Casino bonuses are rewards and incentives for online players that come in many forms. You can unlock bonuses immediately after creating an online casino account and making a deposit, or you can earn them over time.
Most bonuses are credit-based; you get a certain amount of bonus credits to play with and can later claim the winnings provided that you’ve met the wagering requirements. Then there are also free spins, which can only be used on video slots and can come packaged together with cash bonuses.
All of this only begins to scratch the surface of what casino bonuses are and what makes them so attractive. If you’ve never used online casino bonuses, you’re in luck, as we’ll explain everything there is to know about these offers, from the types of bonuses to how they work and how to choose the right ones.
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Casino Bonus Categorization
You can categorize online casino bonuses in several ways, from when you’re eligible to receive them to what games they can be used on and more.
In most scenarios, you must complete a deposit before receiving a casino bonus. This is the case with most welcome bonuses — you deposit a certain amount, and the casino matches it.
However, there are also no deposit bonuses, which are offers that reward new customers for merely signing up to the casino website or app. Then there are cashback bonuses, which you don’t obtain by depositing but by losing; the casino gives back a percentage of your losses in the form of a bonus.
What casino bonus you can get depends on your status on a given casino site. Only new customers are eligible for deposit and no deposit welcome bonuses. Once you use these offers, you can’t get them again, as they are limited to one bonus per customer.
Meanwhile, regular users can claim all other deals from the casino’s promotional carousel, including reload bonuses, weekly free spins, holiday bonuses, and more.
If a casino features a loyalty program (most good ones do), you can get special bonuses and exclusive deals based on your tier. For instance, a casino may reward you for reaching a higher level in the loyalty program. While in that tier, you can be eligible for a higher cashback deal and get a special bonus tailored to your gameplay. Some casinos even have bonus shops where you can purchase perks using loyalty points.
You can use most bonuses on the casino’s complete set of games, although different games can have various wagering contributions (more about that later). If certain games are excluded from the offer, it will be noted in the bonus terms and conditions.
However, some bonuses are explicitly designed for one type of game. Free spins are only to be used on video slots, but not just any slots. A free spins bonus usually relates to a single slot title or a set of games from the same provider the casino is trying to promote.
You can also run into live casino bonuses designed only for games featuring a live dealer.
The gamification of the online casino industry has led to some innovative ways in which casinos reward customers and incentivize them to keep playing. One such innovation is slot tournaments.
These are competitions where players battle head-to-head to amass the most winnings on a particular video slot machine. Players who finish near the top of the list receive prizes, which can be cash bonuses, free spins, or other types of casino offers.
Casino bonuses can also be based on the type of payment methods you use to unlock them. Many online casinos have started accepting cryptocurrencies in the last several years. Some feature special crypto bonuses higher than those you get for making fiat deposits to incentivize the players to use crypto payments.
Be careful, though, as some promos might not be compatible with certain bonuses (Neteller and Skrill are often among these), so read the bonus terms and conditions carefully.
To promote its mobile product, a casino might offer a special deal to players who register for the first time on their mobile devices. Obviously, you won’t be able to claim this bonus on your computer.
A referral bonus is an effective way for an online casino to gain new customers. Namely, by using a unique link, an existing customer can invite their friend to join and create an account. Once that person registers and places their first deposit, the person who referred them will receive a nice bonus, and in some cases, both people will get bonus credits. An online casino might also allow you to claim this bonus multiple times by inviting multiple people.
How a Casino Bonus Works — Casino Bonus Examples
So far, we’ve told you what casino bonuses are and how you can categorize them, but some of you might still wonder how these offers work in practice. We’ll be more than glad to show you that as well by using a few typical examples.
- Welcome deposit bonus: 100% up to $1,000 + 20 free spins on the Book of Dead slot
This is a welcome deposit bonus, meaning that only new customers who have just made their first deposit can claim it. Once the deposit goes through, you can activate the bonus and start playing with it immediately. On your account page, you will see two balances, one showing your real money deposit and the other your bonus credits.
The 100% refers to the deposit match that the casino is offering. It means that if you deposit $50, the casino will match 100% of that amount, giving you another $50 in the form of bonus credits. If the match were 80%, for example, your $50 deposit would result in a $40 bonus instead.
Next, we have the “up to $1,000” part, which shows the maximum bonus you can receive. You could deposit more than $1,000, but in that case, the casino technically won’t match your deposit 100%, as the bonus limit is $1,000.
