Thoughts on bonuses

dickens1298

Dormant account
With the recent developments at Fortune Lounge and Belle Rock, it's easy to see that the trend is leaning more and more to a less "bonus-friendly" environment.

But can anyone blame the casinos? We often compare the online casinos with their brick-and-mortar counterparts, but how often do the latter offer such tempting introductory offers? Yes, land casinos offer loyalty programs, but so do most online casinos. And I would wager - pun intended - that the average online casino loyalty program is far richer than any that your favorite land casino can offer.

Bottom line, the online casinos obviously offer welcome bonuses as a marketing tool. With these welcome bonuses on the decline, can we not assume that either (1) this marketing strategy is NOT working and they're opting for a different approach or (2) the marketing strategy HAS worked and they now have enough critical mass in clientele to warrant limiting such bonuses?
 

DealerBusts

Dormant account
I think some good points have been made by dickens. I do think that ongoing bonuses are necessary to keep customers playing at an online casino because they do lack the atmostphere and interaction of land casinos.

If online casinos think they have reached the stage where they offer the customer a satisfactory level of service so that they no need to give bonuses then they are wrong. I do not think that casinos have improved significantly from a year ago with most casinos today still taking days to pay winnings, provide poor customer support, and require the hassle of sending documents.

Fairness is still an issue and until the industry gets regulated by an independant party, players will continue to get cheated by rogue software or have their winnings confiscated by rogue casinos.

At present, if good bonuses are not been offered, i do not see enough incentive to justify the hassle of playing online.
 

Freudian

Dormant account
I think you are wrong. I think bonuses work. They do attract customers. Problem for the casinos is that they attract both customers that are willing to gamble (and lose) a lot of money and they also attract bonus hunters.

I can't really see a way out for the casinos here. If they make the bonus offers too unattractive (or too complicated) they chase away a lot of potiential customers that would lose a lot of money in the casino along with the bonus hunters. And if one casino abandons bonuses while their competitors offers good bonuses, guess where the customers go. I think they have to find a middle way here. Bonuses that are decent. They will lose a bit to bonushunters and just have to treat it as a cost of doing business. The revenue the other customers bring in will cover that.

Anyway, I don't think bonus hunters are doing anything wrong as it is. I view them no differently than people using coupons in supermarkets. And I agree with DealerBusts, most casinos have not good enough service or speed when it comes to payment for them to treat it as some sort of competitive advantage. I am not going to be impressed with my winnings reaching my neteller account in a week when it takes the casino 10 secs to take my deposit from the very same neteller account.
 

Jblack

Dormant account
bonuses

Perhaps they are testing the waters. They will soon find out what works and what doesn't. Personally I play Casino-on-Net because of there great bonuses they offer and I also do deposit frequently without a bonus.

The bonus ecourages me to come back, especially when I just lost my previous deposit. But this is me.

There terms are very simple, never had any hassle with them. My only problem with CON is that it can take a week to get paid.
 

Ping

Dormant account
I think ONLINE BONUSES are a big come-on, but the trend really seems to be more and more difficult to "take advantage" of the bonuses, like high wagering requirement.

What I usually does in NOT take their bonuses and play for a while then take any winnings afer the weekend (if there's any left of my deposit) :)




Ping
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
Good topic, and I look forward to a range of views on this thread for the interest of us all.

This is, I suspect a subject that is debated often by casino managements and one of the reasons is possibly that bonus disputes are too often the cause of friction between player and casino. And as smarter hunters have bitten casinos harder, so the casinos have had to tighten up the T&C's to the complicated levels we see today.

As others here have observed, there are also sensitivities regarding habitual bonus hunters, even when play is righteously in compliance with the T&Cs. The good operations will still pay (sometimes before lowering the banning hammer) but there is frequently that very human and largely emotional feeling that 'generosity' is in some cases being abused. I am of course familiar with the counter argument that the casinos design the promos etc etc.

Bonusing is still necessary imo, and I suspect it will remain so although I think a simpler formula might evolve. Setting it at the right level continues to present a challenge to operators as it has been for several years now once the initial stampede into this form of marketing had settled down a little. I know a number of casinos that are trying to strike a good balance between sufficiently attractive yet not OTT bonusing, and solid client retention techniques like attractive loyalty programs and better than average customer service in all respects.

Because the ideal outcome is obviously to attract new customers and then keep them coming back.
 

two_card

Dormant account
Land based Harrahs has given us airfare and RFB to New Orleans, Laughlin and Lake Tahoe from the midwest USA. We only play video poker. Harrahs cashback equals about 0.2%. They have no full pay video poker in any casino we play at.

The local riverboat (Boyd Gaming) has games as high as 99.9%. Total sashback is about 0.3%. All the meals and rooms you want. Five minutes away.

I never worry about being cheated or paid.

