When it comes to choosing a casino to play at, UK players often take several factors into consideration before making their decision. One of these factors is the casino bonuses on offer.
Casino bonuses offer players the opportunity to make their money go further, with bonus rewards like free spins or bonus cash being some of the most popular perks associated with the best casino bonuses.
For a new player, however, the world of casino bonuses can be a daunting one. A number of phrases often crop up when casino bonuses are being described and it can be hard to find comprehensive and unbiased information on what all these terms mean.
Make your money go further with a casino bonus
We’re here to help. CasinoUK.com strives to offer players reliable and trustworthy resources to help them navigate the exciting realm of online casinos and all the interesting bonuses and promotions they offer. Finding the right casino bonus for you need not be a scary prospect!
This guide aims to cover the most important aspects of casino bonuses, from the rules that apply to them to a breakdown of the important terminology you might come across. So the next time you encounter a bonus offer, you have all the tools necessary to evaluate whether that bonus is right for you.
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How to find a casino bonus
Finding a UK casino bonus is usually extremely easy. In fact, in some cases, it might feel like the bonus has found you! If you want to take a proactive approach and track down some good bonuses for yourself, there are several ways to go about it.
Check the casino page
Let’s say you have already found a casino you love and have signed up as a player. The easiest way to find out about any bonuses or promotions is to visit the casino’s own page. Usually found under ‘Promotions’ or ‘Offers’, have a browse around the casino website and you are sure to find a bonus or two to claim.
Another thing you can do, as a player who is already registered with the casino, is to ask the support team. If the live chat feature is available, shoot them a quick message asking if there are any promos or bonuses on the horizon. They may not be able to tell you about every single upcoming bonus but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
Sign up for alerts
Most casinos offer players the opportunity to have casino offers delivered via email or SMS text.
To make sure you are on that mailing list, ensure that the contact details on your account are correct. Ensure that the casino in question has been added to your email client’s Safe Senders list, so emails from them don’t accidentally end up in your spam folder, where they might be missed.
Read our News blog
You already trust us to bring you comprehensive casino reviews, why not take a look at our News blog? Here is where you’ll find all the latest updates about casino bonuses and promotions, including exclusive offers that may not be available elsewhere.
Types of Casino Bonuses
As you may have gathered, there are several types of casino bonuses, each having their own characteristics. It can be bewildering, at first, to figure out what one type of bonus is all about and how it differs from others.
Below is a list of the most common types of casino bonus. Keep in mind that some casinos will combine two or more bonuses into the same bonus package.
Sign up bonus
As the name implies, this bonus is awarded to players when they first sign up. It won’t be available to players who already have an account with that casino and this bonus, also called a welcome bonus, can only be claimed once.
A welcome bonus can take many forms – the term itself only refers to the fact that the bonus is only available to new players who have just created their casino account. A welcome package can include one or more bonuses within it.
A deposit bonus is triggered when a player makes a deposit. Welcome bonuses often include deposit bonuses but casinos can also choose to offer deposit bonuses across the board, as part of a promotion.
This kind of bonus is sometimes displayed in two parts – the percentage match and the bonus limit. For example, ‘100% up to £100’. In this case, a player claiming the deposit bonus will receive a 100% match on their deposit (i.e. doubling it) up to £100.
Deposit bonuses can also offer other rewards, such a free spins. In this case, the bonus will display the minimum deposit amount needed to claim the bonus as well as the reward. For example, ‘Deposit £50 to receive 50 free spins’.
No deposit bonus
Contrary to the previous bonus type, a no deposit bonus does not require the player to make a deposit in order to claim it.
Welcome packages sometimes include a no deposit bonus and all players need to do to claim it is to create their account. Some casinos also offer no deposit bonuses to returning players. These might simply require the player to log in to their account or to have made a deposit within the past week or month.
A no deposit bonus could be anything – bonus cash, free spins, loyalty points or anything else the casino can offer players.
A match bonus is one where the casino will match your deposit by a fixed, stated percentage, up to a specified limit. The example used above of ‘100% up to £100’ is an example of a match bonus.
Casinos like to reward players who are loyal and loyalty bonuses are the way they can do that. A VIP bonus can be considered a loyalty bonus but it is by no means that only type. Even players who are not high rollers but have returned to the casino over a long period of time can enjoy these bonuses.
Loyalty bonuses are only available to long-term players and as such, these can be considered somewhat exclusive. They will usually be offered to players individually, often via email, to ensure that only those players can claim the bonus.
In recent years, online casinos have strived to introduce a more social element to their sites, mimicking the social feel of land-based casinos. Referral bonuses are a way to encourage that.
Referral bonuses are awarded to players who introduce another person to an online casino and that person goes on to create a casino account.
Casinos often give players referral codes so that when the new arrival creates an account and uses that code, the original player will receive a bonus. This bonus can be a free spins bundle, loyalty points or bonus cash.
This kind of bonus is any bonus format that includes free spins as a reward. A free spins no deposit bonus, for example, is one that does not require an initial deposit in order to be claimed.
Free spins can be included in deposit bonuses too, individually or in tandem with a match bonus. An example of a combined bonus would be ‘100% up to £100 + 100 free spins’.
Casinos will usually specify which game the free spins can be redeemed on but some might give players a choice from a selection of titles. It is very rare that a casino does not specify which game/s qualify in a free spins bonus.
