How Do Casino Welcome Bonuses Work

How Do Casino Welcome Bonuses Work

Online gambling is a vast industry that attracts players with a wide range of games, large potential winnings, easy access to many available features, and high-quality software. However, there is another tidbit that most gamblers won’t pass by; we are talking about special casino offers. And if regular players have already managed to figure out how online casino bonuses work, newbies still have many questions and doubts. This especially applies to welcome offers as they are designed exclusively for new customers of online casinos. Let’s discuss the most popular promotions and bonuses offered by gambling sites and examine their pros and cons.

What Is a Casino Welcome Bonus

In the case of welcome bonuses, the name speaks for itself; these are offers for players who have just signed up to a casino. This is one of the ways gambling sites use to express their loyalty to newbies and encourage them to further actions, such as verification, making deposits, and, of course, playing for real money.

You can use one welcome bonus at one gambling venue, but some bonus packages apply to several first deposits and allow you to get more extra features right from the beginning.

Under the terms of a welcome promotion, you usually get a deposit increase, a small amount of money without making a deposit, free spins, or mixed offers. Moreover, some gambling venues offer several starting bonus options to choose from.

How Do Online Casino Bonuses Usually Work

Regardless of the casino you choose, the critical condition for participating in any promotion is registration. Some gambling venues also require identity and payment method verification or promo code usage. Usually, bonuses are activated automatically, but in some cases, you have to open a particular website page or app section to activate it manually.

Any casino bonus is always subject to multiple conditions; most often, the following general scheme of using incentives works:

  1. You fulfill specific requirements to participate in a promotion.
  2. You activate a bonus, or it is credited automatically.
  3. You meet all wagering requirements.
  4. In the end, you get the money and can use it for further bets or withdraw via a suitable payment method.

Note that all casinos occasionally add new bonuses or remove old ones, and it can happen anytime. Sometimes, gambling venues just pause some events, and most of them often hold temporary promotions dedicated to holidays, promotional campaigns, and other special occasions.

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Why Do Casinos Offer Welcome Bonuses

It is crucial to understand that casinos are primarily interested in making money because it is a kind of business. Among other rewards, welcome bonuses are usually the most popular and seem to be just a sign of generosity for many players; however, they have several specific goals:

  • Attract new customers to register.
  • Encourage newbies to play for real money regularly.
  • Increase the level of loyalty and trust by customers.
  • Improve rating and brand recognition, as well as strengthen reputation.

Of course, knowing how casino welcome bonuses work, you can really benefit and get more opportunities already at the very beginning. The main thing to remember is that casinos rarely give anything for nothing, so you need to make some effort to make sure that your participation in a promotion turns out in your favor.

Best Welcome Bonuses at Casinos

Imagine the case: a particular online casino offers a first deposit of 200% and 100 free spins. Is it a generous offer? Absolutely. Should you take it without hesitation? No.

Las Atlantis Welcome Bonus
The Las Atlantis homepage contains the banner advertising the welcome bonus

We have already mentioned that any bonus has rules and conditions, most of which remain hidden until you read the T&C in detail.

An inexperienced user may get excited and activate the promo prematurely, but then it turns out that there are several difficult conditions if you want to get promised funds. For some bonus offers, wagering requirements are almost impossible.

This is the reason we strongly recommend studying all bonus conditions before activating it. There are a number of criteria to consider for this purpose.

Minimum deposit amountThe smallest amount you can deposit to participate in a promotionThe lower the minimum deposit amount, the more chances that it will fit your bankroll
WagerA multiplier that shows how much money you have to spend before getting an opportunity to withdraw bonus fundsLook for bonuses with the lowest wager, which gives a better chance to meet wagering requirements
TimelineThere are specific periods for bonus activation and wagering, usually from 7 to 30 daysIf the time limit is too strict, you may not have time to wager the bonus, and it will be canceled, so check this point in advance
Available gamesUsually you can wager a specific bonus only in particular gamesPay attention to characteristics of available games, such as RTP, volatility, maximum winning amount, etc., to better assess your chances for successful wagering
Betting limitsCasinos may limit the amount you can bet while wagering bonusesCheck what winnings you can get with a particular bet size and how quickly you can meet wagering requirements with the set limits
Winning limitsThe maximum amount you can win in a particular gameIf the casino severely limits the amount of potential winnings, it will be difficult to wager the bonus within a specified period

You can find all of this data in the bonus description; don’t forget to compare it to each other and your bankroll. Make a decision to participate only after concluding how realistic it is to wager bonus funds and whether the promotion can be beneficial.

