Different Types Of Casino Bonus Offers
Deposit Bonus (also known as a ‘Matched Bonus or ‘Welcome Bonus’)
Most online casinos offer first deposit bonuses of at least 100% of the amount of money you put in your account, but the percentage can go as high as 500%. The beauty of these casino offers is you can deposit £100 and end up having £600 in your account. Sign up bonuses have wagering requirements attached to them together with other terms and conditions such as time to clear the bonus and withdrawal restrictions – more on these below. The bonuses detailed on Top 5 Casino Sites are matched ones, and where possible we’ve secured exclusive sign-up bonuses for you that are even better than the already decent standard offers.
Essentially an extension to the first stage match deposit bonus is the multi-stage welcome bonus to reward you on your first few deposits. Casinos will typically reward you with a matched bonus on your first, second, and third deposits, and sometimes even more. Usually the bonus percentage varies from deposit to deposit, with the first one attracting the highest amount. The benefit of multi-deposit offers is greatest for those who plan on making larger, multiple deposits, as it can cost hundreds of pounds to claim the maximum bonus possible.Multi-Stage Welcome Bonus
777 Casino Multi-Stage Welcome Package (Worth up to £1500)
|STAGE #||BONUS (% OF DEPOSIT)||MAXIMUM BONUS AMOUNT||WAGERING REQUIREMENTS|
Used as a marketing strategy to allow new customers get a taste of the games, no deposit bonus offers usually have a value of between £5 and £20. As these bonuses have no strings attached, it gives you a chance to see what you’ll get once you decide to deposit.
The first thing you need to know about no-deposit bonuses is that if you are lucky enough to win using this bonus money, many casinos will only let you withdraw your winnings. Only a few will allow you to withdraw the bonus amount and the winnings.
Furthermore, in almost all cases no-deposit bonuses will have very high wagering requirements (sometimes referred to as playthrough requirements). In many cases the bonuses need to be wagered around 50 times before you are eligible to withdraw any winnings. On top of that, it’s possible your favourite game won’t count towards the wagering requirements. The bottom line is: read the terms and conditions. Nowdays true no deposit bonuses are quite a rarity and have been phased out in favor of deposit bonuses and free spins.
Most online casinos don’t stop rewarding you after the first deposit, but let you qualify for a bonus on subsequent deposits too. This means that the casino will credit your account with a certain percentage of your deposit. Not all gambling websites offer bonuses on redeposit, and, usually they are lower than the first deposit ones. Others offer reload bonuses on a certain day of the week, or if you achieve a specified number of loyalty points. There are also some common caveats to reload bonus such as the payment method you use, time restrictions, or a limited number of qualifying games. Always read the terms and conditions.
Another type of online casino bonuses is free spins. They are used to reward both new and existing players. There are generally two types of free spins: those offered as a bonus for a deposit, and those for which no deposit is required. Sometimes, free spins are part of a bigger package: a deposit can be rewarded with both match bonus and free spins, as in the case of Dunder casino which offers both a matched welcome bonus and 200 free spins. Often, free spins offers are restricted to a particular slot game, or limited group of titles, but this will be stated clearly in the promotional materials. In the case of free spins, you will have to play-through the winnings you make from any free spins X number of times before the winnings are cashable.
Although different than the other types of bonuses, loyalty points are yet another rewarding strategy online casinos use. Loyalty – or comp – points are usually awarded based on the amount of cash a player wagers. For instance, for a bet of £10, you can get 1 loyalty point, no matter if you win or lose. When you have amassed enough points, you can convert them back in to money, or exchange them for prizes. If you are considered a VIP player, these comp points will have a higher exchange value than if you are a newbie.
Less common than the other types of casino offers, a cash back bonus is sometimes given to players based on the money they wagered.
Another marketing technique, refer a friend bonus is offered when you recommend the respective online casino to a friend, and they sign up and starts playing. The value of these bonuses differs from one gambling site to another. Usually the sums involved are around £30-£50 and like all the other bonuses you will need to play-through or clear the bonus in order to unlock it.
The moment you get confirmed as a VIP customer of your favorite online casino, the array of bonuses instantly diversifies: cash rewards, free spins, monthly loyalty bonuses, access to special features and unique games, and even real-world events. Some VIP programs are just the higher levels locked into the loyalty points program whilst others are run on invitational lines to select high rollers.
Mobile Casino Bonuses
When the first generation of mobile casinos were launched uk casino sites would often present ‘mobile’ specific welcome bonuses for players who came through and registered and deposited via the mobile site. Nowadays with mobile ubiquitous and over 50% of players reaching a casino via app or mobile responsive site these have almost been phased out – with the welcome bonuses presented on the smaller screen identical to those on desktop.
Always Read The Fine Print
All in all, there are many ways to make your gambling buck go further. Thanks to fierce competition, online casinos fight tooth-and-nail to encourage you to play at their casino. But all “free” money and bonus money will always come with wagering restrictions so always make sure you read the terms and conditions before you redeem any bonus.
Many online casinos boast some very generous welcome bonuses that give you a lot more to play with on top of your bankroll, but there are a few things to consider:
Online casinos apply wagering requirements to their welcome bonus offers to protect themselves from bonus abuse. These are known as playthrough requirements, which means a player needs to play the bonus stake a set number of times before it can be released into their account.
