It’s easy to see why online casinos have managed to achieve global domination. A safe and secure platform that makes a multitude of incredible games easily accessible was always going to be an appealing prospect. And software providers and casino managers are lightning-fast when it comes to utilizing new technology to excite players with new games and better websites. But in our opinion, the real genius behind the success of online gambling is the concept of the casino bonus.
Almost every player we meet is a sucker for a good bonus, and casinos know just how to use a bonus to draw players in and show them a good time. The question is, can you tell the difference between a good bonus and a dud? Do you know your nonsticky bonus from your sticky bonus? And do you understand how wagering requirements can make or break your chances of winning any money? If you’re scratching your head in dismay, don’t worry; we’re going to talk you through it.
A non-sticky bonus is a bonus that doesn’t stick to your deposit, which means that you can play through your deposit before you start to use your bonus money. The benefit of a non-sticky bonus is that if you hit a jackpot while playing with your deposit, your win won’t be subject to wagering requirements. It sounds confusing, but it’s actually really simple. Let’s take a look at an example of a non-sticky welcome bonus:
Imagine that as a welcome bonus you are offered a 100% match deposit bonus up to £100. Now, if you choose to deposit the full amount, you will end up with £200 in your casino account. The first £100 is your deposit, and the second £100 is your bonus. When you start to play casino games, you will begin by using your £100 deposit –anything you win at this point is yours to withdraw. However, keep in mind that if you choose to withdraw all of your money at this point, you will forfeit your bonus money. Only when your £100 deposit is gone (as in, you’ve used it all on bets) will you then begin to play games using the £100 bonus.
A sticky bonus is a bonus that is stuck to your deposit. This means that both your deposit and your bonus funds are subject to wagering requirements. The benefit of this type of bonus is that the wagering requirements tend to be lower than those associated with a non-sticky bonus. The downside, of course, is that you can’t withdraw any winnings that you make from your initial deposit. We’ll use a similar example to the one above to illustrate the point:
Once again, imagine that you’ve been offered a 100% match deposit bonus of up to £100. You once again deposit the full amount of £100 and in turn, you receive a £100 bonus. In this scenario, however, your deposit and bonus are glued together and when you start playing games you will be playing with the full £200. Any winnings that you make while you are playing with the full £200 will be subject to wagering requirements and you won’t be able to withdraw any money until those requirements have been met.
Wagering requirements are the bane of every good bonus. It is almost impossible to find a bonus that doesn’t have wagering requirements. Casinos use these requirements as a way of preventing players from simply withdrawing their bonus money without playing any games. That being said, some casinos impose manageable requirements, while some impose requirements that are practically insurmountable. It is imperative that you read the terms and conditions carefully before claiming any bonus so that you know what you’re in for. But what are wagering requirements, and how do you fulfill them?
The wagering requirement (WR) refers to the number of times that you must use your bonus funds to place bets. On average, the WR is set at x35, however; the number can be as low as x10 and as high as x65. We would suggest that anything above x45 is going to be extremely difficult to fulfill. So, if your non-sticky bonus is £100 with x35 WR, it means that you will have to place £3,500 (100 x 35) worth of bets before being able to withdraw your winnings. It doesn’t mean that you will have to make deposits up to the amount of £3,500, it just means that every time you win a jackpot, said jackpot will be added to your bonus funds and you will have to use those winnings to keep making bets.
The quickest way to clear WR is usually by playing slot games. Each casino will have specific terms and conditions related to their bonus offer, and within those T&C’s you’ll find a list of games that count towards the WR. Slots tend to count 100% towards clearing the WR, whereas a live casino game, for example, might only count 5%. In some cases, you will only be allowed to use your bonus funds on specific games. As we said earlier, it is extremely important that you check the T&Cs before you dive into a bonus.
The Last Word
A match deposit bonus is an exciting prospect, but as you can see, there are things to consider before going all in. Whether a bonus is sticky or non-sticky can make a real difference to the way you play your bonus and to your chances of walking away with money in your pocket. There’s no reason to avoid a sticky bonus if the wagering requirements are reasonable. But if you come across a non-sticky bonus with low wagering requirements, you’re probably on to a good thing. And if it turns out that you don’t like the casino that you’re playing at, a non-sticky bonus will allow you to make a quicker exit than a sticky bonus because you can withdraw your deposit and walk away.