Posts Tagged ‘bonus’

Free Casino Resort Getaway and Ongoing Bonus Offers at Grande Vegas Online Casino

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
Make wagers at Grande Vegas Casino in August for a chance to win!

Make wagers at Grande Vegas Casino in August for a chance to win!

I don’t know about anyone else, but when an online casino opts to give away trips to brick ‘n mortar casinos as part of its monthly promotional deals, I say, “Right on, Man!”. What makes it even more dope is when we’re talking about U.S. facing online casino at that.

For all of you who need an introduction, well then….introducing Grande Vegas Casino. Having their doors open to U.S. players since 2009, I suppose you could say this Real Time Gaming powered betting destination is still something of a “new” online casino.

And while you may certainly think that to be the case judging by how many special offers they have (it’s a common practice for newly launched online casinos to dish out huge bonuses and special promos), Grande Vegas plans to keep their promotions schedule loaded to the gills.

Back to that brick ‘n mortar casino offer: In order to become eligible for an exclusive, all-expenses-paid trip to the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, all you have to do is make a real money deposit in July or August (in this case, August). That’s it. A random drawing will select the lucky winner, who – it’s safe to say – is going to be in for a real treat. Foxwoods Casino is one of the best on the East American Coast, in my opinion, even outdoing some of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Offering casino table games, video poker, slots – basically, everything you can find in Vegas, except in beautiful Connecticut – Foxwoods Casino is sure to please the most fastidious of gamblers.

Since we’re on the topic of promotions and bonuses at Grande Vegas Casino, I might as well tell you everything else they are offering real money players currently. Whether you win the trip to Foxwoods or not, there are several free bonus offers available this month.

The WILDE bonus is a 77% deposit bonus up to $154 Free with a 30x play-through that can be used on all slots, video slots, scratch cards and keno. The coupon code is WILDEAUG10 and can be claimed once through August.

If you’re looking for a solid weekly bonus offer, Grande Vegas’ 100% City Bonus is a great option. This week’s bonus celebrates the city of Beijing and can be claimed through August 19th. If you’re reading this after the fact, no worries ’cause there will be another weekly bonus behind this one. The bonus is worth up to $100 Free, has a 30x play-through and can be claimed in the cashier under the “Redeem Coupon” section with the bonus code BEIJING.

For the table game online casino gamblers, Grande Vegas has an ongoing cashback bonus offer available worth up to 10% cashback on weekly losses incurred playing table games only. Losses on weekly deposits from $20-$5,000 are eligible for 5% cashback, while weekly losses on deposits of $5,000 and up are entitled to receive 10% cashback. Just note that the cashback bonus can ONLY be used when no other bonuses are taken, and only applies to table games. In other words, contact an account manager at grandevegas@swiftassistance.com to find out if and when you are eligible to receive this bonus.

Oh, and there are slots tournaments available at Grande Vegas as well. But more on those later. Read the OCS Grande Vegas Casino Review for more info or Visit Grande Vegas directly.

Free Casino Bonus Money Red Tape: Part III – The Play Through

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Continuing with the OCS blog series on casino bonus red tape, we’d like to discuss the concept of the play-through, and how this applies to bonus money and real money.

As you may already know, unless you are playing with a no-deposit bonus, a.k.a. free chip, all free casino bonus money is contingent on the amount of an accompanying deposit. The more money you deposit, the more bonus cash you will receive. This is usually up to a certain amount, although it is not unheard of to receive an unlimited bonus.

Depending on the percentage of the bonus, the ratio of bonus money to deposited cash will vary. A common amount is 100%, meaning that for every dollar deposited, 100% will be matched in bonus money. This is actually the correct meaning of a true “match” bonus. For a bonus less than 100%, technically, it is not a match bonus.

Let’s say you deposit $100. With a 100% Match bonus, you will receive $100 Free, giving you a total bankroll of $200. Now, here is where things become more tricky. Instead of having the $200 in a single account, the casino will keep your bonus money separate from your real money, until the wager requirement has been met. The wager requirement is the amount of times you must wager over your bankroll before you are eligible to cash out winnings derived from bonus credits. A 10x play-through will require you to wager $100 + $100 = $200 x 10 = $2,000, before you can cash out.

