Online casinos offer a wide variety of bonuses in order to attract new players to sign up, deposit money and encourage them to keep playing. These bonuses can be split into two basic groups: cashable and non-cashable. The first (cashable) can be used for wagering and are made available for withdrawal from your account once the detailed requirements have been met. The latter (non-cashable) are only available for wagering and cannot be withdrawn. All types of casino bonus will have restrictions and/or wagering requirements that need to be met before you can cash out.
New Player/Welcome Bonus
This type of online casino bonus is usually the most attractive offer available and can include deposit matches, percentage deposit matches and/or a no deposit bonus. When a deposit match is offered, the player receives 100% of their deposit as a bonus. This means if you deposit £50 you will receive a £50 bonus, giving you £100 to play with.
Occasionally an online casino may offer a 200% or 300% bonus, although there is generally still an upper limit on the bonus amount you can receive. Percentage bonuses are often offered and while something like 50% may not be as inviting as the deposit match bonus, they often have a more attainable wagering requirement: It is important to remember that the higher the bonus, the higher the wagering requirement.
No deposit bonuses are a rarer find. This is primarily because they offer a risk free way to try casino games, and claim winnings, without having to spend any of your own money. While they are still subject wager requirements, you don’t need to have made any deposits in order to be eligible to make a withdrawal. It should also be noted that there is usually a cap on the amount of winnings you can withdraw from this type of bonus. For example: a £10 no deposit bonus may have a 50x bonus wager requirement, meaning you must wager £500 before you can cash out. There may also be a withrawal cap of £100 on winnings from the no deposit bonus, which means you must wager £500 in order to cash out that £100.
Monthly or deposit bonuses are a form of ‘loyalty’ bonus, and are often dependant on your activity levels in the month prior. Their main function is to encourage players to keep making deposits and reward those who are highly active. It is rare for them to be as high as the welcome/new player bonus, although the bonus offered will vary between online casinos.
This type of bonus rewards players for referring a friend, or multiple friends, and inviting them to play. Usually the referred friend is required to wager a certain amount before the bonus is awarded.
Payment Method Bonus
Occasionally an online casino may want to encourage you to use a certain payment method, and so will offer a bonus for that specific payment type as an incentive. With most casinos happy to accept a wide range of payment methods, this type of online casino bonus is rare.
Wagering requirements are put in place to stop players taking advantage of the system, by requiring them to wager a certain amount before allowing them to cash out. This can mean you either need to wager the bonus a certain amount of times, or the deposit and bonus combined. The requirements vary between online casinos but are generally between 30x and 40x although there may be some higher or lower than this. For example: if you deposit £10 and receive a 100% bonus you will have £20 to play with. With a requirement of 30x deposit + bonus, you would need to wager £600 before you could cash out, whereas if the wagering requirement was 30x casino bonus, then the amount you would need to wager before making a withdrawal would be £300.
When deciding which online casino bonus to go for, it is important to bear a few things in mind. Firstly, bigger is not always better. As a general rule; the higher the bonus, the higher the wager requirement. There are usually expiry dates on the casino bonus offered, after which time the bonus and subsequent winnings will be lost if the wager requirements haven’t been met. Some bonuses (usually no deposit) will also have a cap on the amount of winnings you can withdraw. Always make sure you have read and understand all restrictions and requirements.