You may know that you can make money from online casinos by "bonus-hunting" (i.e. joining a casino for the bonus and then cashing out once you have met the wagering requirement). The problem is that you often need to play for a long time before you are allowed to withdraw the freebie bonus. The casinos aren't stupid. They know that in this time most people will have lost both the bonus and their original deposit. As far as the casino is concerned that more than makes up for the few people who make money and cash out.
Here are some tips to bear in mind if you want to go "bonus-hunting" and walk away with a good profit.
1. Check the terms and conditions carefully
There is no point in depositing your money, getting the bonus and then finding out that you can't cash out because you didn't meet their exact requirements for games played, amount wagered, or location. All sites show their Terms and Conditions so read them carefully. In particular look for any excluded games (Blackjack, craps and low-risk roulette bets are sometime excluded). Check that you don't live in an excluded country (Danish and Israeli players usually can't claim bonuses).
2. Exceed the minimum wager requirement
When you receive the bonus the casino will require you to wager a total amount before you can withdraw it. They obviously don't want everyone signing up, then withdrawing the free cash without risking any of it. Therefore they usually stipulate you wager the deposit + bonus 15 to 20 times in total before you withdraw it. However it is good practice to exceed their minimum requirement by wagering at least 20% extra. They won't (and can't) refuse to pay out if you don't, but they may see you as a bonus-abuser and not send you any of their future members offers. If you stay on the right side of the casinos they often offer monthly free bonuses just for staying with them.
3. Check the bonus is not "sticky"
Sticky bonuses are bonuses that you can use to wager with but can never cash out (although you can cash out the winnings from them). Sticky bonuses are also sometimes called phantom bonuses. Fortunately sticky bonuses are still not common in European casinos, but they are becoming more popular in American casinos. Sticky bonuses are not necessarily bad, but to profit from them you need to place higher risk, higher reward bets. Check the terms and conditions if you want to stay away from these.
4. Make use of special promotions
Some casinos offer regular monthly top-up bonuses. 888 Casino on Net offers $200 free (cash match) when you join, but also regularly sends you surprise bonuses which they add straight to your account. I've received these several times from 888 and with these extra promotions there is no wagering requirement at all! Other casinos including Intercasino have similar offers.