This Article continues our series on casino bonuses. Most casinos use the allure of a big casino bonus to attract new players and it is important to understand he basics of how they work and your role as the player.
WHY THE CASINO BONUS?
Of course that’s the easy part. Casinos offer bonuses, usually free money or chips, in order to attract and/or keep plays. So, to a certain extent, casinos are competing for a player’s business by offering these promotions. It’s the casino equivalent of a “buy-one-get-one-free” in the retail industry.
DIFFERENT CASINO BONUSES
There are basically two kinds of bonuses: first deposit bonuses and loyalty bonuses.
First deposit bonuses are monies the casino gives you to say “thanks for joining us”. You usually get a first deposit casino bonus when you sign up at the casino and make your first deposit in a Real Money account. Often they match your initial deposit, up to say $100. They may give you percentage bonus on your initial deposit up to a specified maximum (e.g. 50% free up to $250). The actual numbers vary widely from casino to casino and most casinos change the bonuses from time to time.
Loyalty bonuses are promotions that the casino use to try and retain their existing players. These are usually awarded on the first deposit of a given month, say 20% , or a certain percentage of what a player deposits at the casino over the course of the month, say 10% This is a way for the casino to say “thanks for your continued support”.
YOUR ROLE AS A PLAYER
Put simply, the player is expected to identify themselves honestly, to not cheat, to follow the rules given in the casino’s “terms and conditions”, and to abide by casino’s terms for cashing in winnings.
The implicit understanding is that if you join a casino and accept one of their bonuses then you’ll stay there and play for a while. The clause that keeps you there for a minimum amount of wagering is the so-called “wager though requirement”. This requirement states how much money you must wager in order to be eligible to cash in the bonus. It’s usually expressed as a multiple of your deposit, or the bonus you receive or the sum of the two. The details of the play-through are usually found in the casino’s terms and conditions and may vary from 3 times to as much as 20 times (you usually find that the bigger the bonus, the bigger the wager though requirement, although there are numerous exceptions)
THE ROLE OF THE CASINO
The player, of course, expects the casino to offer fair games and to pay out in a reasonable and timely manner. That’s obvious enough, but what might not be obvious is that games change over time and the payouts are almost certainly subject to the player’s full compliance with those same terms and conditions.
Games change because the casino either updates their software to offer new features or they adjust the pay tables -especially in Video Poker and Slots games– in order to fine-tune the “casino hold”, i.e. the average amount the casino can expect to yield from the player’s deposits.
The casino’s terms and conditions represent the casino’s terms of service to the player. They are often tweaked and modified to reflect changes in the casino’s bonus structure and wager through requirements. You can view this as a contract between you and the casino.
The bottom line: the terms and conditions dictate what is expected of the player and the casino will almost certainly hold the player to the spirit and usually the letter of those terms. IT IS NEVER AN EXCUSE FOR THE PLAYER TO CLAIM THEY DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. After all, in normal law ignorance is not a defense.