QUESTION: “Is there such a thing as free casino cash?”
ANSWER: I get asked this question a lot, and it’s almost always posed by rookie gamblers who are wide-eyed at the prospect of getting free cash to fund their gaming career. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter can be sobering.
The short answer to the question is “No, there’s no such thing as free casino cash.” I understand, however, that a significant number of my readers may not be content with such as abbreviated response, so I’ve prepared a more detailed analysis below. I’ll be looking at the most popular ways to earn “free” money at online or land-based casinos, and then I’ll explain why these gifts aren’t as good as they might seem on the surface.
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The Truth about Online Casino Sign-Up Bonuses
The online gambling industry is a competitive place, and casinos are constantly trying to draw in new customers with the promise of free money. This comes in two primary forms: sign-up bonuses that are awarded when a player creates an account and deposit bonuses that are awarded when a player puts money into their account.
The casino usually makes an offer like “100% matching bonus on your first deposit up to $300.” To the untrained eye, this seems to indicate that a player committing $300 on their initial deposit will receive an additional $300 in free money.
This bonus money comes with a lot of strings, and casinos are prone to bury all the specifics on their terms and conditions page. In order to examine the issue in greater detail, let’s look at the bonuses offered by the 7 Sultans Casino.
This site offers the following deposit bonuses to new players:
1. The first deposit is matched 100% up to $500.
2. The second deposit is matched 25% up to $125.
3. The third deposit is matched 50% up to $375.
According to these rules, someone who fully embraced the bonus offers could deposit a maximum of $1000 and receive back about $718 in free money.
When you check the terms and conditions page, however, you’ll see the following statement: “Bonus amounts credited to your Bonus Balance are subject to 30 times wagering requirements before they can be withdrawn.” This means that the casino keeps a careful watch over your “free” money, and each wager is credited towards fulfilling your obligation. If you obtained the maximum of $718 in free money, you would be required to risk $21,540 before you could withdraw the bonus amount.
Each casino game counts differently towards satisfying the requirements. Here are the distinctions made by 7 Sultans, although other establishments may have different numbers.
2% – All Aces Video Poker and Classic Blackjack
0% – Lucky Darts
If you play slots or keno exclusively, then each dollar you wager is fully credited towards fulfilling the bonus withdrawal requirements. However, you would only get credit for 10 cents of each dollar wagered on video poker. This means fans of roulette or video poker would need to wager a total of $215,400 before they could withdraw their $718 in bonus cash.
This isn’t quite as free as the casinos might initially lead you to believe, is it?
What about Casino Comps?
I always answer “no” when someone asks me if there’s such a thing as free casino cash. If the person is feeling argumentative, they’ll sometimes bring up comps as a possible example of casino freebies. This section is devoted to countering that notion.
Comps, which stand for “complimentary,” are gifts that the casino gives to players in exchange for their patronage. This can be as simple as a discount on a meal, or it might take the form of tickets to a show or several nights in a lavish hotel suite. True high rollers might even have access to private jets and limousines intended to shuttle them right to the waiting doors of the casino.
This is about as close as players will even come to getting something for free from the casino, but it’s important to remain focused on one specific fact: You’re not going to receive comps unless you play. Comps are rewards for individuals who’ve already spent a lot of money at an establishment. While it’s a nice perk, the house edge ensures that you’ll eventually refund the casino for their gifts, as well as provide them with an additional return on their investment. In the world of casino gambling, nothing is entirely free.
Demo Modes, or Playing Casino Games for Fun
Almost all online casinos offer a version of their software that can be played at no cost. This might seem like free money to the more naïve players out there, but keep in mind that any credits you earn are absolutely worthless in the real world. The objective of “fun” games and demos is to get you to deposit real money into your casino account, and there’s nothing free about that.
Casinos are in business to make a profit, and it’s hard to accomplish that by giving away money without getting anything in return. That’s why I always answer “no” when someone asks me “Is there such a thing as free casino cash.” Sure, there may be instances where management seems to shower their customers with bonus funds or complimentary items, but such generous gifts always come with strings attached. That doesn’t mean these freebies can’t be useful, but the realistic gambler should always strive to keep matters in perspective.