Everything you need to know about casino welcome bonuses
When you win, you’ll need to satisfy certain conditions before you can withdraw funds. These are known as ‘play-through requirements’, but are also commonly referred to as ‘wagering requirements’.
A quick glance at a comparison list of welcome bonuses will tell you that casinos provide bonuses as a percentage of your deposit. So, if you see a percentage figure next to your ‘Welcome Bonus’, it simply means your bonus is your deposit times that percentage. For example, if you deposit £100, a 100 percent welcome bonus would give you a bonus of £100, and a 400 percent welcome bonus would give you a bonus of £400.
While a larger deposit will result in a bigger bonus, it is important to be aware of pre-set limits. Casinos always limit how large your bonus can be. A good bonus can lie between £300 and £500, but some casinos offer bonuses that reach into the thousands.
Be careful not to fall short of the minimum deposit either. If you deposit lower than this amount, you won’t be eligible for the bonus.
As you can imagine, it’s in the casino’s interest to attract new players and give them a great experience. This is why welcome bonuses are often so generous - casino operators are hoping you like what you see and become a loyal player.
Welcome bonuses are sometimes released over several deposits, meaning your first, second, third and more deposits will each get you a bonus. An overall limit will still apply, however; you can’t game them that easily!
Some bonuses will not even be released until you’ve bet up to a certain amount of money, meaning you may have to risk your own funds just to receive the bonus in the first place. This kind of bonus essentially doubles the already tight wagering requirements and, frankly, might just be more trouble than they’re worth.
If you use e-wallets you should also check the terms, as the use of certain-wallets can make your deposit ineligible for the bonus.
So, you’ve got your bonus, now you’re ready to place some bets. You should be aware that there may be restrictions on which games you can use your bonus on. In most instances, you’ll be limited to using it on casino games, meaning you’ll have to deposit your own funds for your weekend football accumulator.
What You Need To Know
If casinos are simply giving out free money in order to draw in a few new punters, this would seem to involve a huge risk for the casino, with fairly negligible returns. So what’s the deal here?
Online casinos have been employing this tactic for several years now, protecting themselves with rules and regulations that to prevent their generosity being taken advantage of. This means making money from a welcome bonus is easier said than done.
Winning a bet using your bonus is pretty straightforward; you’ve got the same chances as when playing with your own money. Once you’ve done that successfully, you’ve got wagering requirements to deal with.
These are in place to ensure casinos protect the bonuses that they give away, and offset the risk taken by giving you free money. You won’t be able to withdraw funds without satisfying the wagering requirement.
A wagering requirement is the amount of money you will need to bet in the casino before your winnings are made available for withdrawal.
To give you a better idea of how this works, let’s take a bonus of 100% on a maximum deposit of £100. Making the maximum deposit would give you a bonus of £100. After earning some winnings by using your bonus, you will then need to meet the wagering requirements, which —in this instance— are x30. To calculate this figure, multiply the sum of your bonus and deposit, by 30.
Your task now would be to place bets totaling to an amount of £6000. So you can see that you’re probably facing the risk of wagering a lot of your own money before you can withdraw any winnings. If you’ve still got some of your bonus winnings left after this, you can finally withdraw them.
The best thing to do would be to try using your bonus winnings alone, repeatedly,in the hope that you won’t need to spend any of your own money. While this would an ideal playing strategy for most players, it would also be extremely difficult and demand more than a few strokes of luck.
Now that you know all about welcome bonuses, it’s time for you to take advantage of them. Check out our bonuses page to find the best welcome bonuses, from the UK’s top online casinos. All you need to do is sign up, play and try your luck! Make sure you read the terms and conditions that come with each promotion to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Withdraw My Bonus Straight Away?
No. Even once you acquire any winnings using this bonus, you can’t withdraw them straight away (see wagering requirements).
Can I Withdraw My Bonus Winnings Straight Away?
No, every welcome bonus will include certain wagering requirements that require you to bet a certain amount of money before you can withdraw your bonus winnings.
Is It Actually Possible To Win Any Money From A Welcome Bonus?
Yes, if you meet all the wagering requirements for your bonus winnings —and it is possible to do it with some winnings still intact— you can certainly win money from a welcome bonus.
What’s A Wagering Requirement?
This is an amount of money you have to wager before you can withdraw your bonus winnings, also known as a play-through amount. It’s usually calculated by multiplying the sum of your bonus and deposit by a double digit number.
Do All Stakes Count Equally Towards The Wagering Requirement?
No.Games such as blackjack and video poker, with their low house edge, contribute only a percentage of each stake towards the wagering requirement, whereas —in most cases— slots give a 100 percent contribution.
Will My Bonus Expire?
Yes, if you don’t use your bonus within a set period, often only a few weeks, you will lose it. The same applies to claiming your bonus after signing-up and meeting the wagering requirements on any bonus winnings.
Which casino offers the best welcome bonus?
Our featured casinos all offer welcome bonuses that are great in their own right. The best bonus isn't always necessarily the one offering the most money. Instead, the best bonus is the one that gives you the greatest opportunity to win cash that's available for withdrawal. In the case of a high roller or frequent bettor, a large £500 welcome bonus with 50x wagering requirements might be the best options, whilst newcomers and those on a tighter budget might prefer to seek out player-friendly deals such as bgo's no deposit spins.