When the big bookmakers began to add a few casino games to their online sports gambling sites and created what we now refer to as the online casino sector, there were relatively few online casinos for us to choose from. Since then of course we have seen more and more online casinos come on stream and as a result the sector has become far more competitive. That has in turn led to a variety of different marketing strategies being employed to attract new customers, the most common of which is what we call the online casino bonus. There are a few online casino bonus offers which apply to all the casino games players on the site, but most take the form of a welcome bonus specifically targeted at potential new players rather than existing customers. The most common alternative strategy for online casino operators to attract new customers used to be the offer of free spins on many of the most popular casino games, but the regulators have recently decided that the ability to play casino games free of charge actually encourages more people to start gambling, particularly young people. The online casino operators have therefore been forced to abandon free spins as a way of attracting new customers to their sites, so the online casino bonus has become an even more common marketing approach within the online casino gambling sector. Unfortunately for a number of reasons many of the welcome bonus deals may not be as good as they seem at first glance. In fact they may even be totally unsuitable for some people because of the temptation to exceed their affordable budget simply to qualify for the bonus. Here at onlinecasino.ie our primary purpose is to help prospective new online casino games players enjoy the experience and avoid the potential pitfalls of gambling online, so it is important that we point out the problems which can arise from many of the most common online casino bonus deals. Almost every online casino site operator now offers new customers a welcome bonus which commonly promises to match their first deposit with a 100% bonus, which effectively doubles the amount of money they have in their account to fund playing casino games. Many online casinos also offer a reduced level of bonus payable on the second and even third deposits made by a new customer, but they all come with a comprehensive list of terms and conditions, and this is where the potential problems can arise.
Clearly this type of bonus offer provides a new player with the opportunity to play a range of casino games using the casino operator’s money rather than their own, so it is perfectly understandable that the online casino site operator needs to ensure that the player stays on the site as long as possible to give them the chance to get their money back. The way they do that is through what is termed the play through requirement detailed in the terms and conditions of the offer. The play through requirement defines how much money the player is required to stake on playing casino games in order to qualify for the bonus, and that sum is usually expressed as a multiple of the total of the deposit plus the bonus. That multiplying factor does vary from online casino to online casino, but is usually at least a factor of twenty times the sum of the deposit plus the bonus. If we apply that calculation to a relatively modest first deposit of say 20 euros, which then attracts a bonus of a further 20 euros making a total of 40 euros available to play casino games, the play through requirement we have given as an example would require the player to stake at least 800 euros on playing casino games before they would be allowed to withdraw any potential winnings resulting from the bonus. There may also be other terms and conditions associated with this form of welcome bonus, such as a time limit and restrictions on which games fully qualify towards the play through total needed. As we have already pointed out we fully understand why there have to be terms and conditions associated with any offer which enables us to play casino games with the casino’s money, but it is important that anyone tempted to accept a bonus of this sort fully understands what is expected of them in return for the bonus. Whilst there are many people who would probably feel relatively comfortable staking 20 euros on playing online casino games, how many of them would feel as happy to gamble 800 euros simply to qualify for a 20 euro bonus. We all enjoy a bargain but for many potential new online casino customers the play through requirement would mean that they would have to massively exceed their budget to qualify for the bargain. It is not exactly the same but there can be similar problems with some supermarket multiple purchase deals, particularly when it involves the purchase of products with a short shelf life. For those of us who can live with the play through requirements and remain within our gambling budget, then clearly this type of bonus deal is a bargain, but for anyone else they may lead to problems if the terms and conditions have not been fully understood. It is important to remember that accepting a welcome bonus of this sort is entirely voluntary and will not affect your future relationship with your chosen online casino operator in any way whatsoever.
There are now so many of the online casinos we can access here in Ireland offering this type of welcome bonus for new customers that it also begs the question as to how effective a marketing strategy they actually are. These welcome bonus deals certainly do not make any particular online casino stand out from the crowd, because they are nearly all identical in format, and to be honest the most important factor in our choice of online casino should always be the quality and the range of casino games they offer.