Sure, land-based casinos have “comps” that they give to their loyal players, but they can’t compare to the amount of bonuses a player can receive online, especially when you first sign-up. Online casinos face a host of competition, gambling online is big business. What does competition mean for the consumer (gamblers)? It means better incentives. There is so much competition online that casinos know they have to offer top level bonuses in order to attract players. However, much like everything else in life, if it seems too good to be true it probably is. As an online gambler, you must educate yourself as to which casinos are reputable and those that aren’t. You want to use bonuses to your advantage and not be taken advantage of by a fraudulent online casino.
No Deposit Bonuses:
It wasn’t that long ago that people were so scared to even download the casino program that casinos had to offer money just to get people to download their system. That type of bonus is known as a no deposit bonus. Most casinos offered no deposit bonuses at one time. They knew that once a person began playing and they built a level of trust, that player would continue playing with them. There was one flaw in their system, people who weren’t interested in gambling long-term, who abused the offer. People would simply sign-up at one casino, get the free money and play until that money was gone or they would cash-out if they won. Then they would move on to the next casino. Unfortunately, many casinos realized they were being taken advantage of and stopped giving no deposit bonuses.
There are still some online casinos that offer no deposit bonuses, but be careful. Many of the casinos that still offer this type of bonus have been known to not pay out. In other words, if you simply sign-up, get the bonus and win, they won’t let you cash out. There are many restrictions with no deposit bonuses. I think some online casinos make them up as they go. Make sure you know exactly what the qualifications are to cash out, and keep your fingers crossed that you get paid. I do not recommend signing up with a casino that has a poor reputation just so you can get the no deposit bonus. There are too many legitimate casinos offering great bonuses to worry with a company with has a shady track record. I’m not saying every casino that offers a no deposit bonus is corrupt, I’m just saying not many casinos offer this bonus anymore so be careful when you find a casino that does.
Today, sign-up bonuses are the most commonly used bonus to attract customers. This is where the bonuses online far exceed land-based casinos. Usually, with land-based casinos you have to establish your play before receiving any “comps,” but online they give you money right off the bat to get you to try out their product. However, these sign-up bonuses are now “match” bonuses instead of no deposit. That means the casino will match the amount of money you deposit into your casino account.
These bonuses can range from 20% up to 400%. Some companies will give you three or four times the amount you deposit. Once again, you must be careful with the companies offering huge sign-up bonuses. Casinos are not in the business of losing money, so if they detect a way for people to exploit their incentives they find ways to keep from paying. Read all of the stipulations about what you have to do before you can cash out your money. Many times casinos that offer large matching sign-up bonuses will make you play the amount you deposited plus the bonus money times 10 before you can cash out. That would mean if you deposited $100 and they matched that $100, you would have to make $2000 in bets before you could ever withdraw that money. They know the more times you play the money through; the more likely you are to lose it.
Don’t let this scare you away from sign-up bonuses. There are many reputable casinos that offer great sign-up bonuses and allow you to collect after playing the money through only once or twice. Sign-up bonuses are your bread and butter as an online player. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities, but be aware of all the stipulations. Don’t get greedy and sign-up with a company that is offering a 400% bonus but has one star on a casino review site. When a casino is offering a huge incentive that is above and beyond what others are offering, there is a reason and that reason is usually to overcome a negative reputation. The casino may have cheated people in the past, so now the only way they can get people to sign-up is to make an unbelievable offer. Don’t fall for it.
Loyalty bonuses are based on how much money a player bets during a set period of time. Usually it is over the course of a week or month. The casinos keep track of your play and return a percentage of it to you. This is very much like the rewards programs used in land-based casinos. The more you play the more you get back. Here’s the biggest thing you need to be aware of with loyalty bonuses. Make sure the bonus is based on your overall play whether you win or lose. Some casinos will only give you this bonus on losses, don’t use those casinos. The bonus should be based on your overall rate of play regardless of your wins and losses. Again, do not play at a casino that only gives you a percentage of your losses.
Re-load bonuses are very similar to matching sign-up bonuses except the percentages are not as high. Most casinos will offer to match a percentage of your deposit even after you have already signed up. The rate is usually between 5%-25%. That means that every time you make a deposit into your casino account, the casino will match a certain percentage of your deposit. This is another bonus you will not find in land-based casinos only in online casinos.
There are a few other bonuses such as preferred method of deposit and high-roller bonuses, but these are the major bonuses that you should be on the lookout for. Any good online casino will incorporate most of, if not all of, the bonuses I’ve discussed.
The last player incentives you want to be aware of are any promotions that are going on at the casino you are using to play. Often they revolve around some big event like a holiday or the Super bowl, etc. Casinos will offer special rates or promotions during these times that can be very lucrative to online gamblers.
Online casinos also hold slot tournaments. If you can get your entry fee taken care of by the casino, you should play in every slot tournament that you can. Depending on the number of entrants it can be tough to win, but if the entry is free make sure you take advantage of it.
Most Important Thing to Look for:
When you are researching an online casino the first thing you should do is go to their WITHDRAWAL methods. Players are often so excited to get their bonus and get started, they never figure out what they have to do if they win. They just assume they will get paid.
I talked about this in part during the no deposit and sign-up bonuses, about how some casinos will have many different stipulations before you can take out your money. Those are important to find out, but you also need to know how they are going to pay you. Are they going to send a check? If so do you need a physical address or will a PO Box suffice? How long will it take? What are my options? You get the idea. Make sure you know every detail of their withdrawal policies including the time it takes to receive your money.
Here is one last trick casinos will sometimes use. After you have made a withdrawal request, they will not let you deposit more money into your account without canceling that withdrawal. In other words, if I request a withdrawal for $500, I cannot deposit money into my account until the withdrawal has completely processed (can be 3-4 weeks) or I have to cancel the request. They know that if they can get you to keep that money in your account sooner or later you will lose it. NEVER cancel a withdrawal request. Use another casino until the request is fulfilled.
Let me know of any bonuses I missed or any horror stories about not being paid by a casino. I want to hear if any of the tricks I’ve mentioned have happened to you or someone you know. Look forward to your comments.