The Truth About Online Casino Bonuses

Traditional brick & mortar casinos like the ones found in Las Vegas often pamper their best players by offering things like free steak dinners, complementary hotel rooms, and an endless string of delicious cocktails. Online casinos, on the other hand, have to do things a little differently – simply because virtual steak dinners really don’t taste very good. In order to fill in this gap, online gaming sites have invented bonuses.

Casino bonuses might seem complicated at first, but the concept is really simple. Bonuses are special incentives that reward players with free casino money. This money cannot be converted directly into cash; instead, it is used to play more online casino games. If players win while playing with bonus money, these winnings can then be withdrawn as real cash.

As with everything, there is usually fine print surrounding these bonuses that tries to keep players from abusing them. This usually involves inserting a delay between the time the bonus is given out, and the time that the money can be withdrawn. During this delay, players must wager a certain amount of money before winnings from a bonus can be cashed out. This wagering requirement is typically higher for games like blackjack, which have a low house edge.

Despite these measures, there are people who make a very good living preying on casino bonuses. They start out with a very large amount of money, and do a bit of searching to hunt down the latest casino bonuses. They usually go after welcome bonuses, since these are typically the biggest ones available. Bonus abusers will sign up with a new casino, make a deposit, grab the bonus, and then use the bonus cash to win quite a lot more money.

Once they have fulfilled the wagering requirement for the bonus, these bonus abusers will cash out and move on. There is definitely risk involved in this sort of “hit-and-run” activity, but when done just right, it has the potential to pay off.

Lately, many online casinos have been struggling, trying to figure out how to block bonus abusers. One strategy is to only allow one bonus per household (IP address). This keeps players from creating multiple accounts with the same casino just to get more bonuses.

Another strategy is to watch what country new accounts are created from. If a casino notices a rush of bonus abusers signing up from a particular country, the casino may stop accepting players from there. Many players dislike this sort of “blanket punishment”, since it clearly affects honest players too, who might suddenly find that they are not allowed to sign up at a particular internet casino.

The latest step that casinos are taking is to completely change how bonuses work. Instead of relying on fixed bonus systems, some casinos are using special formulas to calculate bonuses, based on variables such as how soon a player cashes out, or how quickly they fulfill a bonus’ wagering requirement.

For casinos, fending off bonus abusers is a constant struggle. The internet is a tricky place, and it is not difficult for bonus abusers to cover their tracks and to find ways to beat the system. For players, this means more and more restrictions, or in extreme cases, it can lead to whole countries being banned from an online casino. Until casino owners find a reasonable solution to the problem, the only people who walk away happy are the cheaters!

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