How Do Online Casino Bonuses Work?

The very best online casinos all over the world offer players the opportunity to win money. Whether they are table games or slot games, you don't only win because of wagers and jackpots; you're offered another way to win money: through a bonus if you play through. All casinos have bonuses. These bonuses are used to keep customers playing. It's an incentive and a service at the same time.

Casino bonuses are promotions where you can earn money, free spins, or even cryptocurrency (in some of the more forward-thinking casinos). Getting a bonus is either based on luck or built into the structure of the casino. Different casino sites have different types of bonuses on offer. In this guide, we will break down the various bonuses offered by casinos, the benefits of bonuses, tips on how to win bonuses, and the various terms and conditions of winning and utilising a bonus. 

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Written by

Seánie O'Brien
Seánie O'BrienVerified
Fact checked by Rebecca Mackay

Quick Answer

Here's a quick rundown on online casino bonuses and how they work:

  1. Casino bonuses are promotional offers made by casinos to attract players to register on their sites. They are also a way of retaining current players. 
  2. There are various casino bonuses, such as welcome/deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, loyalty bonuses, free spin bonuses, match bonuses, refer-a-friend bonuses, birthday bonuses, and cash-back bonuses. All of them serve different purposes and are offered at different times. 
  3. Most bonuses come with a long list of criteria you must meet before withdrawing the money you won. These criteria include withdrawal limits, time limitations, wagering requirements, game restrictions, account verification, and limiting accounts to one person per household.
  4. Before being drawn onto a site because of the bonuses it offers, make sure that the casino you choose has a good reputation and is licensed with a casino authority.

What is a Casino Bonus?

A casino bonus is an offer made by online casinos to attract players into registering on their site and making a deposit to start playing games. As a proven and tested method, bonuses secure new players every day. The type of bonus varies from casino to casino - the first one may be a welcome bonus or a no-deposit bonus. Some of these are more rewarding than others. For instance, you can only use free spins on slot machines. In contrast, you can use the casino's bonus amount on most casino offerings. 

In addition, it is important to remember that casinos give you bonuses when you give them money. Casino bonuses come with a long list of requirements and rules you must know before signing up for the website as a member.

Why Do Casinos Offer Bonuses?

To put it plainly, it is a marketing stunt. Casinos give out bonuses to encourage you to spend more time on their site, consequently spending more money. Bonuses can either attract new customers or keep long-term customers in the community. However, bonuses come with various restrictions attached.

Bonus Rules and Playthrough Requirements

These conditions are put in place by the casino to protect the establishment. The rules ensure players do their part and stick around to deposit more money instead of just scooping up winnings and leaving. As a general rule, a bonus requires a player to choose a game like Blackjack or online slots and wager some amount of money before withdrawing their bonus earnings. This non-verbal deal is struck with a casino whenever you make an account. The restrictions also protect the casino from being cheated by visitors just in it for rewards and gifts. It is important to develop an understanding of the following information to avoid any surprises in the future. 

Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements refer to the number of times you have to play through your deposit and bonus before you meet the requirement to withdraw your winnings.

For example, you're given a €40 casino bonus with a 10x wagering requirement. This means that you need to spend ten times more than your bonus €400 on casino games before you approach your bank for the withdrawal of your bonus funds and other winnings. What you should take note of is a reasonable wagering requirement. 10x wagering requirements are the stuff of dreams. Casinos generally have something much higher - almost 30x to 40x wagering requirements as the industry standard. A 40x wagering requirement is very high, so finding an online casino with a lower value would be ideal. 

Note that the wagering value is kept high on purpose because the casino is counting on you losing the money before you get to withdraw your deposit amount.

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One Bonus Per Person

You're wrong if you think you can trick casinos by having multiple accounts. Casinos factor in this possibility and limit all members to just one account to avoid cheating. As a rule, many casinos limit one household or IP address to a single account. This means that if you share a living space with a friend, both of you cannot have an account. This IP restriction is done in the casino's best interest because the risk of losses is too high to leave these things up to chance. 

Account Verification

Casinos require all gamblers to verify their identity before they are allowed to withdraw any winnings or funds. Therefore, it is crucial to use your real information when making an account. For registration, you must keep your identity documents on hand, like your ID card or passport. Casinos require this in case someone registers with a fake ID. It can take a long time for your identity to be verified, so it is ideal to register long before you withdraw some money.

Restricted Games

Some casino games are restricted for use with bonuses. In these cases, the games have higher payouts, which is why they are restricted as part of the bonus. So, make sure to look at all the conditions that each game has before playing it. 

