Is Bonus Hunting Worth It When Playing at Online Casinos?

In: iGaming Tips

There were no strict rules regarding online casino bonuses many years ago. As a result, it was a fertile ground for players to exploit gaps and gain a competitive advantage over the house. Naturally, no casino in the world would accept this, which is why modern contract terms are far more complex. After all, if there’s one label you don’t want to be associated with, it’s a bonus abuser.

What Is the Definition of Online Casino Bonus Hunting?

Bonus hunting is similar to Voldemort. Online casinos twitch in horror every time those two words are uttered. Bonus scouting! Bonus whoring, also known as bonus abusing, gets online casinos all worked up and ready to issue ban threats.

Indeed, bonus hunting has been a prevalent issue since the early days of online casino promotions in the 1990s. So you might be wondering how casinos have been fighting something for so long and still need to find a way to prevent it truly.

The answer is straightforward: not all bonus hunting is illegal.

What Exactly Is Bonus Abuse?

Here’s an example of how to take advantage of a casino bonus. So a man walks into a casino and notices it offers a 100% bonus on his first deposit. He deposits $100 and receives $200 in casino coins. Instead of playing with the $200 in his pocket, he returns to the casino and requests a refund, cashing out $190 ($10 withdrawal fees) without ever playing a game. The man was paid $90. He’s content, but the casino isn’t.

However, because the term bonus hunting strategy is now on everyone’s radar, players can no longer do this in land-based or online casinos. That is why wagering requirements exist. Nonetheless, bonus hunters devised new strategies to turn online gambling in their favor.

Bonus Hunting Techniques to Consider Extra Abuse

Now that you understand what a bonus hunt entails, let’s talk about how it’s done. Some bonus hunts are illegal, some are legal, and some fall into a strange gray area that no one knows how to address.

Making Multiple Online Casino Accounts

This one is clearly illegal. This is a common strategy for taking advantage of welcome deposit bonuses and no-deposit bonuses. A bonus hunter will open an account, deposit the minimum amount required to activate the welcome bonus, and then try to make money by playing online casino games. Great if it works! They create a new account and repeat the bonus-hunting strategy if it does not.

If you’re unfamiliar, a welcome bonus can only be claimed once. Because our bonus hunter has already used up the welcome bonus, they have no choice but to open a new account. The bonus hunter will be at a loss with a deposit bonus, but with a no-deposit bonus, they will literally waste nothing but time when creating new accounts.

Failure to Satisfy the Wagering Requirements

Yes, we all hate them. There are no two ways about it. Wouldn’t it be great to cash in our bonus money quickly? Bonus-hunting supporters have been doing this for quite some time.

This casino bonus hunting strategy entails a player withdrawing bonus funds before completing their wagering requirements. This used to work, believe it or not. As a result, most online casinos will not even allow you to cash out if you have an active bonus. But who can say? There may still be some online casinos that have overlooked this old method. But, of course, this is also completely illegal, and we condemn it.

Using the same casino bonuses more than once

This method is similar to the first but does not require creating a new account. Many online casinos allow you to select which bonuses you want to redeem when you make a deposit. Assume you received the welcome bonus and used it all. What happens next? So, why not take advantage of the welcome bonus once more?

Again, this was entirely possible in the past, but most online casinos now prohibit it by simply removing any bonuses you’ve already claimed. But here’s the kicker: A LOT of innocent players’ accounts have been banned because they accidentally or unknowingly claimed the welcome bonus twice. While claiming multiple bonuses is technically illegal, we believe that some casinos overreact to their detriment.

Casinos that allow players to claim the welcome bonus twice and then complain about it should not be in business. Regardless of our feelings toward these casinos, let’s all be good little players and agree that free casino welcome bonuses should only be used once.

Using Bonus Funds to Place Large Bets

Some players feel compelled to wager as much of their bonus money as possible. But what if they end up winning big as a result? The casino will almost certainly stop them, claiming that they violated one of their rules. It is now common practice to prevent players from wagering more than they should while a bonus is still active. They shouldn’t be in this business if this is news to them. Simple as that.

Attempting to Participate in Ineligible Games

There have been times when I’ve had a lucky streak only to realize that I’ve been playing the wrong games with our bonus funds. Many players have been cheated out of their winnings because they did not read the terms and conditions, which stated that only a few games are included in the bonus. They are usually old, boring, and/or have a low RTP.

Casinos justify this by claiming that players should have read their terms and conditions, but I always believe they need to issue clear warnings. Isn’t it too much to expect online casinos to state, “Hey, this game is not eligible for your active bonus?” If you continue, you will be unable to withdraw. “Are you certain you want to proceed?” It shouldn’t be so difficult.

How to Avoid Becoming a Bonus Abuser

Now that we’ve learned the tricks of the trade, it’s time to think about how to avoid them. Some of us went bonus hunting without even realizing it, so let your boy Derrick share his knowledge.

All online casinos’ terms and conditions must be followed.

If online casinos (or any other digital media) truly wanted us to read their terms and conditions, they wouldn’t have made them so long and tedious, would they? Of course, we could wag our finger at you all day, yelling, “Read the terms and conditions!” but we both know it’s a fool’s errand.

