Hello! Thank you for visiting Welcome Bonus, we are here to bring you all the necessary information to help you make sense of the exciting, yet complex world of online casino welcome bonuses.
What are Welcome Bonuses?
- What are Welcome Bonuses?
- List Of The Best Welcome Bonuses
- What are Wagering Requirements and How Do They Work?
- Can Wagering Requirements be Beaten?
- Do Any Casinos Offer No Wagering Requirements?
- Different Kinds of Welcome Bonus
- Are Welcome Bonuses Dying Out?
- What Does This Mean for the Player?
- What Are the Important Things to Know?
- Other Factors to Research
Let’s start at the beginning, welcome bonuses are pretty self-explanatory on a base level, being a bonus that an online casino offers to ‘welcome’ new players to their site.
These bonuses will normally involve you making a deposit in order to claim the bonus, but this is not always the case, as some sites offer no deposit welcome bonuses, although these tend to come with hefty wagering requirements attached.
List Of The Best Welcome Bonuses
Welcome BonusDeposit £10 and get 30 Bonus Spins
|Visit||Welcome offer 30 free spins. New members only, opt in required. Min £10 deposit and wager. Spins on Double Bubble only. 30 day expiry from opt-in. Rules apply. 18+. Full terms apply|
Welcome BonusDeposit £10 and get 30 Bonus Spins
|Visit||Welcome offer 30 free spins on Starburst on 1st deposit. Min deposit and spend £10. Promo code STAR30 required. Spin value 10p. Free spins must be used within 48 hours of qualifying. Spin wins are uncapped and credited to your real money balance. Full terms apply.|
|Golden Lion Casino|
Welcome Bonus300% Bonus Up To £3,000
|Visit||300% Welcome bonus up to £3000 plus 100% Cashback on 1st deposit. Use code ROAR300. Code is valid once for new players only. Min deposit £25. PT x40. No max cash-out. Valid on slots and specialty games only. Cashback is given in a form of a Free Chip, PT x50, max cash out x5, to be claimed in Live Chat. Full terms apply.|
Welcome Bonus100% Bonus Up To £100 + 50 Bonus Spins
|Visit||Welcome offer 100% bonus up to £100 plus 50 Starburst spins. New UK customers only. Opt in required. 1x per customer. Min £20 deposit. 1st deposit only. Selected games only. Max Bonus £50 with 35x wagering and 50 Free Spins at £0.20/spin on Starburst™ with 35x Wagering. Free Spins and Bonus credited once deposit amount has been wagered on slots. Bonus and Free Spins expire 7 days after issue. Game weighting, game, country, currency, player restrictions and terms apply.|
Mr Play Casino
Welcome Bonus100% Bonus Up To £50 + 100 Bonus Spins
|Visit||100% bonus up to £50 plus 100 spins on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to £200 and 100 spins over 1st 3 deposits. New players only. Min deposit £10. 35x wagering requirement applies to match bonus. Offer valid for 1 week. 100 spins split as 20 spins per day for 5 days. Spins valid 20 each on Starburst, Finn and the Swirly Spin, Book of Dead, VIP Black and Aloha! Cluster Pays. 50x wagering requirement applies to free spins. Full terms apply.|
|Paddy Power Casino|
Welcome Bonus500% Bonus Up To £50 + 100 Bonus Spins
|Visit||Welcome offer 100 Free no deposit spins on Registration plus an additional 100 Free Spins when you deposit and bet £10. Promo code PGCTV1 required. Age and SMS verification required. Free spins valid for Daily Jackpots Slots Collection. New UK and Ireland customers only. Free spins expire after 7 days. There are no wagering requirements on Free Spins. Full terms apply.|
Welcome BonusDeposit £10 and get £40 Bonus
|Visit||Welcome offer deposit £10 get £40. New Customers Only. Minimum deposit £10. 35x wagering requirement apply. Bonus will expire 30 days after opt-in. Further T&Cs apply.|
Welcome BonusDeposit £10 and 1 Bonus Spins
|Visit||Welcome offer spin the wheel to win up to 777 Starburst spins. New players only. Valid until further notice. Min deposit £10 for 1 spin on Vegas Spins's Wheel. Wheel odds vary between prizes. Prizes on Vegas Spins’s wheel vary and include 777 Free Spins, £50 Games Bonus, 100 FS or 75,000 Coins. FS wins granted in Games Bonus after all FS used. FS valid for 3 days. Games Bonus valid on selected games only. WR 85x Games Bonus funds. WR vary by game. Games Bonus wins cap £100 + initial bonus amount. UK only, deposit balance can be withdrawn at any time. 18+. Withdrawal restrictions & Full T&C apply.|
Welcome Bonus200% Bonus Up To £50 + 25 Bonus Spins
|Visit||Welcome offer 200% Bonus up to £50 Slots Bonus & 25 Free Spins. First-time depositors only (18+ UK exc. NI). Min Deposit £10. Max Offer 200% Bonus up to £50 & 25 Free Spins on Fluffy Favourites. Free Spins winnings are capped at £2.50 and credited as bonus funds with 40x wagering. Bonus funds must be wagered 60x before withdrawal. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Promo code GREAT. Promotional offers may be denied based on abusive bonus activity across sites operated by the Company. Deposit balance available for withdrawal at any time (UK only). General withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply. Valid until 31/12/2021.|
What are Wagering Requirements and How Do They Work?