Understanding wagering requirements
It is important to remember that, with a few exceptions, most casino bonuses are subject to wagering requirements. These determine how many times over a player must wager their bonus amount or free spins winnings before a withdrawal is possible.
Wagering requirements can also be referred to as playthrough requirements. They are always displayed as a multiplier – ‘x35’ for example.
A bonus that includes more than one component, such as a deposit match and a free spins bonus, can have different wagering requirements for each one. Bonus cash, for instance, might be subject to x20 wagering while free spins winnings are subject to x30 wagering.
Even a free welcome bonus, no deposit required, can be subject to wagering requirements.
It is really important that players are aware of the wagering requirements tied to a bonus before they accept it. Withdrawing funds before wagering requirements have been met usually results in the forfeiture of the bonus itself as well as any winnings.
Casinos often display the wagering requirements right alongside any bonuses or promotions, making it easy for players to find the information and understand their obligations in this regard. Sometimes however, the wagering requirements are not immediately visible. In such cases, it is important to carefully seek out this information, which is normally found in the bonus terms and conditions. This is a document specifically related to the casino’s bonus offerings and as such is a worthwhile read for any player.
A few casinos offer wager-free bonuses, usually free spins bonuses. In this case, the casino will make sure that players are aware the bonus is wager-free, usually in big letters. If the casino has not specified that a bonus is wager-free, it means that wagering requirements do apply and it is up to the player to know those requirements before claiming the bonus.
Casino Terms and conditions
Aside from wagering requirements, a casino’s terms and conditions hold a lot of important information. This is where you will learn about the countries restricted in that casino and daily, weekly and/or monthly deposit and withdrawal limits.
This document also outlines the sanctions in place for abusing the online casino platform, which can range from suspension of an account and forfeiture of funds to the involvement of the relevant authorities.
The accepted payment methods at the casino will be listed in the terms and conditions. This is also where you can read up about which currencies are accepted for deposit and withdrawal, and which payment methods are excluded from triggering bonuses.
It may seem like a long and tedious exercise but we cannot stress enough how important reading the T&Cs is. If you want a smooth casino experience, with no nasty surprises, your very first stop should be the terms and conditions. They’re usually found linked at the bottom of a casino’s homepage.
Casino bonus FAQ
Got some questions about what a casino bonus involves? We’ve put together the most common queries about online casino bonuses and added our answers below.
What are the benefits of a bonus?
A casino bonus essentially lets you play for longer. A deposit match will multiply your money by a specific percentage, which means you can use that money to place wagers on slots or table games or any other game.
A free spins bonus will give you a set number of spins on a specified slot game or games. This is the perfect way to try out a new game without wagering your own real cash right away.
If you want to extend your playing time and your chances to win, a casino bonus is a great way to do it. Always keep in mind the wagering requirements!
Can I claim more than one bonus?
At most casinos, no. Players are usually allowed only one bonus at a time. Some casinos may make an exception but in these cases, the casino in question will make that very clear on the site itself. Always assume it’s one bonus at a time unless told otherwise.
Where can I find the latest casino bonuses?
The latest casino bonuses can be found on the casino sites themselves. If you don’t fancy trawling to several sites, a visit to our News blog means you’re up to date on all the latest and greatest bonuses and promotions available right now.
What makes a good casino bonus?
It is important to remember that there is no single casino bonus that suits everyone. When it comes to choosing a good bonus, keep in mind your playing style, what kind of games you prefer and how much you estimate you are likely to deposit at the casino.
A good casino bonus is one that balances all of these factors and as such is a very personal choice. We strive to give you all the information you need to make the best decision.
Are bonuses available when playing on mobile?
Most casinos these days offer mobile gaming and many bonuses are available across platforms. Read the bonus terms and conditions to learn if a bonus is available on mobile.
Some casinos offer mobile-only bonuses, which are available to players who deposit and wager via their mobile devices.
Can I withdraw a casino bonus?
As a rule, no. Wagering requirements are in place to prevent the immediate withdrawal of bonus cash or free spins winnings. Once you have completed the wagering requirements, you are free to withdraw as much as you like!
I can’t see any wagering requirements. Does that mean the bonus is wager-free?
Some casinos offer wager-free bonuses but they are very much in the minority. Always read the terms and conditions to make sure you are aware of the wagering requirements, if there are any.
A wager-free bonus will usually be displayed as such.
Can I use my bonus on any game I want?
Bonuses that take the form of bonus cash can usually be used across a casino’s offerings. Some casinos may impose restrictions on some games, such as live casino.
Most casinos will weight games differently when it comes to meeting wagering requirements. Slots may contribute 100% to wagering requirements while table games, for example, might only contribute 30%.
The bonus terms and conditions is your best source of information on what you can and cannot do with your bonus.
Do I have to claim a bonus?
No bonus is compulsory! You are free to opt-out of any bonus without claiming it. Whether it’s a free casino bonus or a welcome package, you can choose not to claim a bonus if you don’t like the sound of it.
However, if you do claim a bonus and change your mind about it, you must inform the casino’s player support team immediately and without having used any part of the bonus. Otherwise, a penalty may be enforced.
Casino bonuses are a great way to get something extra out of your money and casinos are constantly looking for new ways to reward players. Understanding casino bonuses is an important skill for players, who can then evaluate bonuses more easily to determine if they are right for them.
If you’re looking for a casino bonus to try out, our best advice is to be as informed as you can before opting in. Always read the fine print and do not be afraid to walk away from a bonus you do not feel good about. After all, online casino is all about having fun!