Things to Check Before Taking a Promotion

Things to Check Before Taking a Promotion

January 20, 2011.

It’s no secret that online casinos attract players by offering great first-time depositor promotions. In the early days of online gaming, these promotions were typically only 10% and had no strings attached. These deals got around and helped increase the popularity of online casinos.

However, as the online gambling industry grew in popularity, so did the size of promotions offers. Casinos now typically offer sign-up bonuses of at least 100%, with some offering seemingly too-good-to-be-true matches of 1000% or more. Nowadays, however, these bonuses come with plenty of terms and conditions that must be obeyed.

The first catch that comes with promotional offers from online casinos is the playthrough. Virtually all casinos require that the player wager the deposit and bonus at least 20 times before submitting a withdrawal request. Many casinos have larger wagering requirements of up to 75x.

Even if the casino has a small wagering requirement, be sure to read the terms and conditions for the details. Some games may have reduced rates at which they fulfill wagering, while playing others may completely void winnings. For instance, casinos tend to increase wagering on games with lower house edges, like blackjack and video poker. It’s not uncommon for online casinos to state that playing these games increases playthrough by 10x, so be sure you understand these terms before accepting a bonus.

Most reputable casinos today have a cashier window that will keep track of this playthrough so you don’t have to. However, several casinos have a clause in their terms that states that a withdrawal request before playthrough is made will result in winnings being void. Therefore, it is essential that you are doubly sure you have completed the wagering requirement on a bonus before cashing out. It’s advised that you keep your own running total, and always check with support before withdrawing.

Not all bonuses are created equal. This goes beyond playthrough requirements. While many casinos still offer fully cashable bonuses, many more give their players non-cashable bonuses. Also known as a phantom bonus, a non-cashable bonus means that the bonus money will be removed from the withdrawal. For instance, there is a casino that offers a 100% phantom match bonus with a 35x playthrough. If you were to deposit $50, you would get a starting bankroll of $100. Suppose you complete playthrough and end with $200. Upon withdrawing the money, the casino would subtract $50, leaving you with only $150. If you do not like the casino doing this, look for cashable bonuses or do not take them at all.

The final stipulation that many online casinos now put on bonuses is a maximum cashout. These are most common with no deposit bonuses, as well as large match bonuses. For instance, suppose a casino offers a 1000% phantom match bonus with a maximum cashout of 12x the deposit with 35x wagering. You deposit $50 and get a starting bankroll of $550 and hit a jackpot of $100,000. Nice going! You probably won’t be pleased that you only get to keep $600 of it, though, due to the maximum cashout restriction. For this reason, many players avoid taking bonuses with a maximum cashout term.

So, if you want to take a casino bonus offer, realize that it’s never as good as it seems. While bonuses can offer great odds to the player and plenty more time playing your favorite games, never take them before completely understanding their rules. Always ask support if you are unsure about anything in the promotional offer, and double-check to make sure that you’ve completed playthrough before requesting a withdrawal. With these tips, you’re guaranteed not to get trapped in the restrictions of bonus coupons.