Tips on How to Find a Casino Welcome Bonus

Often, promotions for newbies are easy to find; usually, it’s enough to open any gambling site to see bright advertising banners on its homepage. However, there are several other sources of valuable information about bonuses:

  • A bonus section of a particular casino site. Almost every gambling venue allocates a separate section or tab with all available bonuses and their detailed descriptions.
  • Casino email newsletter. If you want to receive up-to-date information about promotions and events, it’s worth subscribing to an email newsletter. Casinos even can encourage subscribers with separate incentives.
  • Social media. The most popular gambling venues have accounts on various social media, where they often share information about current promotions and events.
  • Customer service. Support agents are always glad to help or assist casino customers; providing detailed information about welcome and other bonuses is among their duties.
  • Thematic portals and affiliate sites. These additional sources of information about casinos and the rewards they offer can be handy. On forums, you can chat with other gamblers, share experiences and ask questions, while affiliate sites often make special offers as part of promotional cooperation.
  • Rating articles and reviews. They are easy to find on the web, but it is advisable to check the dates of writing and publishing and compare information from several sources to check its relevance.

In addition to information about special bonus offers, the sources above usually provide valid promo codes to activate various promotions; they can be very lucrative.

Reasons for Using Welcome Bonuses

We’ve already answered the question, “What is a casino welcome bonus?”. You also know why it is profitable for gambling sites to offer these incentives. However, what about your benefit?

First of all, promotions for beginners are really generous, so they are worth accepting even if wagering requirements are rather tough.

Don’t forget about no deposit bonuses; they are rare but can increase your initial bankroll without investments. Even if you can’t wager a no deposit reward, this is an excellent opportunity to try casino games without risks.

Moreover, bonuses for newcomers add excitement and interest to your game, and the need for wagering introduces an element of competition that is also valuable for some gamblers.

Finally, some welcome promotions allow you to play longer without investing extra money, which is an excellent opportunity to start.

Types of Casino Welcome Bonuses

An exact welcome bonus and its content depend on the casino you choose; let’s take a look at the most common bonus types available at online casinos.

Free Spins

Free spins are nothing more than spins paid by a casino; this is a bonus that doesn’t require investments. Free spins have a specific bet size and can usually be used in one or more slots; the casino sets these rules.

Free Play Bonuses

These bonuses are also called no deposit bonuses because they do not require topping up your balance. You only have to fulfill one or more simple conditions, such as registration, indicating a promo code, installing a mobile app, etc. Nevertheless, such rewards are still subject to wagering, so you can’t simply withdraw the money after receiving it. Also, such promotions are quite rare, and their amounts are quite small.

Deposit Rewards

This is the most popular type of welcome promotion: your first deposit increase (sometimes it applies to multiple first deposits). After registering, you deposit the amount corresponding to the promotion requirements and get a deposit boost; then, you have to wager it to transfer the money to your main balance.

Combined Offers

Many gambling venues go even further and offer newcomers a combined casino welcome bonus, most often consisting of a first deposit increase and free spins. Remember that wagering conditions may be different for different parts of the same bonus.

Different Types of Other Rewards

We have reviewed promotions for newbies, but there are also many other promotional offers for all casino players; let’s take a look at them as well.

Reload Bonuses

Casinos often offer this type of reward in two cases:

  • You previously played on this gambling site, took a long break, and then logged in again. By providing a reload bonus, the casino motivates you to deposit your account again and keep playing.
  • There is a special promotion held where customers deposit a specific amount of money and receive a cash boost, free spins, or both.

Simply put, a reload is a bonus for any deposit except for the first or several first. In some cases, these promotions can be permanent, which means you can get a reload even several times a week, for example.

No Deposit Offers

No deposit rewards are any bonuses you can get without topping up your account. We’re talking about welcome promotions and gifts dedicated to your birthday or other significant dates and holidays. However, remember that such promotions usually have strict wagering requirements.

Loyalty Programs for VIP Players

A loyalty program is a system of bonuses, often having a multi-level structure and taking into account your game achievements. Some loyalty programs are designed for all registered gamblers; in this case, you become a member automatically after registration. Other casinos allow participating only to customers with special statuses; it’s impossible to take part without a special invitation.

Most loyalty programs involve internal game currency: you get points or coins for playing casino games actively. As you accumulate them, you reach new levels, earn rewards, and get unique privileges or services.

Thanks to loyalty programs, you can regularly receive various bonuses, such as free spins, increased withdrawal limits, tickets to tournaments, and more.


Casinos are interested in the constant expansion of their audiences, and referral programs work well in this case. The idea is simple: you, as a registered player, invite your friends to join the game, and if they register and start playing for real money, you will get generous rewards.


