All You Need to Know about Bonus Abuse in Gambling & How to Prevent It

Ever wondered how an enticing online gambling bonus can become a problem? It’s called promo abuse, and it can happen to you!

Bonus abuse is a major issue, impacting both players and casinos. This article will unravel the complexities of bonus abuse, revealing its mechanics, types, and how to avoid falling into the trap.

It’s a delicate balance between smart play and exploitation, crucial for any gambler aiming to maximize opportunities ethically.

Ready to dive into what bonus abuse really means and its effects on the gambling community? Let’s go!

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • You’ll know what to look out for when playing online casinos to avoid bonus abuse.
  • Apply our responsible gambling tips to truly enjoy your gaming experience.

What Is Bonus Abuse?

Online casino bonus abuse, or promo abuse, in gambling, refers to:

The exploitation of promotions offered by online gambling operators in ways that are not intended by the provider.

That’s the way I would define bonus abuse in iGaming. To be fair, online gambling operators do their best to tell us what is and isn’t allowed in their bonus terms and conditions.

However, it doesn’t always stop a small percentage of players from trying to run the most common forms of bonus abuse, and even some more advanced schemes that can even take teams of scamming players to pull off.

Practices like these distort the fairness of online casino bonuses, and the impact of bonus abuse is that there are fewer promotions for those of us who play games with bonus funds fairly!

Identifying Bonus Abuse: Signs and Red Flags

Bonus programs come in a ton of various bonus varieties. So, like you’ll guess, where there are tons of options, there are tons of schemes!

  • Multiple account openings
  • Chip dumping
  • Using a bonus multiple times
  • Exploiting loopholes

The types of online bonus scams go on and on!

According to Nevada gambling law, for example:

“Cheat” means to alter the elements of chance, method of selection or criteria which determine:

  • The result of a game
  • The amount or frequency of payment in a game
  • The value of a wagering instrument or
  • The value of a wagering credit

Bonus abuse occurs when a player violates one of the above in the context of online play, usually but not limited to boosting a user’s bonus money in a way to defraud a casino.

Multiple Account Openings

Trying out different online casinos is recommended by experts like us at TrustnPlay. However, there’s a big difference between:

  • Exploring new casinos and,
  • Fraudulently opening multiple accounts at the same one using false identities

Example: Take Paul, who shared his story with us.

  1. Attracted by a casino’s $500 welcome bonus and 200 free spins, he signed up and played.
  2. After using up his bonus, Paul created a duplicate account with a secondary email to claim the same bonus again.
  3. He didn’t think he was doing anything wrong until the casino identified his IP address and matching payment methods.
  4. As a result, the casino terminated both accounts, and Paul had to forfeit his duplicate winnings—one of the most common consequences of bonus abuse.

Exploiting Loopholes in Bonus Terms

Exploiting loopholes in already complex bonus terms is a common tactic in bonus abuse, where players seek ambiguities or overlooked details in a casino’s terms to gain an unfair advantage.

This one is a little harder to defend — because it’s usually through a fraudster looking to gain by studying up on a casino’s terms and conditions. Then working out a plan to abuse a promotion or the casino’s internal systems or gambling platforms.


  1. Jake, an avid gambler, once found a loophole in a welcome bonus with unlimited free spins winnings.
  2. When I asked him about it, he shared, “I found a bug in the promo email. By clicking the link repeatedly and using fake info, I kept getting free spins.
  3. He exploited this for a few weeks, racking up winnings before getting caught.
  4. The casino threatened legal action, but Jake avoided it by paying back the money. Now, he works in cybersecurity, helping companies prevent fraud.

Chip Dumping in Poker

Chip dumping in poker is an underhanded online gambling strategy used by a bonus abuser, where:

  • One player intentionally loses chips to another deliberately to transfer bonus money.
  • The accomplice then withdraws their fair-seeming winnings,
  • Then splits it with the fraudulent player.

Fred, a professional poker player, shared:

For anyone thinking about chip dumping, just don’t do it. Bonus abuse fraud is just too easy to catch today. Fraudsters get drawn in by how easily abuse fraud works at first, but that’s a false sense of security.

Frank further explained that bonus abuse prevention measures are in place at any casino, no matter how big — these systems or analysts watch online gambling operators’ customer management software and keep an eye out for patterns, and that’s the root of the problem. Most scams are a pattern, like chip dumping.

Consequences of Bonus Abuse

Engaging in bonus abuse in online gambling has serious repercussions that affect a player’s ability to enjoy gaming and harm the experience for honest players.

