What Is a Casino Welcome Bonus?
A welcome bonus aims to give players a headstart at a new casino, and it’s also an incentive from the casinos to choose to gamble with them. The welcome bonuses are usually only to brand new players. So, it often pays off to look at the offers available in different casinos.
Many casinos offer welcome bonuses that seem very similar, and it’s easy for players to look immediately at the percentages and numbers shown and be confused. However, casinos create welcome offers to benefit both themselves and the player; bonuses bring new players to the online casino and provide players with a bonus balance on their casino account.
Importance of Welcome Bonuses
When you begin to look at a new casino and decide whether to deposit your money there, you’ll generally get a good impression of the quality of the casino by looking at the bonuses they offer, specifically their casino welcome bonus. The bonuses might all look similar on the surface, but the trick is to look deeper at the bonus.
Players can look at the terms and conditions of the bonus to first check their eligibility and ensure that they can benefit from the bonus if they actually sign up for it. In other words, reviewing the wagering requirements.
While looking at the more detailed aspects of the bonuses, players may find the attractive bonus they thought they had found doesn’t suit their playing style. Similarly, the casino bonus may offer the right conditions and be a lucrative addition to the gambling adventure.
What’s Part of a Welcome Bonus?
Usually, players will find their welcome bonus consists of various cash bonuses, which could be match deposit bonuses or free bonus money to use on a particular game. Although they also generally offer some free spins to use either on a specific slot or a wide choice of slots. The welcome bonus is an excellent package for players to begin their gambling journey at their chosen casino.
Why Should I Use a Welcome Bonus?
There are many reasons to use a welcome bonus, but they are mostly a great way to begin in a new casino. In general, welcome bonus offers are more generous than standard deposit bonuses, so it pays to take advantage when you want to try a new casino. Although players cannot withdraw the bonus money, it increases your casino wallet and allows you to play the online casino games you love for longer.
Types of Welcome Bonus in Online Casinos
When you sign up to play at a new casino, you’ll quickly realise that welcome bonuses come in many shapes and forms. It can be slightly confusing to decide which kind of casino bonus to lay your hands on. There are some typical bonuses that you can find across all casinos and others that might slightly be trickier to find.
There’s a reason that players can only claim one casino welcome bonus; they are often very lucrative for players, and casinos may often lose money on these welcome bonuses. Yet, the aim of casinos is for the players to enjoy their casino and hopefully continue playing. Here we will walk through the different types of welcome offers and how they can help boost your casino bankroll.
Deposit Welcome Bonuses
You’ll find a deposit bonus in almost every casino, possibly as part of a promotional campaign or standard for new players to take advantage of. This bonus increases your initial deposit by a percentage. It may double your stake in the case of 100% bonuses or even more, as bonuses can range up to 500% matchups. These are run-of-the-mill bonuses, but they don’t mean they are less lucrative just because they are common.
Depending on the casino, you can use this extra credit applied to your account on top of your deposit to play almost every variety of games. Deposit bonuses can come in two main types, either the bonus cash will be attached to your deposit, or it will be unattached. If your deposit and bonus are attached, you will need to play through the wagering requirements before you can withdraw. If it’s unattached, you can still play with your deposit and withdraw any winnings immediately, and the deposit bonus becomes your second chance if you lose your initial deposit.
No-Deposit Welcome Bonuses
No-deposit bonuses are an extremely exclusive bonus that players can use to kick off their casino adventure without even bringing out their credit cards. Essentially the casino offers players a bonus with free money credits to use on their site. It can be perfect for beginners to the casino tables to try out various games. As there is no qualifying deposit, players will generally need to create an account for this bonus and start playing without any risk of loss. The only prerequisite is that you must be a completely new player at the casino; of course, casinos cannot continue offering free cash funds.
Although it may not be too tricky to play through the bonus, depending on the casino, there are other conditions a no-deposit bonus may have. Some no-deposit bonuses also allow players to withdraw winnings generated on the games immediately. Others may require the players to play through the wagering requirements before withdrawing. There could be limits on the bet size and the maximum bonus withdrawal limit. Either way, no-deposit bonuses are, without a doubt, a great advantage for new players.
No Wagering Welcome Bonuses
Players who find this welcome bonus should jump on the offer like the no-deposit bonus. Most bonuses come with wagering requirements, which means that your deposit needs to be played through a certain amount of time before you can withdraw. For example, if you deposit $10 and the wagering requirement is 10x, you would need to play through $100 worth of credits before you can withdraw the winnings as cash funds. Some players try to avoid this as it may delay getting the bonus winnings.
