As mentioned in the previous section, you should fully understand the casino bonus terms and conditions before signing up or trying to qualify for a bonus.
With so many online casinos in the UK to choose from, deciding where to play can be a tough decision.
Luckily, all of the UK online casinos are competing for customers and to attract new players (and keep existing players sweet) they all offer bonuses and promotions. In fact, casino bonuses in the UK are amongst the best in the world.
But it’s not always obvious which bonuses are the most generous, especially as there are different types of bonuses available with different terms and conditions and wagering requirements.
We want to help you sort out the good bonuses from the mediocre ones. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to decide which is the best UK online casino to get some generous bonus offers.
If you’re not familiar with online casino bonuses in the UK, it can all be a bit confusing.
There are many different types of casino bonuses - free spins, matched deposits, live casino bonuses, loyalty rewards, etc. We’ll go into more detail on each type later on in this article.
For now, let’s just cover the basics.
There are two main categories of casino bonuses - welcome bonuses and existing player bonuses.
You can usually find out about online casino bonuses on the main casino website. Often, promotions and bonuses will be advertised on the home page or on a separate page for promotions. The problem is that there is often a lot of small print to read through to find out exactly how to qualify for the bonus and what the wagering requirements are to release the bonus.
That’s why we recommend checking out our online casino reviews, as we give an accurate and unbiased appraisal of how generous the bonuses are at each site and how easy it is to qualify for and clear the bonus.
Another way to get details of promotions and bonuses from online casino sites is to make sure that when you sign up you allow promotional emails from the company. Casino sites will often send out details of promotional bonuses in the build-up to launching them and when they go live.
In this section, we’ll take a look at each of the most common types of casino bonuses, detailing what they are, how you qualify for them, and a general overview of the wagering requirements at different online casinos in the UK.
Matched deposit bonuses are one of the most common welcome bonuses on offer at UK online casinos. A matched (or match) deposit is a bonus that online casinos give you in return for depositing real money into your account. The basic idea is that the casino will match the amount you deposit as long as you meet the criteria.
For example, let’s say you open a new account at 888 Casino and they are offering a 200% matched deposit for values up to £500, this means that if you deposit, say £250, the site will match that with a bonus amount of £500 once you meet the wagering requirements. Some online casinos release the bonus in increments, e.g. £10 at a time as you meet the requirements within a certain timescale.
When you sign up for an online casino in the UK, some sites will offer you the welcome bonus matched deposit without the need to do anything. Other sites ask you to input a bonus code to activate the matched deposit bonus when you deposit funds.
Some online casino sites offer multiple matched deposit bonuses, which means you can release the matched amount as a bonus over two or three deposits, up to a specified amount.
Matched deposit bonuses are sometimes offered to existing players as a way to re-engage them with the site or reward them for loyalty.
Deposit bonuses are similar to matched deposit bonuses, but they don’t necessarily match the exact amount. For example, an online casino site may offer a deposit bonus of 50 free spins if you deposit £10.
Often, these kinds of deposit bonuses will have no wagering requirements attached to them - in other words, you get the free spins as soon as you deposit the cash into your account.
Live casino bonuses are usually set amounts of bonus cash that can only be used to wager in the live casino - i.e. casino tables with real-time, live dealers. For instance, an online casino site may offer you a bonus of £20 to spend at the live casino tables if you wager £10.
The bonus amount will probably show up in a separate section on the cashier page so that it doesn’t get confused with your real money account.
Unlike live casino offers, mobile casino offers are not restricted to mobile use. It simply means that the offer is exclusive through mobile casino apps and not available to people that only play through the web browser site.
The idea of these bonuses is to encourage people to use the mobile app as it is more convenient and easier for the online casinos to promote.
Online casinos in the UK are well known for offering lots of free spin bonuses. Free spin bonuses are found as either sign up/welcome offers or promotions for existing players.
Free spins can be used on slot games on the site and allow you to spin the reels without wagering any of your real money. In other words, it’s risk-free. You can’t lose. You get to spin the slots for free, up to a certain number of times, and keep any winnings you make.
Typically online casinos offer between 10 and 50 free spins, although some sites are extra generous and offer up to 200 free spins during certain promotions.
