Casino Bonuses and Terms & Conditions: Usual Pitfalls to Avoid

Written By Ivan P

Getting a bonus on your deposit with an online casino is always nice. Whether it is a welcome bonus for new players or a reload offer for repeat customers, a boost to your bankroll means you’ll have more time to play your favorite games and more chances to strike gold playing them.

But, whenever you take a bonus, you also agree to certain terms of use.

Most casinos don’t really care what you do with your own money. If you deposit $1,000 and put it all on a single spin of roulette, that’s up to you. Everyone has their own way of gambling and honest and reputable operators won’t try to trick you in any way. Your money – your business.

With bonuses, things are different. Nobody’s forcing you take the casino money but if you do, you have to do follow certain rules. These vary from one casino to another and can even be different from one bonus to another on a same casino. The best way to protect yourself is by carefully reading terms and conditions before you even accept the bonus.

With that in mind, there are some common stipulations in almost all bonus terms that you should look for. Knowing about these should keep you out of trouble for the most part, especially with reputable casinos that aren’t trying to confuse players with unclear and overly complicated bonus terms.

Steer Clear of Restricted Games

When you receive a bonus, you’ll usually need to wager it a certain number of times. This means playing the bonus amount through several times over before you’re allowed to cash out. However, sometimes there will be certain games that won’t count towards the wagering.

In most bonus terms, these are referred to as “restricted games”. You’ll usually find the full list of games listed and it will occasionally even include certain slots. If you’re wondering why (as all other slots are fine to play on), it’s because some games have a very high RTP and make it very easy to wager the bonus with the minimum risk.

Many modern casinos have implemented systems where you’ll get an automatic warning when trying to access a restricted game while playing with bonus funds. This makes it almost impossible to break the bonus terms in this way. However, not all of them have these systems in place so you should carefully read the terms, figure out what games are restricted, and just avoid them completely until you’re done with the bonus.

Never Go Over the Maximum Bet

As explained in the beginning, most casinos don’t care how you wager with your own money and you are free to deposit $1,000 and play 10 spins of $100 on your favorite slot. With bonuses, though, things aren’t as simple as operators have to protect themselves from abuse.

One of the ways to go about it is by implementing the maximum bet rule, i.e. the maximum wager you’re allowed to make per single spin or a game round while the bonus is active. Most operators set the line at around $5 or 10% of the bonus amount but don’t go on the assumptions. Read the terms and find out the exact rule.

You really need to avoid going over the maximum bet at all costs. Even if you cross the line by just $0.50 once or twice, this can be the reason for the casino to confiscate your winnings. If it really happens by accident, some operators will be more lenient and let you keep your money but they really don’t have to.

If you break the maximum bet rule while playing with the bonus, you’ll really have no leg to stand on in any kind of a complaint process. The casino will be within their right to declare your winnings null and void at their discretion. The argument the rule isn’t fair doesn’t hold as you weren’t forced to take the bonus. Once you do it, though, you automatically agree to relevant terms and conditions.

Don’t Try to Game the System

The online gambling industry has been around for several decades now and they’ve seen every trick in the book. You may think you’ve come up with a new “hustle” but the odds are, many have tried the same thing before you and casinos are aware of pretty much all strategies in existence.

Once common way players use to try and game the system is by gathering bonus features on slots using bonus funds and closing the game before the round begins. Once they are out of money, which means the wagering no longer applies, they’ll start the games once again and their winnings will be added to their cash balance.

At the first glance it seems like a solid idea to get around restrictions but it doesn’t work. It may have worked years ago but these days casinos have automatic systems to detect these types of attempts. If you do it, you can fully expect your winnings to be confiscated. Furthermore, since this is a deliberate attempt to break the rules, many operators will straight up close your account and refuse to take your action.