Is an Online Casino Bonus Worth It?

Many online casino bonuses are worth it. As long as the online casino is legally licensed in your state, you can rest easy claiming most offers. However, there are some points to consider before claiming a bonus.

When assessing whether a particular bonus is worth claiming, you want to consider all sorts of key factors relating to games, playthrough requirements, and casino availability. On this page, we’ll break down key reasons why you should or shouldn’t claim an online casino bonus.

5 Reasons You Should Claim a Casino Bonus


Bonuses Reduce the House Edge by 20%

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) publishes online casino return to player (RTP) based on general slots play and promotional slots. Typically, players receive 1% more money back playing with promotions than they do playing without them (~95% vs. ~96%).

If that seems like a slight uptick, flip the numbers: 96% RTP equals a 4% house edge, while 95% equals a 5% house edge. That’s a 20% difference in odds, which makes a huge difference in the long run.


You’re Planning on Playing the Eligible Games Anyway

If you’re already planning on playing the games tied to the bonus offer, you might as well get the extra money. For example, if you’re planning to play slots and the casino offers a free spins bonus, why pass it up? However, some online casino bonuses restrict play on games with particularly high odds, like blackjack. If you want to play blackjack but the casino bonus doesn’t allow blackjack play, that makes it worth skipping.


You Don’t Need To Deposit or Risk Your Money

If the offer is a no deposit casino bonus, you don’t need to make a payment to play the games. Any bonus offer can be turned into real money available for withdrawal (more on that in the next section). While it’s still crucial to practice responsible gambling, a no deposit bonus is as close to a no-brainer as it gets in the online casino world.


The Playthrough Requirements Are Reasonable

The lower the playthrough requirements of a casino bonus, the better the deal. Playthrough requirements, also known as wagering requirements and rollover requirements, represent how many times you have to play the bonus amount to turn it into real money available for cashout. A reasonable playthrough ranges from 1x to 15x, but even 30x on games like blackjack can still be worth it, especially if no deposit is required.

For more deals like this, check out these no wagering casino bonuses.


You Want To Play at the Casino in General

Most high-quality online casinos offer a lucrative online casino signup bonus. So, we always recommend that players choose the online casino itself over the bonus. If you’re willing to play at the casino without bonus money, that usually means it’s worth claiming the welcome offer.

5 Reasons To Avoid a Casino Bonus

On the other side of the coin, there are just as many reasons to avoid an online casino bonus. If any of these reasons apply, we recommend skipping the bonus.


You’re Playing Only Because of the Bonus

If you had no intention of playing at an online casino but received an email promotion that enticed you to play anyway, that’s a good reason to skip the bonus. There will likely be something for you to claim next time you plan on playing at an online casino. It’s a bad idea to play every time there’s a good offer. Casino promotions do not guarantee wins, and all games are still tilted, at least slightly, in favor of the house.


The Bonus Is From an Illegal Website

You’ll see plenty of massive bonus offers at online casinos based overseas. However, any site that is not licensed and regulated in the US and still accepts US players is illegal. These casinos are notorious for sketchy practices, including hiding terms and conditions that make playing through the bonus impossible.

If you’re in a state without real money online casinos, consider playing at a sweepstakes casino for cash prizes.


The Casino Isn’t Available in Your State

On that note, online casinos like Caesars Palace Online and BetMGM Casino are available only in select states. However, players are able to join and deposit no matter where they are. While the casinos will tell you that you’re not in an eligible state, some players still miss that and proceed anyway. Then, they realize after depositing that they can’t play the games.

Thankfully, you can simply cash out and cancel the bonus, but it’s still a hassle. And if you ever do find yourself in one of those states, you already used the welcome bonus, making you ineligible for it in the future.


The Playthrough Requirements Are Unreasonable

As mentioned in the section about why you should claim a bonus, playthrough requirements are a huge factor when considering a promotion. Of course, any bonus with just 1x playthrough is worth claiming, but up to 20x can sometimes be acceptable if games like blackjack are available.

Weigh the pros and cons before claiming, and keep in mind that if you get a big win, you won’t be able to cash out until you complete the playthrough. That’s why many people skip the bonuses and just play the casino games straight up.


Your Go-to Games Aren’t Eligible

Check the bonus terms and conditions to make sure your go-to game is eligible. If your favorite games aren’t allowed on the bonus, skip the deal or try the eligible games in free, demo practice mode before risking real money.

Should I Skip an Online Casino Bonus?

There’s nothing wrong with skipping an online casino bonus and simply playing with your own money. That way, you’re not beholden to any playthrough requirements, and you can cash out at any time. On the other hand, bonuses usually have expiration dates, meaning the deal won’t necessarily be there next week.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani

Casino Content Manager
Mike Epifani is a gambling expert and professional writer with more than a decade of industry experience. His current role is Brand Content Manager at, part of the Catena Media network. Mike has written hundreds of guides on online casinos, casino gaming, sports betting, sweepstakes sites, and lottery play.
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