Online casino bonuses are a significant part of online gambling today. Online casinos use bonuses as a marketing tool. This tool helps them attract new players looking for high bonuses and retain existing players.

It was harder for players to withdraw winnings made with the bonus several years back. Many online casinos were placing complicated terms to prevent winners from withdrawing funds. Since then, a lot has changed. 

Today, there is a lot of competition in the online gambling industry. In addition to the competition, authorities have also increased regulation. The combination of regulation and competition created a much more beneficial and safe environment for players. Online casino bonuses today are fair both in conditions and wagering requirements.

If you read our guide thoroughly, we will teach you how to make your way around in this new and exciting environment.

If you are already familiar with what online casino bonuses are all about, check out our page on the best casino bonuses. 

General Overview: What are casino bonuses?

Bonuses typically represent a reward you get for performing a specific action. This action can be as trivial as signing up to a casino or something more advanced, like making an actual deposit.

Many actions could potentially reward you with a bonus, and online casinos try to be as creative as they can with it. 

The most common type of bonus is an added credit. You receive extra credit, usually separated from your real credit, and you can play with it.

Another common bonus is free spins. As the name suggests, free spins are free slot machine spins you can play. A third common form of bonus is the cashback bonus. This type of bonus is credit returned to you after playing. In all of these cases, including less common forms of bonuses, you must meet the terms specific to each bonus to withdraw winnings.

In general, bonuses are a great way to prolog your game which means more fun for the same money. 

Common types of bonuses

  • Deposit Bonus - The most straightforward way to explain the deposit bonus is that you receive extra credit for each deposit you make. Most commonly, you can get a 50-100% match to your deposit. In less common cases, you could also get 200%, 300%, and 400%. Sometimes, even more. However, this type of bonus always has wagering requirements and maximum withdrawal limits. So you have to read the bonus terms and understand what you are doing. 
  • No deposit bonus - The bonus most sought after by players. You get something for nothing. Or, more specifically, you get something for performing an action that doesn't cost you anything, like registering. Players who want to win money online without risk love this bonus a lot. Typically, online casinos give $5-$20 for free. However, meeting the terms required to make a withdrawal is challenging. We have a dedicated page on our websites specifically for no deposit bonuses here.
  • Free spins - Online casinos don't give away free money, but they give away free spins! Free spins are usually available on specific slot machines and are not credited to your account balance. They are typically added on a side balance that requires you to meet the terms and conditions before the balance becomes yours. The casino will transfer the funds to your real balance if you meet the terms.
  • Cashback Bonus - After playing at games or times specified by the casino, you may be eligible for a cashback bonus. The cashback bonus means that the casino will return some of the funds you lost to your account.
  • VIP program - most online casinos try to retain players by creating a program that gives something special to players, now and then. These bonuses can vary, and online casinos are becoming more creative with them. Some of these bonuses include a chance to win a vacation, a discount on online shops using loyalty points, and more. If you know you are playing a lot, you may want to consider checking out the VIP program before signing up for a casino. 

General things to know about the bonus conditions

Every casino bonus has specific terms and conditions. Withdrawal of funds earned with bonus funds may not be as trivial as you think. It can be pretty complicated with some rogue casinos. If you don't read the bonus terms on the casino's website carefully, you might not understand them completely. And you certainly want to.

We urge you always to read the bonus terms thoroughly, and if there is anything you don't understand, don't claim the bonus. At least not before you contact the casino support and make sure that everything is clear.

Here are some of the most common bonus terms: 

  • Open only one account - All casino bonuses are limited to a single person. Never open more than one account per casino because they might pick up on that and withhold your funds. When players breach the rules of a casino, you never know how they might act. So beware. 
  • Use your real information - Before any withdrawal, the casino will verify your identity. It is crucial always to use your real information upon registration. They will ask you to send documents, including a scanned ID or passport. If a casino finds out that you used a fake ID, they may prevent you from withdrawing your funds or winnings. 
  • Wagering requirements - Bonuses are not for you to withdraw. Online casinos give bonuses for you to play. If you want to be eligible to withdraw the funds, you must usually wager (play) with a specified amount of money, which is typically a multiply of the bonus. For example, if you receive a bonus of $10 that has a wagering requirement of x35, you must wager a total of $350 before the funds will be available in your balance. Then, you can withdraw them. For this example, you will need 350 spins of $1 before withdrawing, regardless of whether you won or lost during your game. Most often, players lose all the bonus funds before meeting this requirement. 
  • Game restrictions - often, there are only specific games you can play with bonus funds. This restriction is usually more common with table games. Online casinos don't allow playing these games with most bonuses, and if they do, the bonus is likely to have high wagering requirements. 
  • Geographic Restrictions - many times, bonuses are country-specific. To know whether or not a bonus is applicable in your location, you must read the bonus terms thoroughly. We try to include this information with every bonus we list; however, we still recommend making sure on your own.
  • Maximum withdrawal limits - some bonuses have a maximum withdrawal limit that means that any funds won above that amount will not be rewarded to the player. For example, if a bonus has a maximum withdrawal of 200€, the casino will delete anything you win above that.

Additional important things to know about casino bonuses

Always play on online casinos that have a solid reputation. Many online casinos offer tempting bonuses, and many players fall for the bait. But it doesn't matter how good a bonus is if the casino isn't going to pay you eventually. There are several ways to figure out whether a casino is reputable or not. You can read all about it on our guide - How to pick the best online casino. Reputation, specifically, is something that online casinos work hard to earn. So generally, when an online casino has a good reputation, they will work very hard to maintain it.

You can check a casino's reputation by reading reviews on our website or other websites. Try to search the name of the casino + reviews on any of the leading search engines.

Having said that, we have already done the hard work for you. All the online casinos on our website, which receive a seal of approval, are good reputable brands. On these brands, you can play safely knowing that they will pay out your winnings. However, always do your due diligence. Always read the terms and remember that online casinos will do whatever they can not to pay you. So you must stay within the bonus terms at all times.  

At TopCasinoSearch, we read and list the bonus terms for you. Casino bonuses which are too strict, are being pointed out.