Casino Bonuses and Wagering RequirementsBy: R. Kingsley, Tuesday September 2nd 2008
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All online casinos offer bonuses. It is a way to use some of the profits generated to induce players to play more or to induce more players to play. The key words are "induce players to play" and therefore bonuses are not free giveaways. They come with a lot of fine print and if this fine print is not understood then players can lose out.
Broadly speaking there are two types of casino bonuses. One is a sticky bonus, which is so named because it cannot be cashed. The bonus is added to the player's account when he earns it. As the player wagers the bonus his winnings are added to the account. There is a hold on withdrawing the bonus and the winnings till the wagering requirements are met. Once that is done, the online casino takes back the original bonus amount and allows the player to withdraw the winnings. The other type of casino bonus can be withdrawn along with the winnings once the wagering requirements are met. Since the sticky bonuses cannot be withdrawn they are usually much larger than the other type of bonuses.
The next issue that needs clarification is the wagering requirements. Again there are two broad types of wagering requirements. In one type of wagering requirement the player has to wager both the bonus and the deposit that led to the bonus the specified number of times. In the other type of wagering requirement the player has to wager only the bonus the specified number of times. Again it follows that if both the bonus and the deposit are to be wagered then the wagering requirements are smaller.
Casino games have different house edges. Online slots have high house edges whereas blackjack games have very low house edges, with other online casino games coming in between. Online casinos want to encourage players to wager at those games that have higher house edges, because that is where they make their money. Hence most online casinos stipulate that the wagering requirements for the casino bonuses have to be fulfilled only on the online slots. Some online casinos permit players to meet wagering requirements on games with lower house edges but increase the wagering requirements significantly for those games.
One very important factor is that all players are not entitled to bonuses. Players from certain countries cannot claim bonuses. This is because players from those countries have a history of abusing the provisions of the bonuses. The most common abuse is multi-accounting. Players open several accounts so as to avail the one-time casino bonuses again and again.
Hence it is very important to read the terms and conditions of the bonuses before playing. These terms are full of legalese and difficult to read but players who do so will have easier times ahead.
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