Online casinos are fun, so what could be more fun than getting some free money from an online casino to play with?
If that’s you’re thinking, we’re on the same page with you. But (unfortunately) casino bonus offers are very complicated and if you’re not careful you may find yourself stuck with an offer that’s not what you were expecting.
There are two ways you can figure out which bonus is best: spend and evening with a calculator and spreadsheet crunching numbers, or follow the helpful tips below. If you’re the type that prefers number-crunching, then frankly this is not the blog for you!
Here are our top tips!
- Stick to well-known casinos with a good reputation. This is not full-proof as lots of online casinos spend a lot of money on marketing to make themselves look better than they are. The way to avoid this trap is to choose casinos that have a good reputation and are at least five years old (which is pretty ancient in the world of online casinos). It is still possible for established casinos with good reputations to fall off the rails, but it is certainly less likely.
- Check out who regulates a casino. This is a REALLY boring topic, but the agencies that regulate a casino tell you a lot about it. For most players in most of the world, look for a license from Gibraltar (very good) or Malta (still pretty good). Curacao is the easiest international license to get, and is not as reassuring as you might think. If you are from a country with its own gambling regulation agency (Italy, Sweden, the UK, etc) then look for a casino that is regulated by your home country. The point is not that regulators are really all that (they are just as prone to making mistakes as normal humans) but if a casino is following the rules with the regulators then it is more likely to follow the rules when it comes to players.
- What is the wagering requirement? Here we get into math – sorry! It’s unavoidable really. The wagering requirement is a rule applied by almost all online casinos that makes players wager a certain amount of money before they can withdraw their winnings. Usually the wagering requirement is a number times the bonus (like 40x). If you multiply the bonus by the wagering requirement you get your target number. Where it gets complicated is some casinos multiply the number by the bonus AND deposit amount, which makes it much, much harder.
- What is the time limit? Sneaky casinos will have a time limit of just a week or so to use up the bonus before it disappears. What if you get sick and can’t spin for a few days? What if you’re boyfriend calls up unexpectedly and offers to take you to Milan for a spontaneous weekend getaway? Seriously, do you want to say no to life’s unexpected surprises because you don’t want to lose your casino bonus? Life is crazy enough as it is not to need this extra stress. Lots of casino bonuses are a month long, some several months. Stick with these.
Really, these tips are just the start for identifying a top casino bonus. But if you are short on time or patience, they are a great beginning and will probably help you avoid a real car-crash scenario.
Another tip is to read expert analysis on the best casino bonuses from experts in the field.