Our expert team at BonusList.com is constantly searching for the best deals available online so that you can have the most enjoyable gambling experience. Part of that is making sure you also know how to spot a bad casino bonus.
So on this page, we assess the best betting sites, explore what player-friendly wagering requirements are, and what game eligibility should look like in order to provide you with the most updated information.
By considering all of these factors, you will be well on your way to finding high quality promotional offers and avoiding the bad ones.
How to Avoid Bad Casino Bonuses – Ultimate Player's Guide
Before you can avoid a bad casino bonus, you need to know how to spot one! So what constitutes a ‘bad casino offer’?
Generally, a bad casino bonus is an offer that falls into one of the following categories:
- offers with unfair or unrealistic terms and conditions
- offers provided by a site that has a bad reputation
- offers that rely on false advertising
Whatever category the offer falls into, the effect is the same: they make it much harder for you to win and withdraw money from the casino site.
In this guide, we will break down exactly how to spot and avoid bad casino bonuses. We will also go over some tips on how to select good casino bonuses that are actually worth claiming.
Avoid Bad Casino Bonus Terms
The first thing to consider when it comes to any casino bonus are the terms and conditions associated with the offer. These will determine whether the bonus is worth claiming or not.
Here are some things you should look out for when considering bonus terms.
Also known as the playthrough conditions, these represent the number of times you have to bet a reward sum before you can cash out.
The lower the playthrough requirements, the more player-friendly the reward. For example, if you’ve won $100 and the rollover is 30x, you need to wager $3,000 to withdraw your initial winnings. If the WR was 70x, you’d have to wager $7,000 in order to withdraw.
Typically, you’ll find wagering requirements ranging between 20x and 50x, which is considered the average. That said, it is not unheard of for a bonus to have a WR lower than 20x.
As a rule of thumb, avoid perks that have very high rollover requirements. You can find these terms displayed with the incentive or on a dedicated ‘Bonus Terms’ page on the site.
The contribution rate refers to the percentage of your bet in a game that goes towards meeting the rollover conditions.
Offers that contain games with low contribution rates are designed to hinder your ability to achieve the WR. In most cases, the games with the lowest contribution rates are table games, such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and baccarat.
These titles contribute less than 50% toward the wagering requirements, which can make your path to cashing out more difficult. If the bonus terms specify that it only supports very low contribution games or titles, you may want to steer clear of that offer.
This refers to the maximum amount of bonus winnings you are allowed to cash out from the site. For example, you may only be able to withdraw a maximum of $100 from a particular bonus. That means even if you win $150 or more using the bonus, you will only be able to withdraw $100 and the rest is forfeited.
Fair promo deals will guarantee you higher withdrawal caps. Any offer with an unreasonably low withdrawal limit is a bad deal that you are better off avoiding.
The maximum bet is the highest amount you are allowed to wager on a single hand. Fair offers enable you to bet big and win big by placing a higher maximum bet limit or removing it altogether.
A bad casino bonus will only allow you to bet very small amounts per hand, thus lowering your chances of winning big using the bonus funds.
Many casinos restrict you to using the bonus funds on a particular game or a specific title. This information is available in the T&Cs.
Different games will contribute differently towards the playthrough. Slots have 100% contribution rates, while table games such as poker and blackjack have lower contribution rates.
Ideally, a good casino bonus will be usable on several different game titles.
That said, bonuses such as free spins may only be usable on a particular game or group of games. So just because the game selection for a bonus is limited, doesn’t necessarily mean these offers should be avoided altogether.
Most casino bonuses are only valid for a limited time, after which you lose them. The exact period will vary from one bonus to the next, and some deals may even require you to meet the playthrough within a specified period of time.
Bad casino bonuses will have unreasonably short validity periods that you can’t meet easily.
Hidden Fees and Charges
Some bonuses may have hidden charges or fees that are only detailed in the fine print where you can easily miss them. If a casino bonus isn’t upfront with large fees or charges, you might be better off avoiding it.
All legitimate online gaming platforms are obligated to display the terms and conditions clearly, which is why you should do your research. If these regulations mention certain charges vaguely, that is a sign that the deal is not player-friendly, and you should not claim it.
Avoid Bad Casinos
One way to avoid bad casinos is to avoid bad casinos! Here are some factors that could point to a bad casino that is best left alone.
The Casino's Online Reputation
The casino’s reputation can be a major decisive factor when it comes to gauging the quality and fairness of their promotional offers. That is why you should always research the gaming platform thoroughly before you decide to claim a prize.
Pay attention to the status of their license, player-protection tools, and online reviews.
The casino offering the bonus should be fully licensed by a reputable governing authority, and all the games featured on their platform should be backed by reputable software providers.
Obviously, you should avoid iGaming sites that have generally negative reviews and refrain from claiming any bonuses they offer.
To help you find the right casino to play at, we have compiled a list of 5 reputable casino sites that feature some of the best promotional offers available right now.
This is a 225% match-up deposit welcome package of up to €2,000, spread out over 3 deposits. The minimum deposit is €25. The first part is 100% up to €500, the second one is 50% up to €1,000, and the third is 75% up to €500. This incentive is only available for 10 days once claimed.
All you have to do is make a deposit of at least €30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and you can claim 150 free spins. There are no rollover conditions for this promo, but the prizes are valid only for two James Frost games.
The welcome package totals up to $6,000 over three deposits, 250% on the first, 200% on the second, and 150% on the third. The minimum required deposit for each is $25, whereas the WR is set at 35x.
