UK Casino Bonus Offers List (January 2019)
There are lots of online casinos out there and they’re all competing for your custom, which is why the bonuses on offer can be great for UK customers. However, the headlines don’t always tell the whole story, so read our casino bonus guide and you’ll be a canny player when it comes to grabbing the bonuses that are genuinely worthwhile.
Whether it be a first deposit bonus, no deposit bonus or just your regular casino bonus, we've got you covered!
Casino Bonus Guide
There are lots of casinos out there and they’re all competing for your custom, which is why the bonuses on offer can be great. However, the headlines don’t always tell the whole story. Read our guide and you’ll be a canny player when it comes to grabbing the bonuses that are genuinely worthwhile.
Nearly every casino offers a welcome bonus and they’re nearly always deposit bonuses. The amount you put in will be matched by the casino. So if you sign up and deposit £10 which is usually the lowest deposit you can make, you’d get £20 to play with.
Sometimes, however, the deposit match is staggered over your first three deposits. The casino might say that they’ll give £200 if you deposit £200. However, you may find that the first deposit attracts a percentage, so does the second and so does the third. Many deposits also come with a number of free spins.
There are a variety of terms and conditions and these can really change the true value of the headline amount that the casino is offering. It’s all to do with the wagering requirement. If you deposit £50 and the casino gives you a bonus of £50, you have £100 to play with.
Say you go and play some slots and win £25. You can’t take that £25 out. You can’t take any winnings out until you have played through the wagering requirement. A typical wagering requirement will be 35X. So you will have to play 35 times your bonus before you can withdraw any winnings.
And this is where the wrinkle is. Some casinos apply the wagering requirement to your deposit and to the bonus added by them. And some casinos only apply it to the bonus. It makes a huge difference and can mean that some offers that look high, are nowhere near as valuable as apparently lower offers.
Let’s take an example. Casino A gives you a bonus of up to £100, so you put in £100 and now have £200 in your account. Casino B has the same deal. Both casinos have a wagering requirement of 35X.
So, nothing to choose between them? Wrong, because when you read the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) you find that Casino B applies the wagering requirement to both the bonus and the deposit you made. Whereas Casino A only applies it to the bonus.
At Casino A, you need to wager 35 times £100 before you can start withdrawing your winnings. That’s £3,500. At Casino B, you need to wager 35 times £100+£100 before you can withdraw. That’s £7,000. It’s a massive difference, so check the small print if value is important for you.
However, in the real world, it can be more complicated than this, because one casino might match bigger deposits. Another might have a high wagering requirement of 50X where another might have a very low one, of 30X.
If you play a lot, a high wagering requirement won’t bother you; if you play occasionally or with low stakes, you might want to look for a lower wagering requirement.
No deposit bonuses
Some casinos offer no deposit bonuses. Does that sound like free money? To an extent it is. Of course, you have to register and set up a user account to get the money. And if you win with the bonus, it’s subject to the usual wagering requirements and other bonus conditions.
As you’d have to deposit money to play through the wagering requirement, it would be more accurate to call these “delayed deposit” offers. That’s not to say they aren’t worth having. If you don’t have any cash to deposit, you can take advantage of the bonus, and then play through when you have some cash to put into your account.
With these types of offers, the wagering requirement is usually only on the bonus, so that’s a good deal in itself.
Welcome bonus free spins
The most common type of extra welcome bonus is free spins. If the spins are part of a matched deposit welcome bonus, any winnings are subject to the wagering requirement. And if the deposit bonus is spread over two or three initial deposits, the free spins are usually spread that way too.
Contributions to the wagering requirement
So, bonuses are great, but they are always subject to a wagering requirement before you can draw those tasty winnings out of your account. There’s just one more thing to take account of, and that’s the game contribution.
If you play your favourite slot, and spend £20 on it, you might imagine that you’ve knocked £20 off your wagering requirement total and are that much nearer to your payout. It could be so - but often isn’t. That’s because different slots will contribute different amounts to the wagering requirement.
Some are 100% - spend £20 and £20 comes off your wagering requirement. But some are only worth 50%. So you spend £20 on them, but only £10 comes off your wagering requirement.
Some, and it’s often the roulette slots, and poker games in the casino - only take 5% off your wagering requirement. So if you want to get rid of your wagering requirement quickly, maybe you have a nice big win sitting in your account - make sure that you play the games that contribute the most to it.
There’s always a list on the site but you may need to hunt around to find it. Sometimes it’s in the T&Cs for the bonus.
Free Spins Bonuses
Free spins are given not just as part of welcome bonuses, but often as part of a promotion the casino is running. There’s usually a restricted list of games - sometimes only one game - that the spins can be used on. You can’t use them for every game on the site. Winnings are frequently subject to the bonus policy, including our old friend, the wagering requirement.
The other thing to notice about free spins - and this is usually given in the T&Cs - is what each spin is worth. Amounts are usually between 10p and 25p, but obviously that makes quite a difference if you have a big win.
Welcome bonuses consisting of no deposit free spins are well worth looking at too. However, they’re usually tied to one or two games, so they’re not a great way of learning new games. For that, you’re better off finding a casino that allows free demo play without an account.
Reload bonuses for loyal players
Some casinos renew the welcome bonus, or some variation of it, for loyal customers who have been with them for a while. These are called Reload bonuses. They tend to have the same T&Cs as the original welcome bonus, but often there’s a restriction in that you can only have one kind of bonus running at any one time.
So if customers are interested in a different bonus being offered as part of a promo, they may reject the reload.
It’s also possible to reject the initial Welcome bonus at most casinos. Players do this when there’s another bonus that will be more rewarding for them, or they don’t wish to attract the wagering requirement.
