Other Factors to Consider
Whilst selecting the best bonus for you, bear each of these factors in mind as they can all considerably impact the true value of your choice.
Cash Out Limits
Cash out limits, or winnings caps, place a hard limit on the amount you can win when wagering with bonus funds or spins. For example, your 100% up to £25 matched deposit welcome bonus may be wager free, but it could come with a winnings cap of £100. Therefore, anything you win over £100 with your bonus funds will be unavailable for withdrawal, and will instead be returned to the house. As such, it’s worth keeping your winnings cap in mind as you play through your bonus. Even if you were lucky enough to win big on the jackpot, you would only get to keep a portion of the winnings if a cap is in place.
Typically, low wagering and wager-free bonuses will have lower winnings caps than bonuses tied to wagering requirements, and those with tougher requirements might have no winnings cap applied at all.
For example, two very similar bonuses could end up looking like this:
100% up to £25, no wagering, with a winnings cap of £100
100% up to £25, 35x wagering, with no winnings cap
There is no hard and fast rule for how online casinos set winnings caps on particular bonuses, so be sure to check out the terms and conditions before settling on your bonus of choice.
Wagering requirements are perhaps the most significant restriction you’ll come across with bonuses. Simply put, wagering requirements are used to calculate the amount you must wager before being able to withdraw against your bonus, and they’re in place to make it as safe for the casino to deliver bonus funds as is fair and reasonable.
For example, let’s say you have claimed a 100% up to £200 welcome bonus, netting a cool £200 in free funds, but the wagering requirements are 35x.
£200 (bonus) x 35 (wagering requirements) = £7,000 (total that must be played)
Some online casinos include your initial deposit in this equation:
[£200 (deposit) + £200 (bonus)] x 35 = £14,000
As you can see, it’s well worth paying attention to which method your casino of choice uses, as you could be faced with considerably steeper wagering requirements before being able to make withdrawals if they include your deposit in the calculation.
35x is a very common wagering requirement, with lower numbers generally considered ‘low wagering’ and higher figures constituting ‘high wagering’. The greater the value of the bonus, the likelier it is that they will have high wagering requirements, so be ready to wager a substantial amount for any matched deposit exceeding 100%.
Free spins are likely to come with wagering requirements attached too, although they work slightly differently. Let’s say you’ve taken your 25 free spins and won £100, but your spins were attached to a 35x wagering requirement. Your winnings, in place of bonus funds, are then the basis for your wagering requirements:
£100 x 35 = £3,500
Game Weighting Restrictions
Completing bonus wagering requirements isn’t as straightforward as playing your favourite casino games a handful of times, as there are usually restrictions on which games contribute to wagering requirements. At many casino sites, wagers on most slot games contribute 100%, whilst bets on table games can count for as little as 10%. Some online casinos exclude certain games altogether from the wagering, so this is definitely something to read up on in the small print.
So, let’s say you’re working towards £7,000 in wagering requirements. If you’ve wagered £200 on slots weighted at 100%, the full £200 will be counted towards your journey to £7,000. Alternatively, you may have wagered £200 on blackjack weighted at 10%, meaning only £20 is counted towards your wagering requirements. If you’re dedicated to clearing your wagering requirements as quickly as possible, bear weighting in mind before picking a game to do it with.
Not only will you need to complete wagering requirements, but you’ll likely also need to do this within a specified time frame. Failure to complete requirements within this period means that bonus funds will expire, often along with any associated winnings. Some sites are generous and allow in excess of 30 days to complete the playthrough requirements for casino offers, but others give players just a handful of days.
Restrictions don’t simply apply to game weighting — some casinos also set rules as to which games players can use their bonus funds on. Obviously, free spins are restricted to slot games, but you might find that progressive jackpot games aren’t included in the offer. Likewise, you may only be able to use your free cash on certain versions of table games. Of course, you can still play other games, but you won’t be able to do so with your bonus funds.
With that in mind, game restrictions are definitely something to consider as you select your welcome bonus. If you’re set on playing particular games, it would be a shame to find out too late that your bonus doesn’t cover them, so be sure to check the terms and conditions before signing up.
Payment Method Restrictions
Keep an eye out — deposits made with certain payment methods may not be eligible to claim a casino bonus. It goes without saying that you’ll need to meet the minimum deposit requirements to claim, but how you deposit could also have a bearing on your eligibility. It’s often e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill that are excluded from casino bonuses, but some sites have bonuses exclusive to PayPal or debit card deposits, or even bank transfers through services such as Trustly. As with all other bonus restrictions, these details will be covered in the terms and conditions.
Casino Offers and Promotions
With so many top online casinos in the UK to choose from in January 2021, you can expect brand new casino promotions daily. This is great news for anyone looking to enhance their online casino gameplay with the latest giveaways, competitions, prize draws and free spins offers. Of course, making sure you don’t let any great deals slip between the cracks is a tall order. That’s where we come in: we’ve got them all in one place. You’ll find any casino promotion worth your time right here, as and when they become available.
We’ve also got all the need-to-know information on promotion eligibility, wagering requirements and, most importantly, how to claim your bonuses. Keep your eyes peeled to make sure you snap up January 2021’s best UK casino offers before they expire.
Online casino operators are understandably hot on abuses of their welcome bonuses, and withdrawals against bonuses under suspicious circumstances are likely to be blocked or, at the very least, investigated. Red flags can include, to name a few, multiple sign-ups from the same IP address, a pattern of specific deposits being made to claim the same bonus, immediate withdrawals once the bonus’s requirements have been cleared, and patterns of extended play on the same game across multiple accounts.