In life, nothing is free. Or is it? Certainly, you’ll find some kind citizens and groups who will offload their unwanted goods for free, or even good samaritans who will give you a helping hand with a chore or job to do just for the rewards to the heart. But when it comes to business, free doesn’t usually mean free.
A free drink at a bar is a watered down affair to get you in the door and have you paying over the standard going rate for slightly less watered down other drinks. A free month subscription makes you put in your credit card details in the hopes you’ll forget you subscribed and lead to an automatic deduction in the next month. A free gift with purchase is literally that – requiring you to buy something first. And casinos? Why would they give away money for free?
What’s a wager-free bonus?
Wager-free bonuses are a bit of a new introduction to the world of online casinos. You may have read, watched, or heard about ridiculous wagers to claim bonuses when playing slots or table games at various gaming sites. Things like playing through $50,000 on one game (a free $1000 but with a 50x wager attached) just to be able to claim rewards.
Obviously, word got around that this was a bit ridiculous with little to no chance of a win. After the customers caught on, of course the casinos also caught on, which means that some have advertised wager-free bonuses to hook the critical crowd.
So are these wager-free bonuses free as in beer? No, that’s not the case here generally. Instead there’ll be a laundry list as long as your arm of terms and conditions which you’ll have to meet to be able to grab that bonus for free free.
Finding a low or wager-free no deposit bonus is half the battle (so to speak!). Before you commit to something that seems almost too good to be true, you must make sure you’re well-informed on the promotion. This will avoid any confusion and give you a realistic expectation of what’s to be gained from the offer.
Tip: Wager-free bonuses are also known as no wager bonuses
What are the terms of a wager-free bonus?
To avoid a completely watered down bonus that just leaves you thirsty rather than satisfied, you’ll need to get out your detective outfit and have a snoop around in the terms and conditions to see what’s up. Let’s take a look at an example.
A casino offers a wager-free no deposit bonus: 200 free spins (50+150). That’s 50 free with no deposit, and 150 when you deposit $10. And you can’t claim without For a start, this isn’t free, is it? You still have to put down $10 to get the bonus. It’s kind of like that gift with purchase. Which is all well and good if that’s what you’re after.
Next up: the T&Cs. If you have a look at the tiny fine print down the bottom you’ll actually see what’s up. Okay, so you’ll need to verify your identity, get just 50 of the free spins up front with seven days to use them. If you want the extra 150 spins then you will need to opt in to the offer, then use your debit card to deposit at least $10, then use that $10 to play on the one game stipulated in the terms that you get the free spins on. Not only that, it says that the free spins themselves are only valued at 10c a pop (so value = $5) and the RTP is 92.46%, when other games on the site are as high as 97%.
What’s more, it turns out that you can’t withdraw funds without registering a debit card, and you can’t register a card without a depost. Ack.
So, after all that, you can only play the one game, you have to deposit money to claim a win, the free spins are almost worthless, and the RTP on the game itself is definitely on the low end. Worth it? Maybe not, but that’s up to you to judge. If you’re super interested in the game and don’t mind playing for a few hours then you might be pretty keen to claim.
The other thing to note is that for many casinos you get just one such bonus – on sign up. If they have a better match bonus (i.e. $100 for your $100) with a low wagering requirement across a wider range of games with higher RTP… Well, that’s what we’d be looking at instead. But hey, everyone’s casino experience is different and subjective. Roulette bores some while others can be at it for hours. A cutesy game could win over nan, while you’re playing a rock-themed powerhouse.
Our advice? Do whatever floats your boat when it comes to casino gaming online, but just make sure to read the terms of any freebies. Make sure that you’re getting something that you’ll actually enjoy and that will be worthwhile for enhancing your gaming experience.