How Casinos Limit Risk Using Casino Bonuses Terms and Conditions
Players often sign up to an online casino because of the welcome bonus. Once registered, players receive additional bonuses for subsequent deposits, on special occasions, during promotions or in cashbacks.
But how do casinos manage to thrown around so much ‘free’ money? Can players just sign up and take the cash and then split? If this would be the case, casinos would be out of business in no time. It is for this reason that online casinos attach very strict terms, conditions and wagering requirements to every bonus.
Read on to understand why these conditions are necessary and how to make sure you don’t void your bonus by not complying.
Why Do Casino Bonuses Place The Casino at Risk?
It is obvious that by offering bonuses, a casino takes a somewhat of a risk. There were many cases in the past that casinos suffered great loss when they offered huge bonuses and they didn’t have the padding to back it up.
Casinos used to offer bonuses with low wagering requirements and minimal or zero restrictions on allowed games. As a result, players were able to take advantage of these bonuses to make a profit over a period of time, through what came to be called bonus hunting or bonus abuse.
Nowadays casinos have tightened up their game and do not offer such bonuses any more. That is not all; casinos incorporate enough padding into their bonus offers – through strict terms and conditions - to ensure they doesn’t suffer any loss because of the bonuses it offers.
What Casinos Do These Days to Counter Bonus Abuse and Minimize Risk
Casinos have been able to mitigate the risk of loss from the bonuses they offer by introducing terms and conditions to govern the use of these bonuses. These terms also dictate the manner in which players can claim winnings that they score with the bonuses.
These terms and conditions ensure that:
- The casino has a comfortable cushion in place to offset the possibility of incurring losses.
- There is no possibility of the house edge being lowered.
- Players use the bonuses offered properly.
- Players are not able to indulge in bonus hunting or bonus abuse.
What Terms and Conditions do Casinos Put in Place?
The most important terms and conditions that casinos use for their bonuses are:
- Wagering requirements.
- Maximum cashout limit.
- Maximum single bet.
- Limitations on using specific game features.
These terms and conditions ensure that the casino never runs into a loss because of its bonuses. There are a few additional terms in place as well to ensure fair usage and game play.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these:
The wagering requirement is one of the most significant conditions governing the use of a bonus at an online casino. Every casino uses this condition to ensure that players do not run away with big wins from the bonuses they offer.
The wagering requirement ensures that you wager your bonus or winnings from it – depending on the kind of bonus you are using – a specific number of times:
- Match deposit bonus: You are required to wager your bonus amount a specific number of times. At some casinos you will need to wager both the bonus and deposit amount to fulfill the wagering requirement.
- Free spins: You are required to wager the total winnings earned with the bonus a specific number of times.
Only once you have fulfilled the wagering requirements associated with a bonus will you be able to claim winnings earned with it, and that too after ensuring you have fulfilled all the other conditions attached to the bonus.
The wagering requirements are usually higher for no deposit bonuses, given that the element of risk is perceived to be higher: it varies from anywhere between 45x to 99x. Of course, there are casinos that offer modest wagering requirements on no deposit bonuses as well. Wagering requirements for deposit bonuses usually ranges from 25x to 40x.
Example Wagering Requirements Calculation
Let’s look at the example of Jackpot City Casino. Here you will receive a 100% sign up bonus on your first deposit of up to $400.
So let’s say you deposit $100, you will receive a $100 bonus. The wagering requirements state that you have to wager the bonus money 50 times:
100 * 50 = $5,000
But what does that mean?
You cannot cash out ANYTHING until you have actually placed bets of at least $5,000. It does not matter whether you wager bonus money or the cash you deposited. If you try to cash out too early, you stand to lose all money in your account so don’t try!
(Note: This is commonplace. You cannot try and cash out early. MOST casinos will confiscate your funds. If in doubt, always contact casino support.)
Every casino places limitations on the number of games that you can play with a bonus. One of the critical factors that determine which games make it to the list of eligible games and which go straight to the excluded games list is the contribution of the game towards the fulfillment of wagering requirements.
Slots and scratch cards usually contribute 100% towards wagering requirements. Games like blackjack and video poker contribute less, while games like craps and others may not contribute at all.
The common rule of thumb is that games which contribute more towards wagering requirements are good to play, and the ones that contribute less, or not at all, should be avoided.
Maximum Single Bet Limit
A number of conditions place limitations on the maximum single bet that you can place while a bonus is in play and when the wagering requirements have not yet been met. This is one condition you find frequently associated with no deposit bonuses.
Casinos, through this condition, place a cap on the maximum bet you can place at a time while the bonus is being used and the wagering requirements are in play. This is to prevent players from using features built into the game, like the Max Bet feature, to score a whopper of a win while using the bonus that has been offered. This is a rule that you need to follow seriously, especially given that overshooting the maximum bet limit would likely result in the casino confiscating your winnings and canceling the bonus offer.
Maximum Cashout Limit
The maximum cashout limit clause is a special condition that you will usually find associated with a no deposit bonus, regardless of whether it is a no deposit match bonus or no deposit free spins offer. The terms of this condition are simple: regardless of how much you win with a no deposit bonus, you are allowed to withdraw only a certain amount.
For instance, a casino may offer a no deposit bonus of $30 that comes with a maximum cashout limit of $50. Now say you win $100 with the bonus; you will be allowed, as per this particular rule, to withdraw only $50. The remaining $50 is rendered unusable and removed from your account.
This condition is important because it effectively ensures no player is able to score a ridiculously high win on a bonus for which he didn’t even have to deposit funds.
Most casinos also place a limit on the maximum you can cashout at a time. While this in itself may not be serious enough to warrant special attention, things can get complicated if this limit is bolstered by a limitation on the maximum time within which to cash out your winnings from a bonus. This often affects high rollers who bet big and are therefore likely to win big even during a regular game.
Casinos, of course, usually have special provisions in place that enable them to raise the limits for high rollers and other VIP players who they know are big spenders.
Does the Player Benefit in Any Way?
We have read how all these bonus terms and conditions benefit the casino. But how does the player benefit, if at all?
These days casinos are not allowed to make their bonus terms too obscure, or wagering requirements to unattainable. Most reputable online casinos that are licensed by proper gambling authorities have to conform to strict rules that are to the players’ benefit.
A regulated industry that keeps an eye on the online casino’s activity means that players can wager in a safe and secure manner.
If a bonus looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Stay away from bonuses that look too unreal, read the terms and conditions properly and thus avoid rogue casinos.