No-wagering bonuses eliminate this problem as there are no wagering requirements to play through. Players can simply make a deposit, and it usually consists of a match bonus, similar to the common welcome deposit bonus offers. Casinos may also offer new players some free spins credited to their accounts without wagering. As this type of bonus gives players a chance to withdraw quicker, the match percentages and maximum deposit limits may be lower. However, they are still very beneficial for new players to begin in a new casino.
How to Claim Casino Welcome Bonuses with Real Money
Claiming a casino welcome bonus doesn’t need to be complicated. Of course, casinos want to make the process as simple as possible for their new players, so the players can deposit and begin playing as soon as possible. There is a recommended process to use when finding and claiming a new casino welcome bonus. This step-by-step guide will ensure that you find a lucrative bonus and that you can successfully withdraw the bonus too.
Estimated Time Needed : 00:05
Tools Needed: Account
Supplies Needed: Time, Money
Choose Your Welcome Bonus
The first step is to identify which is the most suitable bonus for you, and there are many casinos and bonuses to go through. If you require some help with the decision, please browse our selection of licenced casinos and the generous bonuses we have sourced from our top picks. You'll also need to decide what kind of bonus you'd prefer; check our guide for the most common types and determine if you would like to find a deposit bonus with free spins or a no-wagering bonus.
Review the Conditions
Once you've selected both the casino and the bonus, the next step is crucial as every player should ensure to complete it. You need to check the terms and conditions of the bonus thoroughly. You also need to make sure you can make a qualifying deposit and that it will be valid for the games you wish to play at the casino. You can also check the wagering contribution for the selected games since not all games contribute the same towards the wagering requirements.
Create an Account
Once you're happy with the bonus and the attached conditions, all you need to do is create a casino account. It's a simple process that casinos streamline for players by providing a user-friendly environment. Simply input the requested personal details on the form, and within minutes your casino account will be active. Please take note of any bonus codes that may be required, but also note that some links to bonuses on our site should instantly generate on your account. It's then possible to make the first qualifying deposit to activate the bonus. Players should then see both their cash funds and bonus funds immediately in the accounts section.
Play Through and Cash Out
All that's left is to enjoy your casino adventure and play your favourite casino games. Once again, you can always remind yourself of the game contributions to the wagering requirements of your bonus in your casino account. You may then play through the specified wagering amount and be eligible to cash out your funds. Visit the cashier or banking section of your casino account to begin the withdrawal process. Consult the casino's transaction times to know when you can expect your winnings in your account.
Casino Welcome Bonus Terms and Conditions
When players find an attractive welcome bonus, it can be tempting to jump straight in and take advantage of it. Yet, casino players must always check their casino bonus’s wagering requirements and other conditions. The terms and conditions simply outline either the requirements a player needs to fulfil or will specify the bonus restrictions. Although the terms and conditions may make it more difficult for players to withdraw, casinos create bonuses to attract new players, not give free money, so they are necessary to balance the promotion. Let’s look at the standard terms used in welcome bonus conditions and what they mean.
Most casinos’ bonuses will have a wagering requirement, also known as the playthrough or turnover. This requirement means how much money you need to wager before withdrawing winnings. Casinos express wagering requirements in the form of a multiple, such as 10x or 20x.
It’s essential to check the conditions to see which variation it is. Let’s look at an example with a match bonus of 100% and a 30x playthrough. You deposit $20, and the casino matches this with another $20. If the wagering is just on the bonus funds, you must play through $600 worth of games before you can withdraw. Although, if the wagering is on both the bonus and deposit funds, you will need to play through $1200.
As with any promotion, a casino welcome bonus has a time limit within which you can claim the bonus or expire. A player may have several days to claim the bonus after their account registration, which means a qualifying deposit needs to be completed within this timeframe. This could be known as an expiry date for the bonus.
Another timeframe players may find attached to a welcome bonus is for the wagering. There may be a time limit in which the player must play through the funds so they can cash out any winnings. If the timeframe isn’t met, the player may forfeit their winnings or expire the bonus funds.
The game contributions relate to the wagering requirements of a bonus as the game contributions vary on how they contribute to the turnover. Most slots, keno and scratch cards will contribute 100% of the winnings to the playthrough requirements. However, some table games, such as baccarat and blackjack, have a higher return to player (RTP), so the contribution percentage will be lower.
