Claiming a Casino Bonus: Factors to Consider & Potential Pitfalls to Avoid

Every casino player appreciates a bonus or promotion. Bonuses enable players to play and hopefully win more while spending less.

As soon as a new online casino appears on the market, it tries to bombard users with exciting and lucrative promotional offers. This way, it encourages newbies and seasoned punters alike to register and start playing. Bonuses for newly registered players, such as free spins and free bets, promise an opportunity to try out a casino and its features, spin new slots, and play live games without risking a personal bankroll.

Indeed, bonuses are great and can be highly rewarding if used properly. However, not all bonuses are empowering. Some bonuses from unscrupulous online casinos are even designed to work against the player, making it impossible to make anything off the offers. Unfortunately, many people are too eager to claim the offers to understand what they entail, ending up frustrated when they realize it is a trap.

Identifying good and bad bonuses is easy when you know what to look for. Here is an overview of the factors to consider in a bonus and the potential pitfalls to avoid.

Factors to Consider in a Casino Bonus

It is prudent to consider everything a bonus entails before claiming it. Notably, bonuses come in varying types, and some are bigger or easier to claim than others. Here is an overview of three important factors to consider in an offer:

Eligibility Requirements

Most casino bonuses require players to complete certain actions before claiming them. For example, a welcome bonus requires players to register, while Vegas online casino real money bonuses require players to make a minimum deposit to unlock. Many bonuses also require you to use a valid promo code to unlock.

Some eligibility requirements are strict, while others are easy. Ideally, a good casino bonus should automatically unlock after meeting the eligibility requirements to ensure that you don’t miss out on the offer. If not, the casino should offer prompts reminding players of the bonuses when they meet the requirements. Additionally, casinos that require bonus codes for their offers should offer readily available codes or make the codes optional for players who cannot source them from third-party websites.

Bonus Type

Casino bonuses vary in type. The most common types include the following:

  • Welcome bonus
  • Deposit bonus
  • Reload bonus
  • No-deposit bonus
  • Cashback bonuses
  • VIP bonuses
  • Free spins bonuses
  • In-game bonuses

Each bonus type has varying terms and conditions. For example, welcome bonuses are also referred to as registration or sign-up bonuses. They are exclusively available to new players joining the casino for the first time.

Similarly, VIP bonuses are exclusively available to the most active and loyal players with special statuses on the platform. In contrast, reload and deposit bonuses are available to all players who deposit the minimum amount required. Understanding the various bonus types and their requirements makes it easy to claim and use the offers.

Offer Type & Size

Similarly, the offers from different bonuses and promotions vary in nature and size. Overall, they come in two types:

  • Free bets worth real money.
  • Free spins.

Naturally, free real money bets are preferable over free spins any time. However, every bonus type is worth something, considering that free spins can help you win substantial cash prizes if you are lucky.

Based on size, casino bonuses can vary by hundreds and even thousands of dollars or dozens of free spins. However, it is worth noting that the biggest bonus isn’t necessarily the best. In fact, big bonuses can be cumbersome if the wagering requirements and other terms and conditions are strict.

Potential Pitfalls to Avoid

Good bonuses should be easy to use and players should be able to realize and withdraw their winnings. However, that would be almost impossible when using bonuses with unfriendly terms and conditions. As such, it is prudent to look out for the following pitfalls before rushing to claim a bonus:

Unreasonable Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements are the most important factor to consider in a bonus because of their financial implications. They refer to the number of times you need to wager the bonus amount before you can withdraw your winnings.

In other words, they refer to the amount you must spend to unlock the winnings from your bonus bets. For example, a $20 bonus with wagering requirements of 10X means that you must wager $200 ($20 X 10) to unlock your winnings for withdrawal.

High wagering requirements mean that you must spend more money to unlock your winnings. Interestingly, bigger bonus amounts also have the same effect, hence why the biggest bonus isn’t always the best. Unfortunately, some bonuses’ wagering requirements can go as high as 50X.

Short Validity Periods

Bonuses are usually valid for set periods, after which they expire and players automatically lose the bonus amounts and any winnings. As such, players must fulfill the offer’s wagering requirements and withdraw their winnings before the validity period ends. However, that may be impossible if the validity period is too short, depending on how high the wagering requirements go.

Validity periods for bonuses range from 24 hours to 30 days, usually averaging one week. Ideally, the validity period should be enough to fulfill the wagering requirements.

Restrictive Terms & Conditions

Besides wagering requirements and validity periods, casino bonuses also have other subtler but strict terms and conditions. For example, the terms usually determine which games you can play using the bonus, thus determining your potential payouts based on the games’ RTP (return to player) rates. The terms and conditions may seem boring, but it is prudent to scan over the highlights before claiming the offer.

Casino bonuses are convenient, but it is important to remember that nothing comes for free. Some bonuses cost more to claim and use than others, resulting in losses and disappointment. As such, take some time to consider a bonus’ positive and negative aspects before claiming.



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