Online Casino Bonuses

The online casino market is a competitive one. That is good for players because it means you can take advantage of the many bonuses that the casinos offer. These fall into three broad categories. The first is welcome bonuses that often involve adding extra money to the account of newly registered members. The second category is bonuses for existing members. These vary greatly but often including free bets, deposit bonuses and prize draws. The final category of casino bonuses is for VIP players.


Types of Online Casino Bonuses

Online casinos are creative in the types of bonuses that they offer. They often link them to sporting events, the seasons, or other themes. As a result there is a wide variety to choose from, and they are made available on a regular basis.

Some of the most common casino bonuses that you will be offered include no deposit bonuses, welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, and loyalty bonuses. Most casinos also offer a referral scheme where you get a bonus if a friend signs up based on your recommendation.

No Deposit Bonuses

No deposit bonuses are not always offered by online casinos, and they are usually low in value (typically £5 or £10), but they are the easiest way to get free money. Usually they simply involve signing up to an online casino. Once you do that you are given your bonus—without having to make a deposit – so you can experience the casino.

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses are only available for new members of an online casino. Typically, they involve making a deposit. The casino then gives you a bonus that is a percentage of that deposit. For example, you could get £100 as a bonus when you deposit £100 - the cost to you is £100 but you end up with £200 in your newly created online casino account.

Reload Bonuses

Reload bonuses are offered to players who have spent their initial deposit and any welcome bonus they received from the casino. A reload bonus is then paid on the next deposit that the member makes, and is typically a percentage of the deposit. So a 50 percent reload bonus would put an extra £50 in your account when you make a deposit of £100.

Refer-a-Friend Bonuses

One way that you can get extra bonuses from many of the UK's biggest and best online casinos is to refer your friends. This is usually done through a link that you share with your friends. If they click on the link and sign up the casino gives you a bonus - extra cash, free spins and other freebies that you can use in your account.

Loyalty Bonuses

Loyalty bonuses are offered by casinos to their frequent and high spending players. Casinos often publicise the fact that they offer loyalty bonuses, but they usually don't give any details to the general public. Instead, they are sent to individual players directly at the discretion of the casino. Often loyalty bonuses come with fewer restrictions than other types of bonus.

Wagering Requirements of Online Casino Bonuses

When you get a bonus from an online casino there are conditions. These conditions can vary depending on the promotion but they almost always include a wagering requirement. The exact terms of the wagering requirement depends on the casino and the promotion that they are running, but the principle is the same.

Essentially it governs when you can withdraw money that you have won by playing games using a casino bonus. You can only make a withdrawal once you have played through the deposit several times.

How Wagering Requirements Work

Wagering requirements control when you can cash out winnings that you gain as the result of a bonus given by the casino. For the casino it is all about risk management - they want to reduce the cost of the bonus to their business. It is therefore important that you know how they work. Casinos apply wagering requirements to either the amount of the bonus, or the amount of the bonus plus the deposit. They then allocate a number to this wagering requirement. It could be anything from 10 up to 40. This number represents the amount of times that you will have to play through your bonus / bonus plus deposit before you can cash out.

Understand the Requirements

Because wagering requirements affect when you can withdraw winnings from your online casino account, it is important to fully understand them. This usually involves reading the small print under terms and conditions. If, for example, the wagering requirement was 20x the bonus, and you received a £50 bonus from the casino, you would have to play through the £50 20 times. That means placing a total of £1,000 in bets before you can withdraw any winnings. From the casino’s point of view they calculate that enough players will lose their winnings during this process to make offering the bonus worthwhile. In general, more generous bonuses come with more restrictive wagering requirements.

Types of Online Casino Bonuses

Getting a bonus from a casino appears on the surface to be a simple transaction, but there are many variations, and terms and conditions. In general though, there are two types of casino bonus - a sticky bonus and a cashable bonus.

Both will have wagering requirements and other conditions attached, but the main difference concerns cash out. You can never cash out a sticky bonus, although you can cash out the money you deposited and any winnings. Cashable bonuses can be withdrawn.

Sticky Bonuses

Sticky bonuses are a common form of bonus offered by casinos. They apply to everything from welcome bonuses to reload bonuses to deposit bonuses. Put simply a sticky bonus cannot be withdrawn, even if you have met the wagering requirements of the bonus. You can withdraw the amount of money you made as a deposit, and you can withdraw any winnings you make after you meet the wagering requirement, but regardless of how much you win, a sticky bonus remains in your account until it expires because of time, or until you lose it playing. Sticky bonuses therefore differ from cashable bonuses, which can be withdrawn. Often, however, you will find that sticky bonuses are much more generous than cashable bonuses.

Cashable Bonuses

Cashable bonuses can potentially be withdrawn if you win at the games you play, and you meet the wagering requirements. Assuming you meet all of these criteria you can withdraw the amount of money you initially deposited, your winnings, and the amount of the bonus. This makes cashable bonuses very attractive to online casino players as they increase the payout if you start winning. The downsides are that they are not as common as sticky bonuses. With a sticky bonus you can withdraw your deposit and winnings, but not the bonus amount. Cashable bonuses are usually also lower in value than sticky bonuses as they present a greater risk to the casino. You can benefit from both if you understand the difference.