Welcome BonusWelcome New player Bonuses

Even if you’re relatively new to the world of online casino gaming, you’ll already be aware of what is known as a “Welcome Bonus”. These bonuses are essentially promotional offers based on the idea of giving you as a new customer extra money to play with at the casino, on top of the money you deposit yourself. As more casinos joined the online world, welcome bonuses became a kind of statement to potential customers, letting them know that they’d get lots of perks at the casino they’re signing up to. As the competition grew, so did the bonuses. Today, there is not only a wide range of online casino welcome bonuses in terms of the sums offered, but there are also a number of different types of welcome bonus. Let’s look at some of the most common welcome bonuses to highlight the advantages of each, and uncover the fine print that determines how these bonuses actually work.

Wagering Requirements – What You Need to Know

When you laid your eyes on your first welcome bonus offer, which probably went along the lines of “Welcome Bonus! $1,400 FREE!”, you probably rubbed your eyes to make sure you were seeing straight. Then, your rational mind stepped in and told you that there had to be a catch. Well, there is a “catch” although it’s not supposed to be sneaky. In fact, online casinos clearly lay out the terms and conditions of the bonus money they hand out. It’s part of the laws that they have to follow to maintain their license.


Online casinos do offer monetary perks that will allow you free play, and this money can be used to win more money. However, there are some very important parts of the process that you should know about before you get too excited. It’s all about getting your expectations set straight. The main hurdle that you as a player need to keep in mind is the casino’s wagering requirements or “playthrough”. This means that to get full control over the bonus money you’re given ie. to be able to withdraw it as cash, you’ll need to place bets of a certain sum at the casino. It’s not like it doesn’t make sense. Online casinos obviously can’t earn a profit by handing out free bonus cash to every new player. They need to know that you will at least spend some money at the casino, and hopefully become a loyal customer too. The way they ensure this, is with wagering requirements.

To explain this, let’s look at a simple example…

  1. You sign up to an online casino that offers a welcome bonus of $100 when you deposit $100.
  2. You register with your details and make your deposit. When viewing your bankroll, you see that there’s $200 waiting there. Yeah!
  3. Being a smart Casino Canada Online reader, you decide to read the casino’s bonus terms and conditions. You see that the casino requires that you “play through the deposit and bonus amount 20 times”.
  4. Your deposit and bonus amount = $200. And since 20 times $200 = $4,000, this is your playthrough target.

In other words, in order to make that original bonus amount of $100 truly yours for the taking, you’ll have to make bets at the casino of $4,000 in total first. The casino’s software will record every single bet you make, and once that target is hit, the entire sum is yours.

Excluded Games

This one is important. Some players just check the wagering requirements and only look for the playthrough number ie. “35 times”. It’s also important to see which games are included/excluded in the wagering requirements. Since some games have a relatively small house edge, such as blackjack and roulette, these games are sometimes excluded from playthrough. Meaning, bets you make playing these games will not go towards your playthrough target. Or, in some cases, casinos will let you play these games towards your wagering target, but the bets won’t count for their full price. Since a lot of us are slots fans, here’s some good news. Slots are almost never excluded from wagering requirements. If a casino has excluded games, it doesn’t mean you can’t play the other game types, they just might not count as playthrough. This is another case of: “Read the bonus terms and conditions!”

The No Deposit Bonus

For a full understanding of this type of welcome bonus, we recommend reading our article on the topic. In general, a no deposit bonus means that just by registering to the casino, you’ll be awarded a bonus, usually of around $5 to $25. To be able to withdraw the bonus, you will usually need to meet certain requirements, although this will vary greatly across casinos.

Match Welcome Bonus

A match bonus is extra money put into your bankroll that matches the sum of your first deposit. So, let’s say you decide to deposit $50, the casino matches that amount and you end up with $100 to play with.

Free Money Welcome Bonus

This is a general term to describe welcome offers that give you a sum of bonus money regardless of how much you deposit. These bonuses usually have a minimum deposit amount. By making any deposit above this amount, you qualify for a set bonus amount. For example, an offer may read “Get $100 Free. Just make a deposit of at least $100.”

In this case, it’s good to compare this type of bonus to a match bonus. With a regular match bonus, by depositing $100, you’d end up with a $200 bankroll. And with a free money bonus of $100 with a minimum deposit of $100, you’d also be able to start play with $200.

But what happens if we make a bigger deposit? With a match bonus, by depositing $200, you’d get $400 in total playable bankroll. But in the above free money example, by depositing $200, you’d still get the $100 bonus, meaning you end up with $300 of total playable bankroll. That’s a difference of $100! This is why it’s important to identify the bonus type when you’re comparing online casinos.

In Conclusion

When looking for a new place to play, remember that every online casino new player bonus is different. For, try to identify the type of bonus it is – whether it’s a match bonus, a free money bonus, or any other type of special offer configuration. Then be sure to read the welcome bonus terms and conditions see the following list:


Free Bonus up to $1600

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Get Up to $1000 Free Bonus

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Get Up to $1200 Free Bonus

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