When you’re looking for a new online casino to sink your teeth into, looking at the bonuses they have on offer is undoubtedly part of the selection process. And of all of the bonus offers you’ll find, the deposit bonus is arguably the most common among online casinos in the UK.
At this point, though, we are all well aware of the fine print tomfoolery that online casinos love to take part in. So on this page, we’ll clear the air on how these deposit bonuses work and help you find the best ones that the UK has to offer.
Simply put, the casino deposit bonus (also called the “match bonus” depending on the site) gives you an additional percentage of your initial deposit to spend as credits on any of the online casino’s games. This percentage typically lands around 100% but could be as low as 50% or as high as 400%.
Now, this percentage number is a bit confusing, so let’s put it into a real money example. Say you’ve deposited ₤100 into your online casino account. If the casino deposit bonus is 100%, you’ll get an extra ₤100 on the house, giving you ₤200 to spend in total. Likewise, a 400% bonus will give you an extra ₤400 with your deposit for a total of ₤500 effective funds at your disposal.
Of course, there is always a catch when it comes to an online casino. For one, while it might seem like that 400% deposit bonus would make the casino bleed money, the reality is that the casino has a variety of other ways to recoup and even profit from any losses from giving away “free money”. Here are just a few.
One of the typical tricks that hide in casino deposit bonuses is a limit on how much you can deposit. The simpler kind is a minimum deposit amount, which prevents you from getting the bonus money if your deposit is less than the minimum. This effectively guarantees X amount of revenue from every new player who wants to take advantage of your bonus offer.
The other type of bonus limit is capping the maximum amount that the casino will match. If you ask us, this is arguably the more insidious deposit limit, because suddenly that 400% deposit bonus doesn’t turn out to be quite as beneficial when the casino is only willing to match your deposit up to ₤50.
Another common limit that UK online casinos like to place on their welcome bonuses is the classic time limit. Simply put, this limit will only let you claim casino deposit bonuses within a certain time period after you register. Typically, casinos will give you about a month or so to claim your deposit bonuses, while others will give you about a week.
As the name suggests, the wagering requirement of a casino deposit bonus will prevent you from withdrawing any of the money that the casino gives you as a bonus until you wager a certain amount of money on the casino’s games. As an example, consider a casino deposit bonus of ₤100 with a wagering requirement of 10x. This means that to be able to withdraw that ₤100 bonus, you will need to wager at least ₤1000 on the casino’s games. If you’re lucky and win it big, you’ll be able to cash out this bonus in full; otherwise, you might find yourself shelling out even more money than your deposit bonus in an attempt to claim that bonus.
Now, that last example might seem a little pessimistic—which it is. But looking at it optimistically, losing money is a part of the online casino experience, and while bonuses can help pad your bankroll a bit, burning through it all is, unfortunately, inevitable.
We want to emphasize, though, that every online casino in the UK will have its own combination of welcome bonuses, each with its own specific set of shenanigans hidden in the terms and conditions. Reading through these, then, should help you get the most out of these bonuses, but we also understand that you want to get in on the action as soon as possible.
That’s where we come in. We at Inside Casino read all of the fine print and run all of the player tests on UK online casinos so you don’t have to. Our extensive review process separates the wheat from the chaff to help you find the best online casino experience for you.