In the ever-evolving landscape of online gambling, casino bonuses have emerged as a key tool for casinos to both attract and retain players. From a player’s perspective, they can also be a fantastic way of boosting their initial bankroll - and enjoying perks for continued play.
In this detailed guide, we will navigate through the intricate world of casino bonuses available in the UK, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of each type and how to make the most of them. So, without further ado, let's get started!
Casino bonuses are, essentially, promotional offers that online casinos offer to both new and existing players. These offers are designed to give players things like free spins, free credits, cashback, or other perks - letting players play either for free, or with more money than they deposit.
But why do online casinos offer these bonuses and promotions? One of the main reasons is the fierce competition in the online gambling industry. Casinos are battling for the attention of players, and what better way to do this than offering attractive bonuses? These bonuses don’t just help to attract new players - they also keep existing customers happy, preventing them from going away to join other casinos.
Whether you’re looking to claim free sign-up bonuses, the latest casino bonuses at crypto sites - or want to find a VIP program you can use to get rewarded for continual play - there are tons of different bonuses and promotions available today. Below, we will walk you through some of the main casino bonuses you’ll find at UK-focused sites.
Welcome bonuses have, for decades, been the main attraction for new players joining a casino - and this bonus is exclusively available to new players who decide to join a particular casino. It’s typically delivered in the form of a matched deposit bonus.
For instance, a casino might offer a 100% match bonus up to £200, meaning that if you deposit £200, they will credit your account with an additional £200, bringing your total account balance to £400. Some online casinos also offer multi-stage welcome bonuses, so you can, for example, claim a matched deposit bonus on your first three, four - or sometimes even five - deposits!
Taking it up a notch, some welcome bonus offers also include free spins - offering even more value to new players. These welcome bonus packages can, again, be distributed over multiple deposits - and they’re designed to appeal to players who want to enjoy some free spins on video slots as well as casino credits.
Usually, casinos will issue free spins over a set number of days: for example, if you claim a welcome bonus that offers 200 free spins, these spins will often be credited to your account at a rate of 20 per day, over 10 days.
Free spins are one of the most popular types of casino bonuses for UK players. As the name suggests, free spins give players a certain number of spins on selected slots that they can use without spending any of their own money.
Online casinos can offer free spins as part of welcome bonuses to attract new players, as well as giving them away as part of special promotions or as unlockable achievements - for example, for reaching a new VIP tier.
When you claim free spins, you'll be given a set number to use, often on one particular slot game that the casino specifies. You simply load up the slot as normal, and you’ll see a popup appear, explaining how many free spins you’ve been awarded, and you can usually choose to accept them for now, or use them later.
As an added bonus, free spins usually come with lower wagering requirements than matched deposit bonuses, too. We’ll talk more about the terms and conditions attached to the latest casino bonuses later on.
No-deposit free spins are a type of free spins bonus that players can claim without needing to make a deposit of their own money. Online casinos offer these as a way to attract new players to their site. While they’re generally worth less than the free spins you’d be given as part of a deposit-required promotion, they’re a great way of trying out a new video slot without risking any of your own cash - and it’s possible to win real money from them, too!
Like regular free spins, no-deposit free spins usually limit you to a specific slot machine. You will also usually need to complete an action to claim them; verifying your email address, for example, if you’re claiming them at a new casino.
However, it should be noted that no-deposit free spins often come with much stricter terms and conditions than regular free spins. For example, you may find that there’s a max cashout limit attached to any winnings from them - so always be sure to read the terms and conditions in full!
A free sign-up bonus - also known as a no-deposit bonus - is a bonus given to new players who create an account at a casino. You typically don’t need to make a deposit to claim this bonus (although you may be required to register a payment method before you can withdraw any winnings from it.)
Free sign-up bonuses can be delivered in several forms, including free spins, a free spins or a free casino chip.
It allows players to get a feel for the casino's atmosphere and game selection without making a deposit - and while the terms and conditions of such bonuses are generally very strict, it's a great way to try out a new online casino without risking any of your own cash!
Many online casinos offer cashback or rebates on losses as an ongoing promotion. This means you get a percentage of your net losses back over a certain time period. For example, the casino may offer 10% weekly cashback. If you lost £100 that week, you would get £10 back in cashback.
