How it works
Bonuses are useful for players as well as for the casinos. Having some bonus money means more fun for online gamblers. And because players then tend to stay longer and are more likely to start deposing some of their own money to bet on games, the casinos also benefit.
If you use them wisely, online casino bonuses will help to stretch your available budget (also called payroll in online gambling terms) as far as possible. The bonuses generally come in the form of ‘free cash’ to bet on games, or as additional free games.
There are many different kinds of bonuses, and some have more than one name for the same thing. Not all casinos offer the same kinds of bonuses and their terms and conditions will also differ. Here are some of the most frequently offered bonuses:
- Welcome or sign-up bonuses are those offered when you sign up at an online casino. The amounts are often quite large, but there are always some terms and conditions attached to them – especially in terms of paying out winnings from playing with the bonus money. Ensure that you understand what you will need to do in terms of being able to have your winnings paid out to you. You might have to deposit at least a certain amount of your own money before that can happen.
- No-deposit bonuses are those that provide a certain amount of money to players that you can use before having to start using your own cash deposits. Ensure that you understand the conditions at every site that offer these so that you can also get your winnings paid out easily.
- Sticky bonuses are where the online casino will give you some ‘free’ money to play with, but you can only withdraw your winnings from playing with that money once you have reached their play-through requirements (for instance, when you have played a certain number of games).
- Free money bonuses increase the total amount of money available for you to play with when you deposit more than a certain amount with them. Matched bonuses are one example of these bonuses.
- Match or matched bonuses are those where a casino will match or ‘double up’ the amount that you have deposited with them, or a percentage of the deposit. There is normally a maximum amount that they are prepared to match, so ensure that you read the terms and conditions.
- Cash back bonuses are where a casino pays a certain percentage of your losses back to you. This is intended to help you keep playing when you don’t have any funds left, but there is no guarantee that you will ‘win back’ any of your losses.
- Loyalty bonuses are paid to players who have reached certain targets.
- Referral bonuses are paid to players who refer someone else to the site.
Bonus disputes do happen and can happen for a variety of reasons. Most frequently these are because a casino might refuse to pay a bonus to a player who has created more than one account at their site and claim bonuses for those different accounts, or because a casino may have changed their rules after a player has signed on. Disputes also happen because of different interpretations of the terms and condition of specific bonuses. When a casino suddenly change their requirements for the payment of a bonus after a player has already signed on, it is not acceptable and operators who do this are often referred to as ‘rogue casinos’.
In terms of settling disputes, remember that the laws of the country where the online casino is registered will be applied – not New Zealand laws. The best way to ensure that you can safeguard yourself against disputes is to ensure that you read the terms and conditions and know in advance how the site you choose will handle such situations. Also ensure that you only sign up at sites that are accredited to international gambling organisations. Reputable casinos all belong to such organisations.
Get going with a good bonus!
Our experts at onlinecasinos.co.nz carefully scrutinise all the aspects of the sites we recommend for our New Zealand online casino enthusiasts. High on our list of priorities is to ensure that they pay good bonuses with fair terms and conditions. So have a look at our top picks and choose one that will get you going to bet with some free money!