Casino bonuses – What’s in it for online casinos?

From the moment you visit Google and input the term “online casino”, you are going to be presented with page after page of casino bonuses, all of which offer you the chance to “win big” and “play for free”. While it is great to see the online casinos working hard to draw in new customers, questions have to be raised about the legitimacy of these “free play” offers. Reason being because if they are what they say they are, how can the online casinos keep affording to do it? What’s in it for an online casino when you take them up on their free money offer?

Calculating the cost

Let me start by telling you this, there is no such thing as “free money” when it comes to the world of online gambling. Not matter which bonus you accept, free play, free spin, matched deposit, no deposit, you can expect that you will have to work hard to really have true access to it. In order to “unlock” your casino bonus you need to meet what is usually a loaded checklist of criteria. Wagering requirements are the element that usually means that you “free bonus” cost a little more than you expect. When evaluating the true cost of a casino bonus I recommend you take a good look at the following elements with regards to its use:

  • Wagering requirement
  • Game contributing percentage
  • House edge

Wagering requirement

This is the big thing to consider and is the main way that online casinos make money, so wagering requirements are something that every gambler needs to be aware of. A single number will dictate the wagering requirement within the casino bonus terms and agreements. It relates to how many times you must wager the bonus amount before it is released to you as real cash. The actual figure varies greatly from online casino to online casino, but the typical figure will fall somewhere between 20x and 60x. At you can find a big list of free spins and casino bonuses with reasonable wagering requirements.

Game contributing percentage

While the wagering requirement is often well known, the game contributing percentage rules often remain a little more hidden. The contributing percentage relates to the amount that any game can contribute towards your wagering requirement when played. For example, within some online casinos it’s a case of the lower the house-edge on the game the lower the game contributing percentage. This condition is put in place to force players into using high house edge-games and increase the chances of a casino bonus amounting to nothing.

House edge

Every gambler knows about the house edge, as it is a percentage feature within every online casino game. It dictates how often the house will be successful over a gambler and the percentage of total profits that the online casino will earn over the short-term. For example, if the house edge of a game is 4% then the online casino will make a profit of 4% of the total money input into that game. The house edge varies greatly from game to game, with some blackjack variations being as low as 1% while some Keno bets can reach up to 50%.

Is it all a trap?

The casino bonus trap is considered to be the following, wagering requirement when combined with house edge and contributing percentages make sure that a player’s betting level is high enough that they’ll struggle to see a profitable return. That is exactly how online casinos can afford to give away a casino bonus to a new player without much thought. So, beware of the casino trap and do your best to make sure that your casino bonus isn’t grinded away to nothing because of it. However, there are good ways to find the bonuses that offers the lowest requirements.