The amount paid back is usually subject to certain terms and playthrough requirements before you can withdraw it, although VIPs and regular players often have lower wagering requirements and more favourable terms and conditions.
No-wagering bonuses are among the most player-friendly types of all online casino bonuses, as they come with no wagering requirements! Generally, casino bonuses have playthrough requirements, meaning you must bet the bonus amount a certain number of times before you can withdraw any winnings.
With no-wagering bonuses, you do not have to complete any wagering requirements at all; any winnings from the bonus are credited to your online gambling account as real money, which you can then withdraw as you like.
Most online casino bonuses come with wagering requirements in the region of 30-40X. This makes it pretty hard to actually secure a cashout - which is where low-wagering bonuses come into play.
Casinos offering low-wagering bonuses may lower the wagering requirements to 15X, 10X - or as low as 1X! This makes it much easier to meet the turnover requirements and be able to withdraw your winnings.
Today, it’s pretty rare for casino bonuses in the UK to come with a maximum cashout limit (unless you’re claiming a no-deposit bonus), but there are still some sites that do - and that’s why you’ll always want to try and claim no max cashout bonuses.
A no maximum cashout bonus means you’re not limited on how much you can win from the bonus. In other words, even if you hit a £20,000 win from a set of £1 free spins - you’d be able to withdraw your winnings in full!
£500 bonuses are UK-specific and are offered at several online casinos. Some £500 bonuses match your initial deposit by 100% - up to £500 - while others allow you to claim up to a total of £500 over your first few deposits.
Due to the larger nature of £500 bonuses, the terms and conditions are often more favourable than other casino bonuses. This is designed to attract high-rollers to the casino.
Deposit £10 bonuses are a common type of welcome offer at online casinos aimed at UK players. As the name suggests, these bonuses require a minimum first deposit of just £10 to qualify. After depositing £10 or more, the casino will credit you with some type of perk; it could be a matched deposit bonus, a 200%, 30%, or 400% bonus, or a set of free spins.
Following the same line as the £10 bonuses, deposit £20 bonuses offer the same basic premise, with a higher deposit required. You’ll see deposit £20 bonuses at many UK-focused online casinos, and, as the name suggests, you’ll need to deposit a minimum of £20 to claim the bonus.
Deposit £5 bonuses are also popular at UK casinos - but unlike the £10 and £20 bonuses, they’re specifically designed for low-staking players. £5 bonuses are often available to new players, and, a lot of the time, they allow you to claim up to, say, £20 worth of bonuses and free spins from just a £5 deposit.
A minimum deposit bonus is a casino bonus that requires players to deposit a set minimum amount in order to qualify for the offer. For example, an online casino may offer a 100% matched deposit bonus of up to £500 - but require a minimum deposit of £20 before a player can claim it.
In cases where a high minimum deposit is required, some online casinos will also have a separate bonus available for those on a lower budget.
Online casinos often run bonuses tied to the release of new slot games. These new slot bonuses give free spins on a new slot game. The bonus may require a small deposit to claim, while, other times, all players on the casino might be given a small number of free spins to use on the game.
Wagering requirements refer to the terms and conditions attached to a casino bonus that dictate how much a player needs to wager before they can withdraw any winnings. When online casinos offer bonuses like free spins or deposit matches to attract new customers, these usually come with a wagering requirement attached.
This means the player must bet the value of the bonus a certain number of times before any winnings can be withdrawn as cash. For example, if a casino offers a £100 deposit match with a 25X wagering requirement, the player would need to place bets totalling 25 x £100 = £2,500 before withdrawing. The wagering requirement is in place to prevent bonus abuse, so players cannot simply claim the bonus and immediately cash it out, and to limit the online casino’s financial liability.
Most casinos also have varying game contributions. For example, slots usually contribute 100% towards the wagering requirements, while table games like blackjack and Roulette often contribute as little as 5% or 10%.
