Casino Bonus Q&A
We get loads of questions about casino bonuses, so here are the answers to the most common ones. Send along any enquiries via our contact page.
Do UK Players Get Better Bonuses?
Absolutely. UK is one of the top countries in the world when it comes to big casino bonuses.
Online casinos vary their bonus offerings depending on which country they’re targeting. Players from some countries get bigger bonuses, some smaller, and some unfortunate players aren’t eligible for any bonuses at all.
In the UK, the casinos have really put their best foot forward. Casinos value UK customers very highly, so we’ll always get brilliant bonuses when we sign up at an online casino like LeoVegas.
The bonuses are easy to acquire too. The UK is big, with loads of players, so you’ll find UK-friendly banking methods like PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, and all major credit cards. In all honesty, we think they’ve made it really easy.
What are casino bonus codes?
Some casinos use special codes to hand out promotions that you couldn’t get without knowing the code.
Some online casinos have unique codes, which give out something else than the site’s standard deposit bonus. Typically these codes are entered at the cashier when you deposit. They are called “bonus code,” “promo code,” “promotional code,” “coupon code,” or something similar at the deposit screen.
Many gamblers like hunting for these special bonus codes. Some more experienced gamblers are keen on finding them because the codes often improve the casino’s standard welcome bonus. For example, they might give you a bigger bonus, add free spins to the welcome package or do something similar.
While bonus codes used to be commonplace at casinos, most of them are now shying away from using them. They instead design an excellent bonus package that fits all new players and saves all the hassle that goes into managing multiple promotions.
When there are bonus codes available for new or established casinos you’ll find them on the list above.
How can I withdraw when I play with casino bonus money?
Before cashing out you need to meet the terms and conditions of the bonus.
Casino bonuses always (always!) have a bunch of terms and conditions attached to them. Before you meet these requirements, you can’t cash out. Needing to play according to the rules is something you need to accept when taking advantage of a promotion. For full explanation of this issue see Terms And Conditions below.
There are some rare casinos, like Rizk, which let you cash out before clearing your bonus. In this case, you forfeit the bonus and any winnings earned with it. Also, when you spin the Wheel of Rizk, you can get your extra spin wins and cash wins without any wagering requirements. That’s a brilliant deal. Have a look at our Rizk review for more info on the Wheel of Rizk.
Rizk is also one of the fastest casinos with handling withdrawals. Sometimes you get the money to your bank account almost instantly.
Can I play without a bonus?
Yes. Almost all online casinos let you play with no bonus.
Especially more experienced online gamblers often want to play without a bonus. The reason for not wanting a bonus is easier cashouts: when there’s no bonus, there’s also no wagering requirements to clear and nothing else to slow down your cashouts.
You don’t need to choose any “no bonus casino” to play without bonus money. Almost all casinos, like Karamba, let you forfeit any bonuses. Simply contact the customer service of your chosen gambling site, and they’ll let you know how to deposit without getting a bonus. Often they supply you a code that you use at the cashier, using the code eliminates any bonuses.
What kind of promotions are there?
Most common type of promotion is a match-up bonus. It gives you extra cash to play with based on how much you deposit.
While casinos would like to advertise “free money,” getting that free cash tends to require a deposit. The UK Gambling Commission has cracked down on this kind of communication – and for good reason – as “free money” is often misleading.
The most common type of bonus is a deposit match, which matches your deposit with extra cash. For a full explanation of the most common types of casino promotions see Types of Bonuses below.
Does my choice of banking method matter?
It can. Nowadays casinos don’t give welcome or sign-up bonuses if you use certain deposit methods. You’ll find deeper info on restricted deposit methods in our casino reviews.
A new trend in 2019 at online casinos is to limit player’s access to bonuses depending on how they deposit. This policy probably has a lot to do with how much trouble on average the casino has with players who use certain deposit methods.
