The Welcome Bonuses – A Brief History Of Attracting New Players
You can trace back the first welcome bonus almost to the very first casino in Venice back in 1638. A customer would walk into a new online real money casino and right off the bat he would be given a small amount of money to have a go at different casino games. Pretty soon, that money would run out and the customer would start using his own money instead. It’s a simple formula for getting someone interested in online gambling because they have practically nothing to lose.
However, as time progressed, welcome bonuses changed and not exactly for the better. Casinos no longer just give the money upfront. Now you actually have to give them something first and only then will they express their gratitude by giving you more casino cash to play with. But there is a huge twist: It’s not real money, but we will get to that later.
How Online Casino Bonuses Entice Players – Online Gambling 101
If you’ve ever visited an online casino you’ve probably experienced being bombarded with online casino bonuses the moment you step foot in their online casino. The best welcome bonus casinos waste no time showing you the perks of being a winner as soon as you create a new account, link your credit card and enjoy all the benefits of their amazing casino bonuses.
So, you might be thinking: “Why are online casinos so eager to give away free stuff, especially to new players? Wouldn’t it make more sense to save all the best bonuses for existing online casino veterans?”
The reason for this is simple: the online casino industry is extremely competitive. New online casinos are popping out everywhere you look – both good and bad casinos. However, the one thing they all have in common is they deeply depend on new players. So how do players choose where they will spend their money? Are online casino bonuses worth it, to begin with? Short answer – Yes!
Long answer – It makes sense if you think about it. If you have already decided to spend your money on casino money games, why not get a little extra in the form of a casino bonus? So let’s take a look at how you can take advantage of these sign-up bonuses.
Sign-up Bonus – How Does It Work?
Whether you call them welcome bonuses, sign up bonuses, match bonuses, or first deposit bonuses, almost every single online casino will offer one to you. It’s an online casino’s way of saying: “Thank you for choosing us over every other online casino out there, bro!”
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, a quick disclaimer: Welcome bonuses aren’t the same thing as no-deposit bonuses. No deposit bonus casino only requires that you create an account while for a sign-up bonus to work you actually need to deposit some cash. So, you actually need to spend some money to get this online casino bonus. Got that? Good!
Even though there are many different bonus types, they all work on the same principle, welcome bonuses included. When players make the first deposit at an online casino, that casino will award the players with a deposit bonus in form of bonus money, free spins, and other benefits. The majority of online casino bonuses will give you a percentage bonus based on your deposit amount. They look something like this example (we’ll be coming back to this example during this lesson):
- First deposit bonus: 100% (up to $300) + 100 free spins
Now please pay attention because this part is important. For our example, you may be led to believe that if you deposit $300 you will get another $300 and end up with $600 (and 100 free spins) but that’s just not the case.
The extra $300 you would get from this example is, in fact, bonus money or casino money. Outside of the casino, these bonus funds are useless. To turn it into real money, you’ll have to play some casino games with it but we will get to that part later.
For now, keep this in mind: when you get online casino bonuses (like the welcome bonus) you’ll only get casino bonus money that you can spend inside the online casino. Until you play with that bonus a little, it’s worthless outside the online casino.
Different Bonus Types – Sign-up Bonuses Explained
So now that you know the harsh truth about sign-up bonuses, let’s actually take a look at some bonus offers, particularly those that online casinos offer to their new customers.
The most common form of welcome bonuses is the percentage bonus. This is the bonus that seemingly doubles the amount of your first deposit. Again, this is in form of bonus money, not real money. In our example, the percentage bonus can give you a 100% bonus with the max bonus being $300. This means that if you deposit, for example, $400, you’ll still get $300.
Free spins bonuses
Free spins bonuses give you free turns on specific games in online casinos. This is considered a smaller bonus and is more often than not given as an extra bit with the 100% deposit bonuses. However, some online casinos will only offer you free spins as part of the welcome bonus.
While it’s relatively rare to find a sign-up bonus like this, some online casinos will offer you a money-back guarantee with your first deposit. A cashback bonus always has a limit (usually $50-$100). Unlike other online casino bonuses, there usually isn’t a catch with this one.
Multiple-deposit welcome bonuses
It’s pretty common for seasoned casino players to hop from one casino to the other, only to stay long enough to collect the bonuses (welcome bonuses) and never to come back. To prevent this from happening, some better online casinos offer multiple-deposit welcome bonuses.
A multiple-deposit bonus work just like a normal welcome deposit bonus, but it ranges from up to four separate deposit bonuses. These are often called the second, third and fourth deposit bonuses. Each consecutive deposit tends to be a little less generous than the last one. Here’s an example:
- First deposit: 100% (up to $300) +100 Free spins
- Second deposit: 75% (up to $200)
- Third deposit: 50% (up to $400) + 20 Free Spins
- Fourth deposit: 50 Free spins
As you can see, the bonus offers get less valuable with each deposit but if customers have already made the first deposit, they are more likely to go for even the less valuable casino bonuses.
