Your Ultimate How-to Guide to Avoid Bonus Abuse | 2023

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
28 September 2022 in Features

Everyone needs incentive to spend their money, and online casinos offer their players this through the various bonuses on offer. There are bonuses for everyone – the hook for new players is a juicy welcome bonus; for existing players it is deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, free spins, cashback bonuses, referral bonuses and more. Then, for the veteran players, there are VIP programs with some prizes being beyond belief – ranging from great jackpots, fantastic holiday destinations and even fancy luxury cars!

While such bonus incentives are great, human nature, on the other hand is a fickle thing – where there are freebies there are always people looking for ways to exploit what’s on offer. That’s true of online casino bonuses as well; you will always have the oddball that looks for a shot at a quick buck and engages in bonus abuse.

Which brings up the a few questions well-warranted questions: what exactly is bonus abuse, and how does it work? And, more importantly, is there a way to prevent it? In the following article, we’ll discuss all these aspects of bonus abuse, starting with its very definition.

What is Bonus Abuse?

Simply put; bonus abuse is literally the act of abusing a bonus that an online casino offers and using it to make a quick profit. It’s mostly intentional, though there are those rare instances when someone does it because they’re not aware of the ground rules. Bonus abusers usually target websites offering any sort of promotional offer that they find appealing, be it from a standard online slot game to other table games like poker or blackjack and even sportsbook offers.

How Does One Engage in Bonus Abuse?

The standard bonus abuse methodology – for want of a better term – at online casinos is to zero in on casinos offering big sign-up bonuses and then create multiple accounts to claim these bonuses through them, multiple times.

Normally, players target bonuses which don’t involve cash down-payments, like no deposit free spins or a no deposit bonus that are rewarded with free casino bonus codes.

Evolving tech trends have ensured that casinos have the necessary mechanisms in place to combat the menace of bonus abuse. Even then, you find bonus wagering to be a global phenomenon. The more you find ways to clamp down on this, the more daring the ways of indulging in bonus abuse get.

However, some players are still not deterred, and find certain tools to use to get their hands on as many bonuses as possible. These include socks proxies and other IPs that resemble residential networks, emulators, VPNs and virtual machines.

Is Bonus Abuse a New Phenomenon?

Bonus abuse is far from a new concept; it has been around since the 1990s, when the first online casino came into existence. It was at its peak in those early years, when casinos offered sizeable welcome bonuses and other offers without enough padding to prevent their exploitation.

Because there were not enough rules in place to monitor the usage of bonuses offered, it was easy for players to take advantage of them and impact the system negatively. That’s when introduction of wagering requirements came into play: as a means to combat this blatant abuse.

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Types of Bonus Abuse

There are different ways in which players try to abuse the bonuses on offer. In this section, we’ll be listing the 5 most commonly-used strategies.

1. Creating Multiple Accounts

Every casino allows a single account per player to prevent any chance of fraudulent play. A bonus abuser will try to beat this system by opening multiple accounts. The casino restricts the number of accounts to one based on the IP address per individual and household; the bonus abuser attempts to open multiple accounts by using multiple IP addresses or using a VPN with specific settings.

2. Defying Rules Set for Bonus Use

All bonuses have T&Cs attached to them to ensure fair usage and prevent fraud. One way of engaging in bonus abuse is to play games that aren’t covered by the bonus.

For instance, many casinos keep games like blackjack and video poker – games with a low house edge – outside the ambit of promotional play. A bonus abuser may try to exploit this, even though casinos have conditions in place to prevent it. And they do this by using the bonus money to play games with a low house edge.

3. Claiming a Bonus Multiple Times

Many casinos restrict the number of times you’re allowed to use a bonus; this is especially true in the case of a welcome bonus – you can use it only once – through say, a cashback offer. A bonus abuser will try to break this rule by attempting to claim the bonus multiple times.

You’d need to sidestep the server trackers that the casino has in place to be able to accomplish this, and a good way of doing it is to set up multiple accounts from different IP addresses in order to trigger the bonus multiple times.

4. Playing in Collusion

One of the most commonly used bonus abuse strategies in the earlier days was collusion. Casinos nowadays have in technological backup to mitigate this risk but it’s still hard to prevent at times, especially when the colluders are pros.

Collusion involves two or more players teaming up together to play against the casino and score wins. A common approach is for someone to put together a team and get them to play strategically and beat the odds to score big wins. Incidentally, this is actually the plot of the successful Hollywood movie starring Kevin Spacey, 21.

5. Using Large Bets to Get through Wagering Requirements

Another common strategy bonus abusers used in the early days – which isn’t much in use nowadays (because casinos now outsmarted this strategy) – is to place big bets to get through the wagering requirements associated with a game.

Placing huge bets to get through the said requirements can potentially have dangerous consequences for the casino. If successfully done, a player is not only able to get through the wagering requirements but may also manage to score massive wins with the large bet placed.

Different Strategies Casinos Use to Track Bonus Abusers

Contrary to what you may think, it is possible actually for casinos to limit the possibility of bonus abuse. Here are some strategies that casinos commonly use to achieve this.

1. Incorporating Wagering Requirements

As previously mentioned, wagering requirements minimizes the chance of bonus abuse considerably, by getting players to wager way more than they’re looking to withdraw. And, there are penalties in place should a player want to withdraw winnings without fulfilling said requirements.

2. IP Address Tracking

Casinos track all IP addresses to ensure a player isn’t signing up using multiple accounts. There’s still a chance of the player beating the odds by using a VPN, though.

3. Wagering Pattern Monitoring

One way of restricting the possibility of bonus abuse is to monitor the various wagering patterns. Any unusual patterns in betting could be an indicator of bonus abuse.

4. Country-Specific Bans

Casinos may ban players from countries that are known to turn a blind eye to the indulgence of its players in bonus abuse.

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Steps You can Take to Avoid being Labeled a Bonus Abuser

It’s very possible that you may have inadvertently indulged in bonus abuse. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you don’t end up abusing any of the bonuses on offer:

  • Don’t use bonus money to place big bets. Casinos may instantly flag you up as an abuser, if so.
  • Stick to one account, because casinos allow ONLY one account per player.
  • Read the T&Cs thoroughly before playing for real money.
  • Go through the wagering requirements carefully and ensure that you always fulfill them.
  • Ensure that you don’t end up indulging in irregular gameplay; this will guarantee there are no suspicious betting patterns in play.

And, for a few parting words of advice: just because you may have found a possible loophole, this doesn’t mean it’s right, and it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t get caught sooner or later. Attractive as the prospect of winning more money can be, beware that trying to lie and cheat the system won’t do you any favors.

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