The deposit methods that are often excluded from receiving any promotions are the two gambling-specific e-wallets, Neteller & Skrill. It has become the norm for online casinos not to grant bonuses for the two e-wallets. It’s mainly because they charge hefty fees from the casinos. So, you can use Neteller and Skrill for casino deposits, but often you can’t get bonuses by depositing with either of the two.
Good choices for casino deposits in the UK:
Can existing players get new bonuses?
Yes. You’ll receive promotions straight into your inbox.
Sign up at any online casino and deposit; you don’t need to worry about receiving more bonuses. You only need to keep an eye on your email inbox. While casinos don’t always feature existing players’ promotions on their home page, they’ll send them via email directly to you.
Typically the offers you’ll receive as an existing player are either free spins or match-up bonuses. The latter tend to be smaller than welcome bonuses, but on the other hand, they also have more lax terms and conditions. For more information see loyalty and retention bonuses below.
Can I really get free casino money?
It’s very rare, but these opportunities do rise now and then. It’s just not going to be very much, most often £5.
Free casino money is a casino promotion, where you can get a bit of money (£3 or £5) without depositing. Free spins, where you can play real-money spins on an online slot machine, is a similar promotion to no-deposit bonuses.
Both of these promotions, free spins, and no-deposit bonuses, are rare and appear and disappear at different casinos with little warning. The best way to get one is to keep an eye on our free spins page.
Another way to get free casino money are the emails you get to your inbox. To receive these offers, you need to sign up at plenty of casinos (use the list at the top of this page) and cross your fingers some of the casinos will come up with a free money promotion.
To trigger a free money promotion, you typically need to make at least one deposit before the casino deems you eligible. You can use these freebies to win in slots.
Are my casino winnings taxed?
No matter how big you hit, your winnings are always tax-free in the UK.
We know that many gamblers like to use bonus money for playing jackpot games. This naturally raises the question if you’d get taxed if you hit a big win. Lucky for you, the answer is a definite no.
Even being a professional card player is tax-free, which is a rarity in today’s world. UK is the best place for online poker players to reside as you can win as much as you want without HMRC getting their knickers in a twist. We have things much better than, say in the United States or Canada, where poker professionals need to pay income tax for their winnings.
Slots players or punters don’t have to worry about taxes either. What you win is what you get.
Do I get the same bonuses with mobile devices?
Yes. Gamble with a cell phone, laptop or whatever device you want to; your bonuses will always be the same.
Back in the early days of mobile gambling casinos sometimes offered different bonuses depending on what device a customer used when signing up. Now in 2019 these days are long gone. At every casino you get the same bonus regardless if you’re on an Android phone, iPhone or iPad or a laptop or whatever else device.
The only, tiny, exception to this rule is that sometimes gambling sites offer something extra when you use a mobile device. Most often this has something to do with the gambling site launching new games. For example, you might get a bonus for trying a site’s mobile live-dealer games. This kind of thing is rare, however.
Types of Casino Bonuses Explained
Casinos love to throw around words like “sign-up bonus,” “free spin” and “welcome package.” Let’s cut through the fancy marketing words and see what you can get.
Match-up bonuses are the biggest and most common casino promotion. They form the basis of almost all welcome packages (multi-part bonuses).
Online casinos limit the size of their bonus offers. No matter how big the amount of money advertised on a sign-up bonus, the sum is in reality tied to how much you deposit.
Match-ups always show two things: match-up percentage and the maximum bonus size. A typical example is something like “100% up to £100” on your first deposit.
The casino multiplies your deposit with the percentage shown to calculate your bonus. So if the percentage is 100%, your bonus will be the size of your deposit.
Of course, the match-up percentage makes a huge difference. “200% bonus up to £100” would require you to deposit £50 to get that extra £100. “25% up to £100” would require you to deposit £400 for that £100!
