We all know what Welcome Bonus is, don’t we? That’s the very first thing that creates our impression about a casino operator we are only starting to deal with. On the other hand, that’s one of the things that help casino operator stand out from the rest. after all, the level of competition in the world of online gambling is really high. In other words, welcome bonus is the factor that is supposed to attract attention of players, which is for obvious reasons a good news. Of course, welcome bonus can be different depending on the policies of every particular casino operator. There are several types of this bonus, as well as several variants of how it can be used. Here in our guide we will explain all these nuances. To be more precise, here below you will find out:
Using welcome bonus is easy, but there still are several tips and tricks on how to make the most of it. Here in our review we will discuss how to withdraw your welcome bonus and how to avoid the trap of unrealistically high wagering requirements. Enjoy the reading and don’t hesitate to try your luck!
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When you sign up with a new operator, most of them offer some perks right away. That’s exactly what is called the welcome bonus. In some cases, to receive it is enough just to register. In other words, you won’t need to make the deposit or anything else to receive this bonus. In fact, that’s what is referred to as the no deposit bonus. In other cases, however, you receive a bonus only after you make an initial deposit. That’s when welcome bonus takes a form of the first deposit bonus. Let’s discuss these two options in more detail.
The first scenario seems to be more attractive as you don’t even need to spend your money first to start playing. On the one hand, this is a perfect start, especially taking that such bonuses usually cover all games available at the operator’s website. The amount of welcome bonus is usually not that high, but still substantial. On the other hand, be aware that you cannot just take the bonus and disappear. Bonus money can never be withdrawn as it is. After all, it would make casino operator go bankrupt. Instead, you can withdraw what you win while playing on bonus money. There are several thing to take into account and we will discuss them later.
Another common form of the welcome bonus is the bonus you receive after you make your first deposit. It depends on your operator’s policies how big this amount is. Most often, this is 100% of the amount you deposit. So, if you deposit £50, you receive another £50 as your bonus money. It might seem that this isn’t that much, but you will chance your mind if you calculate the bets. For instance, if you place 10 cent bets just to get acquainted with a game, you get 50 spins as a bonus. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Besides, a good news is that some casino operators offer even more than 100% of your deposit. From time to time, you can come across such generous offers as 200%, 300%, or ever 500%. Of course, this sounds awesome and there is hardly a reason to refuse from it. On the other hand, you should still be very careful with the rules applied to this particular bonus, as well as the operator’s bonus policies in general. We will discuss it later. For now, a good news is that welcome bonuses are generally fair and you can safely deal with them. After all, casino operators don’t want to spoil the first impression of their players.
The easiest way to find a casino operator offering good welcome bonus is to look through a couple of specialized forums and information resources. There are lots of reviews dedicated to this issue and you will easily find what you are looking for. Apart from this, you could find a comprehensive list here at BonCasino. Our team has prepared a list of casino operators with the best welcome bonuses, as well as detailed reviews of some of them. And still, welcome bonus isn’t the only thing you should pay attention to. There are lots of aspects to take into account and we will briefly mention some of them here. Try not to neglect this issue as that’s what will form your overall playing experience.
First and foremost, pay attention to the legal status of a casino you are going to deal with. The key thing is that it is supposed to have a license, or better several of them. The fact that a casino operator has a license demonstrates that they comply with laws and norms related to online gambling. You could have heard that casino operation licenses are issued by independent regulating authorities whose purpose is to ensure compliance with responsible gaming policies, eliminate crime and fraud in online gambling, and protect those who can be vulnerable. Once a casino is issued a license, it means that it went through a set of checks and audits that showed that their activities are fair and therefore legal.