For example, a casino might not allow players to collect VIP reward points until they have been through the Welcome bonus stage. A player might, if the casino allows it, skip the Welcome bonus and start collecting reward credits straight away.
Free bets are also often added to Reload and other bonuses, simply as another way to engage you, the player.
It’s great to see a range of promotions on a casino site because it keeps players interested. The best sites have regular promo features weekly or daily, but also run fun promos tied to dates such as Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
Some casinos have so many different promos running each month that they display them on a monthly calendar, helping players to keep track. The bonuses can range from extra bets, to cash amounts, to free spins. Many of them are time limited; you have to play them within a 24 hour period. Sometimes the bonus consists of special themed slots with some free spins. They all add interest for loyal players.
Some of the larger casinos run new release bonus battles. To get players to try new versions of popular favourite slots, they run a competition. Players choose whether to play the traditional or new version. The title which collects more wagers at the end of the period is the winner. Players who chose that particular title share a bonus pot.
The bonuses for regular players on the casino table games, such as roulette, tend to take a different form. For example, if your first bet of the day on roulette is a loser, you may get your stake returned. This is known as a cashback bonus and while it can be tied to an actual bet amount, sometimes it may be 5% of your losses on a certain day.
Tournaments and League Table Bonuses
In addition to conventional bonuses, some casinos provide bonuses in the form of prizes for people winning wagering tournaments. Generally, a game or series of games is nominated for the tournament and the prize money announced - £50,000 can be in the pot, although many prize pots are a lot smaller than that.
The highest rolling players are listed on a tournament sheet and the tournament continues for a set period of time, usually a few days. In many cases there are prizes for the biggest multiplier obtained on a bet, or the most rounds played. When the tournament closes, the prizes are allocated.
The top three places might get 30% of the pot, the next 17 might get 20%, and so on, down to the players at the bottom, who may get just £5 (or nothing!).
Loyalty and VIP Bonus Schemes
Casino bonuses don’t always take the form of cash. Sometimes they’re awarded as points which add up and entitle the player to different reward bonuses, as they reach various levels of the VIP scheme.
For example, one casino has different credits attached to each slot and these are listed for players to check. As you play the slots, the credits mount up and qualify you for the next bonus level. Over the period of a month, the casino counts up the number of credits you clock up. Bonuses ranging from £15 to £4,000 are then paid out, depending on the number of credits.
Other bonuses, such as free spins, may also be awarded as part of a VIP or loyalty scheme. It’s certainly the case that some casino bonuses are probably not advertised and are offered individually to VIP players.
Social Media Casino Bonuses
Some casinos are keen to build their presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are sometimes bonuses connected to clicking on “Like” or “Follow” buttons on the casino’s social media pages, so these are definitely worth looking out for.
How to pick the best Casino Bonus for you
Luckily, considering the wealth of offers from a huge range of casinos, you don’t need to narrow your selection down to one. Hopefully, you now know enough about the real ways that the casino bonuses work, to look behind the headline amounts and figure out what you’re really getting.
However, with such a lot of casinos all offering differently structured welcome packages, a checklist is a good way to sort out which are the best bets for you.
This a list of the ten key things you need to look out for when you’re assessing the various Welcome bonuses:
- The headline amount that the casino will match.
- Whether the bonus match is over a single deposit, or several.
- The size of the wagering requirement - 30% is low, 50% is high.
- Whether the wagering requirement applies to the bonus only, or to both the deposit and the bonus.
- The amount that each game contributes to the wagering requirement.
- If free spins are included, whether they are limited to one or a few games.
- The size of the wager on the free spins.
- Whether there’s a time limit by which you have to have played through your bonus.
- Whether there’s a no deposit bonus.
- Whether you start collecting loyalty points as soon as you sign up.
If you have a low deposit
If you have a low deposit, you may be tempted to try and find a site offering a 200% bonus. However, the majority of sites offering a 200% match, don’t offer this to residents of the UK.
If you can only deposit a small amount, you aren’t going to hit the ceiling for the bonus match offers. So you should try and find the sites that offer other bonus goodies too - such as free spins or loyalty points, or which have other good features such as a lower wagering requirement.
The difference between a wagering requirement on both bonus and deposit, or just on the bonus will have a huge impact if you don’t have substantial funds, so look for a site that only has a wagering requirement on the bonus.
If you have plenty of deposit money
If you’re fortunate enough to have significant sums to deposit, your approach needs to be different. You probably won’t be so bothered about the specific wagering requirement and will be looking for a high ceiling on any matched deposit.
You’ll need to take a close look at the structure of any offer that you’re thinking of taking up. Although many 200% bonus matches are not available in the UK, those that are, are often structured so that the 200% applies only to one out of three deposits, and that one has a lower ceiling than the others.
Rather than looking for a 200% bonus, you’d almost certainly be better off with a 100% bonus on a higher amount. There are offers of this kind up to £1,000 out there. And if you’re a high roller, make sure that there’s a VIP bonus scheme with the kind of rewards that are meaningful to you - such as cashback or bonus cash. If competition is your thing, then select a site that runs tournaments.
Like the fun of playing and don’t want to bet too much?
Then opt for a casino with a lot of free spins as part of its welcome bonus and promos. There are no deposit free spins casinos - but you’ll have to deposit and play through the wagering requirement before you can withdraw your winnings.
30 free spins are widely available as part of the deposit bonus welcomes at various casinos.
There are hundreds of casinos vying for your attention and they offer some great Welcome bonuses and promos.
So hopefully, you’re now fully briefed, and able to pick the best bonus offers for you personally!