Bonus Abuse at Online Casinos

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With online casinos’ growing popularity comes increased concern over bonus abuse. In this guide, we’ll define the term “bonus abuse,” explain how this abuse happens, and advise you on how to avoid it. In general, you always want to prevent yourself from unintentionally getting wrapped up in bonus abuse. Read on to find out what could happen if you do.

What Is Bonus Abuse?

Bonus abuse is the act of manipulating online casino bonuses to trigger an unintended result. To be classified as bonus abuse at a legal online casino, this manipulation must be expressly forbidden and must go against the terms and conditions of the online casino. However, at illegal casinos based in foreign countries, players can be accused of bonus abuse even if they didn’t abuse a bonus and it didn’t conflict with the terms, another reason why it’s important to only join USA online casinos.

What Does Online Casino Bonus Abuse Look Like?

Now that you know the basic definition of bonus abuse, let’s cover what bonus abuse looks like at online casinos.

Online casinos offer a plethora of bonus opportunities, including no deposit bonuses, deposit matches, rebates, leaderboards, prize draws, and more. Every type of bonus can be abused, and bonus abuse can take many forms. Below are some of the most common types of bonus abuse at online casinos:

  • Taking advantage of unintended loopholes in terms and conditions (this is usually expressly mentioned in the casino’s terms);
  • Redeeming a one-time bonus multiple times;
  • Finding a way to withdraw a bonus before all requirements for withdrawal have been met;
  • Creating multiple accounts to claim a bonus more than once;
  • Colluding to increase bonus sizes and reach withdrawal requirements faster.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, but these are frequent bonus abuse methods that online casinos constantly monitor. If you’ve ever thought about trying any of these methods, we’d caution you to stop right now and read on to find out the potential consequences. It’s never worth it.

How To Avoid Bonus Abuse

1

Avoid Taking Advantage of Terms & Conditions Oversights

Terms and conditions, as airtight as they may seem, are written by humans. It goes without saying that no human is perfect, even those who work within online casino legal teams. If you do see a potential oversight or loophole in the terms and conditions of a bonus (which we always recommend reading), you should alert the online casino instead of taking advantage of it. In almost all cases, that oversight will be found and corrected in the end. You could potentially face consequences for trying to exploit the loophole, the least of which would be losing anything you gained from it.

2

Don’t Attempt To Redeem Bonuses Multiple Times

If a bonus is meant to be claimed only once, you should only claim it once, even if a glitch somehow allowed you to claim it multiple times. Much like terms and conditions oversights, multiple bonus redemptions will result in the online casino taking back anything you’ve earned. Have you ever seen “malfunction voids all pays” written on a slot machine? The same applies to bonuses at online casinos.

3

Complete All Requirements Before Withdrawing

Make sure you complete all withdrawal requirements before actually withdrawing. This includes playthrough requirements, staying within the time limit, and so on. If a glitch or bonus abuse method allows you to withdraw early, you could face consequences as the money you’ve withdrawn is not legally yours.

4

Don’t Create Multiple Accounts

Creating multiple accounts at one online casino to claim a bonus multiple times is a common method of bonus abuse that should be avoided. KYC restrictions will almost always catch you if you attempt to create multiple accounts with your own name, but it is also considered bonus abuse (and illegal impersonation) to create accounts with another person’s information, even if you’re not doing so to claim a bonus multiple times.

5

Don’t Participate in Collusion

One method of bonus abuse involves colluding to increase a bonus’ size or to meet withdrawal requirements quickly and with less or no risk. You’ll most commonly see this in games where other players’ actions affect each other, such as sitting at the same virtual blackjack table. This should be avoided, as online casinos have many detection systems in place, and it will result in consequences.

How Are Bonus Abusers Detected?

Monitoring by Gaming Finance Teams

As we mentioned in the last section, you’ll always eventually be caught if you’re participating in bonus abuse. This job ultimately sits with the gaming finance team, which every online casino has. The gaming finance team is in charge of monitoring site activity, including deposits and withdrawals, bonus claims, wagering patterns, and more, to ensure that everything is legitimate. Now that you know there’s a team specifically dedicated to monitoring everything on top of the automated monitoring systems already in place, it’s clear to see how quickly and easily online casinos can detect bonus abusers.

VPN Detection

Every online casino has a detection system that prevents anyone using a VPN from accessing and/or playing on the website. This is another way online casinos catch bonus abusers, as VPNs may be used to mask identities to avoid consequences, skirt existing IP bans, or for other nefarious purposes. Chances are, if a player is detected as using a VPN, their account will be looked into in detail to detect any bonus abuse or other reasons for utilizing it, such as attempting to play out-of-state.

IP Address Tracking

Online casinos are able to track IP addresses for many purposes. One of these purposes is to detect and ban those who participate in bonus abuse. Keep in mind that online casinos don’t only go by your single account but by your IP address as a whole, so they can easily detect if you’re creating multiple accounts from one place or participating in other bonus abuse methods. If you’re caught, your IP address will be blacklisted from accessing that online casino and, most likely, any other online casinos that fall under the same license.

What Happens If You Engage in Bonus Abuse?

As you can clearly see, if you engage in bonus abuse, you will be caught, and there will be consequences. Online casinos employ the most advanced technology to detect, shut down, and punish bonus abuse.

Penalties for bonus abuse run the gamut but almost always begin with losing anything you’ve earned from any shady maneuvering. Beyond that, penalties can become harsher depending on the method of bonus abuse, amount of money, and other factors. These harsher penalties may include permanent bans, seeking financial restitution, or even legal action. In short, you don’t want to find out what happens if you engage in bonus abuse firsthand.

How To Avoid Being Locked Into an Undesirable Bonus

If you find yourself locked into a bonus that makes you uncomfortable and you feel as if you may need to undertake bonus abuse to get out of it, you should know there are other options. Read through our guide on how to cancel a casino bonus to find out how you can get out of any bonus without resorting to methods that may get you in trouble.

What To Do If You’ve Been Wrongly Accused of Bonus Abuse

If you’ve been wrongly accused of bonus abuse, there are many outlets for resolution. First of all, ensure that you have not actually participated in bonus abuse, as attempting to get out of something you’ve actually done may just dig a deeper hole in the end.

If you have truly been wrongly accused, check out our guide on online casino dispute and complaint resolution. In this guide, we cover potential resolutions as well as methods to contact customer support and discuss your issue with them directly. In most cases, so long as you follow the information outlined in that guide, you will be cleared and able to play again with no consequences.

Responsible Gambling

Not participating in bonus abuse is responsible gambling in itself, but there are also other aspects to responsible gambling that you should always keep in mind when playing at online casinos. Never play above your means, and only deposit and wager what you’re willing to lose. Make sure to set limits, including deposit, wagering, and time limits on your account, to avoid putting yourself in uncomfortable positions. Lastly, if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text 1-800-GAMBLER for confidential support. Visit SAMHSA’s National Helpline website for resources that include a treatment center locator, anonymous chat, and more.

About the Author

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels is a lead writer and gambling expert for Bonus.com. He has been involved in the online gambling industry since 2013. Previously, he worked for Gamesys and Bally's Interactive as a copywriter and social media strategist for multiple North American online casinos.
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