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Recalculating Bonus Advantages

By: Shirley Spicer, Saturday February 12th 2011
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All online casinos offer many different types of bonuses as benefits to their members. The most common type is the deposit bonus. In this kind of bonus the player makes a deposit and then the online casino adds a matching amount in the bonus account. The crucial part of the definition of the bonus is the bonus percent. A bonus may be defined as 100% of the deposit. This means that a player who makes a deposit of $100 will get a bonus of $100.

However, the player's advantage is not 100% (in the above case) because of the wagering requirements. Wagering requirements are an integral part of the bonus offerings. Though they can be stated in different formats they have the same objective and outcome. The most common way of specifying the wagering requirements is that the bonus and deposit must be wagered a specified number of times before a cash out is permitted. With the earlier example, consider a wagering requirement of 25 times the deposit and the bonus. The deposit and the bonus together amount to $200. 25 times that is $5,000. This means that the player will have to wager $5,000 before he gets any advantage of the bonus.

The player needs to wager $5,000. He has deposited $100 and the online casino has provided him with $100. From where does the remaining $4,800 come? There are two sources. One is from the winnings that may accrue from wagering the $200 that he has. The other source is more of his funds. How much comes from which source in a given instance is a matter of chance. But one can take a worst case scenario where the player has to provide the balance amount. In that case the player will have to provide $4,900 to be able to utilize the $100 provided by the online casino. This is a little over 2%. The player is bound to win something while wagering and therefore his contribution will decrease and the actual percent may be somewhat higher.

There are online casinos that offer the bonus stated differently from above. They state that if the player wagers a specified amount during the promotion period then he will be given a bonus. There are no wagering requirements to this bonus because the wagering requirements are already covered in the specified amount. Recently there was a promotion at a prominent online casino that offered a bonus of $100 for wagering $3,500 during the promotion period. That works out to just less than 3%. Hence a more meaningful way of calculating the bonus percent would be as a percent of the funds the player is expected to bring in so as to meet the wagering requirements.

This however is not the end of the story. The bonus is not the benefit because the player cannot withdraw it and take it home. It is deducted from the players account once the wagering requirements have been met. What the player can take home is the amount won by wagering the bonus. Theoretically this can be a huge amount. For example the player can hit a 10,000 coin fixed jackpot in a slot game. But in practice online casinos put a cap to the winnings. This may be specified as a multiple of the bonus or as an absolute value. Hence the benefits from a deposit bonus are much less than what they appear to be.

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