Bonus Hunting at Australia Casinos in 2019 - Possible or Not?

Chloe Wilson - EditorChloe Wilson - 20 May 2019 in Features

Online casinos have a lot of rules and with good reason. You have two choices when you play at a casino - you can either play by the rules, or you can try to game the system to your advantage. Bonus hunting or bonus abuse fall into the latter category.

Casino bonus hunting

Smart players used to be able to ‘game’ the system to make quite a lot of money. Naturally, quite a lot of people have become interested in the concept. Unfortunately, for them the casino got wiser.

In this article, we will answer the following questions for you:

Bonus Hunting

Casinos offer a whole range of bonuses to players these days. Some of the most popular among these are no deposit bonuses and free spin bonuses.

All these bonuses have one simple aim - give players (especially new ones) a taste of real money gambling, to encourage them to sign up and spend money at the casino.

When players use these bonuses as intended by the casino, they gain a minor boosts to their bankroll. But using certain techniques, you could actually make a lot of cash in the long run.

How did bonus hunting work in the past?

In the early days of online gambling, back when casinos were unaware of the loopholes, they offered a lot of big bonuses to new players. We are talking about way back, like the early 2000s when online casinos were starting to attract new players.

These bonuses had several common features that made bonus hunting easy and profitable for players:

  • High bonus cash offers, AUD 200 or more
  • Low wagering requirements, often around the 25x mark
  • No restrictions on playable games

This created a situation where a player could play a slot or casino game with the bonus cash, complete the wagering requirement, and still have hundred dollars or more leftover in his account, free for withdrawal.

Bonus hunting involved looking for casinos with bonuses that matched the above criteria, which result in a positive expected value from that particular bonus. This means that you can expect to retain at least a part of the bonus amount when all the wagering requirements (WR) are met.

The math involved is not very complicated. In every game, the casino has a house edge over the player, which is displayed as that game’s RTP. If a game has an RTP of 98, the casino edge is 2%, meaning with each bet you make, you stand to lose 2% of the wager amount.

Imagine a casino with a bonus of AUD 250 and a WR or 25x and no restrictions on available games.

If you pick one with a good RTP of 98, the equation will look something like this:

Expected value (in percentage) = 100 - (WR * Casino house edge)

= 100 - (25 * 2)

= 50%

When you wager that 250 dollar bonus, you can expect to end up with at least 50% of that or $125 when the 25x wagering requirement is completed. That amount is yours to withdraw!

To conclude, the old bonus hunting technique was simple:

  • Find a casino bonus with a positive expected value
  • Meet the wagering requirement carefully, using small bets
  • Pocket the remaining bonus amount once the WR is met

Why was this allowed to happen?

We have to remember that those were the early golden years of online gambling. With the rise of the internet, the casino business was just starting to take off.

Many casino managers were still coming to grips with a new market. Some of them were worried about losing players if they dropped these bonuses.

Other more successful casinos were swimming in the money and were not unduly bothered by some players making a profit out of their marketing promos.

These are probably the two most plausible reasons why casinos allowed bonus hunting to continue uncontrolled, at least in the early days.

How did the casinos react eventually?

As they say, all good things must come to an end, and so it happened for bonus hunting as well. When more players started using bonus hunting tactics, the casinos updated their bonus rules to reduce the positive expected value from the bonuses.

They achieved this by doing several clever things, basically plugging all or most of the loopholes:

  • They altered the game eligibility rules, removing high RTP games altogether or drastically reducing their contribution to the WR
  • Increase the WR from the mid-twenties to above 30X+, sometimes going as high as 60x!
  • Place upper limits on max payouts on no-deposit bonus wins

You can still see the effects in the T&C at virtually all casinos, both Australia-facing as well as global online casinos.

For example, True Blue Casino has a WR of 30x on slots for no-deposit bonuses, which climbs to 60x for table games. At PlayAmo casino, all deposit bonuses carry a WR of 50x, which double what it was in the good old days at many online casinos. These days, it is virtually impossible to find bonuses with wagering requirement less than 30x.

True Blue CasinoAustralians ACCEPTED at True Blue Casino True Blue Casino has a reasonable wagering requirement of 30X on its slots match bonuses

How viable is the old bonus hunting strategy today?

Unfortunately, it is extremely hard, bordering on the impossible these days, to earn a ton of cash using the old bonus hunting techniques. The modern bonuses like free spins and no deposit bonuses are simply too small and have too many restrictions in place.

Cautious and defensive strategies simply won’t work on these bonuses. You will run out of the bonus cash long before the wagering requirements are successfully met. The casinos have successfully reduced the expected value of their bonuses right down into the negative.

If you have a high bankroll, you can deposit hundreds or even thousands of cash to earn massive matching deposit bonuses. If you play with a mix of aggression and caution on high variance slots, you could theoretically win big in the long run.

But it is a risky strategy nevertheless, involving a lot of real cash. Sadly, the days of earning bonus cash without spending a penny are well and truly over. If you want to improve your chances with bonus hunting these days, you have to spend some cash.

Alternative bonus hunting strategies involving no-deposit bonuses.

As casinos have changed the rules of the game, players have also adapted their tactics accordingly. You can try bonus hunting with no deposit bonuses available at Australian and international casinos these days.

Cautious betting will get you nowhere, meaning you have to bet aggressively. This strategy is best tried on no deposit bonuses as your skin in the game is non-existent there.

If you lose your entire bonus amount placing high-value bets, you can walk away and try again at another casino. And since there are hundreds of online casinos offering no deposit bonuses, you will not run out of attempts any time soon.

This method of bonus hunting no-deposit bonuses can be tried by any player, including beginners as well. Though it does not offer guaranteed success, it is also relatively free of risks as well.

Here are the main steps involved:

  • Register at a new casino and claim the no deposit bonus
  • Read the T&C carefully
  • Pick an eligible slot with high RTP and high variance if possible
  • Bet aggressively with the hope of winning big
  • Or, bet smaller amounts, hoping for a medium win