Bonus Rules at Australian Online Casinos

Our team recognises that most Aussie players select online casinos based on what bonuses they offer. When safety, security, and licensing check out, that’s not a bad idea. However, a casino bonus shouldn’t be taken at face value. Wagering requirements, game restrictions, and other rules set in place by online casinos are areas one should closely review to evaluate the true worth of a casino bonus.

We always read the fine print of casino bonuses when reviewing online casinos and tell you the pros and cons, as well as whether we believe a bonus is worth claiming. In this guide, we will take things a step further by explaining all the parameters you should be considering when evaluating bonuses independently.

We have drawn from our vast experience with Aussie casinos while creating this guide to direct your attention to the most significant areas affecting bonus wagering in this market.

How Do Online Casino Bonuses Work?

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Online casino bonuses are incentives online casinos use to attract new customers and maintain their existing player base. They are associated with a deposit or depending on activity. In essence, you get something for free for playing or depositing some money at the casino.

For example, a 100% match bonus is based on your real money deposit, and the casino doubles the amount in the form of bonus cash. The player must wager the bonus funds according to the rules before they become cashable.

Although each bonus is unique, new users usually receive the following casino bonus types:

Existing players receive similar deposit bonuses and free spins branded as reload deals, plus any of the following rewards on a weekly and monthly basis:

Bonuses are great, there is no denying that. However, some bonuses come with rules that significantly impair your ability to play games or make it impossible to turn the funds into cashable money.

What You Can Do With a Casino Bonus

  • Play casino games with more money than you originally had
  • Test new games without using real cash
  • Try out new casinos without spending a cent
  • Increase your long-term winning chances

What You Can’t Do With a Casino Bonus

  • Instantly withdraw the funds
  • Play all games featured at the casino
  • Keep the funds for long periods in your account
  • Withdraw as much as you win
  • Bet as much as you like

Online Casino Bonus Rules: A Closer Look

After reviewing Aussie casino sites for 5+ years, we’ve become accustomed to the rules they usually set in place. Still, some rogue operators place extremely restrictive terms to make it impossible to win real money from their bonuses. That’s not what we are covering here. Instead, I explain all bonus rules you are likely to encounter at online casinos and their average industry value.

Wagering Requirements

  • Definition: A wagering requirement is represented by a multiplier set by the casino indicating how many times you need to bet your bonus over (sometimes deposit amount too) before it becomes cashable.
  • Average: 45x the bonus amount or 30x the deposit and bonus amount.
  • Example: 20x wagering requirement on A$50 bonus means A$1000 must be played before the remaining funds become cashable.

The wagering requirement is pretty much universal at casino bonuses. Even no wagering casino bonuses are usually tied by a 1x WR, while standard deposits without a bonus are tied by 1 – 5x WR to protect the casino from money laundering activities.

Although it makes sense, and most players claim bonuses to play games anyway, bonus wagering requirements higher than 50x can be really hard to meet. That’s something to keep in mind.

Game Contribution & Restrictions

The casino will outline the games you can play during bonus wagering. Online pokies are in most cases the casino games contributing 100% towards the playthrough.

Assuming you bet A$1 on a game counting 100%, A$1 will be ticked off in your bonus progress. Keno, scratch-offs, and instant win games are usually non-slot titles that also contribute 100% towards the playthrough.

On the other hand, roulette, blackjack, poker, and most table games count 5 – 25% towards the playthrough. So, betting A$1 on roulette when it contributes 25% means only A$0.25 will be added to your progress.

Live dealer games, progressive jackpot games, and high-RTP pokies are often excluded from bonus wagering. Playing these games with an active bonus can even lead to the cancellation of the offer.

I urge players to review the qualifying games list before claiming a bonus, especially those with particular preferences. There is nothing worse than claiming a bonus to later figure out you cannot use it to play your favourite games.

Bonus Value

Online casinos highlight one thing in their bonuses, the max bonus value. For instance, an offer might say to claim a bonus of up to A$500 while leaving out that you must deposit three times or A$3000 to get the full value.

In general, you should review the max bonus value, percentage match rate, and how many deposits are needed to understand what a bonus actually means. On the other hand, free spins should be explored in relation to bet per spin, qualifying games, and number of free rolls.

Don’t let flashy numbers fool you, unless you read the fine print you cannot know which bonus is better for you.

Win Caps

Online casinos don’t generally cap bonus winnings. What this rule means is that indifferent to how much you win, you can withdraw up to a limit. No deposit bonuses and free spins are often subject to such rules, more often than not, limiting the max cash out to A$100 – A$200. Any extra winnings are voided.