However, on most online casino sites, there is a catch. Many casino sites in the UK attach certain wagering requirements to the free spin bonuses. Wagering requirements mean that you must wager a certain amount of real money before you can withdraw any winnings you get from the free spins.
For example, you may get 20 free spins and win £10, but the wagering requirement may specify that you have to gamble at least twice the value of the bonus winnings, which means you need to spend a further £20 to get the £10 bonus released. But, there are some exclusive no wager free spins bonuses for new customers too!
Also, some online casinos set time limits on the free spins and some are quite short, as little as one or two days after qualifying for the bonus, so make sure you don’t miss out.
Finally, one more downside of free spins on some casino websites is that you cannot use your free spins on progressive jackpot slots, or they are only valid on one or two types of slot games.
This type of bonus is pretty much what it says on the tin. You get free spins without any need to deposit real money funds. They are usually given to new players on sign up or offered to existing customers as a loyalty perk or part of a wider promotion.
Similar to the previous type of bonus, these are no deposit casino bonuses that don’t require you to add any funds to your real money account but are not free spins. It could be some free chips to gamble at a blackjack or roulette table, for instance.
Loyalty bonuses or rewards are commonplace at online casinos in the UK, especially at the larger online casino sites. Many casinos offer membership to a loyalty or players club that allows you to accumulate points for playing at the site. The more points you save up, the better the loyalty reward or bonus is.
Some sites also give gifts to their loyal and frequent players (often known as VIP players), such as free spin bonuses, or even depositing cash in your account for you to play with.
Depending on the casino, you may also be able to trade your loyalty points for things like merchandise, electrical goods, holidays, etc.
A reload bonus applies when you add more money to your online casino account. The site will usually email you to let you know that you’re eligible for a reload bonus.
Reload bonuses are usually time-limited and are most commonly matched deposit bonuses. So, you may get notified that if you reload up to £100 you can get a 100% matched deposit bonus, as long as you do it within three days, for example.
Some online casinos offer specific bonuses for certain games such as roulette or blackjack. They may also offer promotional bonuses that are aligned with big events, such as the World Series of Poker or the FA Cup, for instance.
It’s important to check out the terms and conditions before signing up for a casino bonus. If you understand the terms and conditions, you’ll be in a better position to decide whether it is a good bonus and decide which are the best casino bonuses to go for.
The bonus terms and conditions must be published somewhere on the casino site, normally on the promotions page or pages. Sometimes you may need to click a link on the bonus details page to reveal the small-print T&C’s.
In this section, we’ll cover some of the most common things that are stated in casino bonus T&C’s to help you spot the best and most lucrative bonuses out there.
The title of this guide is “online casino bonuses in the UK”, so we’re going to assume that you’re based in the UK. Most online casinos restrict the bonuses to specific geographical locations, often to make sure that they comply with regional laws and regulations.
In some countries, it is against the law to offer free bets, for instance. Any site that is licensed to operate in the UK by the UKGC is allowed to offer bonuses and promotions, including free bets.
If you are residing outside of the UK, you need to check whether your current place of residence falls within the geographical restrictions laid out in the T&C’s.
Some online casinos attach payment restrictions to bonuses. This is especially common for matched deposit bonuses. An online casino may state that the bonus money will be released in increments of £10 for instance, once wagering requirements are met. Other online casinos may not allow you to withdraw bonus funds from your account or only do so once you have met other conditions.
Most online casino bonuses are time-limited in some way. The time limit may be that you have to meet certain wagering requirements to release the bonus within a set timeframe, 14 days for instance. For free spin bonuses, you may only have one or two days to use the free spins before they expire.
Alternatively, the time limit may be set up such that the promotion will only run for one month, after which time you cannot qualify for the bonus. The online casino is legally obliged to set out exactly what the time limits are and how they work in the bonus terms and conditions.
Wagering requirements are arguably the most confusing, yet important, part of the online casino bonus terms and conditions. The reason they can be confusing is that at some online casino sites the requirements are a bit complicated.
For instance, an online casino may state that to release a £20 bonus you need to wager 20 times that amount on a specific game, within a set timeframe. They may refer to this as a “playthrough” requirement. So, it’s not always as simple as qualifying for the bonus then receiving it, you may need to do some extra gambling before the bonus becomes available.
