Scam or Steal? How Can I Tell if This Casino Bonus is a Gimmick?
Scams are rife on the internet. From phishing emails pretending to be your bank, to the dating app Tinder Swindlers, you need to be careful with what you do online and where you’re transferring your money. Now, the good news is that there are plenty of legitimate online casinos all across the world, with a majority offering some pretty sweet bonuses. The bad news is that there are some dodgy casinos and some bonuses that turn out to be pretty useless. So let’s get into how to spot what is what.
How to spot scam casinos
Is this a real casino that you are looking at? Take a look deep in the about section and see where the casino is registered. You’ll then be able to look up the gaming authority in that area and check the name against their records.
Make sure that the website URL itself also matches from the list at the gaming authority. Many casino operators own multiple sites. It can be easy for scammers to ‘clone’ a website, get some money quickly, then take down the site again quickly – but a URL never lies. A scam URL may be slightly different from the real one. Take this made-up example:
Spot the difference? In the scam URL, you have Vegas spelled incorrectly as Vagas. So beware out there! It’s also possible to have a correct-looking link to a website on another site, so double-check once you are at the casino homepage, too.
Is this bonus a gimmick?
Let’s get one thing straight. All bonuses are gimmicks in some way; they’re all marketing ploys in some way or another. You’re getting things for free, not through a company’s altruism, but because they want to encourage you to take a particular type of action. Take a look at these examples and what they are designed to elicit in the person:
7-day bonus expiry
Terms: You will need to use all of your bonus within seven days.
Action: Since it’s a big bonus, you will usually have to spend a significant amount of time playing at the casino. They’re hoping that you get hooked on one or more of their games through some intense repetition in a short time period.
Multiple match bonuses
Terms: Something like 50% match funds bonus on your first three deposits, 25% match funds bonus on your next seven deposits.
Action: Attempt to have you continue to make deposits at their casino so that you can ‘get the most out of your free bonuses.’ Again, this uses repetition to reinforce you wanting to visit the casino.
Terms: You get X amount of free spins on one or more slots games
Action: Become really into that particular slots game, which may not have the best return rate for players – check your terms and conditions!
Terms: You get $X to spend on a game with Y wagering requirement
Action: You need to spend at least X times Y amount on the game itself to collect any winnings from the bonus. If you find yourself needing to top up your funds in the hopes of cashing out the bonus, then the casino is happy.
Check the T&Cs carefully
Sure, most of the time we just scroll down quickly past terms and conditions and click on the Agree button. But if you’re looking at freebie bonuses then you really need to give them a read before you waste your time playing games. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to meet their terms and conditions to get a cash-out from a bonus and you definitely want to avoid that.
It’s not breaking news that online casinos are sprouting from every nook and cranny around the globe. No doubt it’s where the money’s at. So it’s far from surprising that providers within this lucrative sector afford to offer their players fantastic bonuses. But, don’t get too caught up in the excitement of a potential win before reading the conditions attached. Remember to evaluate and examine the promotions advertised. This tip particularly rings true for new no deposit casinos and their various free spins no deposit bonuses which are up for grabs.
It’s not all doom and gloom
Some of the bonuses available to players are actually a great deal and if you shop around then you’ll be sure to find some. Like shopping at the sales and other types of bargain hunting, you need to develop a good eye for what’s a good bonus and what’s just better to skip over. So read your T&Cs, compare some sites, and get to playing!