Online casino gaming is big business, especially in the gambling heartlands of Australia, Western Europe and North America. With a growing market and low barriers to entry, it’s also extremely competitive, with new online casino brands entering the fray almost every day. Casinos offer a wide range of bonuses to tempt new players in through their virtual doors, but it can be difficult to compare one with the next. Here we look at different types of bonus including deposit, no-deposit and cashback.
Deposit (matched) bonus
The most common type of bonuses, especially on Australian online platforms, are the casino deposit bonuses. The way these work is that when you make an opening deposit into your gambling account, the casino also deposits some bonus cash. This might match your deposit, or it could be a percentage of it.
Typically, casinos offer the largest deposit bonus, usually 100 percent, on your first deposit. Obviously, this incentivizes you to deposit a larger sum than you might initially have planned. Casinos also offer bonuses on subsequent deposits, but these typically reduce to, perhaps, 75 percent, 50 percent and 25 percent.
Deposit bonuses usually have some sort of wagering requirement attached, meaning you can’t cash out the “bonus cash” until you have rebet it a minimum number of times. Casinos have a regulatory obligation to be transparent about this.
No deposit bonus
What could be better than free money? With a no deposit bonus, the casino places some funds in your gambling account when you join. These funds are immediately accessible to gamble with and there is no obligation on you to deposit any money out of your own pocket.
Note that some casinos offer both types of bonus – for example one might offer $15.00 no deposit bonus on joining, plus 100 percent added to your first deposit up to $100.
The no deposit bonus is attractive to players because you literally can’t lose – after all, you’re not risking a penny of your own money. That is true, but it is also the case that you’re unlikely to win much. No deposit bonuses usually have quite onerous rules and wagering requirements attached to them, making it difficult to cash out any winnings. Still, no deposit bonuses offer a risk-free way to try out a new game or two without spending money of your own.
Finally, a new type of bonus that has started to appear among some of the innovators in the online casino business. Cashback is a familiar concept in finance, but not necessarily in casinos. With a cashback bonus, a casino sets a specific time and day, let’s say 10AM EST on Tuesdays. It then assesses every member’s performance over the past seven days, from 10:01 the previous Tuesday.
Every player who has sustained a net loss automatically gets a percentage, typically 10 or 20 percent, of that loss, credited back to their account. It’s a clever idea, because it’s providing a little extra to those who need it most, the players who have had a bad run of luck. It also gives them something to smile about and makes then less inclined to get disheartened and go place their bets elsewhere. Be lucky!