The Casino Bonus – The Myth Revealed

The biggest marketing tool for casino brands is the online casino bonus. There are not many out there that don’t use one form or another. In this highly competitive market all sorts of shiny offers are thrown into the mix. But what does it take to be the best casino bonus? ‘The most free money!’ I hear you cry. Well if it was truly free money then yes that’s the top casino bonus alright. But the thing is it’s not free money per se. No the best casino bonuses are ones that you can actually achieve because there are terms and conditions that have to be met. The biggest part of them are the wagering requirements. This is an area that gets lots of posts on forums complaining that bonuses are unfair or just a scam. Well the truth is that bonuses are promotions designed to gain new customers and to keep existing ones. They are not a cash give away. Online casinos are in business after all, and would soon go under if they gave out cash left, right and center. Think of them as extra playing tokens and you are nearer the mark. Be very careful though because the terms and conditions are written by lawyers to be the ammunition used in a dispute. If you don’t read them properly you have a very good chance of coming a cropper.

Wagering Requirements Explained

coins pylonsAs mentioned above wagering requirements are the important part of the T&C’s. They are there put there by the casino to combat bonus abuse. The Gibraltar Gaming Commission has a very good article regarding bonus abuse and complaints and is well worth the read. The wagering requirements are a play though of your deposit and bonus amount. The idea is that you have to stake the sum of the deposit and bonus a number of times before you can withdraw any funds. For example if the bonus is £100 for £100 deposited with a x20 wagering requirement then that means you have to stake (£100 + £100) x 20 = £4000. When looked at properly you realise that it’s difficult to achieve and this is the rub for a lot of players. The thing is that most don’t read the terms and conditions and when the bonus is explained they get all fired up and shout scam. The fact is that a x20 play through is one of the more generous ones there are some out there as much as x75! The best casino bonuses are usually for smaller amounts and have a smaller play through. Another part of the terms and conditions that people fail to understand is that not all games count towards the requirement. Table games usually only count as a percentage and the only games that count fully are slots. That being said you may ask why take the bonus then? Well if you love playing casino games then they are extra funds to play with. There are also other casino promotions that are easier to qualify for so let’s have a little rundown of some of them.

The Casino Sign Up Bonus Universally Used

With very few exceptions the welcome bonus, as it is also known as, is used by all online casinos to get customers through the virtual doors. These can take the form of either deposit or non-deposit versions and we will go into more detail about each on their own pages. These bonuses are the neon signs used to attract punters. You will see crazy figures splashed around. Join our casino and get £1500 free instantly for example. Well as previously said it’s not that simple but that’s marketing for you. The welcome bonus is set up as a match bonus usually. That is deposit a certain amount and get 100% matched bonus. Some look more attractive with say 200% bonus. Anything over 200% will have crazy high play through. Remember the devil is in the detail! There will always be a maximum amount of bonus and the play though will have a huge impact. Dig a little and do some maths the best casino sign up bonus is not always the one with the biggest figure attached. Read everything very carefully if you don’t understand anything ask the customer service agents. If this is not your first online casino account find out who owns the casino. If it is part of a group and you already have an account with a sister site you run the risk of losing your money. Duplicate accounts is the one biggest cause of accounts being shut down under bonus abuse.

Got Deep Pockets And A Big Bankroll?

The high roller deposit bonus is basically a welcome bonus, just for those with a lot more funds to play with. The big spenders have always been targeted by casinos. It is nothing to them to send a limo to the airport to pick up the billionaire business man. Free hotel suite, champagne the works. The chance for the casino to take the millions off one person to them is worth the effort. It may seem strange as most of the income generated is through slot machines but I guess they can’t resist the big prize. Of course in the online casino business a free limo to your front room is not much point. But the casinos still want to attract big players so they offer much bigger bonuses. They are however still match deposit bonuses with all the same wagering requirements. The difference is with a high roller casino bonus you can usually get it on subsequent deposits not just on the first. They have much bigger minimum/maximum deposit amounts but the percentage paid as a bonus is smaller.

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The Online Casino Loyalty Card

pounds coinsProbably one of the best casino bonuses UK players can get is with the loyalty scheme. As online casino bonuses go it’s unique because this is actually free money. If you are a regular in a land based casino you will know about the loyalty card. Regular customers were looked after much like frequent flier miles. You would get your card stamped and accrue points that could be cashed for free rooms or tickets to a show. The online casinos created their own versions and they really are some of the best online casino offers around. Every brand will have a slightly different set up with some having VIP schemes as well. But the basic idea is much the same across the board. It’s a cash back promotion that’s all but it runs as a permanent fixture. The casinos will award points for every real money game played. Different games can have different amounts awarded. These points are known as comp points and you have a running total in your account. Once these reach a certain amount they can be converted to cash and added to your account. The usual conversion rate is for every £10 staked 1 comp point is added, when these reach 100, £1 is added to your account. Different casinos have different rules as to when the points can be converted but it usually happens once a month. The amount of comp points awarded can be used with one off promos. Typically when a new game comes out there may be a limited time when you might get 10% more points for playing. Sometimes it’s used as a Christmas promo.

