Casino Bonuses for UK Players
Casino bonuses. Money for nothing, rewards, free spins, free gifts...
These are just a number of the ways in which online casinos get new players through their doors. The UK casino industry is perhaps the most competitive in the world, and this is down to the fact that most of the big players started out decades and decades ago as bookmakers. Where smaller sites would have been set up in conjunction with the internet boom and grew over time, UK casinos with this backing entered the fray with all guns blazing.
From the perspective of an online casino, therefore, eliminating competition and getting bums on seats, so to speak, was the main aim. By attracting players, these companies could then draw their attention to their games. Players would then, assumingly, spend their money on those same games. The casino would profit from more players depositing money on their site and grow as a result. And this is exactly what happened.
Casino Bonuses History
Casino bonuses can be traced back to the complimentary gifts which were given to players in landbased casinos to keep them playing, or simply get them in there in the first place. In Las Vegas, for example, the number of casinos operating led to some pretty full-on competition among the runners of them. In order to make their casino more attractive, they offered little bonuses and free food and drink for pumping money into slots or at the tables.
As time went by, casinos began offering more than just free food and drinks. The competition led to free hotel rooms, tickets for shows, excursions, and bonus money to play with. Eventually, the VIP and loyalty programmes saw even more ridiculous prizes and awards bestowed on players. Casino comps eventually grew to the point that they were expected.
With the growth of online casinos by the mid-late 2000's, some players needed more convincing than others when it came to playing online. If a player could simply walk into a landbased casino and grab himself all kinds of awards, why would that same player sign up to play over the internet? Of course, by this time, the welcome bonus was a well-known thing.
With the level of competition which has emerged over the past decade or so, a welcome bonus doesn't always cut it. Online casinos are almost falling over themselves for the business of every player they can get their hands on. From the average Joe who spends a nominal amount every month, to rich VIPs and high-rollers who think nothing of pumping thousands into a casino, offers to sign up target players with juicier promotions.
Things look set to even get bigger as time goes on and competition gets bigger. The casinos with more clout will certainly be able to afford the larger outlay, which means better bonuses. It is seen as an investment for these larger sites, as they believe that they will get plenty more back in return.
In this guide, we will not attempt to play clairvoyant and attempt to predict what amazing offers there are out there. Instead, we will take a look at the most common bonuses and what you can expect to get your hands on when signing up for a new casino, or as an existing player.
New Player Bonuses
Bonuses which are offered to players to sign up come under the category of welcome bonuses. In essence, these are the marketing ploy which the casino engages in, for the purpose of attracting players to a casino. The welcome bonus can consist of many things, including a matched deposit, free casino cash, chips to use on games, free spins, and a number of other incentives.
Almost every single online casino in operation today provides a welcome bonus or welcome package of some sort. As the aim of the game is to get your attention, these can often appear amazingly generous. Some, on the other hand, do not look as generous but can be better-valued than the ones which look better from a distance.
New players tend to get the same amount of their first deposit across the board. That is, of course, unless you are bringing a lot of revenue their way. For the most part, however, casinos do offer that one big welcome offer. Sometimes they can also offer to double or treble the first deposit. It does depend on the casino so make sure you know what is out there before you try and guess if it is a good offer or not.
Terms, conditions, and limits can give a great indication of what the casino is likely to have in terms of their intentions for the use of a bonus. It is always up to the casino to decide on what they offer.
No Deposit Welcome Bonuses
If welcome bonuses are the cake for many, then no deposit welcome bonuses are the cherry on top. These are rare, so welcome packages with no-deposit bonuses are the most desirable of the lot, for this reason. Just because there is no deposit required does not mean that there will be no restrictions on the bonuses. Turnover requirements will be written into the terms and conditions, but this is far from a bad thing.
Terms and conditions are natural, although some will naturally be better than others. Much like other types of welcome bonus, they tend to be represented as a multiple of the amount of the deposit, bonus, or a combination of both.
No deposit welcome bonuses are seen as the best way to get a little momentum behind you when playing at a casino for the first time.
Example of a Great Welcome Package
In terms of bonuses and promotions, some casinos tend to place more emphasis on making a pretty big effort. These casinos understand that both acquiring new customers and planning to retain them are equally as important, as it can cost 5 times more to attract a new player as it can to keep one.