In addition to the cash bonus, you will receive 20 free spins for a specific video slot called the Book of Dead. Once you activate the bonus and enter that particular game, you can start using your free spins. The number of free spins you receive won’t be affected by the deposit amount. Whether you deposit $10 or $1,000, you’ll receive all 20 free spins.
Of course, the bonus money you get won’t be withdrawable right away. You must play with the bonus a certain amount of times, as expressed by the wagering requirements, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below.
- No deposit bonus: $10 sign-up offer
A no deposit bonus is the most straightforward casino bonus to get. You just need to register with the casino, perhaps use a bonus code, and receive the gift.
Logically, no deposit bonuses are not as attractive as the deposit ones since you are not required to spend any of your own money. The bonus amount will usually be in the $10–$20 range. Some casinos offer higher no deposit bonuses, often tied to extensive wagering requirements.
A great thing about no deposit bonuses is that you can play and have a chance at winning while not risking your own cash. They are also ideal for testing out a casino site.
- Cashback bonus: 15% cashback for the month of December
A cashback is not a bonus you get by registering, depositing, or achieving a special status on the casino site but by losing. Namely, if you participate in a cashback promotion, you will earn a bonus based on the percentage of your losses over a given period.
Using our example above, let’s say you lost $200 in December. This doesn’t mean you’ve accumulated $200 in losing bets but that the difference between your wins and losses was $200 for the month.
Since the casino promises a 15% cashback, you can receive a $30 bonus. Note that this amount will seldom be in the form of withdrawable cash. It will instead come as bonus credits that you must play through a certain amount of times.
How to Claim a Casino Welcome Bonus Step-By-Step
Casinos want you to use their welcome bonus and become a loyal customer, which is why they make claiming the prize as easy as possible. If you’ve never received an online casino bonus, we’re sure you’ll find your way around it, as it’s very intuitive.
Nevertheless, we’ve made a step-by-step guide that applies to pretty much any online casino out there and that you are free to follow when attempting to claim your next bonus.
Pick an Online Casino
You first must pick an online casino that offers a welcome bonus. This is the easy part since we’ve created a list of online casinos with some of the best offers in Canada. Browse the list, see which casino best fits your preferences, and make your choice.
Register and Activate Your Account
Now that you’ve found the right casino head to its website to complete the registration. Set up your login credentials and fill out a basic form with your details. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. If the bonus you’re attempting to claim requires a bonus code, type it into the appointed box. Once done, you may need to activate your account by clicking the activation link sent to your email or inputting an SMS code.
Make a Deposit
If you were gunning for a no deposit bonus, you may skip this part, but if the casino only has a welcome deposit bonus, you will have to fund your account first. Go to the casino’s cashier, choose a payment method (make sure that your preferred payment method is compatible with the bonus), input the deposit amount (pay attention to the minimum deposit limit), and confirm the payment. Most online casino deposits go through instantly or within a few minutes if you use cards, e-wallets, or cryptocurrency.
Activate the Bonus
Your bonus may become active immediately after the deposit has been cleared, but in some instances, you’ll have to activate the bonus manually by going to your account page. Once you do that, you can start gambling with your bonus funds.
How to Find the Best Casino Bonus
So, now you understand what types of online casino bonuses exist, how they work, and how you can claim them. But how can you know what the best bonus is for you and if the deal you’re getting is genuinely worth it?
On that account, here are a few tips on how to pick the best online casino bonus in Canada.
You should always pick a bonus based on what you want to play. If you like slots, consider claiming some free spins. If live dealer games are your cup of tea, look for casinos with special live dealer bonuses. Are cryptocurrencies your go-to payment option? Find a casino that has a crypto deposit promotion.
Bonus terms and conditions can be very restrictive and negate any value the bonus has. A $1,000 bonus can look great on the surface, but it may come with ridiculous wagering requirements that are nearly impossible to clear. On the other hand, a $50 bonus may not seem like much, but if the rollover is reasonable, you at least have a chance at turning it into withdrawable money. The same goes for other terms, some of which we’ll list below.
Just because a bonus offer appears good, it doesn’t mean the casino is as well. Always check the casino that offers the bonus by looking through its library of games, payment options, mobile compatibility, and other factors that may impact your overall experience there.
A welcome bonus is often the best deal you’ll get at an online casino, but it’s not the only one. You should think long-term and see whether the casino offers deals to regular customers and what kind of loyalty program it has.