In you are based in the United Kingdom, it is better to find a casino operator licensed by any of the UK-based regulating authorities. Luckily, there are lots of casino operators based in the United Kingdom too, so you will have what to choose from. The perfect option would be to find a casino operator licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. This is an independent and internationally acknowledged gambling regulator and the mere fact that a casino operator has their license is a serious argument in their favor. Another reputable regulator based in the United Kingdom is the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. If a casino operator has their license, it is almost a guarantee that they can be trusted. There are several other regulatory bodies that deserve trust, of course. And still, dealing with the casino operators licensed by any of these two authorities is probably the best and safest option.
If you are dealing with any of the international casino providers, you will probably see that they have licenses issued in different jurisdictions. As an example, you will come across lots of operators that have a license issued by gambling commissions from either Malta or Curacao. You should be aware that it is much faster and cheaper to receive such a license, at least if to compare this process with the procedure of receiving a license from any of British authorities. As a result, casino operators go through less checks that are also not that severe. Unfortunately, this can sometimes affect the quality of their services. In other words, you shouldn’t trust licenses in the same way. At the very least, do a research about the regulator that issued a license to the casino operator of your choice and try to figure out whether it is safe to trust them.
And finally, you should refuse from the idea of dealing with those casino operators that do not have a license at all. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of them as license isn’t that easy to receive. At the same time, the fact that the casino doesn’t have a license means that it isn’t legally allowed to operate. Therefore, there is no guarantee that they aren’t scammers. Besides, there will be no one to help you out in case you have any troubles with the casino operator. In other words, it is great if a casino offers an awesome welcome bonus, but safety is still a more important issue.
There are several things associated with welcome bonuses that you should remember about in order not to face any unpleasant surprises in future. The key idea is that you be very attentive when accepting a bonus offer, even if this is just the welcome bonus, but we would still like to discuss it in more detail.
1) Wagering requirements
Receiving a bonus is great but you should still remember about wagering requirements it goes with. In case with welcome bonuses, they are usually not quite high in order not to scare players off but they are still here in place. So, what exactly is that? This is the set of conditions you are to meet until you can withdraw your winnings. In other words, you can’t just have your prize paid out once you are just think about it. Most often, wagering requirements specify the amount of times you are to play through until you are allowed to request the withdrawal. The problem is not that might be hard to meet them but that in some cases it is simply impossible. If you calculate them properly, you will see that you will lose considerably more than you might gain. We will discuss wagering requirements in more detail a bit later so that you could avoid getting into this trap, as well as briefly explain how to calculate them.
2) Withdrawal limits
The trouble might come in a different form, too. Instead of the maximum withdrawal amount, there might be the minimum one. In fact, practice shows that much more players face this particular kind of a situation but not the first one. The point is that you cannot request the withdrawal of your bonus-based winnings until you reach a particular amount. This is rather frustrating, especially in case you need just £10 or £15 more. If you keep playing, you might waste your winnings completely.
You probably want to know if there is anything you could do with that, right? Once again, scrupulously learn all the terms and conditions before you accept any bonus and start playing. If you receive the welcome bonus before you make your first deposit, read the rules applied to it and think once again whether you actually should start dealing with the casino operator at all. Believe us, sometimes it is better to refuse from the bonus than receive at least anything after you agree to accept it.
When you visit a website of basically any casino operator, the things that catch up your attention first and foremost are bright pictures and titles, pop-ups, and the nearest huge jackpots announcements. You have noticed that, right? Th point is that this is actually what the casino operators want you to notice. In fact, this is what you need to remember about welcome bonuses. These are the things casino operators want you to see and like. Whatever website you visit, you will see that their welcome bonus is “best” and “greatest”. You shouldn’t take it serious, of course. Even if you are looking for the best welcome bonus offers on independent forums and information resources, you shouldn’t believe ratings. Feedback and comments from other players are more reliable source of information, of course, but you should still check everything yourself. What defines the true value of a welcome bonus are the rules and conditions of how it can be used. Remember about this principle and rely on rational approach, but not on recommendations from someone you don’t even know.