Welcome bonuses and promos for existing players are rarely subject to max win limits. However, I’ve seen some welcome bonuses having a cap set at A$10,000 or A$15,000. I wouldn’t claim an A$10k bonus if the casino told me I could not win over A$15,000, for instance.

Although this rule is mostly applicable to free chips and no deposit free spins, you should check beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Bet Limits

Bet limits usually apply to all bonuses. Although free spins come with fixed bets, the casino dictates the most you can bet per round or line, bets over this amount don’t count towards the playthrough.

I’ve seen casinos capping bets between A$1 – A$7.5 per round. High rollers playing with thousands in bonus funds should avoid bonuses with bets capped below A$5.

This rule is generally not restrictive, just something to keep in mind.

Qualification Criteria

Some casino bonuses are reserved for new players while others can be claimed daily, weekly, monthly, or on selected periods/days. It is important to know when a promo is active and reserve funds for deposits at the right time.

Some deals might also require a promo code to unlock, we share codes tied to welcome bonuses on our banners. Casinos list promo codes on their promotional descriptions too, when needed, so read carefully.

Most bonuses require a minimum deposit as well. This doesn’t necessarily align with the casino’s minimum deposit, while higher deposits might unlock larger bonuses.

We cannot stress the importance of getting all these details right. Failure to do so could cost you a bonus that would otherwise give you a significant edge.

Validity Period

Players should review two expiry dates in relation to bonuses.

The first has to do with whether a bonus is still up for grabs or expired.

The second starts counting as soon as you claim a bonus. Then, casinos give you a specific period within which you must complete all wagering requirements. Free spins need to usually be activated within a day of issuing and wagered in less than 72 hours. The majority of other promos remain active for a week and run annually.

Country Restrictions

Online casinos alter their bonus value depending on the jurisdiction. For instance, a $100 US bonus might be adjusted to A$500 for Aussie players at the same casino. Some promos are also reserved for selected markets, depending on which country the casino focuses on. Some jurisdictions, like Sweden, have banned casino bonuses so operators often restrict their offers there.

Although Aussie players usually get the best casino bonuses compared to other jurisdictions, it doesn’t hurt checking with the casino’s support team for any adjustments applicable to your location.

Bonus Abuse

Online casinos usually have a clause called bonus abuse in their T&Cs. It states that players who abuse their bonuses will have their accounts banned and winnings forfeited, so you want to ensure you are not engaging in such practices.

What counts as bonus abuse is using two accounts to bet on opposite sides to wager bonuses without risk. This practice is called arbitrage betting in sports betting.

Another form of bonus abuse is always depositing to claim bonuses, without any real money deposits in between. Casinos don’t usually punish the latter behaviour but that’s something to keep in mind.

Bonus Strategy

Similar to the above, online casinos forbid the use of strategies when playing with a bonus. This clause is tricky since no strategy works in online gambling. Bankroll management strategies that help players control their betting exist, yet the outcomes of casino games are luck-based. As a result, online casinos rarely punish players for using strategies to wager bonuses.

What could count as such is exclusively placing outside bets in roulette, for instance. The latter is a form of low-risk betting.

Triggering a pokies bonus round using bonus money and playing it after the bonus has been wagered is also considered a violation of casino bonus rules. Things like that are better avoided, or you risk losing your bonus progress and potentially account.

Can You Cancel a Bonus After Accepting It?

Players often realise that a bonus might be too hard to rollover in time after accepting the offer. Or you might find out that your preferred games are forbidden when an active bonus is at play.

In such scenarios, you can visit your profile section>bonuses, and cancel the active bonus. Doing so will remove all funds won through gameplay thus far. Any real money previously deposited in your account will remain, though, and you can use them to play as you see fit.

If this option isn’t available at your casino, you can stop playing until the bonus expires or contact the customer support team and ask them to cancel it on your behalf.

Casino Bonus Wagering Tips and Strategies

The best casino bonus strategy is understanding their rules and limitations and only claiming bonuses that can be realistically turned into real money. Making the right bonus selection is the first step to success.

Next, you can review the gaming categories contributing 100% and go for the ones with the best odds. Keep your bets small, at about 1% of your total bankroll, and play the funds through before the bonus expires.

As soon as you clear any wagering requirements, you should withdraw your balance and follow the same approach after claiming the next casino bonus. Plenty are listed on this page, so just rinse and repeat!

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Conclusion

Most bonus-related guides have to do with flashy offers and tips to become a millionaire without spending any money on gambling. Although you might find some useful nuggets of information there, understanding the bonus rules and using them to evaluate casino offers correctly is the first step to gambling success.

Although the wagering requirement is usually the only casino bonus rule referenced, we have tried to explain the full extent of restrictions casinos place on their promos. Utilise this knowledge and pick bonuses that meet your needs to boost your balance without impairing your ability to withdraw future winnings.

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