Why Are Wagering Requirements So Important?
Wagering requirements (rollover or playthrough) are the main obstacle standing between you and the bonus you’re trying to turn into real money.
Regardless of its form, each bonus comes with wagering requirements that represent the number of times you must play through the bonus before it becomes part of your real-money balance.
For example, let’s say that the wagering requirements of a 100% deposit bonus are 40x relating to both the deposit and the bonus. You deposited $100 and got $100 as a bonus. That’s a total of $200 that you need to multiply by 40 to get the amount you need to wager through to clear the bonus.
This means you must wager at least $8,000 with your bonus before anything that’s left becomes withdrawable.
An important thing to note is that not all games have the same wagering contribution. Some games fully contribute to wagering, but some may only contribute 10% or 50%, meaning that only that portion of the bets you’re making while playing these games will contribute to the rollover.
Other Bonus Terms and Conditions
Some other terms and conditions you should pay attention to when using a casino bonus include:
- Minimum deposit
- Maximum bonus
- Bonus code
- Expiry date
- Maximum bet
- Maximum cashout
- Game eligibility
- Payment method eligibility
Another rule often stated in the terms and conditions is that casino bonuses usually can’t be combined or used simultaneously.
Are Casino Bonuses Worth It?
Online casino bonuses are worth picking up, but only if you find the right ones and understand how they work. Always play on licensed and recommended online casinos and carefully read the terms and conditions before claiming any offer.
We hand-picked the best online casinos in Canada that don’t just offer generous bonuses but also have extensive game libraries and can guarantee lots of fun.
Online casino bonuses help gambling platforms to attract new and retain existing players. Depending on their type, these promotions may offer free credits, free spins, cashbacks, tournament tickets, and more. Triggering them is usually simple — players need to register, use the promo codes, make deposits, and/or contact customer support.
Claiming them is more challenging. You’ll need to adhere to game and payment restrictions and fulfill wagering requirements within predetermined timeframes. Still, the effort is well worth it. Once the bonus is yours, the world is your oyster. You’ll have more gambling opportunities and more chances to win prizes. You can try new games, test diverse strategies, and sharpen your gambling skills hassle-free.
What are online casino bonuses?
Online casino bonuses and promotions are special incentives gambling platforms provide to their users. They come in various formats, but their main use is to help players make the most of their gaming experience on the site.
How can I claim an online casino bonus?
Online casinos usually have a dedicated Promotions page with a list of bonuses and their rules. The section comprises instructions on how to claim each bonus. This process may involve providing special promo codes, making deposits, and following the bonus terms.
Do all casino bonuses come with terms and conditions?
Yes, bonus terms and conditions allow casinos to offset their losses. These rules vary between sites, but most include a registration requirement, real-money deposits, and fulfilling wagering requirements.
What types of casino bonuses can I claim?
We can categorize online casino incentives into two large groups — welcome and ongoing promotions. The former caters to newbies, and the latter is aimed at returning players. Most welcome offers are match deposit deals which reward the player by matching their first deposit fully or partially. Ongoing promotions can refund players’ lost funds (cashbacks), reward users who recommend the site to their friends (referrals), let players enter various competitions (free tournament tickets), and more.
What are wagering requirements?
Wagering requirements are conditions a player has to complete to withdraw bonus funds. They’re expressed in digits and indicate the number of times users have to wager the deposit (and bonus) amount. Wagering requirements vary depending on the casino and the size of the bonus. However, most sit between 20x and 50x.
Do all games contribute toward wagering requirements?
Usually, no. Online casinos tend to outline the list of game categories patrons can play to fulfill the wagering requirements in their T&C. The list typically specifies how each category contributes to the wagering requirements in percentages.
Do casino bonuses improve my winning chances?
Not directly. Casino bonuses don’t influence the games’ house edge or RTP. However, they’ll allow you to try more games, prolong your gaming sessions, and hone your gambling skills.
Are casino bonuses available on mobile?
Yes. Mobile gambling is getting more popular by the day, so most modern online casinos offer promotions on their mobile sites or apps. Some of them even feature special bonuses geared toward their mobile players.
What is the best online casino bonus?
There is no specific promotion or bonus type that is the best in the gambling industry as a whole. If you’re interested in finding a good promotion, visit several reputable casinos and compare their offers. Pay attention to bonus sizes and their terms and conditions. Choose the casino whose offers are generous and attainable within their expiration timeframe.