Wagering requirements are not to be confused with the bonus qualification requirements which are a different thing altogether (more on that in just a moment).
Some casino bonuses are just given to you in a straightforward way - many casino sites give you bonus free spins every now and then as a free gift for example.
However, most casino bonuses have some kind of qualification attached to them. You may need to deposit a certain amount of real money into your account or spend a certain amount playing at the blackjack tables, for example.
Another restriction that some casino sites (especially the smaller ones) put on bonuses is that you can only win a certain amount from your free spins or bonus funds. For example, a casino site may state that you can only win up to £100 on 20 free spins.
The terms and conditions may state that you can only use the bonus funds or free spins on specific games. This is especially true for free spins that are usually restricted to one or two types of slot games, and very rarely include progressive jackpot games.
When online casinos offer free spins, the value of the spins is stated in the terms and conditions. For example, a casino site may offer 20 free spins at the value of 50p per spin, for a total value of £10.
As we have talked about in our ultimate guide to casino bonuses and offers, it can be difficult to turn bonus money into real cash as a result of the terms and conditions of such deals.
But there are ways customers can give themselves the best possible chance to do so. One of these is to pick the games they play carefully.
Naturally, it is necessary to stick with games that offer a full 100% contribution to the wagering requirements that are in place. For most online casinos, this will only be online slot games.
From here, picking the right online slots to play can also make a big difference. Slots have something called RTP, which stands for the return to player. Displayed as a percentage, it demonstrates the value offered by an online slot.
As an example, 97% RTP would usually be seen as good value for a slot game. On the flip side, any slot at around the 95% mark, or even lower, is usually poor value.
This might not seem like a big gap, but if you have a lot of bonus money you are trying to turn into real cash by meeting wagering requirements, it can make a difference in the long run.
Also, some slots pay out more than others. This is known as variance or volatility. High variance slots will pay out less often than low variance slots. However, a high variance slot offers a better chance of getting a big win from a spin of the reels.
When trying to meet wagering requirements, slots that offer a combination of low variance and a high RTP might well be the best way to make a profit from an online casino bonus.
Sometimes, players might start on high variance slots in a bid to record some big wins. If they are lucky enough to do so, reverting to a low variance game would then be a smart play.
A casino bonus is a promotion offered by online casinos, either as a welcome gift to new players or as a loyalty reward for existing players. A casino bonus typically takes the form of either bonus funds to play with on the site or free spins to use on the slots games.
Yes, you can win real money by using casino bonuses, but be careful as some online casinos restrict the amount you can win with bonus funds or free spins.
No-deposit bonuses are casino cash or free spin bonuses that don’t require you to deposit any additional funds into your player account. For instance, a site may offer you 20 free spins as a free gift.
It depends. Many new sites do offer very attractive bonuses to try and draw in new customers and make the site a success. But some of the bigger sites also offer lucrative loyalty rewards to keep people on the site.
You first need to check the casino bonus terms and conditions to find out what the wagering requirements are. Then you need to make sure you wager the correct amount in the allotted time (also known as playing through the bonus). Once you have reached the specified amount of wagering, the bonus will be released.
This depends on how the bonus is released and whether it is cash, chips for certain games, or free spins. Some casino bonuses are released as cash payments in small increments, £5 or £10 for instance, which can be wagered as soon as it is released. Other casino bonuses specify that you must wager the bonus money on certain games. Also, bonus funds and free spins may be time limited, which means you need to use them within a specified period after the bonus is released.
Most casino sites don’t allow you to withdraw the bonus balance until you have met the wagering requirements.
It all depends on the value of the bonus and the terms and conditions attached to it. If the qualification and wagering requirements are too time-consuming or costly, then the bonus is not worthwhile. If the requirements are easily met, then the bonus is probably worth it. Our casino site reviews outline which bonuses are worth pursuing.
Bonus abuse is frowned upon by online casino sites and can get you banned or even prosecuted for fraud.
Bonus abuse involves signing up for new-user or welcome bonuses multiple times under different aliases. Most casino sites clamp down on this by using sophisticated monitoring tools to make sure that people can’t open multiple accounts, but offenders still find ways around this. Our advice is not to risk it as you may face legal consequences if caught.