Playthrough requirements are usually around 40x the bonus amount. So, if you were required to deposit £40 to qualify for the bonus, you would have to wager £1,600 (40 x £40) in order to be able to withdraw the bonus as cash.
The idea is to prevent players from claiming a 100% online casino bonus and cashing it out without wagering it. Otherwise players could deposit £100, get another £100 bonus, and walk away. This phenomenom was known as ‘bonus whoring’ back in the early days of online gaming but was stamped out with the introduction of wagering
One of the most important – and overlooked – considerations is whether the wagering requirements applies just to the bonus, or to the deposit and the bonus. Sometimes, the latter type of offer looks more favourable because the headline playthrough requirement might be lower than average (say, 25x), but once it’s applied to both the deposit and bonus, it can easily work out to be far more restrictive than the typical 40x offer.
There will be game restrictions when wagering your bonus funds. Games like blackjack and roulette might not count towards the playthrough because of the low house edge these games have. You can still find plenty of casinos that do allow table games, but their contribution to the wagering requirements will limited to around 10% – 20%. That means that for every pound wagered, only 10 to 20p will count towards the total you have to meet. If you favour a game other than slots, read the T&Cs very carefully before committing, no matter how enticing the offer is.
Check the promotions tab on the online casino. Many casinos will offer bonuses for roulette, slots, live casino, etc. Check if you can take more than one, and if not decide the one that suits you best. No point taking a live casino bonus if you only intend to play slots.
Another often overlooked condition is the time limit imposed on the player to reach the wagering requirements. Carefully consider how often you are likely to play before committing to a generous bonus offer that gives only a week or two to meet the playthrough. Thirty days should be the minimum if you’re realistically going to release your bonus. Betway for instance offers just 7 days to clear the bonus making it almost impossible for the average player to clear.
Some bonuses only allow you to cash out the winnings made from the casino bonus, and not the bonus itself. This can end up limiting how much you eventually are able to withdraw.
Cashing Your Bonus
If you have not completed the wagering requirements on the selected games then the casino will likely void your request to withdraw funds. We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to understand the terms and conditions for every bonus offer you receive. Misunderstandings of the finer points of the T&Cs are usually responsible for most disputes between players and casinos. Don’t be afraid to ask. If anything is unclear contact the casino support and they will be happy to explain any requirements in more detail.
Avoiding Casino Bonus Scams
Players will often vent their anger towards casinos on one of the many review sites, and a casino’s reputation can be easily tarnished through player reviews as many players will at least perform a Google search before depositing with a particular casino.
Usually the reviews will be about the same problem so you will know it’s not as trusted as it appears. It’s best to stick to those casinos that have a trusted reputation and use reputable casino software. The casino software provides the platform that you play on, the casino games and added security.
You should also make sure the online casino is licensed and regulated within the jurisdiction that they conduct business and have their computer servers. The loose online gambling laws can leave casinos open to take advantage of the player.
The UK has very strict requirements to become a licensed online casino, therefore if a casino has their UK license then they are much more likely to be trusted. Here at Top 5, we only feature licensed and reputable UK casinos.
If the online casino does not mention any location where they are licensed and regulated, then it would be best to avoid at all costs. Make sure you check out the terms and conditions too, as casinos usually try to hide the terms and players don’t want to read them, but it’s always worth skimming through as you could come across some unfair and scheming terms.
If a casino only has one or two deposit options, then it’s likely that it’s an unsafe environment. Make sure you’re playing at a casino that offers plenty of deposit options, including Visa, MasterCard, (credit, debit, and prepaid cards), eChecks, PayPal, Neteller, eWalletxpress and Moneybookers.
Developments In Casino Bonuses
2017 saw a joint investigation into the advertising of casino welcome bonuses by online casinos and free bets by online sports betting sites. The investigation highlighted player confusion over bonuses and lack of awareness about play-through and other restrictive terms and conditions. This led to a new code of conduct whereby online casino sites and referral sites had to be more explicit about these terms in their promotionals offers – i.e. highlighting that terms and conditions were attached to the offer. Crucially they could no longer append the word ‘free’ to any casino bonus.
One casino – BGO – responded to these developments by overhauling its welcome bonus, removing all wagering requirements in an essentially £1 deposit to £1 free spin offer. In changing its bonus BGO commented on the confusion of wagering requiremenst and the operational costs in time spent in explaining their to customers
Whilst BGO so far is alone in removing all wagering requirements post the ’17 investigation, the development of casino bonuses does show a general trend to more player friendly terms and more realistic bonuses. Gone are the £2000+ deposit bonuses with near impossible terms and conditions
5 Tips For Choosing A Bonus
Here are Top5casinos 5 top tips when choosing an online casino deposit (match) bonus
- Choose a bonus with a higher % match on the 1st deposit – 200% is better than 100%
- Play slots to have a realistic chance of clearing the bonus
- For multi-stage bonuses check that the higher % match bonuses are at stages 2 and 3 rather than 4 and 5
- Check that the time to clear the bonus is reasonable – 7 days is not
- Check that the wagering is just on the bonus not bonus + deposit
A Final Word On Bonuses
It can be a bit off-putting to find out that you can’t withdraw your funds because they are tied up in some ‘hidden’ wagering requirement. But in general, bonuses usually work in your favour, although there are requirements and restrictions, you still get more to play with and who knows where that can lead. Just remember to check the terms and conditions before you deposit for a bonus.
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