Basically, a sticky bonus is money to play with, but it can't be cashed out, whereas you can withdraw winnings with made with non-sticky bonuses after you have met play-through requirements. That is the difference between the two types of bonuses.
Supposing you make a $100 deposit and you get a 300% bonus. It's most likely the sticky kind of bonus. You now have a $400 stake to make your wagering quota.
By the time you have fulfilled your obligation, your starting amount has grown to $800. You've won $400! On cash-out, the casino deducts the $300 non-cashable bonus and pays you $500, your original $100 deposit and the $400 you won over and above the bonus you were given.
Whereas if you deposit $100 and receive a 100% non-sticky match bonus, you start with a $200 bankroll. Let's say, after wagering rules have been met, you have won $400.
Because the bonus was non-sticky, you'd be entitled to cash out $600, your original $100 deposit, your $100 bonus plus your $400 in winnings.
It would seem that a non-sticky bonus is better, except your starting bankroll is much smaller ($200 vs $400) and may not be sufficient to survive ups and downs on the way to meeting play-through stipulations, which are often at a higher multiplier than those for a sticky bonus. It's something to keep in mind when considering various online casino bonus offers.
A typical example of a non-cashable bonus:Vegas Palms Casino gives you $100 FREE if you deposit $50, a 200% bonus! You start betting with $150 and you can play other games besides slots. Although only slots count 100%, other games contribute lesser percentages toward meeting the play-through requirement.
At Vegas Palms, your casino account is divided into a "Bonus Balance" and a "Cash Balance". Winnings derived from Cash Balance go into that part of the account. Winnings using the Bonus Balance are added to your Bonus Balance, up to the original bonus amount. Excess winnings go into the Cash Balance.
You can withdraw the cash balance at Vegas Palms only when all bonus play-through requirements have been met. Bonuses are subject to 30 times play-through before they may be cashed in. Once the bonus play-through requirements are fulfilled, you are free to transfer the amount in your Cash Balance account.
River Belle Online Casino will give you a non-sticky Sign-Up Bonus of 100% if you deposit between $20 and $100.
The bonus wagering requirement here is 50 times the bonus amount and 1 time the deposit amount. Supposing you deposit $50 and you get a $50 bonus, you would need to wager 1 x $50 and 50 x $50 which is $2,550 in total.
Let's compare this and the earlier Vegas Palms Casino example. To satisfy the casino you're expected to wager $4,500 (30 x $150) with a $150 starting sum at Vegas Palms.
Your play-through quota at River Belle is $2,550 but you're starting with only $100, which has to last until you've bet a total of $2,550. Which is easier, turning $150 30 times or turning $100 26 times?
Assuming in each case you bet $10 per spin on slots, your starting capital has to last last for 450 spins at Vegas Palms. This translates into having to win at least $150 every 15 spins. At River Belle Casino, you start with $100 and hope to make it last for at least 260 spins, winning $100 in every 10 spins.
What's easier to accomplish, winning $150 every 15 spins or winning $100 every 10 spins? It looks as if the odds are about the same. In either case, it would have to be your lucky day.
Final conclusion? Neither the Sticky Bonus nor Non-Sticky Bonus is better or worse.