The way it works is that your balance will show the total amount of your bonus and deposit. Although it appears there is one balance, per say, a bonus balance and real money balance is tracked through the accounting/cashier section of the software. This determines how much of the play-through has been met, and how much in wagers is needed to be eligible for a withdrawal.

Some online casinos, such as Microgaming powered Jackpot Factory, use a bonus management system (in this case, the “ClearPlay Bonus” system) that automatically transfers eligible bonus money winnings to the real money account as the play-through is met in increments of $10. This money is eligible for cashout; However, keep in mind that all remaining bonus money is void. Most online casinos do not even allow players to cash out bonus winnings until the entire play-through is met.

This brings up an important question. When do you know when the play-through is met? Keeping track of it yourself – wager for wager – also called “micro managing” your bonus, is timely and difficult. Not every game contributes to the play-through and of those that do, most do not even contribute the same percentage amount. Furthermore, certain bets, such as the Gamble Feature on many slot machines do not count toward the play-through.

But don’t worry. All online casinos have a system in place that keeps track of it for you. When the play-through is met, any winnings exceeding the maximum amount of bonus money earnings that can be cashed out (most bonuses have a maximum cashout) will be removed from the real money account. Remember, being “play” bonuses, no actual bonus money can be cashed out – just winnings earned off that bonus money. Some casinos will also remove the bonus winnings that is eligible for cashout and make it a “pending” withdrawal.

But remember, this is IMPORTANT – in all cases, the player must request the final withdrawal and should always withdraw ALL winnings derived from the bonus. Otherwise, if any bonus winnings are left in the account, all future winnings will be subject to the original bonus terms and conditions. In other words, it is vitally important to keep tabs on your wager requirement. For me personally, if this means micromanaging, then so be it.

Case in point is the player who recently was robbed of a $5,000 jackpot win, because his bonus winnings were still in his account. Even though the player had met the play-through, he had not withdrew his funds yet and was still playing on excess bonus winnings. His jackpot win was hit making a wager with such winnings, and therefore, was subject to the max bonus cashout – far below the $5,000 jackpot.

Do online casinos do this on purpose – throwing in just one more variable that will make it harder for you to win? Probably. Does that mean you have to let them win. No, it doesn’t. When you know the bonus red tape, you are one step ahead of the curve.

Free Casino Bonus Money Red Tape: Part II – Multiple Accounts and Multiple Bonuses

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

As part of the OCS blog series about casino bonus red tape, we’d like to discuss the concept of “multiple accounts”. For most of the seasoned online gamblers out there, it is common knowledge that online casinos do not permit you to open more than one account. And not just one account per person. It’s one account per household. In other words, if both you and your spouse open an account, well then, when it comes time for either one of you to cash out your winnings, you will be denied – and that sucks. And it doesn’t end here either. There’s the notion of multiple accounts within a single online casino network. Sure, it’s allowed, but it’s a trickier matter when pertaining to welcome bonuses – more on that further in this post.

One of the main reasons why all online casinos impose this rule is because of bonus abuse and fraud, and hence the reason why the universal rule of one account per household should be classified as bonus red tape. Understandably, online casinos cannot afford to give unlimited bonus money to their players. They wouldn’t be able to stay in business. And a welcome bonus is just that. A bonus to welcome a new player to the casino. While it would be nice to receive such a grand welcome every time you login the casino, that’s simply not going to happen. Reload bonus offers will make due.

Now, of course you are not going to forget if you opened an account at a particular online casino six months ago. If so, well then, you need to start taking your Gingko Biloba. Players who say they forgot they had an account already opened or that a relative unknowingly created an account at the same online casino are full of it. 99% of these people what the industry likes to call bonus hunters. And truth be told, some of them probably do forget they previously opened an account because they have too many gambling accounts to keep up with.

So we can agree that you are not a bonus hunter and that you are taking your Gingko Biloba. No worries about opening multiple accounts, right? Wrong. Remember that part in the first paragraph about online casino networks? Yep, that’s where a lot of people go wrong. See, most online casino owners, operate and manage more than one online casino – some are more transparent about this than others. For example, a network like the US friendly English Harbour Gaming Ventures (see the OCS Vegas Techology Casinos page), maintains their own website with a listing of all their online casino properties, while a network like the Microgaming-powered Casino Rewards (non US) offers a comprehensive rewards program integrating all of their eighteen online casinos under one roof. On the opposite extreme, there have been several investigations revealing large numbers of rogue, blacklisted online casinos all being tied together by the same owner or network.

