Have you ever wondered about the most common online casino bonus terms and conditions?
Any seasoned gambler will tell you that a fabulous bonus can help set you up for success at a fantastic casino site.
But when you scratch the surface just slightly, you’ll be confronted with a whole host of online casino bonus terms and conditions that may put a dampener on your enjoyment.
In our guide to the most common casino bonus T&Cs, we’re going to take a deep dive into these cheeky little caveats and answer the following questions:
We’ll also give you some examples of different bonuses and their most common T&Cs.
So if you’ve ever wondered about terms and conditions and casino specific bonus deals, take a seat and let us guide you through everything you need to know.
The phrase “terms and conditions” is officially defined as “a contractual relationship between the provider of a service and its user”. They are applied to pretty much every product and service you come across in day-to-day life.
So why do casinos need T&Cs attached to their bonus offers?
The reason is simple: they must protect themselves from players taking advantage of an offer.
Also, some shady operators use terms and conditions for casino bonus deals as a way of ensuring they never have to pay out winnings, i.e. making an offer look incredible and then having such restrictive T&Cs that players can never cash out any real-money winnings.
So how can you tell whether these bonus terms and conditions are fair, or if you are falling victim to a shifty operator?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you would hope. In fact, it depends on the type of player taking on the deal.
For example, if you play online frequently, then a short expiry date on your offer may not make a difference. But if you are someone who likes to dip in and out of casino gaming, then an expiry date of a few days may be unrealistic for you to comply with.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most common casino bonuses and their typical terms and conditions. That way, you can make an informed decision about which bonus deals are the right ones for you.
Here we’ve listed some of the most common online casino bonus terms and conditions. We’ll explain what these terms mean, as well as which deals they are most frequently attached to.
As you can probably guess, an expiry date is the time in which you must use up your casino bonus. Expiry dates are attached to pretty much 100% of all casino bonuses.
The main purpose of an expiry date is to ensure that players fulfill all other terms and conditions, and use their bonus funds/spins, within a specified time period. Otherwise, you would have thousands of players with unused bonuses coming and going, which isn’t really practical for anyone.
As a general rule of thumb, free spins have a much shorter expiry date than deposit or no deposit offers.
A bonus which gives you funds to spend will often come with an expiry date of between 7 and 30 days. However, free spins offers usually expire within 3 days.
It’s important to note that, even if you’ve won using bonus funds and/or spins, unless you have complied with all the other terms before your expiry date comes around, you will lose everything in your bonus pot.
We tend to warn players about offers with extremely short expiry dates. This is simply because it becomes unrealistic for anyone to comply with the terms and conditions of a deal, if they only have a very limited timescale in which to do so.
Wagering requirements are seen as a necessary evil of the casino gaming world.
Apart from no wagering deals, most casino offers will come with some form of wagering, also known as “playthrough requirements”.
This is also the cheeky little caveat that is the most likely to trip players up.
In short, wagering refers to the amount of times you must play through your bonus funds, or winnings from free spins, before you can cash out.
They are very easy to spot; in the terms and conditions of any bonus deal you will see a number with a small “x” next to it. This is your wagering requirement, and you must fulfill it if you hope to cash out using bonus funds or spins.
To understand fully, let’s take a look at an example:
You deposit $10 at a roulette site. The casino promises you a 100% match deposit offer, meaning that you will double your money to $20.
However, this extra $10 that you receive is classed as “bonus funds” and must therefore be wagered.
In the casino online bonus terms you see 40x. This means that you must take the $10 and play it forty times over before you can withdraw any winnings.
As you can see, this means that wagering has an enormous bearing on how you use your bonus, and high playthrough requirements coupled with a short expiry date can make it almost impossible to cash out successfully.
Tied into wagering requirements is game weighting. This refers to the “weight” each casino game carries, and you may have to recalculate your overall playthrough according to each game and its individual weight.
Wagering is very easy to work out, if each game you play is worth 100% towards the requirement. However, taking the example of 40x wagering again, if a game only carries 50% in weight, then you have to effectively double your wagering to 80x.
It is a legal obligation for casinos to state their game weights clearly in the terms and conditions. You’ll find that, generally speaking, slots tend to have a game weight of 100%, with the exception of progressive jackpot games.
At the other end of the scale, the more skill involved, the lower the weight tends to be. This means that games such as poker and live roulette, blackjack and baccarat usually have the lowest weights of any game in a casino’s catalog.
Therefore, it’s imperative that you check the weight of the games you want to play before you take on a bonus.
If you’re a slots fan looking for free spins, then game weighting may not affect you. But if you’re a fan of blackjack sites, for example, we advise you to be cautious before you jump into a bonus offer.
Excluded games are specific titles in the casino’s catalog that you cannot play using your bonus.
You’ll find the list of excluded games in the terms and conditions of your offer, and it can include titles from all sections of the casino.
That said, live casino games and progressive jackpot slots usually make up the majority of the excluded games list.
Therefore, if you have your eye on a particular game and you want to play it using bonus funds or spins, first check that it is not on the excluded games list.
Unfortunately, online casino bonus terms and conditions aren’t going anywhere. But while casinos will claim that their T&Cs are there to make claiming and using bonuses fair for everyone, the fact remains that some operators put overly-restrictive rules on their offers.
This makes it difficult to convert your bonus funds into real-money winnings that you can withdraw.
However, in recent years we’ve seen a rise in the popularity of no wagering bonuses, as well as dedicated wager-free casinos. Plus, casinos that accept cryptocurrency tend to have lower wagering and fairer terms.
To sum up, it’s clear that there are some operators trying to move away from the typical, heavily restricted bonus deals. And we’re excited to see this step in the right direction.
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