When online casinos were first introduced they were all just part of the online sports gambling sites operated by the major bookmakers. At the time no one really knew whether the idea of playing casino games online would prove popular or not, but as we now know it appealed to a much wider audience than anyone expected and created a whole new sphere of gambling. During those early years our list of recommended online casinos compiled here at onlinecasino.ie was really quite limited because there were not that many online casino sites to choose from. It was only when the new specialist online casino operators came on stream that we began to be spoilt for choice and our online casino reviews became more relevant as an aid to our readers in selecting the best sites for them. As more and more online casino sites become accessible so the competition between them clearly becomes more intense and as with almost every other business sector they begin to look for ways to stand out from the crowd. That is why almost every online casino operator now offers new customers an online casino bonus, often referred to as a welcome bonus. The problem is that unlike the bonus deals offered by many of the major online sports gambling sites, most of these online casino bonus deals come with a variety of terms and conditions which unfortunately are not always understood as well as they should be. The cash back offers or free bets used by the big bookmakers such as Paddy Power to attract new customers are usually exactly what they appear to be and are not difficult to understand, whereas most of the online casino bonus offers tend to look more attractive than they actually are and are certainly not suitable for everyone. Almost all of the welcome bonus deals offered by online casinos take the form of a promise to match a new player’s initial deposit with a 100% bonus, thereby doubling the money they have to enjoy playing casino games. Some online casinos also offer reduced bonuses for the second and even third deposits made by a new player, but they all come with a list of terms and conditions and this is where they can become less attractive for some people.
The most important of these terms and conditions is what we refer to as the play through requirement to qualify for the bonus, which defines how much a new player needs to stake on playing casino games before they are allowed to withdraw any potential winnings as a result of accepting the bonus. This play through requirement is usually expressed as a multiple of the sum of the deposit plus the bonus, and that multiple is generally at least a factor of twenty. To put that in simpler terms, a new player making a relatively modest first deposit of say 20 euros and deciding to accept a bonus of a further 20 euros would be expected to wager at least 20×40 = 800 euros before being allowed to withdraw any winnings resulting from accepting the bonus. That is quite a large sum of money for a player who decided initially to deposit just 20 euros and may indeed be well over any budget they may have set themselves. Some of these online casino bonus offers may also stipulate a time limit on satisfying the play through requirement, and almost every site will exclude some casino games from qualifying fully towards the total stake required because games such as roulette have a smaller house edge than most other games and the player therefore has a slightly better chance of winning. We fully understand why the online casino operators feel that they need to apply these terms and conditions to their bonus offers, but we also know that it is important that anyone deciding to accept a bonus like this is very aware of what sort of investment is required to satisfy those terms and conditions. The last thing anybody in the online casino business wants is for a customer to get into financial trouble by exceeding their budget in an attempt to satisfy the play through requirements associated with this type of bonus. On the other hand for any potential new casino games player with a budget big enough to easily satisfy these terms and conditions, the offer to double their available stake money is a great deal and clearly very welcome.
To be totally honest though, here at onlinecasino.ie we also think there may be another element of this type of online casino bonus which perhaps should be considered and that is whether they actually do the job they are intended to do. The whole idea of offering a welcome bonus to potential new customers is to attract them to your particular online casino site, but if almost every other online casino is offering a similar if not identical bonus it clearly does not do the job. As we have already pointed out almost every online casino on our recommended list offers a very similar welcome bonus deal, but there is one exception and that is the aptly named No Bonus casino. They do not offer a welcome bonus specifically targeted at new customers, but they have chosen instead to offer all their players an innovative cash back deal if they are unfortunate enough to suffer a run of bad luck. Any players who make a deposit today and then lose all of that deposit in the same session will receive a 10% cash back into their account the following morning with no strings attached. They can use that money in any way they want to, including for instance withdrawing it from their account if that is what they want to do. Before we finish this article perhaps we should raise the question as to whether any form of bonus or even cash back deal is more important in attracting new customers than the quality and variety of casino games available on the site.