Now, assuming you are playing at an online casino that is part of a reputable and transparent network, like the aforementioned English Harbour Gaming Ventures (EHGV), you need to verify whether or not the network allows multiple welcome bonuses to be claimed. All networks will permit players to open a single account at all of their online casinos, in effect, creating multiple accounts. For example, at EHGV, you can have an account at English Harbour Casino (for the table games), VIP Slots (for the slots) and Millionaire Casino (for the high rolling action). However, you cannot claim the welcome bonus at all three of these online casinos – just ONE of them. Even if the welcome bonus if for a different percentage and amount of free money, the fact that it is a first-time deposit bonus is the deciding factor.

Now, here’s where things get messy, and is a rightful complaint many players have about an industry wide practice. Most online casinos will allow you to go ahead and claim the welcome bonus, even if you already claimed it at another online casino in the network. It’s not that the casino is purposefully setting you up for failure, although some conspiracy theorists will tell you otherwise, and I personally wouldn’t throw it past certain online casino networks (none which OCS would recommend, of course), it’s more that the industry does indeed have some catching up to do in terms of preventive measures.

The way they do it currently is come withdrawal time – your first time withdrawal, that is – the online casino will request a faxback verification form which consists of documents that verify you are indeed the person you say you are and that you are in good standing with the casino. It’s at this time they will verify if you are cashing out bonus winnings and whether or not you have claimed the bonus before, including welcome bonuses at other partner online casinos within the network. The casino’s argument is that the only players with multiple accounts or who have claimed the welcome bonus before are bonus hunters. In other words, you should have nothing to worry about if you are not doing anything you not supposed to be doing. But what about the newbie players who signup at an online casino after reading a favorable review that says nothing about the casino being in a network or revealing only one part of the bonus terms and conditions? It’s not until later the player realizes (oftentimes when making a withdrawal request), that they violated bonus terms and conditions. Indeed, this happens! Not every player who violates bonus T&C’s is a bonus hunter.

So, until online casinos adopt an industry wide practice of verifying player identities via the faxback process BEFORE said player makes a real money deposit and claims a welcome bonus, it is up to each and every player to verify for themselves what the bonus terms and conditions are. It is up to us to sift through the bonus red tape, including the part of the “one welcome bonus per player, per household, per online casino, per network”. Continuing with the OCS blog series on bonus red tape, next time we will be discussing the differences between a bonus account and a real money account and will touch on the basics of the play-through process…..to be followed by much, much more. But no worries, so long as you know how to recognize it, you’ll know how to get around it.

Last Day to Claim 100% up to $8,000 Free at Casino Tropez

Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Casino Tropez Gives More Bank for Your Buck!

Tropez Gives More Bank for Your Buck!

Today is the last day to take advantage of Casino Tropez’s amazing $8,000 bonus. Seriously folks, I don’t use the word “amazing” if it’s not warranted, especially when I’m talking about online casinos. There’s more bombastic claims about online casinos out there on the internet than there is cow bell at bobsled races. On that note, go USA – the first Olympic gold in bobsled in the last 60 years!

As for Casino Tropez, they have been online for eight years, hence the $8,000 bonus figure. Now, eight years doesn’t sound like a long time, but in the world of online gambling, that’s a real long time. In fact, eight years in business makes Casino Tropez in the top 25% of the Web’s oldest online casinos. When you weigh in their reputation, customer service ratings, player loyalty and spotless track record, eight years in the online gambling business is a noble accomplishment. In other words, we’re not just talking about any 8 Year Anniversary.

So yes, Casino Tropez is giving away a 100% bonus up to $8,000 Free. They’ve been doing it all month long, which we told you about in our Newsletter (uh ya, not trying to be biased or anything, but if I were you I’d subscribe to the OCS Online Gambling Newsletter). Nonetheless, if you are reading this now and the clock hasn’t struck 12:00 Midnight on March 1, 2010, you can still claim this amazing free bonus offer at Casino Tropez. Sorry U.S. players, Casino Tropez is not open for your business. They used to be – thank your politicians.

If you want to claim this bonus, sign up for a real money account at Casino Tropez and contact customer service. They will need to send you an email invitation. Once you make your deposit and claim the bonus with the cashier, simply wager the bonus and deposit amount 40 times through (25x for VIP Members), and you’ll be on your way to cashing out some free money.

