or may not come with free spins on Slots. The Welcome Bonus can also be a no-deposit bonus. Either way, the goal is to attract new players to bet more on games while spending less of their own money.
The next category consists of the ongoing, weekly, monthly, or seasonal offers. Those who subscribe to the casino or sportsbook’s mailing list will receive notifications about these various offers. Examples include free spins on a new game, monthly cashback deals, better odds on specific events, and so on. Most commonly, the bettor is offered bonus cash that corresponds with the size of their deposit.
Lastly, and much like brick-and-mortar casinos, players earn loyalty points that can be cashed in for prizes like real money, gift cards, event tickets, electronics, and more. However, while (practically) all online casinos offer bonuses, some do not offer comp point programs.
Rollover Requirements, Minimums, and Qualifying Games
To many players, an important component to online casino selection is the minimum deposit and withdrawal. And it’s not uncommon for them to be different. For example, the minimum deposit might be $20 while the minimum withdrawal is $100. For a bettor whose goal is to place a single sports bet and then withdraw, this is something they need to be aware of.
But it’s the rollover requirements that most often catch players off-guard. When a deposit is made that the casino matches by a certain percentage, that total deposit now has to be bet through a specified number of times. Let’s say the offer is 100% up to $500. If you were to opt in, the casino will essentially double the deposit. So, if the player deposits $100, they’d have $200 in their bankroll. But if the rollover requirements are 35x, the player would have to bet 35 x $200, or $7,000, before they can make a withdrawal.
Within the terms and conditions, the rollover requirements will be presented – as will the qualifying games. In some cases, Slots and Keno are the only games that count toward the rollover, while games with a low house edge, like Blackjack or Roulette, might not. Or, they only account for a certain percentage of the rollover. If only 10% of Blackjack bets count toward a rollover requirement and the player exclusive plays blackjack, their rollover requirements are 10x higher. So, rather than 35x, it might be 350x.
For the sportsbook, qualifying events may have minimum odds to prevent players from rolling through their bonus money on games with low risk.
Should Anyone Take Advantage of a Bonus?
The only time anyone should take advantage of an online casino or sportsbook bonus is after reading all the terms and conditions. Only then can a person decide if the stipulations are worthwhile and fit into their style of play.
And yes, all of the terms and every condition.
This isn’t an iTunes contract, it’s gambling hard-earned money in the hopes of a payout. And once a deposit is made and bonus money is rewarded, it can be difficult to take it back.
Basically, a deposit without a bonus can be withdrawn at any time (as long as it meets the withdrawal minimum). But a deposit with a bonus has to meet the T&Cs before a withdrawal can be made.
The choice is ultimately dependent on the individual player, which makes T&Cs downright essential. Don’t hesitate to reach out to their customer service too – that’s what they’re there for.