Casino Bonuses and Play-through Requirements
Casinos bonuses are used to lure in new players, promising them huge sums of money but how much is the bonus really worth to you? Let’s take the extreme case first: Cherry Red Casino offers a $7,777 welcome package. Sounds lucky eh!? So I went for a look at the terms and conditions of how one secures the loot. Well first of all, the bonus is structured as a 100% deposit bonus up to $777 on your first 10 deposits and the minimum deposit to qualify for the bonus is $25, which is all fine.
The second condition is that it is a ‘play bonus’ which means you don’t actually get to keep the bonus money, just anything you may win with it. So, let’s say you deposit $50, clear the bonus and by the time you do, you have $150 in your account. You’ll only be allowed to withdraw $100 of this.
Bonuses also come with wagering requirements so you won’t be able to withdraw your bonus winnings until you’ve wagered, in the case of Cherry Red Casino, 30 times your deposit amount. So, in order to be allowed withdraw your $100 from above, you’d have had to place $1,500 in bets (this actually isn’t as difficult as it sounds!). They also prefer you to play certain games, so if you play Blackjack or Video Poker for example you’ll only get 1/5 of the credit towards clearing your bonus.
So now if you wanted to clear a $50 bonus playing Blackjack, you’d have to wager $7,500 which is a lot, no doubt about it. If you play Blackjack well, the house will typically have an edge of about 1%, meaning that over the course of wagering your $7,500 you would on average end up losing about $75, so you can see that even if the casino gives you your $50 bonus they still expect to come out ahead.
So, even with a bonus on offer you still need a little luck to come out a winner, and this massive $7,777 bonus isn’t as great as it seemed at first!
What about bonuses at other sites?
888Casino offers a 100% deposit bonus up to $ 200 and is credited to your account immediately, so you can start playing with the bonus money straight away, but obviously you can’t withdraw it straight away!
They have the same 30x playthrough requirement that Cherry Red ask, but you can bet bigger because you have your initial deposit, and your bonus money in the account right from the start, meaning you’ll be able to clear the bonus quicker. In their case if you’re playing Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Poker, Three Card Poker & Poker table games they only count for 20% of the wagering requirement and if you’re playing Blackjack, Live Blackjack, Hi-Lo, Video Poker, Power Video Poker, Baccarat & Live Baccarat and Live Roulette it goes down to 10%, with only 5% going for Craps.
So, let’s say you deposited $50, that would mean you’d be entitled to a $50 bonus and there’d be $200 in your account from the start. In order to clear the bonus, you need to wager $1,500 on Slots, or $7,500 on Roulette. Take the example of picking red or black on Roulette. If you bet 10% of bank on each spin and have a good run at the start then you could get through this wagering requirement pretty quick. Again, it all comes down to the play-through requirement at the casino of your choice. Oftentimes you’re better off going with a casino that offers a lower percentage of your deposit as a bonus, for example 20% up to $100. This means that in their eyes they’re risking a lower percentage of your initial deposit and hoping that you’ll be wagering that even if you clear the bonus you’ll stick around and maybe make them some money in the long run.
In summary, if getting maximum value for your money is important to you, then keep an eye out for the bonuses on offer. We try to keep our bonus pages updated with the sites offering the lowest playthrough requirements. If you just want to have a bit of a gamble and some fun, then don’t worry about it!