Always check for the match-up percentage. Some casinos like hiding it especially when describing their multi-part welcome package. You shouldn’t be too surprised to find that a three-part bonus has match-up percentages 100%, 50%, 100% (middle bonus tends to have the smallest, btw) while the advertised maximum bonus size is the same for each.
The formula for calculating how much you’d need to deposit for the maximum bonus is: maximum bonus / the percentage * 100
For example, 200% up to £100 is calculated as:
100 / 200 * 100 = £50, so by depositing £50 you’d get an extra £100 for a total of £150.
Because nobody likes math all that much, casinos nowadays tend to go for “deposit £50, play £150” kind of bonus descriptions instead of “200% up to £100”. We here at Bonussource.com whole-heartedly support this new development.
If you enjoy playing slot machines, extra spins are the best casino promotion for you.
Often erroneously called free spins, extra spins are something you get when you deposit (so they’re not exactly free). They are real-money spins on a slot machine and they’re in many ways the best bonus you can receive.
So why are extra spins the best bonus? Simply because they have the least terms and conditions attached to them. Most casinos treat extra spins as any other slot spin: play the online slot and keep what you win – no strings attached!
If this is a promo you wouldn’t mind receiving, check out the list at the start of the page – there are many casinos that provide extra spins.
Another great thing about these spins is that most of the time you get them in addition to a match-up bonus. Extra cash and extra spins to play – not too shabby.
Existing Players: Loyalty, Retention & VIP
As an existing customer you receive a wide variety of bonuses.
While gambling websites and forums mostly talk about new player bonuses (aka welcome bonuses), existing players do get a wide variety of extra rewards coming their way too.
Getting new players into a casino is expensive, so each casino has a retention team whose job it is to keep current customers happy. Most of the time the casinos keep you satisfied by offering loyalty bonuses and a VIP-scheme.
Loyalty/retention bonuses are usually smaller than sign-up bonuses but often come with extra free spins. The terms & conditions of these offers are generally the same as sign-up offers or slightly more lax (for example, a lower playthrough requirement).
Most casinos run a VIP-scheme, where your real-money gaming accumulates VIP points. Once you hit a certain number of points, you’re eligible for different kinds of rewards. Mostly these rewards are special deposit bonuses or a chance to exchange your VIP-points into cash.
Besides spins and extra money, casinos often run different deposit lotteries where your deposit can win you something fun.
Deposit lotteries are a common sight at online casinos when a new iPhone model comes out. Typically they work so that your deposit is a ticket for a draw, where you can win something fun (which, for some reason, is almost always the latest iPhone).
Casino Bonus Terms & Conditions Explained
Casino bonuses are the number one reason for complaints players have about gambling sites. While many like to blame casinos’ aggressive marketing, the reason for plentiful complaints falls on both parties. Players tend to be so eager to gamble, that they ignore the terms and conditions that are attached to every casino bonus.
Nowadays the online casinos here in the UK are required to make their T&C’s very visible. Back only a few years ago they were buried somewhere in the small print, but gladly that’s no longer the case.
Make no mistake: when you play with bonus money, you need to follow certain rules. Here we explain the most common terms & conditions casinos attach to their bonuses. These rules don’t make it impossible to win, but they do limit what you can and can’t do while playing with your extra cash.
What are rollover / wagering requirements?
Wagering requirement tells you how many times you need to wager your bonus before you can cash out.
Most common limitation attached to casino bonus offers (especially welcome bonuses) is a rollover requirement.
Rollover requirement, also called a wagering requirement or a play-through requirement, dictates how many times you must wager your bonus funds before you can withdraw them.
Most online casinos have a rollover requirement of 30 to 50. You should pay attention to whether the requirement is “deposit and bonus” or just the bonus amount. If it’s the deposit and the bonus, then it’s essentially a double requirement if the match-up percentage is 100%.
Here is how a rollover requirement works:
Let’s say you get a casino bonus of £100 from a casino that has a 30x rollover. Now you need to wager 30 x £100 = £3000 before cashing out.