There is no precise answer to this question as everything depends on the bonus policies of the casino operator you are dealing with. Once again, read the rules attentively and don’t neglect contacting their customer support to make everything clear. Overall, things work in the following way. Many casino operators offer no deposit welcome bonuses, or those you receive just for signing up and with no need to make a deposit first. This is rather convenient taking that you can start playing without spending your money first. In this case, the amount of bonus money is the same to all players and generally not that high. As a rule, this is about £20 or £30. Still, this is quite a good start, isn’t it? Don’t forget to check the wagering requirements, anyway. Even though they cannot be high in case with welcome bonuses, you had better be careful.
The amount of the bonus may vary if it is offered after the player makes their first deposit. In most cases, the more you deposit, the bigger bonus you receive. Quite often, players receive two times more than they deposit. If you top up your balance with £20, you will receive £40 as a bonus. However, there are quite a lot of casino operators that offer three times higher bonus, which is great as well. Again, don’t forget to check what wagering requirements it goes with. The cap for the amount of bonus money generally starts at £200, though it might be different depending on the casino operator.
If you are one of high-roller players and even £200 doesn’t seem to be enough, you could consider depositing more to hit the high-roller welcome bonus. Just in case you are not familiar with the term “high-roller”, this is a strategy in a game when players make especially large bets. The matter is that the more you place at a bet, the higher is your potential prize. If you are playing with small bets, put up with the fact that you are unlikely to win big, at least if you are playing games with fixed prizes. Luckily, progressive jackpot games are still an exception. Coming back to the point, the high-roller bonus is generally awarded to players whose deposits starts with £1,000. This is quite a big sum of money we suppose, but the bonus you receive might be as high as £5,000. Contact the customer support to find this out.
As for wagering requirements, those that go with high-roller bonuses are not that high as in case with standard bonuses. As an example, you would need to bet up to 10 or 15 times of your deposit in addition to the bonus you receive. In case with the standard bonus, this would be a much higher amount. Indeed, dealing with wagering requirements might turn into quite a frustrating experience which is why we do recommend learn everything about them before you accept the bonus, but not afterwards. And still, high-roller games isn’t for everyone. Most players stick to standard game-play and we believe you perfectly understand why.
We have mentioned this term quite a lot of times so far, so let’s now discuss in detail what exactly it means. So, these are the set of rules and conditions that define how a bonus can be used. The trouble is that you won’t be able to request the withdrawal until these conditions are met. In other words, you simply won’t be able to receive any of your winnings until you fulfill all the conditions defined by the bonus policies. 99% of bonuses go with wagering requirements and in most cases it is quite challenging to meet them, even though still possible. The key thing is to calculate them properly. Now, let’s try to understand how to do this.
If you receive the no deposit welcome bonus, it is a bit easier to meet the wagering requirements. In most cases, the bonus will go with the specified amount of times you will need to repeat the wager. As an example, you receive £10 as a bonus and the wagering requirements are x10. What you need to do now to calculate them is to multiply £10 (your bonus) by 10 (amount of wagers). You receive £100 and this is the actual amount you will need to place as bets until you can actually request the withdraw. This isn’t that much in the long run, but the actual trouble is that the wagering requirements are usually higher than just x10. Let’s go further.
In most cases, you receive welcome bonus after you make your first deposit. Let’s imagine, that you top up your balance with £10 and receive the welcome bonus of £10 in addition. Again, the wagering requirements are x10. What you need to do now is to add £10 of your deposit to £10 of your bonus. You receive £20 and multiply this number by 10. Now, the entire amount you will have to place in a form of bets is £200. Now you see that calculating wagering requirements is a very important thing? Some of them are unrealistically high, unfortunately. Practice shows that reliable and trustworthy casino operators don’t offer bonuses with too high wagering requirements as they do value their reputation. And still, it is possible to come across such offers. Be attentive and read the rules carefully.
