Getting incredible bonuses was pretty much a given if you played online casino sites, especially if you were signing up and making that first deposit. Whether it was credit simply for registering, or 1000% cash matches on your first three deposits, the bonuses seemed endless. We can definitively state that offers such as these are a thing of the past, more so since the formation of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Their goal was to ensure that players gambled responsibly and within their means. As such the outlandish bonuses pretty much disappeared, as well as the unusual regular promotions which enticed people back. This led to a number of betting brands closing down, but never fear we are still left with a wonderful range of reputable gambling sites to pick from. These sites still offer some form of bonus enticement, so we’re here to tell you what type of offers you will see, what it means for you and which casino bonus is best for you?
Bonuses Available in Online UK Gambling Sites
As we have mentioned above, the type of bonuses that are offered by gambling sites are pretty limited, but you will find that each will vary slightly and as such it’s worth shopping around. The difference may be the amount of cash match, the maximum/minimum deposit amounts, or even the wagering requirement, but this can all impact the final bonus you walk away with. Casinos and betting sites must comply with UKGC standards, but they will want to remain competitive so don’t just pick the first site you come across; remember your time and money is precious to them.
The type of best casino bonus you choose will be a personal decision, but we would advise that you consider a few aspects such as terms and conditions. This is because it will have a significant impact on what you can wager and how much you get back.
So what bonuses are offered by gambling sites now? Here are the main ones, but you should be aware that this list is not exhaustive.
- Cash Match Deposit Bonus,
- Cashback Bonus,
- No Deposit Bonus,
- Loyalty Bonus,
- Free Spins / Spin the Wheel Bonus.
Let’s dive into the specifics of each bonus, so that you can decide which would be the right option for you.
Cash Match Deposit Bonus
Most new player bonuses tend to be cash matches because they are the perfect way to attract a new gamer and have them deposit. In general, you will see that the percentage-based bonus will be on the first three deposits and it’s normally restricted to a maximum and minimum amount. If a player adds £10 credit on a first deposit with a 200% cash match, then they would get a further £20 bonus credit in addition to the £10 they have added.
The gambling sites don’t give us this bonus out of the kindness of their hearts. It not only attracts us to the site in the first place, but the additional credit gives a player the chance to try out the games without spending a lot of their own money. This will hopefully lead to them staying with the site in the long term, which is when the casino will make its money. Terms and conditions will always be attached to the bonus, with the main areas to consider being wagering requirements and game weightings.
Sites who offer cash match bonuses are;
The last bonus was more to attract new players, whereas cashbacks tend to be a way to keep a sites regular players. There will be maximum and minimum deposit limits (alike the cash match bonus) and terms and conditions. As you play slots or table casino games, you will accrue bonus credit which will be paid into your account on a periodic basis. This can either be used for additional gambling or it can be withdrawn. There will be specific limits on this type of bonus, for example it is only applicable to certain games such as slots, or if you have wagered a minimum amount in the pervious month; so always check those t&c’s.
Sites who offer cashback bonus are;
No Deposit Bonus
Without doubt the no deposit bonus was the gamblers favourite welcome offer, but sadly this was one of the first to disappear with the introduction of the UKGC.
The term no deposit bonus meant that simply for registering on the site, you would receive extra credit into your casino account. Because you didn’t need to add any credit, it meant that the money was basically free, which is why it was removed by many sites. The UKGC saw this type of bonus as an issue for those players who are vulnerable and suffer with addictive tendencies. The desire for something free will always be seen as an enticement, but players should be aware that they will always come with terms and conditions attached.
Sites who still offer no deposit bonuses are;
This is another bonus for those long-term players, and it will vary depending on the gambling site. You may get bonus credit, extra spins or even something you can use away from the site such as gift vouchers. The loyalty scheme is essentially like a Boots card in that for every pound spent you get a coin and so many coins will lead to a reward.