This is the competition for online casinos.
 

dickens1298

Dormant account
But would Harrahs give you airfare and RFB if you had never played there before? Bonuses from online casinos are given sight unseen, with the hope of some sort of customer loyalty; you have already demonstrated that with Harrahs.

Your situation is also somewhat different - few people live a mere 5 minutes away from a casino. I would reckon that for most people online casinos are more about convenience than anything else - the closest casino to me is an Indian casino which is about 40 minutes away.

two_card said:
Land based Harrahs has given us airfare and RFB to New Orleans, Laughlin and Lake Tahoe from the midwest USA. We only play video poker. Harrahs cashback equals about 0.2%. They have no full pay video poker in any casino we play at.

The local riverboat (Boyd Gaming) has games as high as 99.9%. Total sashback is about 0.3%. All the meals and rooms you want. Five minutes away.

I never worry about being cheated or paid.

This is the competition for online casinos.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
Coincidentally, here's some grist for this mill - what do you guys think of this press release (I've blocked out the casino name in case I'm vilified for spamming!!!)

London, UK, June 21, 2004

XXXXXXXXXX have redefined the standard for bonusing casino players online with their unique 1%/10% bonus structure. Under this structure, players receive either 1% of their winnings or 10% of their losses in a retrospective bonus on the 1st of each month. This promotional idea is currently being run in conjunction with a generous 100% match deposit bonus.

Casino Manager XXXXXXXXX explained in a recent interview how this program allows XXXXXXX Casino to be more generous with their players, awarding them for their loyalty. "Online casinos have long had to set strict guidelines which players must follow to qualify for bonuses; however the XXXXXXXX program is a retrospective bonus which isnt subject to abuse, so we can afford to be more generous with our rewards. This program is designed to benefit all players and ensure that everyone in XXXXXX Casino is treated like a VIP!


Cash Rewards have been part of the high rollers packages at other casinos before, but XXXXXXXXX Casino is the first to bring high roller reward schemes to every member of the casino. The casinos name is more than just a name and their unique Ultimate Cash Program proves it!


The Cash Rewards program pays the full expected 1% on monthly net winnings and 10% on monthly net losses without having to impose restrictions which are seen with promotions such as match deposits.
 

two_card

Dormant account
Another cassino, about 90 minutes away has a deal with Loews? hardware.

For every $10000 you wager in a calendar month, a $50 Loews gift card.
Have to reach $10000 and for every $10000 in wagers.
They set up a deal with Loews to get a percentage returned.
The cards are re-chargable so the casino does not hand out new cards all the time. Just ups the balance on the old card.

Loews gets customers and the casino reduces its costs.
A casino could probably work this with gasoline cards, phone cards, air miles etc.
 

hhcfreebie

Dormant account
jetset said:
Coincidentally, here's some grist for this mill - what do you guys think of this press release (I've blocked out the casino name in case I'm vilified for spamming!!!)

London, UK, June 21, 2004

XXXXXXXXXX have redefined the standard for bonusing casino players online with their unique 1%/10% bonus structure. Under this structure, players receive either 1% of their winnings or 10% of their losses in a retrospective bonus on the 1st of each month. This promotional idea is currently being run in conjunction with a generous 100% match deposit bonus.

Casino Manager XXXXXXXXX explained in a recent interview how this program allows XXXXXXX Casino to be more generous with their players, awarding them for their loyalty. "Online casinos have long had to set strict guidelines which players must follow to qualify for bonuses; however the XXXXXXXX program is a retrospective bonus which isnt subject to abuse, so we can afford to be more generous with our rewards. This program is designed to benefit all players and ensure that everyone in XXXXXX Casino is treated like a VIP!


Cash Rewards have been part of the high rollers packages at other casinos before, but XXXXXXXXX Casino is the first to bring high roller reward schemes to every member of the casino. The casinos name is more than just a name and their unique Ultimate Cash Program proves it!


The Cash Rewards program pays the full expected 1% on monthly net winnings and 10% on monthly net losses without having to impose restrictions which are seen with promotions such as match deposits.
I found this message on WOL.
It reminds me of casino 8 which offer 5% cash back on a daily basis. Unfortunately it went out of business. I don't think they close the door because of their promotion. They just don't have enough exposure.
IMO, this new promotion is not as generous as casino 8 so it all depends on how they manage to "educate" everyone out there it's a great deal.
 

jpm

Dormant account
I like that 1%/10% scheme Jetset, curious to see how it works out in the long run.

I'm hoping that maybe those casinos that have tightened up their bonus requirements will return the favor by maybe loosening up the slots a bit. That wouldn't be an unreasonable tradeoff for them.
 

bethug

Banned User - Winner of the "<a href="http://www.c
I think casinos should cut bonus out period and just give comps. To much hassle and most bonus can only be used on slots, now if you a slot player cool
 

dickens1298

Dormant account
Agreed with you there, Bethug - eliminate bonuses and focus on loyalty programs.