Gambling venues know how much players are disappointed by losses, so they often offer a consolation prize: you can return some of the money spent due to cashback promotions. Usually, this is a refund of a specific part of the money lost for a week or a month if other promo conditions are met.

High Roller Rewards

Any casino appreciates lovers of high stakes, so such customers usually get special privileges. VIPs or high rollers can take advantage of personal manager services, access to exclusive events, favorable withdrawal conditions, and so on.

Bet Bonuses

Many casino sites have sections for sports betting, as well as separate bonuses for this category. For example, newbies often get free bets: these are risk-free bets of a certain amount with the possibility of real winnings if you succeed.

There is a sports betting section on the Bovada Casino homepage
Bovada Casino, among other things, offers an extensive sports betting section

Also, fans of sports betting who have just created accounts can get additional welcome bonuses for this section only. Of course, several conditions are set: you have to wager it only in sports bets, comply with odds limits, and take into account the wager specified in the rules.

Terms & Conditions of Welcome Bonuses

We have already mentioned that there are specific lists of rules and conditions behind all casino welcome bonuses for US players, both for receiving the reward and for wagering it. Promotion’s participation requirements can be simple enough: account creation, making a minimum deposit, specifying a promo code, and so on, but remember about wagering requirements that are often strict. In that case, wagering can be a severe problem for unprepared gamblers.

Wagering Requirements

There are no bonuses you can obtain and withdraw immediately; if there were any, casinos would suffer significant losses. That’s why the bonus money you get in terms of any promotion has to be wagered under the conditions set.

The first thing to pay attention to is the wager; there is a massive difference between the x10 and x50, for example, especially when it comes to large sums of money.

Let’s say you have to wager a $100 bonus. If the wager is x10, you need to spend at least $1,000; if the wager is x50, the sum increases to $5,000; conclusions are up to you.

It is also essential to consider time restrictions, bet and winning limits, and the number of games suitable for wagering a bonus.

How to Meet Wagering Requirements

Even if you’ve taken into account our recommendations and selected a promotional offer with accessible wagering conditions, you can make your task even easier if you follow several tips for beginners.

Play Top Games With High RTP

The choice of games available for wagering is usually relatively small, so you should study it carefully and give preference to popular titles with a high return-to-player percentage (RTP). This criterion doesn’t provide any guarantees regarding amounts and frequency of potential winnings, but such games are preferable among gamblers. This happens because high-RTP games usually feature average or low volatility, which means you can count on low but pretty frequent winnings.

Use Low Bets & Avoid Betting Systems

Initially, it seems that the bigger the bets you make, the faster you wager a bonus; this is true, but only if you win most of the time. However, you’ll only spend your bankroll more quickly if a long losing streak happens.

That’s why small bets are the best choice, at least to start with, so keep your cool, move gradually, and know how to stop in time if a losing streak hits you.

Another questionable way is the use of particular strategies, which are popular not only among newbies but also among experienced players. In many cases, strategies like Martingale (when after losing, the bet is doubled and so on up to the winning, which will pay back the previous failures) work well but remember that wagering always involves restrictions. Under these conditions, any strategy sooner or later will turn against you.

Steps on How to Cash Out a Welcome Bonus

So, you have received a welcome reward; let’s review the steps you need to perform to withdraw the money:

  1. Study promotional conditions carefully.
  2. Play games available for wagering to fulfill necessary requirements.
  3. If the requirements are met within the specified period, the funds will be automatically transferred from the bonus balance to the main balance.
  4. Now, you can withdraw money through the cashier section using a convenient payment method.

You can also use these funds to make further bets and win even more; however, remember that gambling is always about risks, so you can lose everything very quickly.

The Importance of Welcome Bonuses in Casino Gambling

The role of casino welcome bonuses for US users can hardly be overestimated, as special offers are beneficial to both players and casinos. With bonuses, you can play longer and have more fun from gambling; there’s also a chance to increase your starting bankroll with minimal risk. At the same time, gambling sites use welcome promotions to attract new customers and compete with other online casinos. The welcome bonus is how many people start their gaming journey on a particular website with and for.


It all depends on a particular casino and the conditions set. Study all wagering requirements and other rules or contact customer support for assistance.

Casinos prohibit multi-accounting in order not to let customers abuse bonuses and their features. All your accounts will be banned if you try, especially if you have used one device and IP.

You may have misunderstood or inattentively studied the terms and conditions. There are also fraudulent casinos that may refuse to pay bonus funds or even ban your account after successful wagering.

It depends on the casino you choose. It's worth saying that more and more gambling sites are encouraging players to make crypto payments and offering separate improved bonuses for those willing to deposit BTC or altcoins.

You have nothing to lose: even if the wagering is not performed, the money made as a deposit will remain on balance.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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