Sites who offer loyalty bonuses are;
Free Spins / Spin the Wheel Bonus
Because the no deposit bonus was removed on many casino sites, a new welcome promotion was seen to suddenly pop up everywhere. The spin the wheel bonus is a popular option and is available to players who make a first deposit (there will be a minimum amount required to take part). After you spin the wheel, it will land on one of a number of incredible rewards. This can include anything from bonus spins and extra credit, to gift vouchers.
Another popular option is the use of free spins, which tends to be for a set slot game such as Gonzo’s Quest. The casino will either give the spins when the player has added their first deposit, or sometimes they’ll receive them simply for registering. As always there will be terms and conditions attached, which will probably be both wagering requirements and game weighting. So, make sure you take a look at them before you accept any bonus, because it is best to be prepared.
Sites who offer spin the wheel bonus are;
How to Choose the Best Casino Bonuses UK
With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which is the best bonus for you. Each site will offer their own unique twist and there will be differing elements such as the terms and conditions. Many players enjoy taking advantage of welcome bonuses and as such they register with a few sites, but remember that you will be tied in for a while to fulfil the wagering requirement. In general, the rules on each casino will be similar, because the site must comply with the minimum standard of regulations set out by the UK Gambling Commission.
The first thing to consider when picking the right bonus, is what are you looking for. Do you want to spend any money at all, are you bothered if you are tied to a specific slot or casino game and if you are happy to credit your account, how much are you looking at spending?
You do have another choice and that is not to accept any welcome bonuses at all. If you choose this option, then you won’t be tied in by terms and conditions and can play as normal. But most players enjoy the thrill of getting something extra from the site, you just have to decide what is right for you. Hopefully we have made that easier by explaining each bonus option to you above.
What are Wagering Requirements and Game Weightings
Both of these terms have been mentioned through the article more than once, so we thought it would help to explain what wagering requirements and game weightings are in a little more detail.
If you are receiving something for free from a gambling site, for example bonus spins and credit, then you will find that wagering requirements will be attached. The reason for this is to stop players from getting the bonus and either withdrawing it or using it to win and then removing the winnings immediately. The use of wagering requirements will tie you to that casino until you fulfil the terms associated with it.
Actual wagering requirements are worked out as a multiple of the bonus amount, for example 40x or 60x. If the cash match bonus was 100% and we added £10, then we would receive £10 extra. Say the wagering requirement was 65x, then you would have to play through £650 (65x multiplier x £10 bonus credit) worth of credit before you could withdraw any money.
Bonus spins operate in a similar way, except the multiplier is worked out from the total credit won once you have played through every spin.
By adding and playing through credit on the casino, your wagering requirements will decrease. You will find the wagering calculator in the accounts section, which will keep you updated on how much is left to play through. Your account will show as a pending balance until the requirements are met and then anything left over will move to your main casino wallet.
Although this isn’t something we often hear about, game weighting has a significant impact on wagering requirements and how quickly you work through that multiplier. Because it has an effect on your winnings, it’s important to consider when you are choosing a best online casino bonus in the UK.
Each game you play will have its own weighting, which is probably a surprise to you because most people believe that all games hold equal value. Whatever the game is (for example bingo, slots or casino), there will be a percentage weighting attached which will affect how quickly or slowly your wagering requirement reduces.
Most slots will have a 100% game weighting, so if you wager £1 then the full amount will be removed from the wagering requirement calculator. Because table casino games have varying house edges, the percentage is much lower. Blackjack has a 10% game weighting and roulette is 25%, so if you wagered £1 on blackjack then only 10p would be removed from the wagering requirement and 25p for roulette.
Summary of Which Casino Bonus is Best for you?
Yes, there has been a lot of change in the gambling industry, and this has impacted the types of bonuses available, but there are still plenty to choose from. What really matters is that you find a trustworthy and honest site, and although we know that can be difficult, we have given you a few options through this article.
Should you want to choose your own, then our first suggestion is to ensure that the site is registered and licensed by both the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority. This will ensure that the casino is adhering to the regulations of both organisations, who require high standards from their gambling sites.
When it comes to the decision of which bonus to pick, that is a matter of preference and as such is a personal decision. You do have the option of not picking a welcome or regular bonus at all, but if you love a freebie then remember those pesky terms and conditions.