Casinos offer lower percentage contributions for games with the lowest house edge because players have better odds of clearing the bonus requirements with a minimum loss. So the casino would be in danger of losing a considerable amount of money. It’s fair that with a good bonus, the casino attempts to balance the odds. So table games may only contribute between 10-20% towards the wagering requirements.
This percentage is the amount a casino will multiply your deposit and the amount of deposit bonus they will provide. Match percentages can range from 50% up to 500%. When making an initial deposit, the casino will multiply your casino funds. If the bonus offered included a 30% match and you deposited $20, you would gain an extra $60 in bonus casino funds.
Maximum Bets and Winning Caps
When claiming a bonus, players will find a maximum bet amount in the terms and conditions. This refers to the amount players can bet on the individual games. Casinos include this restriction as it avoids the possibility of players placing huge bets on a few rounds of a game to try and play through the wager quickly.
There is also a cap on the total winnable amount, i.e. the amount that a player can win from the bonus and cash out. However, in general, casinos usually provide a generous winning cap concerning the size of the bonus.
These are the games that a player can gamble on and will count towards the wagering contribution. A casino bonus may offer the bonus on only selected games, or players may be able to utilise it on a wide selection. When casinos provide bonuses for specific games, it usually entices casino enthusiasts to try brand new games or possibly even less popular games that don’t get played as much.
Some casinos may exclude certain games when designing their welcome bonus. They may exclude slots and table games with high payout percentages and low house edge. Casinos may exclude live games in certain instances, so if you enjoy the live dealer games, check to see if they are included. These games will not contribute to the bonus wagering requirements, and players will not be eligible to use bonus funds to play them.
Withdrawal limits are more often tied to no deposit bonuses and free spins as it controls the amount of money that the casino will lose from players who haven’t yet made a deposit. This is similar to the winning cap, and it essentially limits the amount a player can withdraw. Players may technically be able to win more significant sums, but any money beyond the withdrawal limit will be forfeited to the casino.
Free Spin Restrictions
Many casino bonuses include free spins for players to enjoy their slots collection. Although, the bonus spins may have different bonus terms and wagering requirements than the deposit bonus. Casinos supply the winnings from free spins to players as bonus funds, the same as the match percentage bonuses offered.
Players can then use these bonus funds to continue playing. Some casinos may restrict players to continue gambling the funds on the slots; others may allow them to crossover to other games.
Why Do Casino Bonuses Have Conditions and Restrictions?
Casinos will offer different varieties of welcome bonus offers to do this. In essence, casinos design the sign-up and welcome bonus to entice new players. However, there need to be restrictions on these promotions, such as those described above. Firstly, this is to avoid people being able to cheat the system and use promotions such as no-deposit bonuses to walk away with free money.
Secondly, the casino can continue to provide quality service and keep offering their players the selection of games and promotions they are accustomed to and protect their business. If a gambling site don’t have restrictions on casino bonus offers, they will not last long.
Does Every Welcome Bonus Offer Have Terms and Conditions?
Casinos need terms and conditions to protect their integrity and business. No matter what type of casino welcome bonus you find, it will have some form of terms and conditions attached to it. This is necessary to protect both the player and the casino and be transparent. Players can read the terms and conditions before signing up for any bonus to know their options.
Sign-Up Bonuses vs Deposit Welcome Bonuses
Although these two bonuses may look the same at first glance, there are some differences between what constitutes a sign-up bonus and a deposit bonus. A sign-up bonus could simply be free spins awarded to new players upon signing up or even a no-deposit bonus that awards players with some bonus funds to begin playing. Players don’t need to deposit to benefit from these sign-up bonuses. On the other hand, a deposit welcome bonus will require a first deposit to qualify for the bonus conditions. Both of these kinds of bonuses have pros and cons to consider, so let’s look at them.
What Should an Ideal Welcome Bonus Look Like?
There isn’t just one perfect welcome bonus; there are so many different kinds, and depending on the style of play, players will have different needs. There are, however, ways to look for the ideal welcome bonus for you. Although welcome promotions are designed to give new players an incentive to join a casino, they will come with some strings attached that players should be aware of.