How To Tell A Good Welcome Bonus From A Bad One – Find The Best Online Casino Bonus
With so many online casino bonuses being handed out willy-nilly, it can be pretty hard to tell which one is actually good and which one isn’t. Every single online casino offer sounds like it’s the best bonus in the world. But don’t let yourself be fooled by flashy numbers. In this day and age, there are way too many online casinos that feed on unsuspecting players the moment they make their initial deposit. And each comes with its own fair share of tempting online casino bonuses to attract more new customers. So how can you be certain which latest bonus offers are better? Here’s how you can tell if an offer is actually good:
Keep your eyes peeled and do the math
Online casinos will always try to draw your attention to big large shiny numbers so you don’t focus on the important parts. For example:
- Welcome 50% bonus (up to $1000)
See how the bolded letters are nice and shiny while the rest isn’t as noticeable. In order to get that bonus cash of $1000, you’ll have to deposit $2000 because of that 50% (the one that wasn’t bolded). So keep an eye out for things like that.
Avoid free spins as welcome bonuses
Even if you are a huge fan of online slot games and absolutely adore getting free spin bonuses, they just aren’t that great of a welcome bonus offer. Free spins should be used for smaller casino bonuses (such as the reload casino bonus) and not for the first time when new customers deposit money in the casino. In our experience, an online casino that only offers a free spins bonus as part of the first deposit bonus usually doesn’t have much to offer in the long run.
Other hidden details
Online gambling sites will sometimes hide conditions and restrictions about their casino bonuses. While casinos are required to disclose these conditions, they almost never disclose the casino bonus terms. Instead, these details are hidden away in a sea of text – Terms and Conditions. It may be a good idea to scan the finer points of the terms and conditions because you decide to use the casino’s banking options.
Find a casino review site to do the work for you
If any of these sound hard to you, don’t worry. Chances are, someone has already done all the work for you and has created calculated the actual bonus value of the casino you are interested in. Quality websites that dish out honest online casino reviews are hard at work to help players like you find the best place to play their money games. Speaking of that, have you heard of CasinoBros (wink)?
The Biggest Bonuses Tend To Have The Biggest Catch Of Them All
At this point, we will assume that you understand the basics of welcome bonuses. Even with all of their setbacks, the first deposit casino deposit bonus does seem like a good incentive to get players to play more games or even earn more money, right?
Allow us, to burst your bubble with the biggest catch of every single casino bonus:
Understanding The Bonus Wagering Requirements In Online Gambling
If you go back to our original $300 casino bonus, you’ll notice that we haven’t included the wagering requirements. That is because most online casinos don’t show them either. The wagering requirements are usually hidden somewhere deep on the T&C page.
What are bonus wagering requirements and how exactly do they work?
On paper, wagering requirements are the casino’s safety method that prevents you from creating an account, taking the bonus funds, and withdrawing it all without ever playing any of the casino games. Yeah, you can see how players could take advantage of that system. So, to counter this, casinos give out bonus funds that need to be wagered on casino games before it turns into real money. Think of it as legal money laundering.
While it may not seem like a big deal, online casinos like to be nuts with the number of times you have to wager your bonus amount. The standard wagering requirements vary from casino to casino but generally, the wagering requirements range from x30 to x50.
Some really generous casinos can have wagering requirements be as little as x1 and some greedy casinos can have them be as high as x150. Instead of being a safety measure for players withdrawing money too early, it can almost feel like wagering requirements are there so that players never win any money with the bonus amount.
Using our example from before, let’s say that we found out from the T&C page that the wagering requirements are x30. In order to turn our bonus into real cash, we have to wager it that many times. So in a way, we would need to wager those extra $300 x 30 = $9,000. You read that right, bros, in order to turn those $300 into actual money, they need to be used in the amount of $9000. Sounds crazy, right? That’s a good deal if you can believe it. Try doing the same thing with x150 wagering requirements and you will see what a bad casino bonus really is.
In short, wagering requirements can make or break a bonus. Even a 10.000% deposit bonus is worthless if it has huge wagering requirements. So don’t forget to check those wagering requirements before you create an account and use those online casino banking options.
And You’re All Set – We Got You, Bro!
Hopefully, now you understand all the ins and outs of how welcome bonuses work. Keep in mind that not all welcome bonuses are worth the trouble. Also, don’t forget that when an offer looks too good to be true, it usually is just that. Check those wagering requirements and make the call yourself. There are some really good bonus offers out there, you just have to find them or let us CasinoBros find them for you.
What is a welcome bonus?
A welcome bonus is an incentive that online casinos give to new players for creating an account and making the first deposit.
Are online casino bonuses worth it?
Not all online casino bonuses are worth it because some of them have large wagering requirements or don’t offer a good enough casino bonus.
How do I calculate how much I have to wager before I turn the bonus funds into real money?
You multiply your deposit amount by the rate of the wagering requirement. See our example for more details.
Does every casino bonus have wagering requirements?
Most of the time, yes. Casino bonuses need to be wagered inside the actual casino before players can withdraw them. Very rarely does a casino offer bonuses without any wagering required.
Are casino bonuses calculated?
Yes, casino bonuses are calculated. Most online casinos calculate the amount of skill different games would require in order to play through the game wagering requirements. Take for instance slot games. They usually have 100% contribution to bonus, whereas instant win games have 50% contribution to bonus and table games sometimes go all the way down to 10% contribution to the bonus.