📌 Cash balance first, then bonus funds
There are mainly two types of casino bonuses - sticky bonus and non sticky bonus (only the latter is allowed in some markets, such as the UK). Experienced players will most likely be familiar with these terms but in case you're new to online casino, here's a short rundown.
Upon claiming a sticky bonus, your deposit instantly becomes tied to the bonus funds given to you by the casino as part of a bonus offer, meaning you cannot request a withdrawal of your winnings until wagering has been completed. The non sticky bonus, on the other hand, allows you to play with your own cash balance first, free of any wagering requirements or bonus terms. The bonus only activates once you dip into the bonus balance. Let us give you a couple of real-life examples - Jim decides to deposit 100€ and proceeds to claim a 100% sticky bonus. Jim's 100€ is now mixed with the 100€ given to him by the casino and his starting balance will read 200€. Furthermore, the bonus terms come into immediate effect and Jim will have to start wagering his balance from first spin.
Let's now instead assume that Jim claims a non sticky bonus. In this scenario, Jim's balance will read 100€ + 100€ and any winnings collected while on his first 100€ will be available for instant withdrawal without any wagering requirements or bonus terms to worry about. However, to request a withdrawal, Jim will need to forfeit the 100€ bonus balance. Now, if Jim goes on to lose his 100€, the bonus becomes activated, requiring Jim to begin the wagering process. Essentially, it's a free second chance why it has also become known as a "life line" bonus. The non sticky bonus has become increasingly popular and is, in fact, the most common type of bonus these days as a result of changes in the regulations. While some argue that one bonus type is better than the other, in the end it really comes down to which type of player you are and which one you personally prefer.
Key Facts About Non Sticky Bonus
- As of March 2018, the UKGC does no longer allow casino bonuses to be tied to players own deposits. In effect, all bonuses on the UK market are required to be non sticky.
- The non sticky bonus allows you to play using your cash deposit first with no bonus terms applied. The bonus does not become active until the you dip into the bonus balance. This is the fairest type of bonus.
- Non sticky bonus offers are available outside of the UK as well. The bonus offers listed below are available to all EU players.
- The non sticky bonus is often also referred to as Parachute bonus or Life-line bonus.
- Bonuses in general increase your EV (Expected Value) and your chances of winning long term.
- The non sticky bonus allows you to request a withdrawal at any point while still on your cash balance. However, in order to do so, you will have to forfeit the bonus balance.
Casinos and non sticky bonus offers
It's important to understand that online casinos themselves don't make use of the terms 'sticky' or 'non sticky'. If you're unsure of which type is on offer we advice you to ask customer support. Changes and tweaks are constantly made so do not assume that it's one way or another. Though new regulations have come into effect, requiring all UKGC casinos to convert their bonus offers to the non sticky type, some casinos are yet to comply. Essentially, non sticky bonuses offer you a second chance for free and even if the wagering requirements in some cases may be higher than usual, it's worth going for as you have nothing to lose. Unlike the sticky bonus, the bonus terms do not interfere with your cash deposit.
Is the non sticky bonus here to stay?
It's hard to say for sure as things are constantly under change in the iGaming industry. It also depends on the particular market. Gambling in most European countries is regulated and supervised by governmental entities. These agencies are responsible for imposing regulations, restrictions, and conditions that protect the safety of the players. Fundamentally, most policies and regulations imposed across Europe are the same but can vary in detail, such as the anatomy of bonuses, for example. Is the bonus here to stay? Most likely.
Players love a good deposit bonus and some even avoid playing without one. Regulations are becoming tighter, however, and it's not unlikely that bonus offers will become harder to come across in the future. In Sweden, for example, online casinos are, as of January 1, 2019, only allowed to offer their players one single bonus during the lifetime of their membership. High taxes may also force casinos to abandon bonuses altogether but nothing suggests we're there yet. The regulatory authorities have to take responsible gambling into account without enforcing rules that are too strict, something that could potentially motivate players to seek other gambling alternatives offered by shady off-shore operators.
Non sticky bonus - visitors testimonials
Johanna Y (Sweden) - I prefer the Non sticky bonus over any other type of bonus. I might be biased since I only play on LeoVegas and that's what I'm used to. It always nice when you manage to get a good win while still on cash balance. My strategy is to request a withdrawal when I'm up at least 2x deposit. It doesn't seem fair to me to have your own cash balance tied up with bonus money. The non sticky bonus offers a second chance sort of. That's how I look at it.
Albert P (UK) - I remember when the non sticky bonus first became available, it was a big thing and a lot of people were talking about it as some kind of god's given gift. I got carried away with the hype as well and rejected all casinos that didn't offer non sticky bonuses, which left me with LeoVegas and SlotsMillion. As time went on I started to realize it wasn't really the advantage that everyone made it out to be and slowly the hype died out. Now I actually perfer the old sticky bonus because it means I start wagering the bonus right away. Unfortunately, for UK players, we don't have much choice these days. The non sticky bonus is not better or worse than other types of bonuses, but I wish players were allowed to actually choose.
Timo R (Finland) - In my opinion, non sticky bonuses should be the norm. It's nice to know you have a second chance, a lifeline if you will, in case you should bust out. To have your own deposit mixed with bonus money just seems wrong to me. It's not unusual for me to cash out even small profits during the session which would be impossible with the sticky bonus.
Ante W (Germany) - Between the non sticky bonus and the sticky bonus I will choose the former every single time. I'm of course hoping to land a good win while still on cash balance, but if I fail I usually go absolutely nuts with the remaining bonus balance, which often means max betting on some high variance Merkur, Novomatic or Big Time Gaming slot.
