What is a Sticky Casino Bonus?

What is a Sticky Casino Bonus?

Published Date · Feb. 19, 2021 · Last Updated · June 23, 2023 ·Read Time · 4 mins

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Online casinos often offer bonuses to attract gamblers to start playing games on their website, but it is crucial to understand the different types of bonus and how that affects what a player can do with the winnings if their wager is successful.

The most common type of these casino offerings is an initial deposit bonus for signing up with the casino, such as matching a certain percentage of the amount the player first deposits into their account and providing up to as much as a 100% bonus or more to the account balance.

Whilst there are different terms used for the types of casino bonuses, the important thing to understand is how the bonus terms and conditions affect what a player needs to do before they can withdraw real money from their account, and whether that amount will include the bonus money paid in by the casino.

Sticky Bonus

A sticky bonus does not let the player withdraw the bonus funds in real money in any case. There will be specific wagering requirements before the player can cash out but they will only be able to claim their deposit sum and any bonus winnings, not the bonus amount initially offered by the casino. This is sometimes seen in terms and conditions as a bonus “for wagering only”, but it will take a careful review of the rules to make sure a player fully appreciates what they must do before they can take out any real money from their account.

To give an example of how sticky bonuses work without factoring in the effect of wagering requirements, a 200% match bonus would take an initial player’s deposit of £100 to a total of £300. If the player gambled the full £300 and doubled the sum to £600, he would be able to withdraw £400, which excludes the casino’s bonus of £200. However, if the player lost the initial £300 balance, he would only lose £100, the deposit amount.

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Non-Sticky Bonus

Non-sticky bonuses allow the player to cash out the casino’s bonus amount once the wagering requirements are fulfilled, but the demands on the bettor before withdrawal can vary hugely based on the terms of the offer. These bonuses tend to involve needing to gamble the extra funds a certain amount before they become accessible as real money, which means the player must still risk walking away with nothing even if their initial bet is successful.

To demonstrate the difference from a player’s point of view, we will use the same figures as above, a 200% bonus on an initial £100 deposit reaching an account balance of £600 (in reality, you are only likely to see up to 100% with non-sticky bonuses compared to as much as 400% with sticky bonuses, but we are keeping the same numbers for simplicity’s sake). The player would be able to withdraw the full amount of £600 if they met the wagering requirements and even withdraw their initial stake at any time if they needed to.

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Why Do Casinos Offer Bonuses Like This?

Casinos use these offers to attract new players and compete against their rival establishments and try to psychologically entice gamblers with promotions like free spins just for signing up, and offering to match increasingly large initial deposits. Players then remain committed to using the casino’s services until they meet the wagering requirements to withdraw money from their account, or when their balance hits zero. The casino maintains a higher level of activity than relying solely on player deposits and players are an extra incentive to deposit more money when starting with the site than they might otherwise have risked.

It may seem like that non-sticky bonuses are always better for the player, because the player can eventually withdraw more money by taking the casino’s match bonus too. However, more committed and less risk averse gamblers may prefer sticky bonuses, as they usually offer a greater amount of bonus money to wager from the casino up front. This means the player can walk away with more money than a non-sticky bonus if their winnings are more than the casino’s initial match bonus.

Read the Terms & Conditions

You must consider the terms and conditions in detail before proceeding with a casino bonus, as there may be wagering requirements which make the deal much less appealing than it first appears. There are different types of sticky bonus such as the “phantom” bonus, which is immediately added to a deposit to play with but will get subtracted from the account balance before withdrawal. There are also expiring bonuses which can remain on the account after a withdrawal but will disappear at a date or after an amount of time set out in the terms and conditions.

It might be equally important for players to make an honest appraisal of their gambling habits and the best- and worst-case scenarios following their deposit, as the most appropriate type of bonus will also depend on whether a player believes they can meet the rollover and other wagering requirements of different deals and/or if they expect to earn more than the bonus offered by the casino. We hope we have helped explain the different types of online casino bonus out there, and wish you the best of luck on your gambling adventure… just remember, always read the Terms and Conditions!


Phoebe Greenwood

Content Writer