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May 16th, 2011

Most casino sites now offer new players online casino bonuses as an incentive to try their establishment. These usually only apply to the first deposit, but sometimes on subsequent bets as well. Most often there is a loyalty or rewards program for account holders who continue to play on a regular basis.

These online casino promotions are a calculated risk on the part of the casino to attract new customers who may return and play more in the future. They are potentially giving away money to attract new bettors. To minimize risk, they require the player to wager a multiple (10x, 20x, etc.) the deposit or deposit plus bonus before the player can cash out/receive the bonus.

Due to the house edge, these requirements guard against players “bonus hunting” and just walking away with the casino’s money. Players need to be aware of unfair betting requirements and avoid sites making it nearly impossible to win the bonus or just not accept the bonus at all.

Certain games, i.e. online casino roulette, may not count towards completing the wagering requirements to reduce the risk of playing without risk – like betting on both black and red.

Non-cashable bonuses
These types of bonuses are known as sticky/phantom bonuses. In either case, it cannot be cashed out but instead shows up as part of the player’s balance. The player gets the difference when they cash out. If the bonus is “phantom” is simply vanishes when the player cashes out. On the other hand, a “sticky bonus” will remain in the bettor’s account unless it is lost.

Sample Bonuses
Typical new player online casino promotions include 100% deposit bonuses up to a certain dollar amount, a fixed bonus (i.e. $50) for a minimum deposit, free chips and some even return a portion of the bet whether you win or lose. Not to mention, often you can receive a bonus for simply referring a friend.

Most also offer VIP, Loyalty or Rewards Programs where a players earn bets based on their betting activity. For example, the rewards may be broken down into tiers or levels, the higher the level, the more the perks. Some programs offer cash, some prize and some offer both or a choice of cash or prize.

Poker rooms offer a host of benefits including Royal Flush Bonuses, Double Bonus Points, Freerolls, Guaranteed Tournaments, Cash Comps or even the ability to convert poker points to cash.

It is necessary to “read the fine print” and get a complete understanding of how rewards are issued and make sure you are fulfilling the requirements. Most terms and rules are clearly spelled out and not difficult to achieve if you are a regular account holder or better. Happy gaming.

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