If you are searching for the best welcome bonus to suit you, the chances are you will come across the phrase ‘wagering requirements’ a great deal, but what exactly are they?
Wagering requirements are, in simple terms, a way for an online casino to protect themselves when offering welcome bonuses, to ensure that a certain amount of money is put back in before a player can access the bonus they have gained.
A bonus with a wagering requirement attached means that you need to deposit and wager a certain amount of money, normally the bonus a certain number of times (30, for example, is a frequently used number) before you can access any winnings that you pick up from your bonus money. Sometimes, this wagering requirement involves betting both the bonus and your initial deposit a specific number of times.
As you would probably assume, the bonuses with the higher wagering requirements tend to also be those that offer the most to players, it isn’t a strict rule, but the higher the bonus, the higher the wagering requirement is a good basis to work with.
Can Wagering Requirements be Beaten?
If there’s one thing that has been a constant in the history of gambling, its people claiming that they have methods and strategies that can help beat whatever a casino can put in your way, and almost without exception, these don’t work (or they’re illegal, and you’ll end up getting caught, so these don’t work either).
However, despite there being no way to beat wagering requirements every time (sometimes you’ll get lucky, and pick up wins big enough from your bonus to be able to wager that and beat the wagering requirement, if the casino allows you to do so) there are some ways you can ensure they work in your favour.
The main way is research, which is at the heart of everything in the online casino world, the more research you do, the more likely you are to find something that suits you.
If one online casino offers a bonus of up to £3,000 with a 30x wagering requirement, and another offers £20 with a 5x wagering requirement, you may think, based purely on the size of the bonus, that the first is the better option.
However, imaging you claim the whole of that £3,000 bonus, you would need to wager a total of £90,000 before you could claim a single penny of any winnings you get from that bonus, which is, understandably, well out of reach for the majority of players.
However, if you look at the £20 bonus, you would only need to wager £100 to claim winnings, which is still no small amount, but far easier for most than the £90,000 of the other.
Often, unless you have the ability to wager huge amounts of money just on the off chance that you win big from your welcome bonus, it is worth finding a smaller amount that is easier to claim.
Do Any Casinos Offer No Wagering Requirements?
Although it may seem likely, there actually a few casinos which do offer welcome bonuses without wagering requirements, including Guts Casino, PlayOJO, and Thrills Casino.
In these three cases, as in all others at similar sites, these welcome bonuses revolve exclusively around spins, as opposed to cash bonuses, but they do mean that any winnings you pick up are immediately yours to spend or withdraw as you choose.
Different Kinds of Welcome Bonus
There are two main types of welcome bonus at online casinos, both of which we have already mentioned above.
The first is the more traditional bonus, you deposit a certain amount, and get a percentage of that back in bonuses (normally between 100% and 500%).
Then you have what were once called Free Spins, but due to law changes, tend to be referred to as Extra Spins, or just Spins at most casinos at this point.
Whatever you choose to call them, this is often the simpler type of welcome bonus, you deposit a certain amount, and as a result you will pick up a certain number of free spins.
That being said, it is still rare to find a free spins bonus that does not attach any kind of wagering requirements, whether this is wagering the value of the spins a certain amount of times, having a limit attached to how much you can win from your spins, or both.
