Casino Bonuses Explained: A Comprehensive Guide to How 2024 Casino Bonuses Work

Casino Bonuses Explained: A Comprehensive Guide to How 2024 Casino Bonuses Work

A Full Guide to Online Casino Bonuses

Online casino bonuses are your ticket to free money, cryptocurrency, and exciting free spins at the world’s best online casinos.

These bonuses are not only a delight for players but are also a powerful tool for online casinos to attract and retain loyal customers. You'll often find bonuses as enticing gifts to new and rewards for more seasoned players, all accompanied by specific terms and conditions.

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Reliable online casinos, like mBit Casino, offer a plethora of world-class bonuses

Casinos offer various bonuses, often including free slots for new users. To cash out, you usually have to wager some of your own money. While this keeps you engaged with the casino, it can also end up risking your bonus earnings.

So, is it wise to use bonus cash and spins, or is playing with your money without restrictions a better choice?

How Does a Casino Bonus Work?

Casino bonuses offer free cash, slot spins, and sportsbook bets in return for making deposits, registering as a new customer, or taking other specific actions in the casino.

You can decline the terms and conditions that come with the bonus at any time. However, some conditions may require you to spend a certain amount before cashing out your bonus earnings.

In most casinos, you can accept a bonus offer and opt out later if you decide it's not for you.

How to Get a Casino Bonus?

Most online casinos offer deposit bonuses and free spins when you sign up as a new player. You just need to create an account to qualify, provided the casino service is available in your country.

However, there are rules you need to abide by. Typically, only one bonus per household is allowed. If you attempt to bypass these rules with a VPN,  your bonus could get blocked and your account closed.

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The most popular bonus type is the Welcome Bonus, offered by pretty much every online casino to attract new players. Promotional bonuses, with similar conditions, are also available when you meet specific criteria on the casino website.

Each bonus can be a little different to claim. The N1 Casino sign up bonus is perfect for newcomers, for example, whilst the BitStarz Casino offer rewards that are more geared towards experienced cryptocurrency gamblers. Some online casinos offer weekly rewards, like the Midweek Madness promotion at the mBitCasino.

Types of Casino Bonuses

Welcome bonuses, no deposit bonuses, free spin bonuses, and exclusive bonuses can be presented differently. The conditions that you must meet for each of them are different, and so are the rewards that they offer. To get a better understanding of how casino bonuses work, check out our guide of types of casino bonuses.

Deposit Bonuses or Match Deposit

A deposit bonus is an extra money reward that gets credited to your account when you make your first deposit. The size of the deposit bonus often depends on the amount of money you spend.

You’ll rarely see a website offering a fixed amount as a reward. You’re more likely to encounter a 50% deposit bonus, for example, which means that if you deposit €100 to the site, you’ll get an extra €50 as a reward.

There’s usually a limit to these bonuses. Most casinos set the maximum bonus amount to €200. You’ll also have to bet a certain amount of your own money before being able to withdraw your bonus earnings.

No Deposit Bonuses

No deposit bonuses, typically in the form of free spins or a small cash credit, are often considered the most challenging to withdraw. These bonuses are offered by casino sites without requiring a financial commitment from the user. Despite being free, meeting the necessary criteria for cashing them out can be quite demanding.

Most of the time, you’ll have to spend at least 30 times the amount of your earnings on other bets before being able to withdraw anything.

icon Casino Wizard Tip
Search for casino bonuses with low - or no - wagering requirements, they provide you with the best chance at winning and withdrawing something.

Free Spin Bonuses

Free spin bonuses are popular because they let you play slot games with no strings attached. You can cash out winnings from these spins, but it may require spending your own money. Some casinos offer free spins after your first deposit with fewer withdrawal criteria. Others provide a few free spins, typically around 10 or 20, but demand significant wagering before you can withdraw any profit you make.

Loyalty Bonuses

Online casinos offer loyalty bonuses as part of their VIP programs. These bonuses are hard to obtain and require either being a member for over a year or wagering a certain amount of money.

Loyalty bonuses come in different forms and offer different rewards, such as special prizes in casino tournaments or lower withdrawal limits. Some loyalty bonuses are not limited to high-wagering or long-term customers. However, it's essential to research which casinos offer the best loyalty bonuses and what the requirements are.

Cashback bonuses

Casino cashback bonuses are offered by casinos to give users some of their money back if they lose it while betting. These bonuses are given as bonus credits or direct cash payments.

The size of cashback bonuses is determined by the amount of cash lost and generally tends to be less advantageous than no deposit bonuses. Nevertheless, these bonuses are a nice gesture from casinos to acknowledge their player base even when they're going through a bad streak. 

