And by elsewhere, we mean a rival casino. This succinctly describes the importance of a casino bonus, and the effect it has on a player’s psyche. However, it was not always like this.
Player´s Edge – Casino Bonuses explained
If someone were to make a movie on the life and times of a casino bonus, it would surely make for a blockbuster narrative. Our protagonist indeed has had a meteoric rise.
In the beginning, bonuses were not a casino’s centre of attention, especially the land-based ones. The internet had not yet been invented, and regular folks flocked to the gambling houses to indulge in their favourite games. If you were a loyal member of a particular establishment, you would receive points, also known as comps, based on the bets you placed. Once you accumulated a certain number of comps, you could then redeem them for a special prize. The prizes would include event tickets, souvenirs and casino money.
The payback percentage on comps was pretty low, and it was never the main attraction of a gambling establishment. They knew that the players visited to have a good time and spend a few bucks. Back then, the casinos did not have to worry about the internet that would soon take over the world.
The Meteoric Rise of Online Casino – How Players Can Benefit
Casino bonuses burst into the limelight with the dawn of online casinos. The rapid, upward trajectory of the vertical, which continues to this day, encouraged operators to offer generous promotions to reel in more and more players, who now held the upper hand. They could pick and choose their online casino. If one website offered a better bonus, the players could shift loyalties with a mouse click. The casino bonus had well and truly arrived; and how!
Online operators provided bigger and bigger promotions, to stand apart from the competition. The best part – for the casinos – was that the bonuses were tempered with wagering requirements that allowed the operators to maintain the house edge over the player. Casino bonus winnings can only be converted to cash after they have been played through a varying number of times, according to the different casino bonus sites.
Wagering requirements appear in the form of games that you can play, or the amount that you will receive. In other words, you cannot just walk away with the money on offer. You will need to navigate a few conditions before you are able to do so.
The Different Kinds of Bonuses available online
With the casino bonus being such an important aspect of an online casino, it only makes good business sense to offer a veritable variety to players. Opinions differ on what makes the best online casino bonus. Here’s a quick casino bonus guide, to give you a peek at what you can expect from most casinos when you visit their website:
The Welcome Bonus – First things first
This is the holy grail of all casino bonuses. And no, we do not exaggerate. The welcome bonus represents the first attempt to hook your attention, and loosen your purse strings, by offering a tempting tease to what awaits you inside. The bonus can be large and big-hearted, with some offering up to $200 cashback on your initial deposit, while other offerings can be a bit low on cash but high on other freebies.
No matter which way you look at it, the welcome bonus is the trump card for most online enterprises. It is also a benchmark to differentiate between the truly good casinos, which offer more after the first bonus, and the other more mediocre ones, who don’t have anything else up their sleeve.
Referral Bonus – The more, the merrier
The casinos have used one of the oldest promotional methods to lure in more players. This works on two levels: the person who refers another player is a member, and they receive an additional bonus; the player who joins gets a nice welcome bonus and other freebies. For the online casino, it is a win-win. They get to reward an existing member, while adding an extra player to their roster.
No Deposit Bonus – Play with No Deposit Required
With the online casino vertical growing and growing, it was only a matter of time before competition got intense and cut-throat. In such a scenario, you need to innovate, or you will be old news. Thus, was born the No Deposit Bonus. Forget the regular welcome bonus, where you need to first make a deposit to ensure you receive the bonus; the new king of bonuses does not require you to make any initial investment to enjoy some freebies.
The only drawback is that there may not always be a cash reward waiting for you. The bonus could be included in your casino balance and transform into more money you can wager. You will not be able to withdraw the bonus to your bank account or e-wallet. The No Deposit Bonus has become the most popular form, and no prizes for guessing why. After all, who can resist some free cash, even if it is in the form of casino money?
Insurance Bonus – Find the extra edge
This form of bonus is a recent innovation. No one likes to lose, and, with the house maintaining an edge over the players, there needs to be some leeway provided to boost player morale. Cue: Insurance Bonus. The principle involved is really simple. As you play and indulge your favourite games in an online casino, you tend to incur losses more often than not.
What the casino then does is reimburse a certain percentage of the losses. It could vary from 10% to a high of 20%. The bottom line is that the Insurance Bonus allows players a silver lining, even when their luck may have taken a turn for the worse.
Free Spins – Get your free rounds of play
What many do not know is that the most common form of casino bonus is usually its most camouflaged. Free spins can exist in a variety of combinations. You could have it as a part of a welcome bonus, or even as a reward on the loyalty points you have accrued. It can also be a part of an in-game promotion for players to try a new offering on the website.
Everyone loves free spins, and there has never been an easier way to put a smile on a player’s face. And the best part is that the casino does not even have to offer real money or a real prize; just a glimpse, because a free spin may or may not result in a win. One thing it will certainly result in is players trying to get more and more free spins, and bonuses, under their belt.
A Word of Caution – Before you getting started
A casino bonus is indeed tempting, and some of them may lead us to forget rationality, and be seduced by what’s in front. This is where you need to apply the brakes, and read the terms and conditions carefully; especially the wagering requirements.
An online casino is, after all, operating for profit, and any offer or promotion that seems too good to be true usually is. A quick check on the actual amount you will win, the games that are eligible, and the time taken to disburse the bonus, will stand you in good stead.