Ever since the first online casino launched in 1994, casinos have been fighting to offer the best bonuses and promotions to attract and retain players. The most popular of these has been the first deposit bonus or welcome bonus.
In theory, it’s simple. You make a qualifying deposit, and the casino matches your deposit with a bonus.
For example, get a 100% deposit worth up to €200. This means if you deposit the maximum of €200, you will get a €200 bonus to play with, making for a total of €400.
Many casinos also offer multiple deposit bonuses. For example, bonuses on your first three or even first five deposits. But how much value do these bonuses actually offer to the player?
When casinos first introduced these bonuses, the terms and conditions were far less stringent than they are now. Clever players and so-called ‘bonus hunters’ or ‘bonus abusers’ could easily complete the basic requirements and turn the bonus into real cash that they could withdraw.
With many online casinos springing up, bonus hunting was a popular and profitable pastime for intelligent players.
Popular ways of hitting wagering requirements were betting on red or black or the banker in baccarat. These offer a nearly 50/50 chance of winning.
In response, casinos got much stricter. Wagering requirements on bonuses shot up and now average around 35X to 50X. That means if you have a bonus of €100, you would need to place wagers of €3500 before your bonus would convert to withdrawable cash. In other words, impossible.
In addition, limits on how much you can bet of your bonus on each game, plus limits on what games you can use a bonus on, maximum winnings, and many more terms, mean the glory days of converting any bonus to real cash is essentially over.
In conclusion, casino players should look at bonuses as a chance to try new games for free and have fun, rather than a way to guaranteed riches.
How do cashback bonuses work?
Many casinos, particularly new ones, now have a problem. They want to attract new players, but customers know that bonuses with loads of strict terms offer them very little value.
This has seen a growing number of casinos offer their players cashback on their losses instead. Cashback works as a percentage return on net losses that the player typically receives weekly, but you can also find daily and monthly cashback offers.
Usually, it only covers selected games, such as slots, and the best cashback casinos have no wagering requirements on cashback. It is real cash.
For example, Mount Gold Casino offers every player 10% cashback on net losses on slot games and some selected live casino games, paid every week. This comes with no limits – so whether you are a casual player or a high-roller, you will receive 10% cashback.
More importantly, there are no wagering requirements whatsoever. The player can even withdraw the cashback should they wish.
Why should you play at cashback casinos?
Another problem with first deposit bonuses and welcome packages are that they are just a bonus to get you started. Often there are no other promotions available when you are a customer.
With cashback casinos, you get a bonus every time you play. You are constantly rewarded, and if you choose the right cashback casino, you will get actual cash every week.
Cashback casinos are attractive because you can play your favorite games, and you will always get a percentage of your losses back (usually 10%, but often even more). Getting cashback allows you to try new games that maybe you wouldn’t have before.
And cashback is value. Every deposit you make for as long as you play at that casino is essentially worth 10% (or more) extra. What’s not to like?
But be wary of cashback casinos that give you your cashback as a ‘cashback bonus’. These will come with wagering requirements. Usually, these are far smaller than traditional bonuses at 1X-3X, but better casinos will have zero restricting terms and conditions on cashback.
Finding a cashback casino offering real cash should always be the goal!