An awesome news is that there are welcome bonuses that go with no wagering requirements at all or at least with the low ones. It is not a frequent practice among the casino operators to make such offers but you can still come across the one if you are lucky enough. Why is that done? Sometimes casino operators just want to attract new people, as well as encourage their regular players to stay with them. Also, such kind of bonuses are offered when casino operators add new games to their galleries and need to promote them. In this case, however, the bonus only covers these particular games but not the entire game collection. And still, why not to give it a shot? Of course, there are some limitations on how such a bonus can be used, too. Let’s briefly discuss them now.
First of all, you will need to check what particular games the bonus covers. As mentioned above, it can be designed for one specific game but not the entire game gallery. Apart from this, don’t forget to check if there are any withdrawal limits, both minimum and maximum. Taking that there may be no wagering requirements at all, there is most probably a limit of how much you can withdraw. Of course, it would be wrong to assume that you can withdraw the value of the bonus itself. Naturally, not a single casino operator would make it cashable as it would make them bankrupt sooner or later. What you can cash out instead are the winnings you get while playing on money that come from the bonus. Apart from the nuances we mentioned, check for some other details of the use of this bonus in the set of rules applied. Always be attentive and you will avoid any unpleasant surprises.
In order to understand how things work, we will take a standard welcome bonus and try to explain what all of its attributes mean. Depending on a casino operator, there might be some variations but the key idea still remains the same. So let’s imagine that you found a welcome bonus that is awarded after you make your first deposit. One of the key conditions it will probably go with is that you the amount of your deposit will be matched by 100% but with the cap of £200, let’s say. What does that mean in practice? If you deposit £10, you will receive £10 more and so on. For the deposit in £30, you will receive the additional £30. Here, the maximum amount to yield you 100% is £200. If you deposit £250, you will receive £200 anyway. Take this into account and let’s go on.
Let’s not once again talk about wagering requirements. For instance, these might be x30 in addition to your initial deposit. If you deposit £10 and receive £10 as a bonus, the ultimate amount is £20. Now, you need to multiply £20 by 30 (the number of wagers). You receive £600 and that’s actually the amount you will probably spend before you are allowed to request the withdrawal. With that in mind, think twice whether you actually need this bonus as the amount is quite substantial.
One more important thing is that there might be the minimum deposit amount. Depending on a casino operator, it is between £10 and £20, but you should still check it in advance. Luckily, most casino operators don’t have it at all. Apart from this, don’t forget to check if there are the minimum and maximum withdrawal values. We have already explained what it is here above.
And finally, take into account the fact that the way different games count toward wagering is different. It work best way with slots as they contribute 100%, at least if to talk about slots with fixed jackpot. Also, this is often the case with scratch cards. However, if you prefect table games and especially poker, be ready that they don’t count as 100%. Depending on the game and the operator’s policies, they can count about 25% or even less. Take this into account when choosing which games to play.
Probably the most important issue to manage so that everything takes place in a smooth way is payment method. As a rule, casino operators offer quite a wide range of payment methods but practice shows that only some of the available options will suit you. The matter is that lots of countries have their local limitations, which is why some of the world’s most common payment methods might be unavailable to local players. Besides, services of some of the large payment providers aren’t available in areas where online gambling isn’t legally allowed. The United States and PayPal are a bright example. Even though PayPal is based there, local players cannot use its services as online gambling isn’t allowed by local government. Luckily, casino operators know about these kinds of limitations and do their best to make their services available to as many players as possible.
Anyway, we recommend dealing with casino providers based in the United Kingdom as their payment methods are first and foremost offered with account of the needs of local users and limitations they might face. As an example, you could consider using any of mobile payment services. This option is available to anyone who has a valid UK phone number and it is not even necessary to have a bank account. In fact, this is probably the cheapest way to make deposits and an even better news is that you can receive a really great welcome bonus if you make your first deposit via any of mobile payment services. The matter is that casino operators encourage players to use this particular payment option, which is why the bonuses it is associated with are better than the standard ones. And still, it is not available for cash-out, unfortunately. For now, there is no technological solution to allow withdrawals to your mobile phone balance, which is why you will have to find an alternative way to receive your winnings, particularly those coming from the use of welcome bonus. And still, let’s come back to the point.