Actually, that's going to be the new trend. I'm not sure if anyone has any stats, but I would daresay that internet gambling overall may be plateauing (relative to its previous growth). Reasons why (a variation of the Porter's Five Forces Model):

(1) Penetration of U.S. households is already past 75% as of this past spring (2004). (buyer growth)

(2) Land casinos have reached an unprecedented height of acceptance and popularity (substitutes):

(a) Note the plethora of non-Nevada/Atlantic City alternatives. River boats, downtown Detroit, Indian casinos.

(b) California has recently reached an agreement with five Indian casinos which would enable them to expand slots capacity in exchange for revenue sharing. Other tribes are expected to follow suit.

(3) Internet gambling is still in a "gray area" among US legislative circles.

It would be interesting to also chart OVERALL gambling (internet, Nevada, Atlantic City, other), and note its growth. I would posit that there may be some cannibalization involved - in short, that the internet growth may have come at the expense of other venues. For those who may naysay such a claim, witness Reno, which has been on a steep decline in recent years due to the rise of nearby Indian casinos in California (for the geographically challenged, Reno is almost a stone's throw from the Nevada-California border).

If overall internet gambling IS beginning to decelerate, then the powers-that-be would realize that welcome bonuses are essentially an exercise in cannibalization. Hence the advent of a loyalty program - at the expense of welcome bonuses.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
two_card said:
Another cassino, about 90 minutes away has a deal with Loews? hardware.

For every $10000 you wager in a calendar month, a $50 Loews gift card.
Have to reach $10000 and for every $10000 in wagers.
They set up a deal with Loews to get a percentage returned.
The cards are re-chargable so the casino does not hand out new cards all the time. Just ups the balance on the old card.

Loews gets customers and the casino reduces its costs.
A casino could probably work this with gasoline cards, phone cards, air miles etc.
The gas bonus is already being used by a couple of the big land casinos, too - there was some press on that a week or so back when the rising gas prices were hitting the headlines.

Dickens, that's a thoughtful post and I see the logic in it, but it seems to me that although the analyst and survey companies have differing numbers, they all seem to be pretty bullish on online gambling growth to 2010? This could be because they are looking at it internationally rather than on the main market segment that the States represents.
 

dickens1298

Dormant account
jetset said:
The gas bonus is already being used by a couple of the big land casinos, too - there was some press on that a week or so back when the rising gas prices were hitting the headlines.

Dickens, that's a thoughtful post and I see the logic in it, but it seems to me that although the analyst and survey companies have differing numbers, they all seem to be pretty bullish on online gambling growth to 2010? This could be because they are looking at it internationally rather than on the main market segment that the States represents.
The bullish outlook COULD be based on the following:

(a) The 5 years trailing growth projected forward.
(b) The lack of internet penetration in the rest of the world.
(c) Assumed cannibalization of other gaming venues.

(a) is a flawed argument, since in a dynamic environment like the internet it would be difficult to forecast growth. (b) is a safe assumption, but may not represent potential for online gaming, since the markets with lack of internet penetration may be risk-adverse. (c) is the most likely, but also indicates a push-pull scenario with the other casino establishments, and furthers my argument that loyalty programs would become the primary focus.
 

jpm

Dormant account
There was a land based casino in the US that for a while had an affiliate mastercard! Instead of getting miles for using your card, you'd get player club points for that casino. It worked pretty well, I got a free nights stay out of it once. Unfortunately, they discontinued that program a while ago. Probably too many people taking full advantage of it like I was.
 

kniepm

Dormant account
jpm said:
There was a land based casino in the US that for a while had an affiliate mastercard! Instead of getting miles for using your card, you'd get player club points for that casino. It worked pretty well, I got a free nights stay out of it once. Unfortunately, they discontinued that program a while ago. Probably too many people taking full advantage of it like I was.
Does that make you a credit card bonus abuser?
 

bewitch

Dormant account
kniepm said:
Does that make you a credit card bonus abuser?
I am (AND bank account bonus hunter as well). LOL~

I got more than $800 this year (so far) just by opening bank account/credit card and 6% - 2% cash back on my credit card purchase. www.moneybb.com have a lot of this stuff!
 

jpm

Dormant account
ABSOLUTELY! Been doing that since before I was a casino bonus abuser!

At one point I had a GM mastercard that gave me 5% on purchases, and an Egghead Computer visa that gave me 2% in gift certificates. The visa would send me balance transfer checks that had no fee AND counted towards the 2% rebate, so I'd charge everything I could (including stuff for work, etc) on the mastercard to get the 5%, pay it off in full with the check for the visa which got me another 2% and then pay that off in full so no interest. So not only did I get 7% in rebates, but I also had 2 months of free use of that money, since each one had a 25 day grace period. :lolup: Ah those were the days!
 
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