When beginning the initial search for an online casino bonus, it can be helpful to look through reviews and browse the top-ranked casino sites. This doesn’t just ensure that players have security when choosing a new casino but that it’s tried and tested by real gamblers. As well as that, you can check our approved list of casinos, which are licensed, reputable and have fantastic welcome bonus offers.
Whether players choose a no-wagering bonus or just free spins, some key things always need to be checked to make sure it’s a suitable bonus:
- The wagering requirements and conditions of the bonus
- The validity or expiration of the bonus
- Minimum deposit amount – and maximum bonus allowance
- Max bet and winning caps
- Eligible and excluded games
Cashback Welcome Bonus
This bonus offer is not the most popular, yet it is still a good option for players who want a safety net. No casino player wants to imagine having a losing streak, but the cashback bonus will help claw back some of the losses if it does happen. Essentially, a percentage cashback will be offered as part of the welcome bonus, which will be offset against any losses in qualifying games.
It may be that 5% or 10% of a player’s losses are returned to them. Although it’s not as exciting as a huge match up bonus or no-deposit offers, it still provides players with an opportunity to continue playing even if their initial deposit has gone. Some casinos will also allow players to withdraw their cash funds.
Free Spins Welcome Bonus
Free spins are a casino welcome bonus preferred by slot game enthusiasts. Bonus spins can be a part of any other welcome bonus mentioned above, or they can even be standalone bonuses. The nature of the bonus spins depends on each casino; some may offer them only for selected games, whereas others may specify that all slot games are eligible.
Of course, slot games contribute to most casinos’ game selection. It makes sense that a bundle of free spins is given in almost every welcome bonus so that players can enjoy the enormous variety of slots on offer. Free spins winnings may be eligible for withdrawal immediately, or they may also have wagering requirements. Bonus spins are usually paired with other welcome bonuses because they are very lucrative for players, so offering it with a deposit bonus ensures that players will try other games.
How We Pick the Best Welcome Bonuses for Online Casinos
Online casinos offer a wide variety of welcome bonuses to attract new players. As a player, it’s important to choose the best welcome bonus that suits your needs and preferences. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which bonus is best for you. Here’s our four-step process we use to pick the best welcome bonus for online casinos.
We start by looking at different online casinos and comparing their welcome bonuses. We then consider the bonus amount, match percentage, and any additional perks such as free spins or cashback offers.
Terms and Conditions of the Welcome Bonus
When considering a welcome bonus, it's crucial we read and fully understand the terms and conditions. This includes things like the wagering requirements, which say how many times the bonus amount must be wagered before any winnings can be withdrawn. It's always important to be aware of any time limits or other restrictions that may affect the bonus offer.
Additional Offers and Promotions
We always check to see if the online casino has any other offers or promotions besides the welcome bonus. These can include loyalty programs, reload bonuses, cashback offers, and more. These promotions can provide long-term value for players and enhance the overall gaming experience.
Reputation and Customer Support
Before choosing a welcome bonus, it's important to research the online casino's reputation and read reviews from other players. We look for any red flags, such as delayed or unresponsive customer support, frequent technical issues, or a history of unfair practices. Choosing a casino with a good reputation and reliable customer support ensures your gaming experience is safe, enjoyable, and hassle-free.
What if there aren’t any free spins in the welcome package?
Bonus spins in the welcome bonus for new players are very common. However, you may come across some casinos that don’t offer them in the package, and you may wonder what to do about it. Firstly, a casino may not offer the free spins in their sign-up bonus because they are usually a quick and easy way for players to earn winnings without investing too much. Therefore, if a casino’s welcome bonus is already lucrative enough, they may decide to avoid adding bonus spins.
If free spins are something you are searching for, plenty of casinos offer lucrative bonuses, including free spins. However, it’s also worth looking at the casino’s loyalty schemes. If they don’t offer initial free spins, they may offer for loyal customers, such as daily or weekly free spins or bonus offers. Most casinos don’t make any money on their welcome bonus as they are designed to attract new players to the casino and expand their player base through lucrative loyalty programs.
Pros and Cons of Casino Welcome Bonus
Who doesn’t love a well packaged welcome bonus offer? Most players enjoy taking advantage of the opportunity for additional cash funds to gamble or free spins for slot game enthusiasts. It’s beneficial to have the extra funds to continue playing without eating into your own deposit or even without depositing at all!
Although online casino welcome bonus offers can be very enticing, it’s crucial to remember that there are two sides to the coin; their benefits do come with disadvantages. Before any player signs up for an attractive welcome bonus, they must be aware of both sides, so let’s look here.
