Bonus Terms and Conditions
Bonuses are an integral part of the gambling industry, and you’ll find a huge selection of great welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions at the best online casinos. Read on for a breakdown of the most common bonuses, the terms and conditions you’ll find attached, and how certain bonuses are better suited to certain player types.
Online casino bonuses and wagering requirements are regular bedfellows — in short, wagering requirements block withdrawals against your bonus until you have wagered its value a certain number of times over.
On average, you can expect wagering requirements of 35x attached to your bonus, whether it’s a matched deposit, free spins, or free bets. Anything lower than 35x is considered ‘low wagering’, with anything above being ‘high wagering’.
Let’s say you’ve claimed a 100% up to £100 matched deposit bonus in full, with 35x wagering requirements attached. The total you have to wager in order to make deposits is calculated in one of two ways:
- Bonus value x wagering requirements = total to be wagered
- (Initial deposit + bonus value) x wagering requirements = total to be wagered
It’s important to know which method the online casino you’ve selected will use, and the details of this can be found in their terms and conditions. You should also pay attention to any time limits that apply, as it’s likely that you’ll need to clear your wagering requirements quickly to make the most of your bonus.
If your online casino of choice uses the second method, your wagering requirements will be considerably harder to clear, as you can see here:
- £100 x 35 = £3,500
- (£100 + £100) x 35 = £7,000
Depending on the kind of player you are, wagering requirements may be the most important factor to take into account when you’re browsing through bonus offers. If you’re unlikely to wager £3,500, or £7,000, within the stipulated time, and you intend to make withdrawals against any winnings you gain through your bonus, you might be better off looking at another option. That being said, wagering requirements are typically steeper for the most valuable bonuses, meaning that satisfying the requirements might be more realistic if you’re a high-roller.
Typically advertised as something like ‘100% up to £100’, matched deposit bonuses see the operator top up your initial deposit by a certain percentage up to a maximum. With this example, you could deposit £100, land another £100 as your bonus, and have £200 to play with. Alternatively, the offer may be 50% up to £100, meaning you would have to deposit £200 in order to gather the maximum £100 bonus. Matched deposits come in a huge range of sizes, with some sites offering up to £25 and others matching deposits up to £500 — it goes without saying that the wagering requirements for the latter will likely be far steeper than the former. If you’re a new online casino player, we would recommend seeking out matched deposits on the smaller side of the spectrum, as these will give you a means to try out the casino’s features along with the chance to withdraw your winnings without having to wager a big sum. For more experienced players, particularly high-rollers, you might not be put off by tough wagering requirements and will likely gravitate towards the most valuable ones available.
With all that being said, there are plenty of players out there who only play for fun, and aren’t worried about any bonus winnings. If that sounds like you, you’re best going for the most valuable offers so you can spend as much time as possible playing on the house.
Slots are enormously popular, and there are thousands out there to try out at the best UK online casinos. The world’s software developers are continually adding more to the pile, too, so you’ll never be short of a fresh experience to test your luck on. Free spins are a great way to do just that, and these offers are very commonly offered either as a sweetener for other bonuses or as bonuses in their own right. Once you’ve landed some free spins, either through a welcome bonus or casino promotion, you’ll generally find that they’re limited to either certain games or games delivered by certain software developers. As with matched deposit bonuses, you’ll likely have to deal with wagering requirements on free spins, although these are generally calculated based on the amount you win from your free spins rather than the amount you deposit. For example, if you win £50 from your free spins with 35x wagering requirements, you will need to wager £1,750 in order to make withdrawals against those spins.
No Deposit Bonuses
Generally speaking, you must make a deposit in order to claim a welcome bonus. As with all things, there are exceptions to this rule, cannily named ‘no deposit’ bonuses. These are generally small and tokenistic bonuses, but they’re also free funds, spins or bets that require no risk on the player’s part. Along with being small, no deposit bonuses are likely to come tethered to wagering requirements, meaning the casino in question isn’t putting itself at risk either: you’ll need to stake some of your own cash in order to withdraw some of theirs. Nevertheless, no deposit bonuses are a welcome and player-friendly way to get acquainted with a site’s features without having to commit any of your own cash.
Everyone loves a rebate, and that’s no different in the gambling world. Rebate bonuses return a percentage—something like 10%, usually—of a losing stake, or stakes, in free bets or spins. Not only is this a nice way to take the sting out of a loss, but it means you’ve got a little cash injection ready and waiting for your next wager.
Once you’ve claimed your welcome bonus through a first-time deposit, you might think that’s the last time your online casino will reward you for adding funds to your wallet. While that might be the case with some operators, the best online casinos will offer additional bonuses for further deposits, or ‘reloads’. These might be smaller than your welcome bonus or come in the shape of free spins or bets rather than extra cash to play with, but they’re always a welcome extra for your continued play.
Free bets may be offered as a welcome bonus or as a promotion. You might see an offer that says ‘deposit £20, get £10 in free bets’. In this instance, the £10 free bets can only be redeemed as such. Rebate bonuses and accumulator insurance offers will likely be offered as free bets if you’re on the betting side of an online casino’s site, meaning the returned funds don’t quite qualify as real cash. Any winnings you gain from free bets, on the other hand, generally will be withdrawable. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of your free bets, as you may have to fulfil wagering requirements in order to withdraw your free bet winnings.