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Red Dog Casino rewards players with a generous offer on their first deposit

Are Casino Bonus Rewards Worth It?

When deciding whether a casino bonus is worth it, you need to consider the attached conditions. If they benefit you, then go for it. If they benefit the casino, then it might not be worth it. Keep in mind that casinos are businesses and their primary goal is to make a profit.

Before opting for a bonus, consider the odds of the casino games and if the conditions are fair. If they are not, it might be best to switch to another casino. However, there are ways to quickly fulfill the wagering requirements of the bonus.

Understanding Casino Bonus Terms & Conditions

Online casino bonuses have varying terms, but there are some basic guidelines that apply to most. Here's a list to help you earn your bonus:

  • Casino bonuses require you to bet a certain amount of real money before withdrawing. The amount depends on your bonus earnings. For example, earning €50 may require a bet of up to €1500.
  • Casino bonuses are usually restricted to certain games.
  • Always use your real information when registering to a casino website, otherwise, you risk legal action being taken against you – do not use VPNs to earn the same bonus multiple times
  • Some bonuses have a pre-established max withdrawal amount. This means you won’t be able to take out more than a fixed amount of money, even if you’ve earned it with your bonus spins or credits

icon Expert Tip
Don’t use VPNs when getting bonuses. If caught, you will be banned, won’t get any rewards, and risk legal action.

Why VIP Programs Matter

VIP casino bonuses are among the fairest and most lucrative rewards available, but they require time and dedication to really make the most of them.

VIP schemes keep players engaged with the same casino. They offer substantial and exclusive rewards you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.

Here's why we think VIP rewards are worth your time:

  • Encourages Loyalty: VIP programs incentivize you to stick with a casino you enjoy, such as NetEnt Casinos, which offers great bonuses and games.
  • Rewards Time and Money: VIP schemes compensate for losses you rack up over time, and generally make your time and money more valuable. Sites like 7Bit casino combine excellent VIP programs with top games.
  • Exclusive Bonuses: VIP bonuses are exclusive and often far superior to standard bonus offers, granting you access to exceptional rewards.
  • VIP Status: Being part of a VIP program makes you feel like a valued member of your chosen casino’s online community.

Land-Based vs Online Casino Bonuses

Many online casino players often wonder whether they’re making the right choice by claiming a welcome bonus (or any deposit bonus, for that matter) in an online casino. Land-based casinos also offer certain types of bonuses, but they aren’t nearly as good as they are in online casinos.

Below, we'll break down the reasons why online casino bonuses are far superior in every sense.

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You can get 100 no deposit free spins at FortuneJack to test online casino bonuses

Accessibility

Online bonuses are available anywhere with an internet connection. Claim them on your mobile, computer, or tablet. Land-based casino bonuses are location-dependent and limited.

Profitability

Online bonuses often offer double or triple the value of land-based bonuses. While you might be greeted with a €10 free chip in a land-based casino, chances are you’ll end up earning more money with a bonus in an online casino than you would in a land-based establishment with a small €10 reward.

VIP Programs

Online casinos have more extensive and rewarding VIP programs. As a VIP player in a land-based casino, you can claim some fantastic rewards, and the casino is likely to offer you a ton of free stuff, ranging from food and drinks to seats at exclusive tables. However, online casinos offer much more variety and better rewards in their VIP programs. For example, an online VIP scheme could net you rewards worth thousands of dollars prizes, including things like cars, trips, custom-made bonuses, and more.

Game Variety

Online casinos boast thousands of the best casino games, including slots, table games, and live dealer options. You can play with bonus cash across vast game catalogs, something that just isn't possible in land-based casinos.

An Abundance of Bonuses

Online casinos provide numerous bonuses from various sites. Hop from one site to another, claiming bonuses that suit your preferences. It's a lot harder to gather the similar numbers of bonuses in real life, even if you do live in a major gambling hub.

Keep in mind, however, that some bonuses are limited to certain countries.

Diverse Online Bonus Options

Online casinos offer a wide range of bonuses, from standard deposit bonuses to unique rewards that can be claimed by participating in tournaments.

With online casino bonuses, you’ll be encouraged to try out new things, play with different rewards, and discover an exclusive world of activities that you might not yet know much about.

How to Find The Best Online Casino Bonuses

Claiming bonuses is a significant part of the online casino experience. However, selecting the right casino can be a challenge. Some websites falsely advertise their bonuses as world-class, when in reality, they're just scams designed to deceive people into placing bets on their platforms. With this in mind, it's essential to be vigilant and only register with trustworthy online casinos offering genuine bonuses.