Withdrawing the winnings you gain when playing on your welcome bonus money might take quite a while unless you take all the nuances into account. There are several of them but we will focus on the main ones. The key thing is not to forget to check the timeframes for the processing of withdrawal requests. On average, the customer support of a casino operator would need 5-7 days to process your request. And still, there might be some nuances. First of all, there might be a delay with the linking of your payment method to be used for withdrawals. If you have you account properly set up, the process will take less time. However, it might be the case that you will have to choose from some kind of exotic payment providers you never dealt before. In this case, the procedure of linking your payment account to your casino might take up to a few days.
Also, you might need to wait for some time until your casino operator completes the identity verification procedure. As a rule, this won’t take more than 3-5 business days of your time but it might take more if there is something wrong with the documents you provide them with. The idea of this procedure is to let the casino operator know who they are dealing with. This is a part of the responsible gaming policies the aim of which is to prevent underage playing, eliminate fraud, and reduce money laundering. You might not like this procedure and the fact you will have to wait for some time, but this is done to the good purpose. The fact that the casino operator has this procedure shows that they are ready to comply with laws and regulations of online gambling industry. On the contrary, if the casino operator does not require identity verification, this is quite suspicious. In other words, just put up with this fact and ask the customer support to start the procedure in advance.
Of course, even in case with cashable bonuses you cannot just withdraw their value once you receive the one. What is meant here is the amount of the bonus that might remain in place once you meet the wagering requirements it goes with. In case with non-cashable bonuses, you can only withdraw your winnings, while the remaining value of the bonus cannot be received. With cashable bonuses, you can receive it as well but again, only after you meet the wagering requirements.
Just to make sure you have properly understood everything, we will provide a small example. Let’s imagine you received a bonus of £50. Up to the moment you meet all the wagering requirements, you win £30 and the remaining value of the bonus is let’s say £20. Once you make the request for withdrawal, there can be two scenarios: if the bonus is cashable, you receive £50, which is £30 in winnings and £20 of the remaining bonus. If it is non-cashable, you will only receive £30 of your winnings. Now you see that the difference is quite substantial, don’t you? Carefully check whether the bonus you receive is cashable before you accept it and don’t neglect this rule even if it is the welcome bonus.
One of the most common mistakes of young players is the assumption that the bigger the bonus is, the luckier they are. Forget it! The single fact that one casino operator offers higher welcome bonus than most others doesn’t speak in its favor. Indeed, this makes them stand out from the rest, but still there is no guarantee that the true value of the bonus is really that high. The matter might be that even though the announced value is indeed the highest, so are the wagering requirements the bonus goes with. And the truth is that in most cases this is exactly so! In other words, you should trust bright titles, ads, and promises. The only thing you can trust are your own conclusions after you carefully read the rules of how the bonus is to be used and the general bonus policy of a casino operator. Quite often, small welcome bonuses are much better than the largest ones. Remember, that is not the bonus amount that determines the true value of a bonus, but wagering requirements that come with it.
Yes, there is absolutely nothing unsafe about this. Welcome bonuses with no wagering requirements coming with them are a rare thing and you are actually a lucky one if you happened to come across such offer. At the same time, there might be some inconveniences associated with the use of such bonuses. As an example, all of these bonuses are non-cashable. After all, casino operators need to make sure that you won’t just empty up your balance and disappear. In other words, you will only be able to use this bonus for playing. The second thing that isn’t quite convenient is that there might be a cap of how much of your winnings can be withdrawn after you meet the wagering requirements. We have already mentioned that there might be the maximum and minimum withdrawal values, remember? This is often the case with no wager welcome bonuses. In any case, this is supposed to be mentioned in the set of rules applied to the bonus.