Free Spins or Bonus Spins? We Seek The Truth

If you’ve ever had so much as a flutter at an online bingo or slots site, you’ll more likely than not have witnessed the words ‘Free Money’ in some form of dazzling banner or advertisement. In this post, we look in close detail at these two seemingly similar, but fundamentally different deals.

Free Spins are one of the most misused of the marketing gimmicks, yet their use continues because they get results – people love the idea of ‘something for nothing’. So lets have a look at the fundamental difference:

Free Spins

First off, these two words should only be used to describe an offer where the player can sign up and claim the spins without having to spend any money. It sounds simple right? However, the second qualifying point is that players should have their winnings paid in real money. Real money is distinct from bonus money because it contributes to a players real balance and as such is withdrawal at any time.

Bonus Spins

Few sites use these two words to describe their deals. Frankly, this is probably because plastering an ad with ‘free spins’ gets more traction with the players.

To be a bonus spin, the first qualifying criteria is the same, the bonus spin must not require payment. Onto the second point and as you may have guessed from reading the previous explanation, bonus spins payout in bonus funds which are usually subject to a variety of different wagering requirements and bonus terms.

The real difference that matters to players lies in those wagering requirements and bonus terms. Some of the terms which could cause disappointment to the uninformed player are:

Player Verification: Almost all licensed operators will now require players to be verified before letting them play (even the free games). In practice this process is seamless and it uses banking details (from the players debit card) to match player inputted information such as age and address against the electoral register. Most operators outsource this task to the likes of Experian. This is the reason why you will see sites which offer free spins on card registration.

Wagering requirements & Bonus Terms: There are thousands of people out there who trawl the net looking for decent sign up offers, these seasoned punters will most likely be well versed in the ins and outs of wagering requirements. These terms, often referred to as ‘small print’ are presented prominently on licensed sites and really only cause trouble to those who skip reading them. These are some of the typical terms you’ll see which apply to bonus spin offers:

– X Wagering requirements – This is the most common form of wagering requirement where X = a number. If a bonus spins deal has this sort of wagering requirement attached to it, it means that in order to be able to convert any bonus money won from the free spins into real money (that you can withdraw), you’re going to have to wager the value of that sum by the amount stated in place of ‘X’.

– Max Wins per spin – Less common than the above, this bonus term does what it says on the tin – it limits the amount you can win per spin.

-Max Bonus Conversion – If you see this bonus term, it means that no matter how much luck you have with your free spins, you’re never going to be able to convert more than the stated amount into real, withdrawal money.

The above are just a handful of the different wagering requirements and bonus terms that you should make yourself aware of and look out for when shopping for spin related deals.