The VIP Scheme Makes Everybody Feel Special

One of the best online casino bonuses there is the VIP scheme uses a little psychology and it works. Everybody likes to feel valued. Even if it’s at a sub conscious level we feel that the more we put into something the better we should be treated. The casino bonus that is the VIP scheme does just that. This bonus is an area that goes a long way to ranking the top online casinos. The scope for the scheme is a varied as the casino cars to make it. It is usually structured as a tiered system Bronze, Silver, Gold some have Platinum and Diamond as well but you get idea. Again it’s using the comps points but once you have reached a certain level you go up a tier. This can mean comp points are now worth more but it can also be used to invite players to exclusive tournaments or better games like VIP one deck blackjack. The thing with this online casino bonus is it can have almost unlimited scope. It works too as the better casinos have good VIP schemes that make you feel valued. So the loyalty and VIP schemes are the best online casino bonuses.

Regular Re-loads Get A Bonus Too

The re-load bonus is another loyalty based UK casino bonus. Quite often these are run as part of the monthly promotions and as such don’t have fixed amounts. They usually have a time limit attached to them with a minimum deposit made before the deadline. This deposit must be staked before he deposit is available generally these one off promos have more favourable terms making them a more attractive UK casino bonus. Some casinos however run them permanently. They can be run along the lines of make a deposit on the third Thursday of the month and get a match bonus. Some run every week with up to 100% match. These bonuses are great if you play a lot but remember they all come with wagering conditions.

A Bonus For Banking – What’s That All About?

coinsThis one is not a common UK casino bonus but it is worth a mention because it has a lot confused. Why would you get a bonus for using a different payment method? This raises concerns for a lot of punters thinking maybe the casino is up to something dodgy. One reason is simply card charges. With the rise of electronic payment methods competition has arisen in the once closed shop that was the banks domain. Credit cards charge both parties, e-Wallets don’t charge as much and tend not to charge at all if the transfer is to an account within the company. But the main reason is the legal status of online gambling in some countries. There are many governments out there trying to stop online casinos from accepting their citizens. The thing is they are struggling, so they are putting up as many hurdles as they can. One way they are doing it is to block banks from making transactions to online gambling companies. This has a very bad effect on the casino’s image. A lot of first transactions players make are with bank cards and they get declined, casting suspicion on the legitimacy of the venture. So casinos are employing third party payment companies to deal with the hassle. The problem with this is there are some very shady practices going on moving the money around. Governments are getting wise and the hoops are getting smaller. Up steps the e-Wallets that are not challenged by the same rules as banks and the deposits are plain sailing. The issue was then to encourage players to use these more favourable methods. The banking bonus was born. Typically the bonus is another deposit percentage match around 10 or 15 %. This is off course on top of any other bonus but it still has terms and conditions. As with all bonuses you don’t have to accept it.

New Games Offer Free Spins

Slots games have been a firm favourite with casinos and punters alike since they came on the scene all those years ago. Online casinos have embraced slots whole heartedly and there seems to be no limit to how many new arrivals there are. With so many to choose from it gets a little difficult deciding which to play. Film themed, comic themed, sports, ancient Egypt the list is endless. Then you have the mega million jackpots and all the new releases just get lost in the mix. So the online casinos promote most of the new offering with free spin bonuses. Look for promo codes on the site of if you are on the mailing list you will get sent them. The standard amount is 10 free spins on a new game now don’t get too excited because most casinos don’t let you withdraw winnings from those free spins. But there are a few that have a generous streak and do let you win real cash. Of course the small print applies and needs to be read but this bonus is well worth looking out for if you are a slots fan.

Refer A Friend – Take A Bonus For That Too

We love casino games our friends love casino games so why not turn them on to a favourite casino and get rewarded for it? The latest in a long list of online casino bonuses is the refer a friend bonus. Simply put you get one of your friends to sign up and deposit and wager a set amount of funds and you get a bonus. The better casinos give the friend extra bonus funds as well. Most of the ranked casinos have this in their stable of permanent bonuses. There is no limit to the number of friends you introduce with most casinos that offer this bonus. The amount of bonus is typically around £25-50. You will have to fill in a form online and you will get a promo code for your friend to use when signing up. It is all very straight forward. As with all bonuses read the T&C’s very carefully before accepting. This is another great bonus if you and your friends play casino games regularly.

One Off Promos – Crossovers And Seasonal – Christmas Always Delivers

If you keep your eyes open every month will see a new promotion coming out. If you have an account with one of the big four bookies that run casinos as well you will often get crossover bonuses. Free bets on the footie when you wager so much on slots. Or a Grand National or Derby promo these bonuses have the usual small print but if you love a flutter on the nags they are great. There is always something going on and online casinos will come up with casino promotions relating to those events. Christmas is huge. There have been some really good UK casino bonuses around the festive season. One big name gave away holidays a couple of years ago. So not all bonuses are for just for show some really are worth having. Be careful if you have more than one account because of the duplication rules. A few of the major companies in the game have merged and businesses change hands all of the time. As a rule of thumb though you are not going to get rich from stacks of free cash. You will however if you shop around get lots of extra money to play with. You don’t have to take the bonus and you really must read the T&C’s.

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