Remember, if you are not from the UK, you CANNOT claim this bonus if you are playing with Gross British Pounds Sterling. Game restrictions for meeting the play-through are: all versions of Baccarat, all versions of Roulette, all versions of Sic Bo, all versions of Darts, Heads or Tails, all Video Poker games, Blackjack Switch, Blackjack Surrender, Pontoon, and Craps. The following games will count one-third of each wager toward the play-through requirement: Blackjack, Blackjack Live, Lucky Blackjack, Progressive Blackjack and 21 Duel Blackjack.

Read the OCS Casino Tropez Review for more information or Visit Casino Tropez directly.

Newbie Gambling Tips: Reading the T&C’s – Maximum Cashout on Casino Bonuses

Monday, December 21st, 2009

As OCS has recently launched a Complaints Forum to help mainstream issues and disputes that players might have with ANY online casino operator, the value of such a forum has become clearly evident in the first post alone. In this particular case, a player had received a promotional mailer from Cleopatra’s Casino, which needless to say, is NOT an online casino listed and approved in the OCS online casino reviews directory.

The mailer was advertising a $25 no-deposit bonus, which is basically $25 free to play with – no additional deposits required. Albeit the terms and conditions for this bonus were posted on the Cleopatra’s Gold website, they were not posted on the flyer itself. The player, being a somewhat newbie to online gambling, thought “Great, what do I have to lose?”, and decided to take advantage of the no-deposit bonus, not reading the full T&C’s.

Now, wouldn’t you know it, but luck would have it that this player hits a large jackpot while using money from the $25 no-deposit bonus to make wagers, and consequently, meet the wager requirement. For this bonus, the play-through was 60x, meaning the player would need to wager $25 x 60 ($1,500) before they would be eligible to cash out any winnings. First of all, 60x is a little high. But oh well, right? Hit a $4,000 jackpot and that’s a piece a cake.

But this is where things get tricky. There is also a term that says the maximum amount of free cash that a player can withdraw from no-deposit bonus winnings is one-half the bonus amount. Ya, you did your math right. That would be $12.50. So, here we have this player with a $4,000+ balance, and all she can cash out is $12.50. Does that sound fair to you? Well, it doesn’t to me either. However, since Cleopatra’s Casino has this term posted on their website, technically, they are protected. The fact that they did not post the terms on the mailing is unethical and shady, and precisely why you should avoid playing at Cleopatra’s Casino.

The one bright side of all this is that at least the player did not make a huge deposit of their money, only to have it frozen and not paid out. Needless to say, there are plenty of lessons to be gained from this experience: 1) ALWAYS read the terms and conditions of a bonus before claiming it. Look it up on the website, or if you can’t locate the T&C’s, get them sent to you in writing via email. 2) Always think twice before claiming any bonus, especially no-deposit bonuses (generally, these have stricter wager requirements). 3) Don’t play at Cleopatra’s Casino. Not only do they impose unrealistic terms on their bonuses and engage in unethical marketing, they are associated with a very shady group of betting sites – Futura properties.

This also brings up another lesson: deciphering whether a bonus has a maximum withdrawal requirement. The fact of the matter is that most people just want to know what the play-through requirement are, i.e., how much money has to be wagered before becoming eligible to withdraw, restricted games and time restrictions. Most players don’t even realize there might be a maximum cashout on bonus winnings! And the casinos don’t make this information that readily available either. Oftentimes, this particular condition is buried further down on the bonus T&C’s page and not included with the section dealing with play-through requirements. Once again, don’t ever assume. Always read the ENTIRE terms and conditions.

Now, it just so happens the player in the above-mentioned scenario was from the U.S., and admittedly, there simply are not as many good bonus options out there (at least as they once were). In other words, U.S. players need to be even more careful than the rest of the lot. Online Casino Suite’s topmost recommendations are the EHGV Casino group: Millionaire Casino, English Harbour, Super Slots, VIP Slots and Slots Galore and the approved RTG Casinos listed Here (aside for Pure Vegas, which imposes a maximum $100 cashout on their no-deposit bonuses). If you choose to play at Go Casino, Crazy Slots or Online Vegas, keep in mind that all sign-up bonuses at these destinations have a $500 maximum cashout.