Online Casino Bonuses Explained

Head to pretty much any online casino in the UK and you will often be greeted with a huge banner advertising a bonus. The online casino is literally screaming at you, telling you that if you sign up to their site, they will shower you with free cash or free spins on one of their slots. So, what are these bonuses all about? Can you win cash from them? Let’s take a look!

How Do Casino Bonuses Work?

There are several types of casino bonuses that you may encounter. Some of the more popular ones include:

  • Matched deposits i.e. deposit £100 and get £100 free.
  • Free spins on certain slot machines (normally NetEnt)
  • Fixed sums of cash

In the vast majority of cases, the online casino will require you to deposit some cash into your account in order to take advantage of the bonus. Often, you will also have to tell the casino that you want to take advantage of the bonus when you open your account. This normally involves you ticking a box. It is very rare that signing up alone will give you access to the bonus.

Once you have signed up for the bonus, you will often wait a few hours for the bonus to be ‘active’ on your account.

It is important that you read through the terms and conditions of any online bonus that you take advantage of. In most cases, there will be wagering requirements (or the bonus funds may be forfeitable), and there may be restrictions on the games that you can play with the bonus e.g. you may be restricted to high volatility slots with your free spins, or you may have to be a minimum amount with matched deposits.

In very rare cases, you may encounter bonuses where you don’t have to deposit any money into your account. This normally happens on some of the newer online casinos. The bonus tends to be a £5 free casino bonus and in some rare cases even £10 bonus.

So, why are online casinos giving away this cash? Well, it isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts. Instead, it is a promotional technique. It is a way to encourage somebody to play on their website. This is because online casinos know that once they have managed to reel in a customer, they have pretty much secured a customer for life. They may be giving away cash, but they will likely end up making way more back.

Are Casino Bonuses Worth It?

It depends.

If your intention is to try out a new casino or game without spending huge amounts of cash then, yes, we would say that casino bonuses are worth it. Remember; the whole reason why online casinos give away bonuses is that they want you to test out their website. Several times, we have come across some awesome bonuses and it was more than enough to encourage us to check out a brand new website.

If your intention is to use the casino bonuses to make money then, no. It isn’t worth it. As we will explain in the next section, while there is always a small chance that you can use your casino bonuses to make money, the chance is so small that it isn’t even worth thinking about. Just because a site says that they are giving you £100+ in cash doesn’t necessarily mean that you will end up earning more than a couple of pounds from it.

That being said, bonuses can still be quite cool. They are worth it when you are trying to find a new site to play at. After all, online casinos tend to be pretty much the same nowadays (NetEnt & Microgaming slots galore), so it is nice to have an extra way to differentiate between them. Although, we wouldn’t recommend that you sign up for an online casino for casino bonuses alone.

Can You Make Money From Casino Bonuses?

Long story short; no.

Casinos are businesses. Like most businesses, they are not really fans of giving away their money. They will be happy to attract you to their website with casino bonuses, but they will quite often have strict limitations in place with regard to what you can do with the winnings from the said bonus.

If you go through the terms and conditions of the bonus, you will eventually notice something called ‘wagering requirements’. In most cases, you probably won’t even need to look that hard. The UK Gambling Commission now requires online casinos to display wagering requirements rather prominently.

The wagering requirements simply mean how many times you have to play through any winnings from the casino bonus before you can withdraw it. For example, if there is a 20x wagering requirement, then this means that you need to play through the bonus winnings 20x before you can withdraw the cash. Some sites will have even higher wagering requirements. Trust us, no matter how lucky you are, the chances of you winning 20x with your casino bonus are pretty small.

Now, we are not going to say that you can’t make money from casino bonuses. People have been able to get lucky enough to walk away with some cash. However, do bear in mind that it is probably never going to more than a few quid. You can’t make masses of profit from casino bonuses.


Remember, there are a lot of casino bonuses out there. While taking advantage of a bonus is fantastic, do make sure that you read through the terms and conditions so you know what you are getting from the bonus. You should also make sure that you do not choose a casino based upon the bonus alone. Instead, pay attention to everything else that the casino offers first. After all, a casino could offer brilliant bonuses, but they may end up having a rather awful website in other ways.