Casino bonus scams

Learn to spot the rip-offs that are designed to hook you in then leave you high and dry.

While most casino bonuses come with no expected value or a negative expected value, this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily unfair. Ideally, they should be a low-risk means for players to experience the fun of casino gambling.

What makes a good bonus?

Whatever your view of casino bonuses, a fair incentive should:

  • Come with clear, consistent terms and conditions so that players know where they stand.
  • Not have a significant negative expected value for the player (no more than the value of the bonus itself).
  • Never incur a substantially high risk of losing money.

A highly negative EV

Imagine a casino was offering a bonus of 300% up to £300 with a 40x rollover. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? If you deposit £100, you will receive £300 of bonus cash and a £400 bankroll to play with.

However, this actually amounts to a negative expectation of £306.67 for the player (presuming a 96% pay-out percentage), meaning you stand to lose three times the value of your deposit after claiming this bonus. Click here to read more about calculating the EV of a casino bonus).

Game types

Another trick some casinos pull is to limit the completion of bonus wagering requirements to certain games, typically those with a very high house edge. The majority of casinos make wagers on slot games contribute fully to wagering conditions. However, imagine if a casino said that only bingo counted fully towards wagering requirements …

Given that the edge in bingo can be as high as eleven percent, if you were to take the example above, then the expected value would drop from -£306.67 to -£1,426.67. This is clearly a terrible deal for the player would have to turn over the value of their deposit nearly fifteen times before being able to cash out.

Changing terms and conditions

There are two reasons why a casino might abruptly halt a bonus or alter its terms and conditions:

  1. The casino deliberately dangles an unbelievable offer to hook in new players, then changes the terms of the bonus to make them much less favourable.
  2. A promotion has gone wrong and proven too costly for the casino, leading them to hastily backtrack. An infamous example of this is Betfair’s ‘happy hour’ promotion in 2010, in which the casino changed its wagering requirements from 10x to 20x without warning after players started accumulating more cash than expected.

You can avoid both of these scenarios by sticking with the brands listed on RightCasino.

Alternatively, check out the accredited casinos on Casinomesiter.com and steer clear of the websites named and shamed in their ‘rogue pit’.