Ask anyone who was around in the online casino heyday of 2000-2008 how profitable casino bonuses were. You’re likely to see plenty of involuntary smiles before hearing answers like, “I know one guy who made $10 million” or “a couple people used their profits to buy a few online casinos”. The quotes are paraphrased, but those stories and more like them are 100% true.

Unfortunately, as most people who spend any time around online gaming forums will quickly discover, those days are long gone. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA for short, destroyed the multi-billion dollar per year U.S. grey market in 2006 and with it went the golden era of both online casinos and online poker. The “good ole days”, depending on who you talk to, endured in much reduced form until 2011 or 2012. But thereafter things got much, much tougher for anyone looking to profit from online casino or online poker bonuses.

But like everything else in life, it’s all a matter of perspective. For people who were making $200 per hour or more over five years, yes, the current online casino bonus environment will likely appear to be a complete waste of time. If on the other hand, you’re an Eastern European college student whose work alternatives involve making $3 an hour, the opportunities currently available to profit from online gaming bonuses may look very attractive indeed.

The nitty gritty: an example of a profitable casino bonus in 2017

As of this writing, Victor Chandler Casino is offering a sign up bonus of 100% up to £200. This means if you deposit £200 on your first purchase you will receive a £200 bonus. This bonus is unusual by modern standards for two reasons. The first is that it allows all of the wagering requirement to be fulfilled on blackjack. The player must play the live blackjack game in which an actual dealer on webcam is dealing real cards. But even though this game is played much slower than software versions this is still an incredible deal. Blackjack has a very low house edge, ensuring that the bonus will retain most of its face value.

The second reason this bonus is unusual is that it has a very low wagering requirement of only 29 times the bonus amount. This means that if you receive a £200 bonus you will have to wager £5,800 in order to cash out. Since blackjack typically has a very small house edge of just %.5, this means that you only expect to lose £29 during wagering. That requirement leaves an expected gain from the play of £171 pounds, not bad for a single bonus play!

Depending on your risk tolerance, you may be able to play this bonus very quickly, even in less than an hour, making this an exceptionally good use of your time! Needless to say, this is an exceptional bonus offer in today’s environment. But it nonetheless demonstrates that if you are willing to go out and look for the good bonus offers, it’s possible even in 2017 to still make worthwhile money taking advantage of casino bonuses.