Welcome bonus offers are the most common way in which online casinos attract new players. They’re the equivalent of walking into a physical casino and receiving a free chip from the doorman as a welcome gift. And some of the best casino bonuses are only for first-time sign-ups.
It’s important to remember that welcome bonuses are offers, which means they’re always optional. You can always walk past the doorman and politely decline the chip he’s offered you. Each casino will have its own welcome bonus, which you receive when you sign up. Some casino sites spread the bonus out over your first, second, and third —or even fourth!— deposit.
One thing is important to remember: every casino bonus offer or promotion comes with terms and conditions (T&Cs), and it’s important to read them carefully, as they are specific to each casino.
Welcome bonus offers from UK online casinos typically include a match deposit bonus, and sometimes free spins to play online slots games. A match deposit bonus means that the casino will grant players bonus money equalling a certain percentage of their first deposit, up to a maximum. You’ll also have to meet the minimum wagering requirements before you can withdraw the money.
Some online casinos may even offer a no deposit bonus, which does not require you to deposit any cash, but comes with stricter withdrawal and cash out requirements.
Keep in mind that casino bonus money is not real money, and there are limits to when and how you can withdraw it, including minimum wagering requirements and maximum cash outs. Going back to the physical casino where the doorman gave you a free chip, what this means is that you won’t be able to cash it until you’ve played that same amount a number of times. We’ll go into the details in a moment. For now, let’s talk about how you can get a welcome bonus from an online casino.
How to find a welcome bonus
Online casino welcome bonuses are as easy to find: simply visit a casino’s website and sign up. Most casinos will require an initial deposit before you can take full advantage of their bonuses. Some casinos will spread the benefits over two or more deposits. But the best online casino bonuses usually come in the form of bonus codes, which many casinos offer through certain websites or at special times.
Here at LadyLucks, we work hard to build relationships with some of the online casinos we review. As a result, some of these casinos provide us with exclusive bonus codes that you can use to get the most out of your welcome bonus if you create an account with them. To find out which of these casino bonus offers best suits your needs as a player, simply go to our reviews below and compare them:
When you click on a link provided in the review, you’ll be redirected to the registration page for the casino, and the welcome bonus code will automatically apply to you.
Match deposit bonus
As we said before, match deposit bonuses reward your first deposit by giving you an extra percentage of it in bonus money, with a maximum cap. The usual range for online casinos in the UK lies between 50%-200%, with caps of £100-£200. If this happened in physical casinos, it would translate into extra chips that you have to play with a number of times before you can cash them.
Here’s a quick example: a 100% match deposit bonus with a £100 cap means that if you deposit £75, you will get a bonus of £75, for a total of £150. But, if you deposit £150, you will receive the maximum bonus £100, for a total of £250.
To see more detailed explanations and examples, read our article on Promotions and Bonus Offers.
No deposit bonus
No deposit bonus offers are simply bonus money or free spins that you can use to get a feel for the online casino’s games before you stake real cash in them. They usually come with stricter T&Cs than a match deposit bonus, including higher minimum wager turnovers. Most importantly, they have cash out limits that cap any withdrawal after you fulfil the wagering requirement. Imagine walking into a casino and getting a load of free chips that come with a catch: you’ll have to play a lot before cashing them out, and you won’t be able to walk out of the casino with all the winnings.
Bonus money and Free spins
Always bear in mind that bonus money is not real money. It is an amount of funds subject to very strict T&Cs, beginning with a minimum wagering requirement. This means you have to play a certain amount of total funds (which may include real money) before you can cash it out.
Most casinos also put restrictions on the games that you can play with the bonus money.In a physical casino, this would be like getting especially marked chips that you can play with, but you can’t cash out until you’ve played a set number of times —and even if you win, there might be a limit as to how much of those winnings you can take home with you. Briefly put: if you don’t make a deposit, casinos are more than reluctant to let you walk out with their money.
It’s best to think of the bonus money as an opportunity to experience the casino and the games and get more play for your cash. Simply put, it stretches out your initial bankroll, and in some cases it does so to a considerable amount.
Free spins apply only to slot games. They’re a good way to get some extra play time, and an extra chance to win without wagering additional funds. In some cases, casinos will limit the free spins to specific games, especially those they want to promote.
Whenever bonus money is involved, a minimum wagering turnover is an important part of the terms and conditions. Remember that doorman who gave you a free chip as you walked into the lobby of a casino? Well, let’s say that chip is £10. And when you took it, the doorman said that the chip was marked, and that before cashing it, you’d have to play for at least 30 times the chip’s worth, which is 300£.
The minimum wagering requirement for online casinos in the UK ranges between 30x-60x the deposit bonus, and sometimes applies to both the bonus money and the real cash deposit. Usually, the greater the bonus amount, the stricter the wagering requirement and other conditions, such as the cash out limit. We’ll summarise this for now, but it’s an important topic, so we strongly recommend that you read about it in more detail here.
If you deposit £50 and receive £100 bonus money with a 30x wagering requirement on the bonus alone, you’ll have to wager £3000 before you can withdraw bonus money from the casino.
On the other hand, if you deposit £50 and receive £100 bonus money with a 50x wagering requirement on the sum total of all the funds, you’ll have to wager £7500 before you can make a withdrawal.
All of this makes sense, as no online casino is interested in you making a profit with their own money. So remember, pay close attention to the wagering requirements before accepting any bonus offers!
Why do some players refuse welcome bonus offers?
For some people, the welcome bonus T&Cs are complicated. If you don’t want to accept a casino’s welcome bonus offer, simply un-tick the relevant box when you sign up or make a deposit, or contact customer support.
Welcome bonuses are a good way to start playing and get to know online casino games. Keep in mind that all casino bonuses are offers, and you’re always free to turn them down. And make sure to read the T&Cs, which vary from one casino to another. One thing never changes: remember to create only one account, as having multiple accounts or using VPNs is a serious breach of the T&Cs of pretty much every casino
And don’t forget to compare the best casino bonus offers available to you. Remember that we have reviewed some of the best online casinos in the UK, and you can find exclusive welcome bonus codes in the following articles:
Simply click on the link provided in each review, which will redirect you to the online casino and automatically apply the code when you register.
And remember: play smart and have fun!