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Guide: How Casino Deposit Bonuses Work

With so many U.S states legalizing online gambling, there’s no shortage of what appear to be ‘lucrative offers’ popping up from casino and sports betting companies to attract new customers.

The most popular form of promotion comes in the shape of a deposit bonus.

Most online sportsbooks have online casino games – and lucrative sign-up bonuses, which sometimes include “free” casino cash, free plays or free spins.

Consumers creating new accounts at online casino sites should make sure that they completely understand the terms and conditions attached to signup and bonus offers as well as the mechanics which affect bonus releases and cashouts.

How do casino deposit bonuses work?

A casino deposit bonus (A.K.A , a ‘sticky bonus’ or ‘match bonus’) is where an online casino gives a new depositing player an additional “bonus balance” to play on top of their initial deposit amount.  

Deposit bonuses may be part of a welcome package and they can also be offered to existing casino customers as a reload bonus. There are two main types of casino deposit bonuses – , sticky bonuses and non-sticky bonuses.

Examples – How Common Casino Deposit Bonuses Offers Work

Example Offer 1: Casino Match Bonus – 100% up to $100, 30x wagering on both deposit & bonus.

  • Paul activates a 100% up to $100 deposit bonus by depositing $50 and receiving a $50 bonus.
  • In total Paul has $100 to play with (his deposit balance of $50 &  his bonus balance of $50).
  • In order to complete the wagering requirement (to be able to withdraw), Paul needs to wager $3000 [(50 + 50) * 30].
  • If Paul manages to convert the bonus successfully by completing the wagering requirement, the funds will be available for cash-out.
  • If not, the bonus can end in three ways:
  • Paul loses his deposit and bonus balance and therefore the bonus ends
  • The bonus expires (as it wasn’t cleared in the allocated time-frame)
  • Paul decides to cancel before completing the wagering requirement in which case the bonus funds and any winnings will be forfeited.

Example offer 2: 100% up to $100 + 30 Free Spins. Min deposit $20 | 30x wagering for both deposit bonus & Free Spins Win

  • Refer to the match deposit bonus example above and add on 30 Free Spins to the offer.
  • Paul takes his 30 slots free spins and wins the grand sum of $3. The $3 is referred to as Paul’s free spin winnings. This $3 balance needs to be wagered 30x before it’s possible to withdraw the won funds – therefore Paul needs to wager a further $90.
  • If Paul manages to convert the bonus successfully by completing the wagering requirement, the funds will become cashable.
  • If not, the free spins win can end in three ways:
  • Paul loses free spins winnings
  • The bonus expires
  • Paul decides to cancel before completing the wagering requirement in which case the free spins win will be forfeited.

Example offer 3: 200% up to $100, Min deposit 20 | 30x wagering on both deposit + bonus

  • Jenny deposits $20 and gets $60 to play with (deposit balance of 20$ + a bonus balance of $40).
  • In order to complete the wagering requirement Jenny needs to wager $1800 [(20 + 40) * 30].
  • If Jenny manages to convert the bonus successfully by completing the wagering requirement, the funds will become cashable.
  • If not, the bonus can end in three ways, either Jenny loses her deposit and bonus balance and therefore the bonus ends, or it expires, or Jenny decides to cancel before completing the wagering requirement in which case the bonus funds and any winnings will be forfeited.
  • 50% up to $500, Min deposit $20 | 30x wagering on both deposit + bonus
  • Jenny deposits $20 and gets $30 to play with (deposit balance of 20$ + a bonus balance of $10).
  • In order to complete the wagering requirement Jenny needs to wager $900 [(20 + 10) * 30].
  • If Jenny manages to convert the bonus successfully by completing the wagering requirement, the funds will become cashable.
  • If not, the bonus can end in three ways, either Jenny loses her deposit and bonus balance and therefore the bonus ends, or it expires, or Jenny decides to cancel before completing the wagering requirement in which case the bonus funds and any winnings will be forfeited.

        *Examples via CasinoDepositBonus.com  – The casino bonus experts.

What is the difference between a sticky and non sticky deposit bonus?

Sticky Bonus

  • Your restricted cash and bonus balance are mixed
  • The wagering can be applied to both deposit + bonus, or just the bonus.
  • The restricted cash + bonus funds = bonus balance.
  • The only way to withdraw your bonus balance is to either convert the bonus by completing the wagering requirement, or by cancelling the bonus, or if the bonus expires.
  • If you cancel the bonus or the bonus expires, you lose the bonus funds + winnings, but any remaining cash becomes withdrawable.

Non Sticky Bonus

This type of bonus is also referred to as as a “second life” bonus, or a “lifeline bonus”.

In the UK, gambling industry regulators have put a lot of rules and regulations in place to protect consumers – with specific attention to casino and sportsbook bonuses.

In the UK all casino bonuses are ‘sticky’ – which means that a player’s deposit cash balance and bonus balances are kept separate.

  • You start playing with your cash balance first
  • The cash balance & winnings can be withdrawn (however you will forfeit the bonus balance).
  • If you use the bonus balance, the wagering requirement kicks in (on the bonus balance only).

As you can see casino bonus terms and conditions vary widely. We advise you to always read the terms and conditions before signing up for any casino or sports betting site.

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