  • Account Closure: The most immediate consequence is account termination. Casinos quickly shut down accounts for violating bonus terms or placing fraudulent bets. This denies the player access to the platform and online payment systems, and forfeits any bonus payouts. The simplest way to stop bonus fraud is to cut off the source.
  • Forfeiture of Winnings: Winnings gained through bonus abuse are typically forfeited. This is standard across the industry and detailed in the terms and conditions of both casinos and game manufacturers. Any funds won during the period of abuse can be reclaimed, stripping the player of their illicit gains and potentially legal winnings if fraud is detected.
  • Blacklisting: A more severe consequence is blacklisting. Fraudulent players are often barred from multiple platforms, as casinos share information through networks and blacklists. Some try to circumvent this by using others to create accounts, using VPNs, or hiding behind fake identities, but most casinos have systems to detect and prevent this.

Bonus Hunting vs. Bonus Abuse

Bonus Hunting: This ethical and legal practice involves strategically using casino bonuses to maximize profits. Bonus hunters follow the terms and conditions set by the casino and never engage in deceitful practices.

They skillfully take advantage of offers through a thorough understanding of bonus rules, making it a legitimate strategy to increase earnings. This practice is encouraged!

Bonus Abuse: Unlike bonus hunting, bonus abuse involves exploiting loopholes in bonus terms to gain an unfair advantage. This includes creating multiple accounts, chip dumping, and other deceptive behaviors. Bonus abuse violates both the spirit and the letter of the terms. Avoid it!

Casinos have varying views on bonus hunting; some see it as a clever strategy, while others adjust their policies to prevent potential losses. It’s important to understand and respect each casino’s rules to avoid crossing into bonus abuse.

Use our guide to ensure you’re a savvy bonus hunter, not a rule breaker!

Strategies for Responsible Gambling: Avoiding Bonus Abuse

Responsible gambling is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship with online gaming. Without the physical cues of real chips or slot machines, it’s easy to lose track.

Strategies for responsible gambling:

  • Set Personal Limits: Establish clear limits on money and time spent gambling. Decide in advance how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it, using tools like deposit limits or self-exclusion if necessary.
  • Read Bonus Terms Carefully: Always read and understand the terms and conditions of bonus offers, including wagering requirements, expiration dates, and eligible games. This helps you maximize benefits without violating terms.
  • Use Bonuses Wisely: Treat bonuses as a way to enhance your gaming experience, not as a guaranteed profit source. Use them to try new games or extend play sessions responsibly.
  • Maintain a Balanced Perspective: Keep gambling as one of many entertainment activities in your life. Ensure it doesn’t become a central hobby or income source.
  • Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you struggle to adhere to limits or gambling affects your life, seek help from qualified professionals. Many organizations offer support for gambling addiction.

Personal Success Story: Jane, a frequent online casino player, shares her experience:

After realizing I was spending too much, I set strict weekly limits using the casino’s responsible gaming tools.

This controlled my spending and made my gaming sessions more enjoyable and stress-free. I learned to think carefully before redeeming any bonus.

These strategies prevent bonus abuse and ensure gambling remains a safe and fun activity.

Combating Bonus Abuse: Industry Efforts and Regulatory Measures 

The battle against bonus abuse in online gambling has led industry leaders and regulators to implement stringent measures to ensure integrity and fairness.

  • Enhanced Verification Procedures: Online casinos now require government-issued IDs and utility bills before approving withdrawals, using KYC (Know Your Customer) software to prevent multiple accounts and ensure legal gambling.
  • Stricter Bonus Terms: Casinos have revised bonus terms to close loopholes, making them more explicit with stringent eligibility and wagering requirements. CRM systems now track terms closely, enhancing project resources.
  • Regulatory Oversight: Regulatory bodies like the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority audit online gaming operations, ensuring transparency and compliance. In the U.S., state gaming control boards oversee legal online casinos.
  • Changing Landscape: Online gambling is becoming safer with new platforms and evolving regulations.

Fun Fact: Hawaii, traditionally opposed to gambling, is considering HB 2259 and SB 3376, which could allow a single organization to manage an online poker platform and sportsbook under a 10-year license.

These efforts are making online gambling a safer form of entertainment. For more updates, keep an eye on emerging regulations and changes in the industry.

So, Do You Know How to Avoid Bonus Abuse in Gambling Now?

Understanding bonus abuse and its consequences is the first step to never accidentally falling into it!

Apply your new tools by always reviewing the terms of any bonus offer thoroughly and practicing ethical gambling habits. Bonus abuse gambling is like playing cards with a devil — bonus abuse costs big time.

Interested in learning more about what’s allowed and not in US online casinos? Check out our USA gambling laws page to find out!