Unfortunately, reading the terms and conditions is the only way to determine whether a casino is worth the trouble. So here’s what I recommend: let us read for you. In all of our online casino reviews, it’s one of our jobs to make that mind-numbing content digestible. Furthermore, we will reveal any catches or obscured conditions that may be hidden between the lines.

Understand the Wagering Requirements

Even if you rely on casino review websites to do the work for you, keep an eye out for them. If a casino actively seeks to conceal them, they almost certainly stink big time.

Always choose lower wagering with lower rewards over higher wagering with higher rewards. Only try to withdraw funds if you have met the requirements. In the best-case scenario, you will hit a brick wall. In the worst-case scenario, the casino will suspend your account.

Avoid Using Arbitrage When Betting on Sports

This is more of a sports betting scenario, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. An arbitrage is when you bet on every single outcome in order to guarantee a profit. Most sports betting games have odds that prevent this, but not all sports betting sites are that cautious.

While there is no official rule prohibiting betting on multiple outcomes in the same game, it is still frowned upon. Furthermore, it defeats the purpose of betting on a specific horse, figuratively speaking. The sports betting site will, at best, give you the stink-eye. At worst, they will ban you for not following the rules.

Various Bonus Hunting Strategies and How Casinos Detect Them

Major issues are easy to spot when it comes to casino bonus hunting, but the devil is in the details. A list of minor offenses that casinos monitor is provided below (even though many bonus hunters often remain unphased when they get clocked). You should not do any of these things, dawg!

Placing small bets until wagering requirements are met, then cashing out any profits immediately

The fact that people do this with no intention of playing speaks for itself. This is typically done with a no-deposit or first-deposit bonus. A bonus hunter will select one or more online slots with a high RTP (Return-To-Player) percentage and place small bets until the wagering requirements are met. They will simply exit the online casino, never to be seen again.

Nothing here is illegal on paper. Casinos, on the other hand, despise it. Casinos will set minimum bet amounts for certain bonuses, exclude certain games (those with high RTP), or simply increase the wagering requirement to combat this type of behavior.

Hitting High Variance Slots In The Hopes of Large Wins and a Quick Wagering Turnaround

This bonus-hunting strategy entails placing numerous bets on various online slot games in the hopes that one of them will result in a win. Each of these slot games will typically have a low RTP but a high volatility. Therefore, players will roll the dice until they hit the jackpot on one of the slots and win enough to meet the wagering requirement or use up their own money.

This tactic is not illegal, but it is one of the casinos’ pet peeves. The most common way casinos address this issue is to prohibit players from using bonus funds on high-volatility games.

Taking Part in Games With Low Odds or High Payout Percentages

Essentially the same as the tactic described above. A bonus hunter will only play high-volatility games in the hopes of getting lucky. Sometimes just one good match is enough to meet the wagering requirement and qualify for a withdrawal. Again, all casinos need to do is bar high-volatility games from participating in the bonus. Casinos can also limit the amount of money that can be won with each deposit bonus, free spins bonus, or no deposit bonus.

Claiming Multiple Bonuses On Multiple Occasions and Cashing Out 

This one would have been perfectly legal if it hadn’t been for that last bit. Some casinos will allow you to claim a single bonus multiple times or multiple bonuses simultaneously. Even when bonus hunters know what they are doing is wrong, they continue to do it. The goal is to claim as many bonuses as possible, quickly roll them over, cash out, and leave before the casino po-po arrests you. Doesn’t that sound like a casino hack, dawg? To counteract this tactic, casinos should only allow one active bonus at a time. It’s as simple as that.

How Are Online Casinos Fighting Bonus Abuse?

Online casinos, like land-based casinos, have eyes and ears everywhere. It is in their best interests for their customers to spend a lot of money while not abusing the system. While land-based casinos are frequently outfitted with cameras, online casinos employ anti-cheating software, IP trackers, and other gimmicks to ensure everyone follows the rules. Let’s take a closer look at how they prevent bonus abusers:

Tracking the IP Addresses of Players

An IP address is similar to your physical address, except that it pertains to the internet. Certain websites will be able to see your IP address when you log in. In addition, online casinos track IP addresses that visit their domain in case someone tries to open multiple accounts and take advantage of bonus offers.

If a bonus hunter creates two accounts from the same IP address, the casino will most likely ping that user and take action. They don’t mind if you live with roommates who also enjoy gambling. There is a strict “one account per household” rule in place at online casinos.

Some players believe they can outwit the online casino by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which can mask their IP address and allow them to create multiple accounts. However, in this day and age, this strategy only works sometimes. Online casinos constantly monitor different VPN addresses, and they despise it when they are clocked. When playing casino games, it is best to avoid using a VPN.

Certain countries are barred from participating in bonus offers.

It appears racist, but it is understandable from a business standpoint. If a casino notices that the majority of rule-breakers are from the same country, they may simply add that country to their blacklist. This is why, dawg, we sometimes see online casinos with lengthy restricted countries lists.

