Bonus Abuse and How to Avoid It

What exactly constitutes bonus abuse, and why is it a problem for both the player and the casino? In this blog we discuss bonus abuse and what you can do to avoid infringing casino rules.

While it is true that there are players who deliberately try and pull one over casinos by unfair play, it is also true that some players unwittingly fall into this trap through not knowing or understanding what is and is not permissible when it comes to claiming and playing with bonuses. So, let’s set the record straight…

The idea of offering bonuses is to incentivize players to join a casino and give them a chance to try out new games at no expense to them, or encourage existing players to play more often. If you’re lucky enough to win and have a positive balance, that is great but obviously the casino is not making any profit from the money they give players in the form of bonuses, therefore the fairly high playthrough requirements of approximately 30 times the value of the bonus. After all, casinos are in business to make a profit. The house edge ranges from only 3-5%, depending on the game, so cheaters impact negatively on their returns.

Bonus abuse can be considered claiming multiple bonuses (sometimes together with a matching deposit), playing through requirements and making a profit, then withdrawing all the funds from one’s account - consistently. In the past, players often got away with bonus abuse, but casinos are much more aware nowadays and have the technology to track patterns of play.

Once discovered, your withdrawal will be denied – you’ll lose your money and you may even be banned from the site if you’re thought to be a serial abuser. If this abuse was unintentional, you’ll still have the opportunity to explain yourself, but it’s so much better to read the terms and conditions before accepting a bonus to ensure you don’t end up being blacklisted.

Bonus bagging or hunting happens when a player mathematically gains an edge over the house, which turns the bonus into a profit. Most often bonus bagging is associated with Poker and Sportsbook. A player bets on all possible outcomes, also known as matched betting, where no losses occur, thus leaving the bonus intact, resulting in the bonus becoming pure profit for future withdrawal. However, casinos are onto such shenanigans and this could end in a complete ban across the casino's network.

Bonus whoring is a rather nasty term for when players take a free bonus (no deposit required) and try to make a profit, then complete the playthrough requirements and cash out as soon as possible, with no intention to continue playing. Again, disallowing the withdrawal and banning are on the cards for this behavior.

So there you have it. While casinos love winners, cheating to win is definitely frowned upon and has dire consequences. The best way to avoid being on the losing side is to read the terms and conditions and to adhere to fair play. After all, gambling should always focus on enjoyable entertainment.

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