Casino Signup Bonuses: Reasons To Avoid Them!

It’s very tempting to take a signup bonus when you play at a new online casino but it’s not usually a good idea. After many years of players “abusing” bonuses with multiple accounts, collaboration and various other methods, the terms and conditions are now very strict.

In fact, it’s got to the point where taking a bonus actually lessens your chances of winning in the majority of instances (see later for where you could be excused for the odd exception to the rule). It’s not too surprising: There’s no such thing as a free lunch and these offers are purely marketing ploys designed to prey on humankind’s something-for-nothing nature. But it works – for the casinos!

If you bear in mind that in many slots sessions, in my experience at least, there will be a time when you are ahead, you need to be in a position to cash out when that moment comes And it probably won’t happen more than once in a session. As bonuses usually come with a wagering requirement (“WR”) of 30x or more (staking 30x the bonus or deposit+bonus) and sometimes far greater, you can see the issue: you can’t cashout when you need to.

Here are some common bonus terms that will almost definitely hinder you:

  • You may not be allowed to bet more than 10% of the bonus in one spin
  • You must make 30x the bonus (or more!) of bets before cashing out (“WR”)
  • You can’t cashout the bonus
  • If you try to cashout before making the WR you will forfeit all your winnings
  • If you take a second bonus while there is more than $1 left of the previous bonus, you forfeit
  • You must use the bonus in x days
  • You can’t claim more than one bonus in your household
  • Many bonuses are slots-only bonuses
  • Playing a game that is bonus banned – even for 1 spin – will forfeit your winnings
  • You can’t claim more than 1 bonus from casinos owned by the same people
  • You could forfeit the money if your play is deemed “irregular” (which is often not even defined)
  • You forfeit your money if the sun rises in the East.


OK so the last one may not be enforced but it doesn’t take a genius to work out why a signup bonus is no longer an advantage to most players. Not every casino has every one of those terms but you will find a lot of them at anywhere you lay, guaranteed!

In fact, the only time I would recommend taking a signup bonus is if you are low rolling and have lots of hours to kill plus, you don’t mind losing your original investment. And don’t be drawn in by “Free Spins” offers – that is simply a way to decide the amount of a bonus in most instances and after they are complete, strict terms will apply t your winnings along the lines of that list above.

Loyalty bonuses however can be quite different – usually with less restrictions as the casino knows you by that point and generally trusts you. But the T&C’s will still be quite strict so always read them before you play with a bonus, irrespective of the offer.