For a long time they’ve been the cornerstone of attracting new, innocent players by giving them a bigger incentive to play at a website.
They’ve also been one of the top tools gambling websites use for activating those cold inactive accounts and see if they can get them playing again.
In the end, who doesn’t like free money right?
Well, as you should know by now in life, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
You see, all the amazing 100%, 200%, 300% offers from different operators will usually have a catch.
Otherwise, savvy players would just deposit, receive the bonus and cash out immediately right?
This is why the rollover or playthrough requirements were born.
Here’s an easy example to follow how most bonuses work. :
Say you deposit $100 into your favorite site, and you choose a 100% welcome offer.
This means you have $100 of your own money, and $100 as a bonus.
The 100% bonus is tied to a 35x playthrough requirement before you can cash it out.
Some sites will include the original deposit amount plus your bonus money in the rollover calculations, while other sites will only factor in the bonus amount you were given.
This means you will have to play a total of $7000 (35 x 200) in bets before you could take out any of that bonus money or profits made from it.
So first of all, before you even think about redeeming that tempting bonus offer, ask yourself this simple question:
“What kind of a player am I?”
Are you a player who is in it to win guaranteed money?
If so, bonuses definitely aren’t for you. Not only would a bonus probably delay your winnings being paid out to you, but the fact you think gambling can make you guaranteed money is a sign you shouldn’t be playing at all in the first place.
Are you a player who is in it for fun?
Then it may depend on how much fun you want to have. If you want to just play for as long as possible without worrying about actually getting your money out eventually, then by all means go ahead and take advantage of as many available promotions and rebates there are available, as this will stretch your budget for much longer, you may even get lucky and complete the rollover requirements!
Are you involved in matched betting?
Then DUH, of course you’re interested in the bonus, since the free bets on sports are basically the essential component in the scheme.
If you aren’t familiar with matched betting, please read about it here.
The next question you should ask yourself is:
“What gambling vertical do I spend most of my time with?”
This is an important question, because a lot of gaming sites have different types of bonuses depending on what the player wants to do.
Plenty of sports focused sites will offer a free bet or two at a predetermined value, often depending on the amount of the player’s deposit.
Casino sites on the other hand will usually hand out straight bonus cash or funds, either placing them in a separate bonus account or adding them to your real money funds.
Better yet, some casino sites specifically offer no deposit Free Spins, where you will receive usually anywhere from 5 to 20 free spins on a specific game, just for signing up with that particular casino, no deposit required!
For you horse bettors out there, thanks to horse bookies online, the expensive physical tracks overhead costs and heavy-handed commissions are over! Most reputable horse racing sites will offer straight up cash rebate, usually from 2% to 5%, which players get back each week from their losses. These %’s may vary depending on what tracks you choose to play, with some paying out more rebate % than others.
A word of caution!
Always make sure you know which funds were part of your original deposit, and which funds are bonus funds.
You don’t want to get them mixed up, or play with your real money when you thought you were going to play with your bonus funds.
Even before you make your deposit, it may be worth it to check with your website’s support team to see how their bonus system works, what the terms & conditions are, and if there are any hidden conditions or fine print you should be aware of.
Hell, some websites even have a mandated period of time where you must leave your funds in and not request a cash out for whatever amount of time they have deemed, even if you have successfully completed their rollover requirements. Luckily these sites are few & far between, since no real legit gambling site will dabble in this kind of borderline trickery.
Honestly, from my point of view, it is totally worth it to take a little bit of time beforehand to make sure you have all the relevant information in regards to what will happen with your funds should you decide to take one of these generous bonus offers.