This casino offers you a match-up incentive of up to 100% for all progressive titles. The perk doesn’t have any wagering conditions, and there are no cash out limits. The minimum required deposit is $30.
This site offers you a $50 Bitcoin equivalent in each of its welcome package levels, along with 200 free spins in total. The wagering requirements are set at 40x for all incentives. The deposit perks are available for 7 days each, while the free spins are only available for 3 days.
The Casino’s Customer Support Department
Another thing to keep in mind when looking for good casino bonuses is the casino’s customer support department.
Being able to receive guidance and help with any issues you are having on an iGaming platform is absolutely essential. That’s why online casinos with poor customer support aren’t worth your time and you might want to think twice about claiming one of their bonuses.
Make sure the customer support service is professional and helpful and that it offers prompt responses to your queries. It is also a good sign if there are multiple channels for you to contact support through.
Don't Fall for False Advertising
It is common for casinos to advertise new offers via email or social media, where they only feature the main highlights of the offer.
But if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many disreputable gambling sites rely on false advertising, or provide insufficient information in order to lure you into claiming bad incentives.
That is why, before claiming any incentive, even if you are familiar with the casino, you should research the offer thoroughly. That means reading the terms and conditions, and making sure you do not ignore any important details that are buried in the fine print.
Double-Edged Sword: Unexpected Risks Of Seemingly Favorable Bonus Terms
When claiming an online casino bonus, it is imperative that you consider the bonus offer from all different perspectives. Often, even if a casino bonus offers favorable terms in one aspect, these are negated by another condition.
In order to avoid the bad promo rewards that do more harm than good, you need to watch out for some red flags. Here, we talk about some common risks involved with claiming an otherwise good casino bonus.
High Value Bonuses
Deals that offer more attractive rewards, such as higher amounts of free cash or free spins, may seem enticing at first, but they may also carry a big risk.
Specifically, these types of deals usually come with higher playthrough requirements. And in some cases, you may end up spending more money than you actually make from the reward!
Bonuses With Higher Maximum Cashout Limits
We've discussed the benefits of bonuses with high maximum withdrawal limits but there are also some risks involved with these types of offers.
For example, a bonus may have a very high maximum cashout limit, but it may also impose a minimum cashout threshold, such as $1,000 or more, to process a transaction. This can be a major hurdle when trying to cash out your wins, and is something to keep in mind when claiming any bonus offer.
High Match Percentages
High match-up percentage offers may seem really attractive at a glance, but there’s more to the story. These types of offers almost always come with very high playthrough requirements, higher maximum win terms, and the like.
Ideally, you want to opt for a match up bonus that gives you between 50%–200% your deposit amount. We have already discussed wagering requirements, as well as the cashout limits, but as a rule of thumb, you should only opt for a match deposit offer if it has a favorable balance of all the different terms.
Any offer that gives you unrealistic terms should be avoided at all costs.
The Importance of Knowing When to Say No
Gambling is a fun and profitable pastime. However, with that comes the potential risk of problem gambling, which refers to when your gambling habits get out of control and start having an adverse effect on your life.
If you are noticing signs of problem gambling in your life, such as spending too much time playing, borrowing large sums of money to gamble, or selling personal property in order to finance gambling, your judgment can become clouded and you may start opting for bad casino bonuses.
That is why it is imperative that you gamble responsibly and avoid bad casino bonuses and try to find the best casino bonuses out there, no matter how enticing the bad bonuses may seem at first. We hope the tips we have provided here will help you do just that.
Moreover, there are a number of tools and services available online to help you address problem gambling, so definitely leverage these as well.
If you are interested in ensuring that your online betting experience is a positive one, you should strive to avoid any bonuses that are not favorable to you, the player. Here are our key takeaways:
- Realistic Offers – While they may not be particularly shiny and enticing, realistic promo offers are the ones that will ensure you win with your bonus and keep your winnings.
- Wagering Requirements – Focus on the incentives that are accompanied by playthrough requirements in the industry-average range of 20x–50x
- Game Selection – To avoid bad bonuses, explore the assortment of games viable for that particular reward
- Research – Thorough research will keep you up-to-date with all of the minute details that can determine the quality of an incentive.
- Reputable Sites – For all your online gaming adventures, rely on the online casinos that you know to be reputable and reliable.
With that being said however, it is also important to exercise your own judgment with regards to bonuses and the casinos that offer them.
When it comes to selecting a bonus offer, the process is not as black-and-white as you might think. Just because an offer comes with one or two conditions that are less-than-ideal, doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
But implement the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way towards finding good casino bonuses and avoiding the bad ones.
- What are the most important casino bonus terms? All the terms and conditions that come with a bonus are of the utmost importance. We recommend reading and understanding all of the T&Cs associated with an offer before you claim it.
- Where are the terms and conditions for a casino bonus offer located? The terms and conditions for casino bonuses are usually featured alongside the offer itself. If not, you can find the terms on the dedicated 'bonus terms' page that most iGaming sites have.
- How can I determine if a casino bonus is worth accepting? When presented with a casino offer, be sure to do your research to figure out whether or not the offer is worth accepting. Follow the tips we have outlined on this page, be sure you understand all the T&Cs, and watch out for any hidden terms.
- Where can I find good casino bonuses with favorable terms? If you want to find the best casino bonuses, refer to our other pages, where we have outlined the best and most-favorable casino bonuses for you to choose from.
- Can I use a casino bonus to play any game, or are some games excluded? The answer to this question will depend on the particular casino offer. But generally speaking, most casino bonuses are limited to just one game or title, or a group of games such as those from the same software provider.