What You Need To Know About Casino Bonus Abuse

Dean McHugh
14 August 2023
330 Views

The online betting world is a popular one, with more than 20 million UK citizens taking part in one form of online gambling or another. And while many are in it for the thrill of placing bets, some are just out to make a quick quid and manipulate the system by signing up with multiple accounts to abuse the free sign-up or other bonuses that many online betting sites use.

But what is casino bonus abuse, and how can you avoid being caught up in this typical scam that affects online betting sites worldwide?

What Is Casino Bonus Abuse?

If you have ever signed up to an online betting platform or service more than once to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses or free spins, you are a casino bonus abuser. Whether done intentionally or not, signing up for a single service with multiple accounts is a big no-no and will land you in hot water.

Casino bonus abuse is by no means a new term. It is just one of the many ways fraudsters take advantage of sports and casino betting sites’ marketing initiatives to attract new customers or retain their loyal customers with bonuses.

Often using fake or stolen credentials, these scammers will take advantage of free spins, bets, chips, or other bonuses offered by an online casino, cashing in their bonuses without ever intending to stay on a platform.

Types Of Casino Bonuses

To understand the issue of casino bonus abuse, it is necessary first to understand the types of bonuses that many online betting sites use.

Here are the seven more common bonuses available to those who take part in online betting:

Sign-up Bonuses

These bonuses are given to new players upon registration. While some do require some form of deposit, some give you credit or cash bonuses simply for signing up.

Reload Bonuses

Reload bonuses are given to those players who return to the site after some time has passed without playing. Sometimes there is a catch, though, and these bonuses are usually only offered to returning players who have not withdrawn their previous bonuses or prize money.

Free Bet Or “Matchplay” Bonuses

This is a favourite for fraudsters as many online betting sites offer free bets – also known as matchplay bonuses – for games with lower betting stakes.

Percentage Back On Losses Bonus

Most online betting platforms see a decrease in their users after a losing streak. To combat this problem, some sites offer their loyal customers a percentage back on their losses in the hopes of them returning to the site.

Reward Program

This bonus is self-explanatory and is another way that betting sites attempt to retain their customer base by offering free spins, free bets, lower deposit offers, and other juicy bonuses.

Referral Bonus

Refer a friend, and you get a bonus. Online casinos and betting sites know the value of word-of-mouth advertising and use referral bonuses to attract new customers.

With many ways to attract or retain customers, most online betting sites will fall prey to fraudsters at one time or another.

How Casino Bonus Abusers Operate

One would think that online betting sites and casinos would have measures to prevent fraudsters from operating on their sites. Sadly, there is always a crack in the system, and that is what the fraudsters use to scam these sites.

Many online casinos and betting sites have Know Your Customer, or KYC, checks in place which they use to verify the identity of a customer. Fraudsters are able to bypass KYC checks by using stolen or fake credentials. With millions of users, it is easy for scammers to find the “holes” in the security networks and bypass or manipulate the very system that is meant to keep the site safe and the game fair for all customers and players.

Often, many fraudsters will turn to the dark web for their next user ID, paying for the stolen credentials of another unsuspecting person. Using this stolen name and payment details, the fraudster will create an account on a betting site, sign-up for the bonuses, cash them in, and simply move on to the next site.

The creation of multiple accounts is known as “gnoming”. This is done by using fake names, disposable email addresses, and stolen accounts needed upon registration with a betting site or online casino. Gnoming is not always done to abuse the casino bonus system but also to bypass restrictions and limitations placed on an account.

With many online betting and casino sites often contributing up to 45% of their marketing budget to client attraction and retention, there is a continuous “market” available for those who want to abuse these bonuses and incentives.

Common Casino Bonus Abuse Types

Now that you know what casino abuse is and what the various bonuses and incentives are to attract and retain customers, let’s look at the four most common types of casino bonus abuse:

Sign-up Bonus Collection

A casino bonus abuser will sign up to a specific site with multiple accounts (a ploy referred to as multi-accounting), cashing out their promotional offers without ever having played the game.

This is by far the most common form of casino bonus abuse and is the sole reason many sites have rules stating that you cannot withdraw your bonus until you have played the game for a few days or a specific number of times.

Collusive Play

Collusive play is illegal and is done when two players or a group of players work together to defraud the casino. In terms of bonuses, this can be done by one person, getting another person to sign up for an online account, so that they can reap the benefits of a bonus.

Arbitrage

If you’ve ever played any online games, you should be aware of this term. Arbitrage refers to placing multiple bets on a single game with different sportsbooks in order to give yourself a guaranteed win. An example of this is when Sportsbook ‘A’ gives you odds of 2.10 for team ‘1’ and Sportsbook ‘B’ gives odds of 2.10 for team ‘2’ in a bet where a draw is not an option.

The Implications Of Casino Bonus Abuse For iGaming Betting Sites And Customers

Casino bonus abuse is a big problem for both the betting site and its customers as changes are implemented to limit the abuse of these bonuses and incentives.

