The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Bonuses

Author Jouni
December 15, 2020 6 min read

The number of online casinos available today is absolutely crazy. Just take our immense database for example—there are already hundreds of brands listed and more are being added almost daily. Thanks to this, no one will ever need to feel like they cannot find an online casino to their liking!

While online casino customers are obviously thrilled about the amount of variety and freedom of choice, there is someone out there that is not as happy with the situation.

Who is this you ask?

It is the online casinos themselves.

Online casinos and their owners are not enjoying the fact that there is so much competition. The more pizza places or grocery stores that there are on the street, the more all of them need to work to get new customers inside. This is simply how the free market works!

How Online Casinos Try To Fight The Situation

If you had your own online casino, how would you try to put the ball in your court? How would you try to get customers to come to your casino instead of the other thousand casinos out there? This is obviously a tricky landscape to navigate since most online casinos do not even make their own games. People are basically playing the same exact slots at every online casino, so even this is not something that you can use to differentiate yourself from the pack.

It would seem that casino bonuses and bonus campaigns are just about the only concrete thing that casinos can use to compete with each other. Of course, people also appreciate things like 24/7 casino support, fast withdrawals and great licenses, but all of those things obviously come with a ceiling. Most top-tier casinos will do most of the same things right, so all that really remains is coming up with better casino bonuses than your competitors.

Casinos Are Putting Their Livelihoods On The Line

Since I have already spent a good chunk of time describing how fierce the competition in the world of online casinos is, I don’t think that you will have a hard time believing that the best casino bonuses out there are about as good as they humanly can be. Even though casinos are in the house-always-wins business, the margins for casinos are extremely tight. After all, casinos are there to make money, first and foremost, and it is difficult for them to do that when there are so many others trying to beat them to the punch.

Sometimes I will come across bonuses that are simply too good not to be redeemed. That is when I know that the casino itself is taking a huge risk. Just consider this:

The goal for casino players is to win more money than they put in. If you deposit 20 euros and really luck out, you could win, for example, 200 euros. That would be 10 times what you put in! If you fail, however, you will have 9 more chances to deposit 20 euros and you would still break even if you hit 200 even once. That is not to say that it is probable to hit 200, but it is a good way to showcase that margins are indeed small. For every 10 people that lose 20 euros, the casino only needs 1 that wins 200 to be back to zero profit—and they would still have to account for operating fees etc.

So yes—when you add great casino bonuses to the mix, it will be tough for virtual gambling establishments to turn a profit!

Next up, we will go over good bonuses and bad bonuses!

Good Bonuses Make Winning Easier

The definition of a good bonus is that it can actually make winning easier. High bonus percentages, for example, will give you more bang for your buck, ultimately increasing the number of chances that you have to win.

If you deposit 20 euros and redeem a 100% match-up bonus, you will get an extra 20 euros of bonus money on top. Assuming that you will be using the same bet as you would without a bonus, you will now have twice as many chances to hit a big win.

Sadly, though, things are not quite as simple when you have wagering requirements that need to be taken care of. This is where the best bonuses show their might. Some of the very best bonuses available today are so-called parachute bonuses, which basically means that they are only there to catch you when you fall. These bonuses will not require you to wager your deposit as they will only come into effect if your real money balance goes to zero. In other words, these bonuses only enhance your chances of winning by granting you a much-appreciated second chance.

Parachute bonuses (also known as forfeitable bonuses or lifeline bonuses) are the definition of a type of bonus that makes winning easier. The terms and conditions for the actual bonus portion will differ from casino to casino, however, with some bonuses having higher wagering requirements or even limited maximum withdrawals.

Parachute bonuses are not the only type of good bonuses, though. Normal bonuses with mandatory wagering requirements can be good as well—as long as the wagering requirements are not too high! There is a fine line between decent wagering requirements and high wagering requirement.

Bad Bonuses Can Make Winning More Difficult

In a shocking twist, bad bonuses can make winning more difficult than it would be without using bonuses! These bonuses may very well masquerade as the best thing since sliced bread, but the terms associated with them are sometimes actually designed to make the casino itself win more.

The way the online casino may boost their own odds is by dealing out bonuses with extra heavy wagering requirements. What this means is that you will have your hands full trying to wager your bonus, and any wins that you get will not be withdrawable before you complete the wagering requirements. Here is an example:

You deposit 20 euros and get a 400% bonus, leaving you with 100 euros worth of playing money. The wagering requirement is 50x for your bonus and your deposit, meaning you will have to wager 5,000 euros worth before being able to withdraw.

While you will undoubtedly appreciate the extra 80 euros here, the wagering requirement of 5,000 will quickly take the wind out of your sails…

Ugly Bonuses Can Make Winning Almost Impossible

I already told you about bad bonuses with high wagering requirements, but ugly bonuses are in a league of their own. And most of the time, online casinos will not exactly be forthcoming about their lousy contents either!

Ugly bonuses often come with a variety of nasty terms and conditions—some of which might be hidden in a stashed-away bonus terms section of the site. Especially online casinos with weaker Curacao licences may stoop to these levels, whereas stronger European licences are designed to better protect casino customers and ward off casinos’ tomfoolery.

Here is a list of some of the uglier bonus terms that I have come across:

  • Extra high wagering requirements even in the absence of higher bonus percentages.
  • Limited, low maximum withdrawals that see you having to let go of most of your winnings.
  • Huge lists of forbidden games, designed to make you accidentally break the rules so the casino has a reason to forfeit your winnings.
  • Very low maximum bet rules that make it harder for you to complete your wagering.
  • Strict limitations as to which game providers’ games you can play with your bonus. This is probably more annoying than it is anything else.

Fortunately, these kinds of bonuses are usually only found at the most crooked of online casinos. They are not only meant to be less-than-ideal like the bad bonuses are—they are meant to be cunning and downright devious!


As you have read from this article, there is a logical reason why nearly all online casinos are giving away bonuses to their customers. At the same time, it is also logical that not all casinos are willing to risk their livelihoods by giving you their ultimate best.

In this kind of environment, there is a huge need for honest online casino websites like the one you are reading right now. We are here to take your hand and guide you through the perils of this industry—and to the best online casino bonuses currently known to man!

Author Jouni



652 articles

Jouni is a Finnish journalist experienced in all sorts of writing. From video game and movie reviews to news articles and online casino content, this media maven loves writing and being creative. Jouni has been writing for various gaming publications for years. His extensive knowledge about online casinos and games makes him the perfect candidate to examine and review gambling sites. In addition to casino gaming and sports betting, Jouni is also a huge fan of Eurovision, professional wrestling and the TV series Survivor.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

the good the bad and the ugly casino bonuses