They do not want to deal with each individual bonus hunter, so they simply lock the door if they arrive in large numbers from a specific location. This sort of thing annoys honest players who want to play their favorite casino game.l That’s all there is to it.

Limiting Which Deposit Methods are Eligible for Bonuses

If you’ve played at a few online casinos, you’ve probably noticed that certain payment methods aren’t accepted for general deposit bonuses, free spins, or bonus funds. But, have you ever wondered why that is?

Certain payment methods, such as e-wallets or cryptocurrencies, provide greater anonymity than others. This means that, while the money will be received, the casino will never know who the REAL sender was. Some online casinos that track players using their payment methods have had issues with this because it can encourage players to open multiple accounts and take advantage of bonus rounds.

Similar to banning entire countries, some casinos simply say SCREW IT and prohibit an entire payment system from participating in bonuses. Needless to say, this stinks, but it’s nothing unusual.

The Effects of Bonus Abuse

So, what happens when bonus hunters are apprehended? It is entirely up to the casino to make the decision. Every gambling site has its own set of rules for dealing with bonus abusers. It can range from issuing a warning to serving a permanent ban without question.

Placing small bets, playing high volatility games with bonus funds, or attempting to withdraw funds without meeting the requirements will almost certainly result in a 12h-24h ban to teach you how to play nice. However, creating multiple accounts will almost certainly result in a permanent ban in the blink of an eye. It all depends on how serious the situation is and how generous the casino feels.

Casinos also like to halt withdrawals whenever there is a hint of suspicion. In fact, casinos appear to enjoy doing this as a safety precaution – even when they have no information on you. On the other hand, maybe they just like to show who’s in charge. Whatever the case may be, any online casino that suspends withdrawals will always state that they need to double-check your account and will most likely request some form of identification.

Not Every Casino Is Truthful About Bonus Abusers

So far, you may have gotten the impression that your boy Derrick isn’t entirely in favor of casinos when it comes to bonus abuse. You would be a smart cookie if you came to that conclusion. Why? Because not all bonus abuse is the result of greedy players. Some of it is also due to casino negligence.

I’ve seen so many players denied withdrawals or outright banned simply for playing casino games and breaking a rule they didn’t even know existed. It’s the same as saying, “I have a few rules that you can’t break, but I’m not going to tell you what they are.” Have fun and good luck.” They should be blacklisted!

How to Avoid Taking Advantage of Casinos

Examine Online Casino Reviews

This is the most helpful advice we can give you. When it comes to staying safe, reading the best online casino reviews is your bread and butter. Skim them, scan them, eat them – whatever you want! Even if you don’t read ours, I recommend you read someone else’s. Nothing is more upsetting than seeing a casino take advantage of an honest player.

It’s best to get a quick overview of the gambling site you want to play at. Knowing what other users think of an online casino, whether the wagering requirements are reasonable or which payment methods cannot be used for bonuses, is also priceless.

With so many cryptic rules and features that online casinos expect you to memorize, casino reviews have become EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. A single glance at a casino review can save you a world of trouble.

Check the Terms and Conditions Once More

If you absolutely despise reading casino reviews, you’re on your own. You’ll have to read the terms and conditions for yourself, dawg. Yes, they are lengthy and tedious, but they contain all of the information you need to know about the rules and regulations of that particular casino. Online casinos are required by law to disclose everything in their terms and conditions – and if they don’t, feel free to report them. Report them to us so that we can put them in our blacklisted online casinos section.

Deals That Appear to be Too Good To Be True

Casinos exist to make money, which they do when their customers lose money. Also, if you give too many generous bonuses to your players, they will lose money. Do you see the issue? I recall seeing an online casino with wagering requirements of only x1 when I was fresh out of college. We were so excited that we took advantage of the bonus without realizing the implications.

Turns out, only a dozen games (out of 2000) were linked to the bonus, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they had terrible odds and even worse RTP. Sure, there are online casinos that will give you generous bonuses. But let us not delude ourselves. No online casino will offer you a deal that is too good to be true. So, dawg, keep your cool.

Examine The Casino’s Customer Service

The best thing to do is contact customer support when an online casino has strange terms and conditions, confusing bonuses, and other issues. To begin with, the lack of live chat support is a dead giveaway that you should avoid the casino at all costs.

You should inquire about their customer service if they are a reputable casino and offer live chat. Is it run by a bot or a human? Are your questions being ignored, or do they take too long to be answered? Or is it actually run by someone who is intimately familiar with the online casino in question?

Even if everything appears to be in order, it always helps to have a quick chat with casino customer service to get a sense of who you’re dealing with in case things go wrong.

Summary: Is It Worth It To Hunt For Casino Bonuses?

To be honest, no. Not at all. Even if many casino players prefer to play casino games for a profit, you want to take a different path than bonus hunting. One of the reasons we enjoy online casinos so much is that they give us so many opportunities to use our brains and try our luck.

If you take the fun out of online casinos, all you have are a bunch of meaningless tasks that must be completed in order to make money. Last time I checked, that was referred to as a job. I doubt many of you want to feel that way when you gamble.

To summarize, bonus hunting is not something we recommend. Don’t just play to win. It isn’t worth the trouble. We’ve got you covered!

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