Ida W (Sweden) - While I do prefer the non sticky bonus I'm a bit divided. Usually when I have a decent win while on cash balance I tend to chicken out and request a withdrawal. When I used to play with the standard bonuses I was forced to keep playing, something that could result in much more significant withdrawals. But in the end, the non sticky bonus is the way to go I believe because it's convenient to be able to cash out while still on cash balance as wagering can be a bit tedious and often results in bust anyway.
Olof T (Sweden) - non sticky bonus for me all the way! It's nice to have your money separated from bonus funds, and more importantly, detached from any bonus terms! With the non sticky bonus I can use my own funds first to play whatever I want and whatever bet level I want, without having to think about breaking any bonus rules. The bonus money I regard as a nice extra should I lose my deposit. For me, there's really no strategy involved. When I play with bonus money, sometimes I play it safe and other times I go bananas. It really depends on my mood and whether withdrawal is most important or keeping myself entertained. There are no secrets really.
Tim B (UK) - The Non sticky bonus is ultimately the best type of bonus in my opinion, but I wish that all site would allow the wagering to start right away even when playing with your own funds. This is actually the case on a few casinos and I hope it will be more common to come across in the future.
Rory M (Ireland) – I’m so used to visiting online casinos, registering and receiving a sticky bonus that it has just become commonplace for me to accept that that’s how things are. However, it was just a couple of weeks ago that I found myself on the receiving end of something a little bit different. I received a 100% bonus after making a €50 deposit, so I got another €50 on top of that. The difference is that I was using my own deposited money first. So, I managed to play a few slots with my own €50, and proceeded to build my balance up to €425 without even touching the bonus funds. Let me tell you, I was all too happy to forfeit my €50 bonus to be able to withdraw my €425 balance!
Elsa P (Sweden) – Non sticky bonuses don’t come around very often for me. I fairly infrequently get the chance to benefit from them, so whenever one catches my attention, I go right in for it. Take last month for example, I managed to get SEK 400 on top of my deposit but got to play with my own money first. With the bonus funds not coming into play until several days later when I had used my deposit, I then went through the whole wagering process with the extra SEK 400.
Frank L (UK) – If I’m honest, I dislike having anything to do with wagering requirements, which is why I’ve tried to seek out online casinos that don’t come with any of those attached to bonuses at all. Sometimes, non sticky bonus offers are much better for this, because there aren’t so many platforms providing no wagering on rewards. At first, I was a little unsure if non sticky bonuses would be beneficial to me, but having claimed a couple now, I can honestly say that they’re one of the best things to happen to online gaming sites. With an extra £200 in my balance that I didn’t even need to touch because of the £200 that I had deposited and made profit on top of, I bypassed any sort of wagering requirements before requesting a withdrawal.
Helge O (Germany) – I haven’t heard the phrase non sticky bonus before, but I do know about the life-line bonus and I’m told that that’s the same thing. A life-line it certainly is, too! A few years ago, I started playing at online casinos and found myself never being able to build up any sort of withdrawable balance from playing with sticky bonuses. Wagering requirements would just tie me down. In fact, I did choose to stop receiving bonus rewards altogether at one point because of this. That’s when about half a year ago I claimed my first ever non sticky bonus and was very satisfied with the results. It’s good to know that there are some bonus funds waiting for you, just in case you aren’t successful with your own money. That being said, I’d about 7 times out of 10, I haven’t needed to rely on the bonus money!
Madison A (UK) – I don’t think that there’s a single online casino player who would choose a sticky bonus over a non sticky bonus. I know I wouldn’t! They’re just so much more attractive. Who wants to be stuck trying to complete wagering requirements that are often too high to ever reach within a short time period? If I can play with my own money that I deposit first – but still know that there are bonus funds waiting for me if I’m not lucky with these – then I’m exceptionally happy. Whenever I see a non sticky bonus offer casino, I’m instantly attracted to it and want to sign up.
Leif K (Finland) – Being pretty new to online casino gaming, I wasn’t really sure what non sticky bonus offers were to begin with. It didn’t take me long to discover the significant difference though, when I ended up registering and depositing at a platform with a sticky bonus as part of its welcome offer. I didn’t really care for that sticky bonus and almost instantly retreated back to the casino with the non sticky bonus rewards that I’d found. The non sticky bonus offers are just easier to get on board with and have a more exciting casino experience.
Siobhán B (Ireland) – I automatically go in search of online casinos that provide non sticky bonus promotions now. It all started about 5 months ago when I stumbled across a platform featuring such an offer, and I was almost instantly hooked. Non sticky bonus rewards are one of the best things to happen to online casinos. I actually thought it was just a fluke that I’d managed to find a platform with such a reward. However, upon further investigation, I discovered that there are several casinos offering the same types of rewards. If you take my advice, you’ll always go for a casino with such rewards.
Henri S (Germany) – Non sticky bonuses will always be the single type of promotion that I watch out for at online casinos. Nothing else even catches my eye, because I need to know that I’m not restrained by high wagering requirements when I make a deposit and receive bonus funds on top. If I can use my own money first to enjoy some games, then I’m happier. At least I know there’s a lifeline waiting in the form of a bonus for afterwards – just in case I don’t manage to succeed with my own money. I haven’t really needed to use that bonus money on so many occasions though, because getting to play games with my own money first and managing to build up quite a good balance from it has always satisfied me.