Are No-Deposit Casino Bonuses Fair and Safe?

The online gambling industry is incredibly competitive. Casinos are very big business, and the revenue of online casinos isn’t limited by the amount of people casinos can fit in a venue. From this perspective, the casino’s revenue online is virtually limitless. So casinos fight tooth and nail to win your patronage. The offering of bonuses is one of their primary ways to entice new players. But are they safe to take?

Types of Bonuses

The typical online gambler likes new and interesting deals, so there are constantly new offers from casinos. Some of the typical bonuses include:

Deposit bonuses

When you deposit real funds in your account, the casino matches the amount with a free bonus. It sounds great, although it also means you must wager a minimum amount before claiming your bonus.

Free play bonuses

This is much like free spins on registration no deposit, where You may be able to wager a certain amount, for a specific number of spins. The and result is no different to having free money to play with. But it always comes with terms.

Free cash bonuses

The old saying is there is no such thing as a free lunch. That’s not entirely true. Keep in mind the long-term value of a player to a casino may be tens of thousands of dollars. This means that theoretically a casino can spend tens of thousands of dollars to get one player. So free cash bonuses are just like any other advertising expense for a casino.

A typical requirement of a free cash bonus may be you complete registration of your account. This likely includes verification of your identity. In such cases, identity checks may cost the casino money. Or they may subscribe to an online investigations agency, which verifies your identity for the casino.

By identifying individual players, this protects casinos from players signing up multiple times.

Is There a Catch To Bonuses?

There is always a catch, but they aren’t necessarily anything to be worried about. Naturally it depends on the individual casino’s terms of service.

One example of where it really matters is the deposit bonus. The deposit bonus may be $100 in free money (in account credits), on the condition that you deposit $100 of your own money. But the conditions don’t end there. There is also a wagering requirement. And this may be that you wager a total of $2000, before you are entitled to the $100 in free money. And if you attempt to withdraw your money before meeting this requirement, your request is denied.

There is nothing wrong with this term. The casinos are businesses, and they need to make money. The most common complaint about casinos I hear is payout refusal. I’m not talking about professional players who beat casinos with advantage play. I’m referring to ordinary gamblers who won big, then tried to withdrawal funds without meeting the conditions.

Most of the time, payout refusals are because the player didn’t read the terms of service regarding a deposit bonus.

What If There’s No Deposit Needed For Free Play?

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation involving free play, without deposits. We’ll use European roulette as an example.

The casino might give you 37 free spins to play with, with a wagering limit of one dollar per spin. Now let’s say you bet your one dollar on 0 all 37 spins.

Statistically, you are likely to have lost on 36 spins. And you would have won on a single spin. The total result would be a loss of one unit. One of the requirements from the casino may be that you must play a minimum of 37 spins. Over the long-term, across many different players, the casino is likely to lose a little bit of money. But it makes little difference to them considering the lifetime value of a player may be $10,000 each. So they wouldn’t care about spending a few dollars to get new players.

How Casinos Advertise Online

The vast majority of casinos use affiliate programs to get new players. Affiliates are people with websites, who place banners for the casino. When the banners are clicked, the players are sent to the casino through a unique tracking address.

Some casinos share profits with their affiliates. And some casinos pay their affiliate’s for each new player they refer, who makes a deposit. Some casinos combine the two types of payments.

With affiliates, the casino doesn’t need any upfront expenses for advertising. They only pay for advertising with affiliates if it’s profitable. But affiliates have nothing to do with various casino bonuses. The casino bonuses are still generally considered an advertising expense.


There’s nothing fishy about casino bonuses. They are very common, but there’s always a catch. It doesn’t mean the catch is going to put you in hot water. The catch is usually only about ensuring the casino is likely to profit, when the bonus is applied to a large volume of players.

When selecting a casino, first and foremost research the casino’s reputation. If the casino doesn’t have a good reputation, you shouldn’t deposit funds there in any event.

But if you are sure the casino is reputable, then choose one of the various bonuses you find most appealing. You can safely do so if you’re a typical gambler. If you’re a professional player, then the terms are even more important because they affect your long-term edge.

For example, the biggest challenge for professional players is avoiding detection. In some cases like with real physical roulette wheels, it’s not difficult to beat the game itself. But it is sometimes difficult to avoid detection. And a large part of avoiding detection is regulating the duration of play sessions.

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