- The bonus cash is the primary advantage, and it gives players more time to play and more possibilities to win.
- Free spins are an excellent addition to most welcome bonus packages, it’s nice to have the option to play slot games for free
- Very lucrative bonuses designed to attract new customers
- Welcome bonuses favour the players more
- The wagering requirements and conditions can be a hurdle for some players, and it means playing through them before you can withdraw winnings
- The time limits on bonuses can sometimes be relatively short
- Cashout limits may be higher than expected, and players cannot withdraw until they reach the limit
- Bonuses can expire before players can meet the requirements
Claiming and Using Casino Welcome Bonuses on a Mobile
Players that prefer to keep their gambling mobile don’t need to despair that they will miss out on casino bonus offers. On the contrary, mobile casino sites and dedicated apps generally have the same welcome bonuses available for their new players. They may also have some mobile casino exclusive bonuses available.
Activating a Bonus on a Mobile Device
The process to activate a bonus on a mobile device is basically the same as on a desktop computer. You may need to follow a link to activate the bonus or use a bonus code which you’ll be able to input directly into the mobile casino app when creating a new account. If you don’t have the application, the process on the mobile-optimised site will be visually similar to the desktop site.
Cashable and Non-Cashable Bonuses
When players find an online casino bonus, it’s essential not to overlook whether the offer is cashable or non-cashable. The non-cashable bonus, also known as sticky bonuses, is designed to increase the player’s bankroll with less investment than the usual cashable match bonus. However, players cannot withdraw non-cashable bonuses from the casino account, which may cause some dissatisfaction when the time comes.
Sticky bonuses give players more money to gamble with and are usually higher than cashable bonuses. For example, if a casino offers a $50 sticky bonus, the player then deposits another $50, giving them $100 total casino credits to play with. They then run their winning bankroll up to $300 and proceed to cash out; at this point, the sticky bonus will be removed, and the player will be able to withdraw $250.
Like cashable bonuses, sticky bonuses also have wagering requirements; however, they are generally higher. It can also get slightly complicated regarding how the casino calculates the minimum playthrough requirement, so players should carefully check the terms and conditions to see how the casino will do it.
These are the standard bonuses players will find, such as the regular deposit bonus. Players can withdraw the initial deposit and bonus funds with this bonus once they meet the wagering requirements. They are both combined, and you play through them with the ability to withdraw your complete bankroll once the wagering requirements are met.
What bonuses to look for after I join a casino?
What happens when you aren’t a new player at a casino anymore? The first option is to look for another casino bonus to take advantage of. However, it’s not always that simple, and some players want to continue playing at their chosen casino for now. Although welcome bonus promotions and sign-up offers can only be to entice new customers, most casinos appreciate their loyal players and award them with different kinds of bonuses.
Most casinos also have great loyalty programs, including benefits such as dedicated service teams, special tournaments, and extra promotions. It’s common to find reload bonuses, cashback bonuses and plenty of free spins available for those that remain loyal to a casino.
There is a lot for players to get their head around when learning about casino welcome bonuses. It can be confusing to learn about the different terminology and types. However, there are some basics that most people wish to know about welcome bonuses when they first begin searching. Here are some of the most common questions players ask when delving into the topic of welcome bonuses.
Which casinos offer the best welcome bonuses?
There is no definitive casino that offers the best bonuses depending on each player and what they require. However, there are some tricks players can use to find quality bonuses. Check our complete guide for more info.
Should you use a sign-up bonus in online casinos?
Sign-up bonuses are created to attract new players to a casino, so they are generally very profitable and worth taking advantage of.
How do you claim casino welcome bonuses?
You can claim a casino welcome bonus by either clicking on the dedicated link for the website or using the bonus code. You then create your casino account, apply the bonus, and you’ll be set to play.
Are casino welcome deposit bonuses only for new players?
Welcome bonuses are only for new players to a casino. Because they are very lucrative for players, casinos cannot offer them to existing customers. However, there are other bonuses and loyalty schemes available at most casinos.
Author & Casino Expert
After going through several successful experiences with several industry pioneers, Fadi Hayek has managed to excel in the world of content for online gaming by providing unique content for several projects that allowed him to obtain the necessary experience to launch his career. Last but not least, Fadi also holds several certificates, including but not limited to content marketing and iGaming.