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As casino reviewers, we’ve learned which online casinos you need to avoid. Remember not to get carried away while looking for the best bonuses and always take the terms and conditions seriously!

Discover the Best Online Casino Bonuses

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Always Check the Terms and Conditions

It's important to check the terms and conditions for each bonus you think you might want to claim. Make sure the offer has fair terms that allow you to eventually claim the bonus money, even if it requires some effort.

If you read the bonus terms and find them fair, then it's a good sign that you should go ahead and claim the offer. However, if the terms seem questionable, it may be better to find another bonus.

One of the perks of iGaming is the freedom to choose from a wide range of bonus options. If you do not like the terms of the first one you find, you can simply move on to another casino. There are always a lot of alternatives, so there's no need to stick with one that feels unfair!

Look  for Realistic Bonuses

Before claiming a lucrative online casino bonus, be sure to investigate the website and its rules. Look for signs of a scam and ensure that the website is legitimate. Keep in mind that online casinos aim to make a profit, so don't expect to receive free money without a catch.

icon Casino Wizard Tip
Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. Unrealistic promotions are probably scams. Make sure the casino you are looking at is legit.

Avoid Unlicensed Websites

To operate legally, every online casino must have a license. The best online casinos in the world have been licensed by regulatory entities that ensure a safe gambling environment for every player. It's important to make sure the casino sites you intend to register with hold a reputable online casino license.

For more information, check out the most reputable licensing authorities worldwide.

Don’t Fall for Empty Promises

Beware of online casino owners' tactics to lure you to their websites with empty promises. Don't fall for them, even if they appear to be a really, really good deal. Be cautious and do your research before you commit to any online casino bonuses.

Casino Bonus Terminology

If you're new to online gambling, casino bonus terms can be confusing. We've created a list of key terms to help you understand these bonuses better.

Wagering Requirements

This refers to the number of times you must bet or wager your bonus money before you can withdraw any winnings you earn with it. These requirements are usually a multiple of the bonus amount or a combination of the bonus and deposit amounts. You'll typically need to wager less than 50 times, this is designed to make fulfilling the requirements more achievable.

Welcome Bonus

Welcome bonuses are offered to new players as an incentive to join a casino they haven't played at before. Welcome bonuses often have an expiration date, after which they are no longer available. They can include various bonuses on your first few deposits, such as a matching bonus or free spins.

First Deposit

This bonus is exclusively for your initial deposit into the casino. Failing to claim it during the deposit process may result in the forfeiture of the bonus. Contact the online casino staff if you have any questions about first deposit bonuses.

Loyalty Rewards

These bonuses or rewards are given to long-term or high-spending players. These rewards come in many different forms, including free spins, bonus cash, or additional playtime on certain games.

KYC Demands

Online casinos require players to provide additional information, also known as KYC or “Know Your Customer”, when they claim or win a bonus. It ensures that the player is not exploiting the rewards and that the money is being received by the right person.

Although some KYC demands may seem excessive, it is understandable given the number of people who exploit bonuses. Such practices have become the norm in the modern industry.

General Terms and Conditions

You may notice that some bonuses mention that the offer is also subject to the General Terms and Conditions of the website. This implies that the bonus terms you're reading require you to comply with the website's general terms as well.

It's always advisable to check both the terms of the bonus offer and the general terms and conditions of the casino to ensure you understand all requirements.

Disposable Email Address

Using disposable or temporary email addresses to sign up as a new player to receive bonuses may result in those bonuses being removed. Online casinos require a legitimate email address for communication and verification purposes.

Account Verification

This is the process of confirming the validity of your casino account. This is often done through email confirmation. Account verification is essential to make bonuses and withdrawals valid so make sure you complete all the necessary steps as prompted.

Country Eligibility

Some online casino bonuses may not be available in certain countries due to regulations and restrictions. You should always check if you're eligible for specific bonuses based on your location.

Bonus Code

Bonus codes are often required for a player to activate a bonus and claim it with their account. Some of the best free spin bonuses require players to enter a code. These codes are usually sent by email, featured somewhere on the casino website, or can be found via promotional websites.

Opt-In or Opt-Out

When it comes to online casino bonuses, you might come across the terms "opt-in" and "opt-out". These two terms are equally common and refer to the way in which you can claim a bonus offer. An opt-in bonus requires you to take a specific action, such as clicking a button or completing certain steps, in order to receive the reward. On the other hand, an opt-out bonus will automatically sign you up for the bonus or offer, and you will have to manually opt-out if you change your mind.