While wagering requirements are a significant term to be aware of, they are not the only conditions attached to casino bonuses. Here are some other vital terms and conditions that you should keep an eye on:
Game Restrictions: Bonuses might be restricted to certain games. This means that you can only use the bonus funds or free spins on specified games. If you don’t, you risk any winnings from the bonus being forfeited. Any game restrictions will be mentioned in the bonus’s terms and conditions.
Maximum Bet Limit: Casinos usually impose a maximum bet limit when you are playing with bonus funds, and while the exact amount varies depending on the casino, it’s typically £5-£10, or 10% of the bonus total - whichever amount is higher.
Payment Method Restrictions: Some bonuses might be restricted to specific payment methods. For instance, many online casinos don’t allow you to claim bonuses and promotions when making deposits using EWallets like Neteller and Skrill, due to fraudsters being able to use these payment methods to claim bonuses more than once.
Geographical Restrictions: Bonuses might be restricted to players from certain countries. Due to legal and regulatory reasons, players from some regions might be excluded from particular promotions.
Bonus Codes: Some bonuses require a bonus code to be activated. These codes are usually provided on the casino's promotions page or through promotional emails. Always ensure that you enter the correct bonus code to claim the bonus.
Always read through the terms and conditions of a casino bonus before claiming it, as failing to do so could lead you to unwittingly break the rules - which, in itself, could lead to your bonus winnings being confiscated!
While casino bonuses seem enticing - and often are - there are some valid reasons why you may want to consider declining one. One of the biggest issues some players have with casino bonuses is the wagering requirements that come attached to them.
While in the UK this is now less of a problem due to the regulatory requirement for parachute bonuses, many players don’t want to deal with the hassle of needing to complete wagering requirements, preferring, instead, to just play with their deposit - and be able to withdraw whenever they want.
This way, they also get to play games of their choosing rather than being restricted to certain games that contribute fully to wagering.
Bonuses usually have time limits too, and while most give you ample time to complete the wagering requirements - usually seven or 30 days - more casual players may not have the time to meet such demands. High rollers with large balances also tend to decline bonuses and promotional offers as they prefer having full control of their funds.
Today, most bonuses are opt-in; it’s not like the past when bonuses were credited to your account automatically. However, if you do receive a bonus and don’t want it, it’s vital you inform the casino’s customer support team before playing; once you begin playing, it’s very unlikely they will be able to cancel the bonus - and you’ll be tied into the terms and conditions.
Casino bonuses can be extremely beneficial for players when utilised correctly. The key is to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions attached to any offer before claiming it. Be sure to look out for wagering requirements, game restrictions, time limits, and other important details that may impact your ability to play games you like, or gamble in a way you’re comfortable with.
While welcome bonuses tend to have the biggest monetary value, ongoing promotions like free spins, cashback, and loyalty programs can also add tremendous long-term value if you frequent the same casino. VIP and loyalty programs become especially valuable if you’re a regular player - and it can often be worth sticking with just one casino to maximise the rewards from such a scheme.
Ultimately, assess your gambling habits and preferences to determine whether or not casino bonuses are for you - and if they are, look for ones that suit the games you want to play. Always make sure to read the terms and conditions in full to avoid breaching any of the bonus terms - and good luck!
There are so many casino bonuses to choose from, don't you agree? We have covered most of the top casino bonuses available on this page; we aim to be a go-to guide to cover the majority of casino bonuses available today. Still, we also wanted to add some FAQs below that offer an insight into what other real money casino players are asking and wondering about them too!
Casino bonuses are not a scam, but you must remember they have terms and conditions attached to them. The requirements depend on the type of bonuses you claim. We always recommend reading casino bonus terms BEFORE you play a penny with it. Also, if you plan to use a casino bonus, always claim the most player-friendly one. Never play with a bonus with a wagering requirement over 50 (such as x99), as they will make it hard for you to cash out any winnings (and are borderline scammy then...). Also, check for things like if you can deposit via your preferred deposit method and that there are no restrictions on how much you can withdraw if you win when using a bonus. For example, some casinos apply a max cash-out rule, with the worst contender being around £100. This means you can only cash out £100 if you use a bonus. It doesn't matter if you won £7,000 or £50- the rules will stick. Research your bonuses to ensure they are not sneaky before getting started.