The sky-rocketing popularity of online gambling has spurred the flood of online casinos on the market. It would seem that rarely a day goes by without a new one either being opened or announced. In fact, there are so many of them that the supply side of the equation is getting crowded, while the demand seems to be lagging behind. That means online casinos face a fierce struggle for each player.
One of the best ways of attracting new and keeping old players online casinos came up with are bonuses. After all, many problems can be solved by simply throwing money at them, and getting players to choose your casino over hundreds of others doesn’t seem different. Give people free money and they will be happy to choose you over your competition. But is that money really free?
To better understand how online casinos use bonuses to keep players we must examine the difference between sticky and non-sticky bonuses. This is one of the things casinos won’t tell you, as the differences are huge. Some players even forgo collecting bonuses altogether, just so they don’t have to deal with all the strings that come attached to them.
Let’s say an online casino is offering a hefty welcome bonus to new players. What is stopping players from signing up, collecting the bonus, and simply withdrawing them to their bank account, before moving on to the next casino in line? Just a little thing known as a wagering requirement. Without it, bonuses would be completely unviable, as casinos would end up bankrupt in weeks. Wagering requirements stipulate how many times you have to wager a bonus before you can withdraw your winnings. For instance, if a $100 bonus comes with an x20 wagering requirement, that means you have to make bets in a total of $2,000 before you can transfer your money.
It is a clever little ploy that protects casinos and forces players to bet as much as they can to fulfill the wagering requirement. Understanding the wagering bonus is a key to understanding sticky vs non sticky bonus, as they apply only to sticky bonuses. It is also the main reason why some experienced players simply opt-out of bonuses. They do have less money to play with, but at least they know they can withdraw it any time they want, without having to worry about reaching a certain threshold.
Types of Bonuses
Online casinos offer many types of bonuses to their players, depending on their status. Welcome bonuses can only be claimed by new bonuses, while loyalty bonuses apply to existing ones. There are also promotional bonuses online casinos offer when promoting a new game or a new slot. It is important to remember that any of these bonuses can be either sticky or non-sticky. Bonuses don’t have to be in the form of money, either. You can get free spins on slots or free hands at a poker table. It all depends on what strategy a casino has chosen to encourage players to choose them. Each type of casino bonus has its advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Sticky Bonus?
In a nutshell, a sticky bonus is a bonus that can be used for wagering but can’t be collected. If terms and conditions of a bonus mention something like “for betting only” or “for playing only”, you can be sure that the bonus in question is sticky. All winnings you make with a sticky bonus are non-withdrawable as well. Wagering requirements do not even come into play, as they can’t be applied to sticky bonuses. In other words, you can play with sticky bonuses as much as you want until you spend all of it, but you can withdraw a cent of it or the money you made out of it. It is easy to see why sticky bonuses are so unpopular with players.
What is a Non-Sticky Bonus?
A non-sticky bonus, on the other hand, has set wagering requirements and once you meet them, you are free to do with any leftover money anything you want. You can spend it all in the casino or transfer it to your bank account. This applies to winnings as well.
Sticky vs Non-Sticky Bonuses
It would seem obvious that non-sticky bonuses have enormous advantages over their sticky brethren. They allow you to use your money as you see fit, once you have cleared the initial hurdle of wagering requirements. You don’t have to worry about having your money stuck forever and being unable to transfer it to your bank. That being said, sticky bonuses have their advantages as well.
Often, you won’t be given a choice, as some casinos will only offer sticky bonuses. In such a situation, something is better than nothing and you might as well take it. At least you will have more money to have fun with. Sticky bonuses can be very useful to novice players, as they give them an opportunity to learn the ropes without spending their own money. At least with a sticky bonus, they will be practicing on someone else’s dime. And since they are beginners, chances are that they will lose their initial deposit fairly soon anyway, so the question of money withdrawal is moot. In other words, they don’t lose anything by accepting sticky bonuses and it may be even beneficial to them to take it.