Online casino bonus players often find themselves in hot water because they missed something in the casino’s fine print. As a result, many veteran real money slots players wonder if the ‘modern bonus’ still hacks it.
Personally, we think the deposit or welcome bonus is still a wonderful addition to an otherwise ‘limited’ bankroll. But, more importantly, let’s look at how the bonus evolved to what it is today.
Back in the day online casinos we’re akin to the Wild West. In fact, licensing of online casinos was pretty much a no go. And, to be honest, no one really cared. There was no semantics. All you needed to do was find an online casino, grab a bonus, and play!
Bonuses were pretty cool and novel then.
Players gobbled them up like sweet cake at a Christmas party. Moreover, the bonus hardly had any bonus terms! So it was easy to clear them, and they made your bankroll look good.
According to statistics; around 90% of the players accepted the casino’s bonus. We’re talking about the late 1990s; the heyday of online gambling in the United States.
Can you imagine the party bonus abusers had at the expense of online casinos? If memory serves us correctly, the average size of the bonus was 100% up to 150%. Not the 500% sluggers we see today, no sir.
When did things start to go South? Well, when the ‘bonus abusers’ exploded onto the scene. Bonus abusers registered multiple accounts at various online casinos to claim as many bonuses as possible. Some of them even had numerous accounts at the same casino under different usernames.
To say that they cost online casinos plenty of money is an understatement. They did! So, USA casinos online had to come up with a viable solution to stop them from abusing their generosity.
They tailored the terms to such an extent. Players could no longer just cash in on a bonus – they had to work for it.
By this we mean they had wagering requirements. Before you could cash out your winnings you had to clear the WR. The WR was amicable at 10x, then 15x, and eventually up to 80x. As the years rolled by it became increasingly harder to clear the terms of the bonus.
What started out as a novel perk towards players. Soon turned out to be an “exploitative” means by both parties. First, by the player and eventually by the online casino. Don’t get us wrong rogue casinos are the main culprits here.
Players started to slate online casinos because they “abused” the spirit of the bonus.
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The term “bonus abuser” was like waving the proverbial red flag in front of online casinos. Aside from the fact that online casinos only permit one bonus per household. We’ve seen online casinos amend their WR. Consequently, the next logical step was to throw in more clauses. Bummer, we know.
Every heard about casino game weighting? It means that when you accept a bonus. The WR contributes differently based on each game’s advantage to the house. Slots, for instance, contribute 100% towards the play-through because they already favor the house with their built-in RTPs. They’re easy to play and they require no skill whatsoever.
Table games like blackjack or roulette contribute 5% or 10% towards the game weighting. For the simple reason, they require skill. A smart blackjack real cash player can take the house to the cleaners. Hence the reason the steep weighting on the bonus. If you use the bonus to play blackjack only. You have to spend a considerable amount of money just to clear its WR.
So, what next? As far as the bonus goes it was a “tried by fire” trial for online casinos. Over the years casinos online picked up on all the loopholes bonus abusers used to exploit their bonuses. So much so, that they came up with the max permissible bet per spin. If you accepted a bonus, their terms state that you can’t wager more than $5 per spin. If your average bet was $10, they’ll confiscate your bonus and the money you’ve won with it.
We’ve seen online casinos allow only one bonus per household. They amended the bonus with WR and the game contribution. The max win amount on the bonus was the next to pop up. If the casino advertises a bonus of 100% up to $100. In its terms, it states that you can only win $500 with it. What does it mean? Put simply, it means what it says. Any amount you win that is above $500 will become null and void. We’d like to point out not all online casinos cap wins on their bonuses.
Just when we thought we’ve seen it all. Out pops the “sticky bonus” term. What is a sticky bonus? A sticky bonus is a bonus you can use to bet on online casino games only; you can’t cash it out. The bottom line is a sticky bonus is for playing purposes only. Once you cleared the WR the online casino will deduct the bonus from your winnings. US casinos online love sticky bonuses because the size of their bonus offers are massive. Some of them go right up to 400% up to $10,000!
We did not discuss the Free Spins nor the no-deposit bonus. Because we already cover it in our “USA Casino Bonuses Codes” article. We wanted to illustrate to you how the simple bonus evolved to what it is today. And, if it’s still worth to claim it.
Is the bonus a means to exploit players? Well, yes and no. The yes bit, if you play at a reputable online casino, it won’t exploit you with its bonuses. It’s a tool that enhances your bankroll and playing time. However, if you accept the bonus at a rogue casino you’re toast.
At the heart of it, we still believe the bonus offers plenty of value. Especially, if you’re new to online casino gambling. Unfortunately, our industry has more sinners than it has saints. Therefore, we can’t blame online casinos for amending their bonus terms because they’re in the business of making money. However, we do advise you to read the bonus terms carefully before you accept it. Happy bonus hunting!