Let’s be honest: in life, we all like a little something for nothing.
One area in which we can enjoy a ‘freebie’ is when we join a new online casino, with the absolute vast majority of brands only too keen to offer us some kind of welcome bonus for joining their family of players.
Of course, not all casino bonuses are the same, and it should be said that some players will favour one type over another. And who better to explain the differences between bonuses than Adam Nadeau, founder of Canadian casino review portal, Playcasinos.ca?
So, let’s look at the different types available so that you make the right call when it comes to accessing the right bonus for your needs.
The most common form of casino offer is the welcome bonus, which most brands will supply right off the bat.
“Typically, this takes the form of a percentage of your first deposit – usually 100% – and also gives you a stash of bet credits to play with,” Nadeau says.
For example, the casino’s offer could be a 100% bonus up to $250. If you deposit $10, then you will have that to play with plus the 100% match from the casino – i.e., an extra $10. The same applies for any monetary amount, so if you deposited the full $250 allowed, then you would be handed an additional $250 to savour.
“As ever with any discussion about online casino bonuses, we have to mention the elephant in the room: wagering requirements. As well as being given a specific timeframe in which you have to use the bonus, you will also have to ‘play through’ your bonus amount a certain number of times before any winnings you have accrued can be cashed out,” adds Nadeau.
This can range from 10x to 50x your bonus amount, and – it goes without saying – the lower the wagering requirements, the better it will be for you. You can find the requirements for each bonus detailed in the terms and conditions of the offer.
No deposit bonus
In some ways, a ‘no deposit’ bonus is the holy grail of online casino bonuses.
That’s because they require almost minimal effort to claim. Most of the time, all you have to do is register for a new player account – as the name implies, there’s no need to make a deposit or jump through any hoops in order to qualify.
“As you might expect from such a great deal, the actual terms for a ‘no deposit’ bonus tend to be lower – the monetary amount tends to be less than with the standard welcome bonus, or it may take the form of free spins or some other type,” remarks Nadeau.
“There are still wagering requirements to consider, but a ‘no deposit’ bonus is, almost without exception, too good to miss.”
So, you’ve used up your welcome bonus – now what?
At some casino sites, that will be the extent of your bonus goodies. However, at others, you will be able to benefit from a reload bonus.
This will take the form of another welcome bonus and can be linked specifically to your second deposit as a new customer at a brand, or you might even be able to source monthly or even weekly reload bonuses.
“While you will do well to find a reload bonus that pays a handsome set of bet credits for low wagering requirements, it’s not uncommon to find reload bonuses worth 50% or more of your deposit up to a maximum of $250,” says Nadeau.
Both as a new and existing customer, the more generous online casino sites will offer you a stack of free spins to use at your leisure.
This could be as part of your welcome package – for example, 100% up to $250 plus 50 free spins – or as part of a separate promotion where you will earn free spins based upon your play. In some (rare) cases, a casino will throw some free spins your way on your birthday!
“Free spins are exactly as the name suggests: you1 will be given freebies to use on specific video slot games or on any title as you wish, and these spins of the reels are played out as normal,” Nadeau states, adding that any winnings you accrue are yours to keep.
“But – and here comes the bad news – there may well be wagering requirements to satisfy before you can withdraw any money gained.”
These days, many online casinos have set up their own VIP programmes. The premise is simple: they reward their most loyal players with a variety of perks, ranging from free spins and reload bonuses to event tickets and dedicated account management.
One of the other advantages that emerged from such schemes is the VIP bonus, which will be an additional offer on top of any other welcome package that you might have already claimed.
“You have to wait to be invited to join a VIP programme, rather than just signing up – however, if you play regularly on a site, it won’t be long before you catch the eye of the VIP team,” says Nadeau. He should know – as an experienced casino player, he’s a high-ranking VIP on a number of different casino sites.
The name is the major giveaway here, and you have probably already worked out what a casino loyalty bonus might be.
The more you play at a site, and the longer the timeframe in question, the more likely you are to qualify for any loyalty package that the brand has to offer.
“Deposit bonuses, free spins, risk-free wagering – these are just some of the items on the agenda.”
Casino operators are pretty smart, and they know that one of the most potent promotional tools for their brand is their existing customer base.
They create these referral bonuses in the hope that you will recommend the site to friends and family, in the meantime offering up a reward or two for you to do so.
“Note that the referred players will probably have to make a deposit and play through it before your bonus is issued,” warns Nadeau. After all, the casinos don’t want it to make it too easy for you…