Bonus Forfeit

Online casino bonuses can be forfeited in different ways, so it's important to be sure before giving them up. Forfeiting a bonus means losing it, along with any rewards that come with it. Sometimes, a casino may force forfeiture if you don't comply with the wagering requirements within the specified timeframe.

Bonus Timeline

The bonus timeframe or bonus timeline is the given amount of time that an online casino puts in place in order for players to comply with the wagering requirements or simply fulfill any conditions that the offer might have. The bonus timeline length varies depending on each online casino's conditions and the rules of each promotion.

Internal Audits

Most online casinos are known to host large internal audits to make sure that players are legit and that they have claimed the bonus money of an offer by complying with the rules. There are players who use illegitimate strategies to ensure that they will never lose money while playing with a bonus. These strategies are deemed to be bonus abuse by the casino, and they are not allowed.

Promotion Abuse

Promotion abuse is, sadly, more common than you think. That’s why so many online casinos have had to include special clauses within their bonus terms that specifically warn players against abusing online casino bonuses. Strategies are valid, but strategies that exploit the bonus directly by placing certain types of bets in which the player doesn’t lose money can get you in trouble.

Minimal-Risk Bets

“Minimal-risk bets” is a phrase that you’ll often see in combination with the aforementioned promotional abuse. In fact, minimal-risk bets are part of what constitutes promotional abuse in an online casino. Betting on red and black in roulette, for example, is a practice that constitutes minimal-risk betting.

Many online casinos give away bonuses that can only be claimed by playing online slots since there’s no way to cheat in these games.

Betting Patterns

Avoid using betting patterns when claiming an online casino bonus, as they are frowned upon by the casinos themselves. Though they can be used in various games, betting patterns don't affect your chances of winning or losing unless luck is involved. Online casinos use betting patterns as a reason to void casino bonuses, so it's best to steer clear to prevent any trouble.

Stake Weights

Stake weights are a common feature in most online casino bonuses. They refer to the amount of money that playing a particular game contributes to the wagering requirements of your bonus.

For instance, suppose your welcome bonus has a 20x wagering requirement. In that case, the stake weight of the bonus is 100% for slot games but only 50% for table games. This implies that €100 wagered on slots would contribute €100 towards completing the 20x wagering requirement, whereas €100 wagered on table games would only count as €50.

This is a strategy that online casinos frequently employ to encourage players to use their funds on online casino slots. You can overlook the stake weights and wager the money in any way you want, but you will probably be more successful in fulfilling the requirements by playing games with a 100% contribution rate.

Bonus Fund Usage

When it comes to using bonus funds at online casinos, it's important to read the rules to avoid issues. While some bonuses let you use the funds to meet requirements, many require that you fulfill wagering requirements before you can access the bonus. For instance, a bonus might offer €500 after you deposit €500, but the bonus money will remain locked until you fulfill the requirements. This means you'll have to use your own €500 to meet the requirements, which can be inconvenient. 

Most bonuses work this way, however, so don't be discouraged. Just keep in mind that your money may be locked until you earn the bonus. In some cases, you may even have to forfeit the bonus cash in your account to make a withdrawal. These measures are in place to prevent players from cheating their way into claiming bonuses with ease.

Credited in Increments

Online casinos commonly offer bonuses in increments. For example, when you make your first deposit for 200 free spins, you'll get some spins immediately and the rest later. Read the rules to avoid wagering requirements for each set of free spins. Aim to claim 20 free spins daily, spend them, and keep your winnings until all the spins have been played.

Minimum Deposit & Limits

Online casinos require players to make a minimum deposit to claim a deposit bonus. The minimum deposit is usually around €10 or €20, and the bonus amount is determined by the deposit amount. For example, a 200% match deposit bonus with a minimum deposit of €20 means that players get €40 deposited in bonus cash. Casinos also have minimum and maximum bonus deposit limits.

Final Thoughts

Casino bonuses are not as straightforward as a lot of people think.  They come in many different forms and it can be challenging to find the best one to suit your needs. If you’re looking to play in a new online casino, you might want to see which bonuses they have available before you sign up for their site.

Here are some of our top recommendations for online casinos with top-quality bonuses:

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Last updated  June 19, 2024
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About the author

Marco

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco is an experienced casino writer with more than half a decade of gambling-related work on his back. He took a keen interest in gambling as a young adult and started writing expert content for the casino and sports betting niche in 2015. Now, he specializes in online slots, table games, and sports betting – producing well-researched content on all fronts of the iGaming world.

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