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The Hidden Truth Behind No Deposit Bonus Campaigns

Have you ever wondered how operators really feel about no deposit bonus campaigns? The online casino directory, NoDepositKings, gathered 138 anonymous responses from operators within the industry to answer this very question.

What has now become the largest survey of its kind has provided a number of fascinating insights that defy expectations. We will provide you with the key takeaways from the survey below.

Operators DO NOT Like To Offer No Deposit Bonus Credits…

It may come as no surprise to find out that online casinos don’t like to offer no deposit bonus credits. But did you know that operators would rather forgo a no deposit bonus altogether than offer standalone no deposit bonus credits?

It’s true! While only a paltry 13.8% of operators choose to offer no deposit bonus credits, almost a third (30.1%) are happy to do without them entirely.

The data suggests that this is a constant trend. For instance, 69.9% of respondents claim to offer a no deposit bonus of some kind. However, no deposit free spins were by far the most popular offer (36.6%), followed by a hybrid offering of no deposit free spins and bonus credits, (19.5%). Standalone no deposit bonus credits came firmly in last place.

Operator Response #10

“Free bonuses are good to have, however they must be managed correctly. We prefer to avoid free chips en masse as it can generate lower quality players who look to abuse the offer.”

And It Seems Like No Deposit Bonuses Generally Attract Low Quality Players…

Of all the concerns operators have surrounding no deposit bonuses, the most notable is player quality. A whopping 45.7% of operators think that player quality is a ‘Huge Issue,’ while 31.9% consider it to be a ‘Significant’ issue.

This is further backed up by other responses. For example, when asked: In your experience, do players pay enough attention to the bonus rules? only 19.5% of operators responded that they were satisfied with the attention players give to bonus rules.

The reasons for this – according to operators – are quite damning. 26% of operators feel that players do not consider the bonus rules whatsoever, and 54.5% believe that players require more education. The blame, according to operators, lies at the feet of the average player, with 91.9% of operators responding that their bonus rules are transparently displayed.

Operator Response #47

“The main issue with the bonuses is that players either pay no attention to the bonus terms, or do not understand them. Most of our complaints are bonus related, and from what I can tell this is the case for the entire industry.”

In Many Cases, No Deposit Bonuses Are Not Even Profitable…

Despite the prevalence of no deposit bonus campaigns, there are some operators that do not consider them an effective marketing strategy. In fact, 25 out of the 36 operators that refuse to offer no deposit bonuses (69.4%) responded that they had offered them before. So why did they stop?

The results of the survey indicate that, in certain cases, no deposit bonuses are simply unprofitable. When asked: Whether you offer them or not, how do you rank the disadvantages of no deposit bonuses? the increased bonus costs (or, profitability) of running a no deposit campaign ranks second in operators’ concerns.

For example, although only 12.8% of respondents consider increased bonus costs to be a ‘Huge Issue,’ a remarkable 43.6% consider it to be a ‘Significant’ issue!

Operator Response #44

“I think that no deposit bonuses are useless at attracting real players who deposit and continue playing. Our figures show that we get only 4% retention on our no deposit bonuses. Deposit bonuses are far more effective at bringing real players into the casino.”

So Why Do Operators Offer No Deposit Bonuses?

The truth is, it’s not entirely clear – the data provides mixed results in a situation where you expect coherence. According to the data there seems to be three reasons why a casino might offer a no deposit bonus:

Because Everyone Else Is Doing It

The most prevalent reason operators offer no deposit bonuses is so they can “compete with those that do” (34.1%). In this case, it’s likely that casinos face a drop-off in new players or market-share by not offering a no deposit bonus.

We think this is the most accurate reading because very few operators (4.9%) offer no deposit bonuses primarily because it is profitable to do so.

Because Players Expect It

The vast majority of operators think that players expect casinos to provide a no-deposit bonus (70.5%). However, while this clearly enters the thoughts of operators, only 16.9% of operators offer their no deposit bonus primarily because of player expectations.

Because It’s Actually Effective

On some level, no deposit bonuses must be effective as a profit generating marketing strategy. The survey reveals that, at the very least, no deposit bonuses prove to be an effective acquisition tool (28%), and that players are more likely to go on to deposit if they are already registered (15.9%).

It’s likely that, in an in-direct way, no deposit bonuses actually work at increasing a casino’s profit-margins, even though they are fraught with potential pitfalls when mismanaged.

Operator Response #29

“Although we run these bonuses, I am not a fan. I believe it invites the wrong kind of demographic. Yet the data does not lie. We seem to make a profit when running this kind of campaign – not a massive business altering one, but a profit is a profit and therefore we continue.”


From the survey we can draw maybe a single salient conclusion.

It’s highly likely that operators consider no deposit bonuses to be a necessary evil.

Operators regularly complain about the increased bonus costs, administrative overheads, and low quality players, but they still offer no deposit bonuses by an overwhelming majority (69.9%).

Yet further research has to be carried out to decide, finally, whether no deposit bonuses are actually effective.

A lot of the motivation to offer no deposit bonuses comes from a desire to match player expectations. However, these are generally considered to be the expectations of low quality players.

Not only is it often more effective to abdicate from no deposit bonus campaigns, but it seems that deposit bonuses, on average, are far more successful at attracting high quality players and generating a long-term profit.

About NoDepositKings

NoDepositKings is THE leading online casino directory for the latest no deposit bonuses at online casinos you can trust. Complete with in-depth casino reviews, lists of the latest bonuses, and helpful guides written by industry experts, NoDepositKings intends to make finding your next online casino more convenient than ever.

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