Any kind of recognition or reward is likely to draw the player's interest, so for a number of reasons, a new player will want to see what a casino has to offer before they go ahead and dedicate to signing up. A great welcome package, therefore, places more emphasis on what the player can hope to earn over time as well as immediately.
While not all great casinos offer great welcome bonuses, it certainly helps. The example below is what we consider to be a great welcome bonus:
- 100% bonus up to the predetermined amount on your 1st deposit
- 75% bonus up to the predetermined amount on your 2nd deposit
- 50% bonus up to the predetermined amount on your 3rd deposit
- 25% bonus up to the predetermined amount on your 4th deposit
Aside from the new player bonus, the casino that would produce this welcome package would also draw attention to their other games, including those under the live casino category:
- £5 Live Casino chip
- 10% on all deposits over a predetermined amount
- 15 Free Spins to Play on Slots
A casino may also offer other incentives such as VIP bonuses and comp points, in addition to a free bet (providing they have a sports betting site, too). These simple offers can be enough to really bolster up their player numbers and get themselves ahead of the competition in so many ways.
A good bonus is not just based on what is offered but is also judged on the playthrough/turnover requirements. All bonuses carry a wagering/playthrough requirement in some form or another. Typically, this is represented as a percentage of the deposit, the bonus or the combined sum of the deposit and bonus against the deposit made.
In the industry, the fair turnover requirement for bonuses is somewhere in the region of 20% - 35%. Anything above 40% is considered poor, while anything under 20% is generally accepted as being good.
What Makes a Poor Welcome Bonus?
That being said, there are welcome bonuses which may look excellent from a distance but are anything but, when looked at closely. The example above could be considered a poor welcome bonus if the turnover/wagering requirements were high and there was nothing in the form of a bonus for loyalty or simply for being an existing player.
Once again, it is important to look through bonuses and the best way to get a grasp of them is to read through the terms and conditions before you sign up.
Existing Player Bonuses
Not all bonuses are created with new players in mind. If you have signed up to play at a casino, and intend to stick around, why not sample what kind of bonuses you may be entitled to?
These bonuses are designed for players who have already been on the books of a casino and availed of their initial offers. Reload bonuses are what you can claim either as part of a welcome package or as an add-on if you are considered a high-roller. There are three types of reload bonuses, which can be part of a package offered to a new player for your first deposit, those which can be triggered via a promotional code, and those offered to existing customers for subsequent deposits.
Yes, there are more often than not wagering requirements, and you can read through the terms and conditions before you sign up.
Casino Deposit Bonuses
As should be pretty common knowledge by now, a casino wants to encourage players to deposit more or double down on what they contribute. Casino deposit bonuses are, therefore, designed for casino players to promote as much activity as they can around the site with games which they might not have otherwise tried and liked.
As with all bonuses, there will be terms and conditions to adhere to before you can turn these into real cash. It is worth noting that there are many different types of casino deposit bonuses out there, with the majority of these bonuses offered to new players. They can be periodical, meaning you can get these every week, month, or quarter, and even sometimes on a specific day.
Another common bonus for players of slots is free spins, which are designed exclusively for playing slot games. You may find an offer lurking in your email's inbox. You may also receive a courtesy call with an offer of free spins, or receive them while playing slots. They can also be as part of a welcome package and your existing customer offers.
Free spins can carry requirements, such as conditions which state that winnings have a cap or something similar. Make sure that, before you accept free spins, that the terms and conditions don't affect your real money or require anything more than you to play through a certain amount.
Live Casino Bonuses
Existing customers who have not shown any real interest in the live casino games of a company may be given a little food for thought or a gentle bit of persuasion. The most common way to do this is by offering them a free chip, or amount, which they can use to play blackjack, roulette, or any other table game which takes their fancy.
There are also loyalty points, VIP bonuses, and plenty more.
VIP/High Roller Bonuses
Those who play with high stakes can almost always get themselves a whole host of extras, including cash back on losses, instant withdrawals, comp points, holidays, free spins bonus points and comps which would make the average player green with envy. Many casinos assign each high roller or VIP an account manager or personal representative, who provides all these extra goodies.
High rollers and VIPs will always receive more than the average punter, as they bring more to the table (pun intended).
So there you have it, the bonuses which you can expect to earn at an online casino. Even if you are planning on starting small, maybe, just maybe, one day you can win enough to see you bagging all those extra VIP goodies.