For casino sites, the loss in revenue forces them to reduce their bonus offers as they simply cannot afford to spend even more of their marketing budget on these rewards. With some companies spending as much as 45% of their annual marketing budget on bonuses and incentives, there is no other way to make up for their losses.

iGaming sites and platforms are created with the intention of giving players a source of enterntainment and a hope of winning money while adhering to the rules and requirements of the game. Manipulating the game in your favour, whether to change the outcome of the game or to reap the rewards of the various bonuses offered to players, is bonus abuse.

For players, the implications are the same, as they face fewer bonuses and incentives, regardless of how loyal they are to the site. To combat the scourge of bonus abusers, most betting sites only offer loyalty rewards to regular customers who have been playing the game for a prescribed period of time. This can be anywhere between one and six months.

The following can also happen:

  • Possible legal action being taken against the player
  • Accounts locked and frozen
  • A ban on the withdrawal of funds and bonuses

As we have mentioned, there are certain rules and requirements put in place to deter bonus abuse, but these are not always adhered to.

Bonus abuse is one of the reasons why we are seeing a decline in certain bonuses, such as the popular no-deposit bonus. This is also the reason why bonuses are generally restricted to certain payment methods and have stringent terms and conditions attached to them.

Tips To Avoid Casino Bonus Abuse

Everyone loves a good offer or incentive. But if you are not following the rules and requirements in order to receive these bonuses, you are guilty of casino bonus abuse.
Here’s how you can maintain your “halo” and prevent your bonuses from being confiscated:

1. Do Not Create Multiple Accounts

Stick to one account only. Betting sites and online casinos often track your IP address, so they will know if you are using the same computer to access their site with multiple accounts.

2. Do Not Claim The Same Bonus Or Incentive Twice

A free bonus is always great when your bankroll is looking a little bit low, but be sure only to claim your bonus once. Multiple attempts to claim the same bonus will result in you being prevented from withdrawing your bonus and winnings entirely.

3. Don’t Withdraw Your Winnings Or Bonus Too Soon

Be sure to read the rules, requirements, and terms and conditions of the various bonuses on the site you are using. Some sites will require you to spend a certain amount or play for a specified amount of time before you are eligible to withdraw your bonus. Know the rules and stick to them.

4. Don’t Place Bets With “Bonuses”

Most online betting sites prohibit bets being placed with bonuses, while others will implement a maximum betting limit to reduce the risk of bonus abuse. Once again, read the rules and know what is allowed and what is not.

5. Don’t Play The Wrong Games

Many bonuses are intended for certain games on betting sites. The details on which games can and not be played with the relevant bonuses can be found in the terms and conditions associated with the bonus, so be sure to study these before you spend your bonus.

6. Follow The Betting And Wagering Requirements

There are rules and regulations regarding what is and is not allowed when placing bets on betting sites and online casinos. Familiarise yourself with these and be honest when placing bets.

Casino Bonus Abuse FAQs

If you have read the content of this article and are still not sure what casino bonus abuse means or entails, our FAQ section might just have the answers to your burning questions.

  1. Why Am I Having Trouble Withdrawing My Bonuses?

    There could be a few reasons why you are not able to withdraw your bonus. Ask yourself the following questions: “Have I tried to claim the bonus more than once?” “Am I playing a game that is not included in the bonus terms and conditions?” “Have I engaged in any suspicious gameplay by trying to withdraw my bonus before playing a game?”.If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are that you have been flagged for casino bonus abuse. It is vitally important to read all the terms and conditions related to any bonus to understand what you can and cannot do.

  2. What Happens If I Get Caught Bagging Bonuses?

    Online casinos and betting sites are generally lenient to new users. If a player or user is suspected of fraudulent activity or trying to bag bonuses, they will receive a warning. These activities include logging in with many different ISPs or trying to cash out bonuses before playing the intended game. Should you continue with these activities after you have received a warning, you will be banned from the site or, alternatively, be blocked from withdrawing your bonuses and winnings.

  3. Can I Face Legal Action If I Am Caught Abusing Casino Bonuses?

    Yes. You could face possible fraud charges if you are found to be abusing casino bonuses or creating multiple accounts to take advantage of the various bonuses online casinos and betting sites offer their new customers. Fraud charges carry a fine or imprisonment if you are found guilty.

Conclusion

With the cost of living increasing rapidly, fraudsters and scammers are continuously coming up with new ways of scamming people and sites out of money. Online betting is one of the targeted areas for scammers and fraudsters to try and manipulate the system in their favour by trying to defraud or abuse the casino bonus rewards meant to entice new players.

Casino bonus abusers will often create multiple accounts for the same site, reaping the rewards and incentives offered by the casino for new customers and those loyal customers who have been playing the game by the rules.

If you have ever created multiple accounts to benefit from these incentives, you are a casino bonus abuser. Follow our tips on how to avoid this scourge of fraud, and also take note of the different types of scams out there and how they affect not only the company but the other players too.

Author Dean McHugh

I am a full-time Sports Betting & Casino Content Writer based in the UK. I have years of knowledge, covering a broad range of different sports. If I don’t know about it, it's not worth knowing! My favourite sports are Football, Tennis, Golf, Snooker, Cricket, Boxing and MMA. As you can tell...I love sports! I have a passion for the Casino and iGaming industry, I have worked in and around it for the best part of 20 years.