The reason that slots are the chosen game type for these free rounds is due to the likelihood that you will win, as, with the exception of scratchcards, slots tend to have the lowest RTP (return-to-player) of any online casino game.
The RTP of a game is the opposite of the house edge, meaning that is a game has a 95% RTP (which is fairly average for a slot, but low for the likes of Blackjack) you would, statistically, win back an average of 95p for every £1 you spend on the game.
Obviously, this should not be taken as gospel, these numbers are taken from thousands of hypothetical games, so don’t go in assuming that you will definitely win 95% of your winnings back, especially as you won’t be the only person playing, so if you have a losing streak, the chances are someone else will have a winning streak at some point that will balance everything out for you.
This means that if there are wagering requirements attached to free spins, they will often be hard to reach, and it also means that even if you have a free spins without wagering requirements, the chances of you picking up a big win are not necessarily the most likely.
In simple terms, the chances of you picking up anything but a small amount from a welcome bonus are low, but they are not impossible, and if you shop around for the right deal for you, you can enhance your chances of winning a nice amount, or at least a little bit to add on to your account.
Are Welcome Bonuses Dying Out?
Recently, there was genuine concern that this may be the case due to changes in the way that online casinos are regulated, especially in the UK.
For a while, regulation on gambling in the UK failed to keep up with technological advancements, with many laws having been put in place back in the 1960s, some 30 odd years before the inception of the online casino world.
However, this started to change when UK laws on online gambling were changed back in 2005, and regulation was increased substantially in November of 2014.
The main big change in 2014 was a tax increase on online gambling operators. The consumption tax, as it is known, means that all casino, pokers, and sportsbook operators working online in the UK must pay a 15% tax on all their profits in the UK.
Although this doesn’t sound like much, it had a big affect on many operators who offer services to UK players, and started a small amount of panic, which resulted in many sites lessening their welcome bonus, or attaching more stringent wagering requirements and other small print to them.
While operators have their own set of rules and regulations that players must abide by, and they are not all enforced by the UKGC, some are, and welcome bonuses are among them.
This means that all welcome bonuses will be scrutinised by the UKGC, and this has resulted in some less impressive offers being around these days.
What Does This Mean for the Player?
As much as this may sound like a bad thing, it’s actually quite the opposite. What the extra regulation from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) means is that operators are no longer able to phrase their welcome bonuses in a way that makes them sound more impressive than they are, meaning that players are less likely to be fooled by clever wording when it comes to welcome bonuses.
Although taxation on online gambling companies has increased since the 2014 law change, there has been no changes for the player, any gambling winnings picked up from online casinos are exempt from any tax, and there is no sign of that changing any time soon.
What Are the Important Things to Know?
The gambling regulations mentioned above were thought to be at risk of ending welcome bonuses, and while they haven’t done that, they have certainly had an impact.
While you can still find huge bonuses offers at some casinos (normally joined by equally huge wagering requirements) they are certainly less frequent than they were before the 2014 changes.
This lack of larger bonuses may seem disappointing, and for those who can afford the wagering requirements, they may well be.
However, for those who do not have that much disposable income to play with (which, let’s face it, is most of us!) the regulation changes simply mean that there are more realistically achievable bonuses on offer at many online casinos at this stage, which is a definite positive.
Past that, the vital thing to know when it comes to welcome bonuses is that research and patience are the two most important factors.
‘Bonus hunting’ can be quite a fun practice if you are willing to take the time, as it involves not only visiting various online casinos to see what they have to offer, but also reading reviews and information about each site to check that the welcome bonus is as impressive as it seems.
Other Factors to Research
While you’re carrying out this, it’s worth checking out some other resources too.
Firstly, you want to know that the online casino that you are playing at is trustworthy, reviews are a strong way to do that, as is checking licenses.
Licenses are given by regulators throughout the world to state that a casino is legally allowed to operate within a certain jurisdiction.
In the UK, all online casinos operating in the country (regardless of where they are based) must carry a license from the UKGC.
There will be a stamp on every licensed site that shows they carry this license, but if you are still not sure, the UKGC website has a list of every casino that carries a license, so you can be doubly sure before you sign up.
The cliché “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is” is certainly one to keep in mind when you are hunting for the best welcome bonuses at online casinos, but it is not always true.
Some online casinos offer welcome bonuses that do exactly what they say they do, and as long as you take the time to carry out the necessary research before you sign up and make your first deposit, you will be able to take full advantage!