Are Online Casino Bonuses Actually a Rip Off?

It sounds too good to be true … a free $20, $50, $100 or even $1000 to play with at an online casino. I know that Crown, Lassiters and Adelaide Casino have never offered me that much money simply for walking in the door! But, you know what they say about things that sound too good to be true…

Along with the exciting bonuses that are available from a lot of online casinos come some fairly strict wagering requirements. That is, the casino wants to ensure they have had ample time and opportunity to win their bonus money back, before they will allow you to make a withdrawal. It stops people ‘taking the money and running’ … but is there really any value in online casino bonuses for players, once the wagering requirements have been met? We investigate today.

Why Do Wagering Requirements Exist?

A large casino bonus is essentially free money. The casino needs to make sure that you are given ample opportunity to put that money back into their system, and that you don’t just cash it out. They wouldn’t last long as a business if they allowed that!

What is a Typical Online Casino Bonus?

The most common online casino bonus is in the form of a 100% deposit match for your first deposit, up o a certain amount. The amount varies wildly, from $20 to $1000.

What Constitutes Typical Wagering Requirements?

A typical wagering requirement is based on a multiple of the bonus you have received. For example, at Platinum Play Online Casino you must wager 10 times your originally issued bonus amount to be able to cash out. At they have unusually high wagering requirements of 50 times your original bonus amount (which could be up to $444) before you can make a withdrawal.

Additionally, you can generally not cash out your original deposit amount until you have met the wagering requirements, if you have taken advantage of a free bonus offer.

Take the Bonus, Or Don’t Take the Bonus?

Given the amazingly high wagering requirements that exist at some online casinos, it pays to consider whether you should take that dangling carrot or not! You may find that it has a poisoned barb. Imagine that you have taken a bonus, and lost it as well as your initial deposit. You make another deposit …. but because you have to bet 10 TIMES your original bonus before you can make any withdrawals, you end up losing quite a bit of money that you could have otherwise cashed out. Hardly seems fair!
Still, some online casinos don’t give you the choice to take the online bonus or not - they simply issue you with it. If you want to play without the potential for enormous cash loss looming above your head, you need to:

  1. Understand your particular casino’s wagering requirements perfectly
  2. Preferably, choose an online casino that doesn’t offer sign-up bonuses
  3. Additionally, don’t take advantage of any promotions that have bonuses with wagering requirements attached
  4. If you want to play at an online casino with automatic bonus issuing, make your initial deposit as low as possible

Follow these guidelines and you won’t get as much free money … but neither will you be as exposed to the risk of losing more than you should at your online casino!