Withdrawal Limits

Withdrawal limits are the bane of every gambler's existence. They hate them with a passion. Some bonuses come with a limit on how much you can withdraw, which means that any winning above this limit will be considered void. This rule is in place for the casino's benefit. For example, a player wins €500, and when he goes to withdraw the money, he finds out the withdrawal limit is €200, cutting his bonus money percentage by more than half. You'll find this restriction in a lot of casinos. What a bummer, right?

Time Limit

Casinos may also limit the time you have to meet the rollover. For example, once you get a bonus, you may have three months to satisfy the requirements to cash it out, or you may only have a week to claim a bonus before starting the playthrough. If you fail to do so, the offer expires.

General Terms

Sometimes, some bonus offers may not be available to players from a particular country or vary in currency. It is best to read reviews or player feedback on gambling forums.

Types of Casino Bonuses

There are a variety of different bonuses offered by casinos. We've covered most of them in this article:

Deposit Bonuses

A deposit bonus is a little extra money reward given to beginners after making their first deposit. They are often supplemented with rewards like spin bonuses. You don't even have to do anything to earn it - but beware, there are conditions attached. Your deposit bonus amount depends on the amount of money you put into the site. Some websites give 50% back, so if you deposit €100, you get €50 as a reward.

Match Deposit Bonus 

A match bonus is a very popular form of reward at casino sites. Also known as a matching bet bonus, in this bonus, the casino matches the player's first deposit with an equal amount of money from their site. For instance, you deposit €300 in your account, and the casino tops it up with €300 from their side, bringing the total to €600. Sounds like a sweet advantage, doesn't it? But not every casino has the same policy. The percentage and type of match are different at various casinos. The odds of a 100% match aren't all that high.

Cashback Bonuses

Casinos offer this option to ensure players are satisfied despite losing. Cashback bonuses are offered by giving users a bonus credit on the site, which allows them to keep playing games without having to top up the funds in their accounts. Sometimes, casinos compensate their players with a cash payment. Let's say you lost €500 at an online casino, and the casino will give you some of the money back through such a service. The amount credited to the bonus depends on how much money you have lost by betting. Casinos offer this bonus to soothe your wounds and retain you as a player. This type of bonus is less beneficial than a no-deposit bonus, which we will cover next. 

No Deposit Bonus 

No deposit bonuses refer to free spins or a small amount of credit that an online casino gives you before you fully commit to the service. The bonuses are free, but they are hard to cash out because the conditions attached are extremely stringent and hard to meet.

Loyalty Bonus 

Loyalty bonuses are a pillar of online casinos. The best VIP programs offer stellar loyalty bonuses. Casinos usually have special contests for long-term players. These are usually the best bonuses but also the hardest ones to win. You need to meet several requirements, like having been part of the casino for the better part of a year, or you may need to place a high amount of bets. Often, the reward is not a set value, like a set amount of money. You may get the opportunity to win special prizes like an all-expenses-paid free trip to any country of your choice, a paid vacation at a luxury hotel, or even a car. The options are endless. 

However, if you aren't a long-term or high-wagering customer, don't despair. You might have a chance to qualify for a loyalty bonus after just playing on the site for a few months. The benefits will probably be different, though, like a lower withdrawal limit or high bonuses in some slot games. Keep in mind that all casinos don't offer the same bonuses. You need to check what types of bonuses a casino offers and read the conditions attached to each of them carefully before signing up to play.

Birthday Bonus

As the name suggests, you get a bonus because it's your birthday. It's like a small gift from the casino.

Refer-A-Friend Bonus

As the name suggests, you get this bonus when you refer friends to the casino site to play games. Make sure your friend shares this information when filling out the registration form.

Free Spin Bonus

This type of bonus is extremely popular because the casino does not give you a set amount or percentage of money. Rather, they allow you to play their slot games with no conditions attached. The catch here is that when you make some money from the free spins, you need to spend some of your own money to be able to withdraw the amount you won. Sometimes, casinos give you a free spin bonus after you make your first deposit. In this case, the requirements to be met are lower than when you get some free spins. 

Choose Your Casino Wisely 

Make sure the casino you want to sign up for has a good reputation. A quick online search of the name with the word 'scam' next to it should do the trick. You can also read reviews and check whether a gambling authority licences it.


Do casino bonuses work on mobile devices?

Yes, they work on cell phones. 

How can I win a bonus?

You can win a bonus by joining a casino site or being part of a VIP program. The rewards you win won't only be in the form of cash; sometimes, you win trips or vacations around the world.

Casino Mentor

Seánie has plenty of experience in the casino world and enjoys sharing this accumulated knowledge. He offers great tips and tricks for players to enjoy casinos safely.

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