This sounds like a lot, but it’s less than you’d think. Since both winning and losing rounds, as well as playing with the winnings, counts towards the limit, betting £3000 is no big deal. It’s 600 rounds of £5 slots spins for example.
Note that not all games count towards the requirement. This is called a game contribution limit.
When you wager towards a rollover requirement, not all casino games are treated equally. Some games contribute less than the full bet size towards the wagering requirement.
How much each game contributes towards playthrough requirements changes from casino to casino, but these are typical numbers (Microgaming casinos often have these exact numbers):
- Slots: 100%
- Casino Holdem: 50%
- Roulette: 10%
- Video poker: 10%
- Blackjack: 5%
- Blackjack Switch: 0%
These numbers are quite generous. Many casinos have video slots 100%, classic slots 75%, and everything else 0%.
When you play a game with a percentage smaller than 100%, your bet is multiplied by that game’s percentage, and the result is counted towards clearing your bonus.
For example using the above numbers, a £20 bet on Roulette would contribute £20 * 10% = £20 * 0.1 = £2 towards clearing your bonus.
You can’t wager more than a certain amount (10% of your deposit) when playing with bonus money.
When you play with bonus money you, should keep an eye on your wagering. All casinos limit how much you can bet with your bonus funds. Most of the time the maximum bet size is tied to your deposit (maximum bet could be 10% of your deposit), sometimes it’s a certain sum (“£5”). If you wager more, you’ll be in breach of terms & conditions and can’t cash out.
While the rule by itself is reasonable, how it’s enforced is often not. Most casinos don’t warn you in any way if you’re about to break this rule! It’s incredibly easy to bet more accidentally, so be vigilant and check how much you can wager and keep your bets under the limit.
Casino bonuses have a longer shelf-life than fish, but shorter than cheese…that is to say you only have a limited time to meet clear them.
Casino bonuses are not available forever. There’s usually a time limit for both when you can get a casino bonus and how long you have to clear it (clearing = meeting the wagering requirement).
Welcome bonuses are usually only available during your first week as a client of the casino.
Most casinos are quite relaxed about this limit: if you happen to spend the first week playing free games just for fun, you can contact customer support to get your casino bonus if you do decide to deposit. You are almost guaranteed to get the bonus, since after all the casino wants you playing with real money.
After you have received your bonus, you have a certain amount of time to reach its playthrough requirement. Normally you have 30 days to clear your bonus.
Tip: Play Slots & Don’t Stress Too Much Over the T&C’s
If you’re not bothered about the finer points of terms & conditions, play slots. We recommend trying for example Starburst, which is one of the most popular slots from NetEnt.
You don’t really need to worry about the T&C’s. As long as you stay under the maximum bet limit and realise not all games count the full 100% against the wagering requirement. You do need to remember that you can’t withdraw your bonus in real money right away, you’re golden.
The easiest way to clear a bonus is to play slot machines and not care about the whole issue. As long as you’re betting under the maximum bet limit and keep the wheels spinning, you’re going to get the most out of your bonus.
How to Choose the Best Casino Bonus?
- Decide on the amount with which you’re willing to deposit and gamble. Never play with money you can’t afford to lose.
- Based on what you’re going to deposit, select your bonus from the casino bonus list. We update our listing on a weekly basis with all the latest offers, and we only promote trustworthy, licensed casinos like Betway.
- Either play slots or read the T&C. While it doesn’t matter to slot players, table game and video poker fans should check out the details: wagering requirements, maximum bet amount, and restricted games.
- Now it’s time to play. Sign up to a casino from the “get this bonus” buttons above, and you’ll receive the welcome offer when making your first deposit.
- You can see your withdrawable balance and required wagering amount from your ‘my account’ section from the lobby. There are many ways that you can follow the progress of your bonus, and if you’re lost, all the casinos listed on Bonussource.com have top notch customer service, and most of the operators offer live chat support on their websites.
- Enjoy the online casino action