Now that internet trading has become an integral part of all our daily lives there are no longer any online business sectors that are not just as highly competitive as the high street retail sector for example. Nowadays it is very common to find a large number of different internet companies providing similar products or services, so they all need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Online retail companies can of course compete very strongly on price against the high street, but it is not so easy to compete solely on price against other online retailers, particularly increasingly dominant online organisations such as Amazon. Competition in the online casino sector is also now increasing rapidly, with more and more excellent new online casinos coming on stream. Once again the online casino operators can compete with their land based rivals by dramatically decreasing the minimum stakes necessary to play their casino games, but that does not work as a way of competing with other online casino gambling sites. Apart from price cutting most online retailers need to market themselves by raising the profile of their brand name and even more importantly by establishing a reputation for excellent customer service and for the quality of their products or services. If we again compare these marketing strategies with what is likely to be effective in the online casino sector, it is the quality of the product, namely the casino games which should be the priority of the site operators. Brand awareness is of course important in any business sector and many of the big bookmakers who operate online casino sites spend a great deal of money promoting their brand with advertising and sponsorship. The other marketing strategy which has become extremely common throughout the online gambling sector is the online casino bonus. Almost every online casino site now offers every potential new casino games player an online casino bonus which they usually refer to as a welcome bonus for new players. Bonuses are also common in the online sports gambling sector, with free bets or cash back deals used to attract both new and existing customers to the site. This type of bonus is however very straightforward, easy to understand and generally beneficial for everybody, whereas the most common form of online casino bonus deal is not so easy and can easily be misunderstood so that it becomes a burden rather than a reward. We should of course nowadays all be well aware of the pitfalls of not reading the small print when we sign an agreement or purchase an insurance policy, but evidence suggests that we may not be as careful when it comes to accepting one of these online casino bonus offers. As with many other agreements the potential problems lie in the terms and conditions associated with every welcome bonus of this type. Almost all the online casino bonus offers used by the site operators takes the form of a promise to match a customer’s first deposit with a 100% bonus, thereby doubling their available stake money for use in playing casino games. Many of these welcome bonus deals also offer a reduced bonus on the second and even third deposits made by the new customer, but they all come with a list of terms and conditions which we insist must be fully explained and understood before anybody considers accepting this type of bonus.
The biggest potential problem lies in what is usually referred to as the play through requirement associated with all of these bonus offers. This condition defines how much money a new player is required to gamble on playing casino games before being able to withdraw any potential winnings from their account. The play through requirement is usually defined as a multiple of the total of the deposit plus the bonus, and is generally a factor of at least twenty times that total. In order that our readers fully understand that requirement, let’s consider what happens when a new player deposits say 25 euros into their account and agrees to accept a 100% bonus of a further 25 euros. The total of the deposit plus the bonus would therefore be 50 euros, which when multiplied by a factor of twenty means that the player needs to wager at least 1000 euros on playing casino games in order to qualify for the bonus and be able to withdraw any winnings from their account. If such a sum is within their budget then this type of bonus would be a very good deal, but it is a great deal of money for many people and could be far more than they can comfortably afford. There are also usually several other important terms and conditions relating to the play through requirement. There may for instance be a time limit on satisfying the requirement, and some online casino operators also specify which casino games qualify fully towards the play through requirement and which only partially contribute. We understand of course that there are very good reasons why the online casino operators attach these terms and conditions to an online casino bonus offer which enables new players to play casino games with the operator’s money rather than their own, but it is nevertheless important that everybody agreeing to accept one of these bonus deals understands what is required of them. Most of the online casinos featured on our recommended list offer welcome bonuses of this type, but there are exceptions to that rule. The Free Spins casino for instance does what their name suggests and offers few spins on selected slots games rather than a bonus. Similarly the No Bonus casino, as you would again expect from their title does not offer a welcome bonus for new customers. Instead the No Bonus site operator has chosen to use a unique cash back offer as an incentive. The deal applies to both new and existing players and is intended to compensate anyone unfortunate enough to lose the whole of their deposit within the same day by giving them 10% cash back the following morning.