- Online Casinos
Choosing a new online casino at which to play within the United Kingdom can be a daunting task, because there are so many established brands and new ones are arriving all of the time. To make things worse (or better in our opinion), there are also numerous bonuses available to both entice new players through the virtual doors and to retain those already at the casino. But have no fear, CasinoTop UK is here to break everything down into simple to understand categories, so that you have the means to choose which offer you want to go with by yourself.
With so many different types of bonus out there, from welcome packages and bonus spins to match deposit bonuses and cashback offers, we would first like to divide the lot by the type of bonus offered. This means you won’t be fazed by what comes up and you’ll know exactly what sorts of things to look out for in the terms and conditions of each deal. So, before you run off to check out all of the online casinos featured at CasinoTop, let’s take a general overview first.
This is usually the best deal you will ever receive during your lifetime as a player at a particular brand. That makes a lot of sense, seeing as online casinos need to bring in new players on a fairly regular basis so that they can grow the site. The things you are likely to find as part of a welcome package are as follows: a one time bonus offered on your first ever deposit at the casino; a fistful of bonus spins for one or more video slot games; or a multi part collection of bonuses that encompass one or more discreet bonuses for your first ever deposit and beyond. You may even receive a small bonus or batch of bonus spins just for signing up at the online casino, so be sure to look out for those kinds of offers as you can try before you buy, so to speak.
More normally, however,a new player based in the UK will receive something like a 100% bonus worth up to a predefined maximum amount. This is dependent on how much you deposit, of course, and will have a minimum deposit level that must be crossed to activate the bonus. You may also, at the same time, receive some bonus spins for trying out some of the most popular slots on the site. And, as we mentioned above, the first deposit offer may be followed by a second, third, fourth or even fifth deposit bonus offer after you’ve taken up the very first one. These kinds of offer can be very lucrative in terms of what the casino will give you as playing funds.
A matched deposit offer is a percentage of your deposit being adding on by the online casino as bonus funds. The typical deal, as we mentioned above, is the gold standard 100% bonus up to a given maximum. However, you may also see lower offers worth in the region of 75%, 50% or 25% of your deposit amount. On the flip side, it’s not uncommon to see a staggering 200% match deposit bonus offered by some of the online casinos catering to United Kingdom players.
To give a brief couple of examples, both of which are activated by depositing £100. If you deposit this amount when activating a 50% bonus, you will be able to start playing with £150 (your initial £100 deposit, plus the extra £50 given to you by the online casino as bonus funds). For a 200% offer, your £100 deposit will turn into playing funds of £300 in total (your £100 deposit plus the £200 given to you by the online casino as bonus funds). Make sense? Good.
These are increasingly rare to see out in the wild, especially in the United Kingdom where online casinos tend to match each other’s offers rather than push too hard for new customers. Nevertheless, they work in much the same way as above, but do not require you to make a deposit. So, essentially a £50 no deposit bonus means exactly what it says on the tin – you are given £50 in bonus funds by the casino without the need for you to first make a deposit. Great!
The only catch (and there will be more on this below) is that there are certain restrictions in place to stop nefarious players from abusing the casino’s generosity. These are principally covered by the wagering requirements that must be satisfied in their entirety before the online casino will pay out any winnings you may have won with your no deposit bonus funds. Once you have done this, however, you are free to withdraw the winnings as real cash.
Another rare one to find out in the wild, but nevertheless a fantastic deal if you are lucky enough to find one. A free to play bonus is normally offering a very small amount with which you can play your favourite games (or at least the ones stipulated in the individual terms and conditions) for a given time period without using your own playing funds. All you must do is blast through as many spins as you can (if the deal is for a video slot, for example) until either the bonus funds run out or the predefined time period runs out. Therefore, these bonuses are super fun.
Similar to free to play bonuses but with far fewer time restrictions (normally you must play them within 48 or 72 hours, for example). These bonus spins are locked to one particular game (or a set of games in some cases) and are limited to something like 10, 20 or 50 bonus spins at any one time. So, if you receive, say, 20 bonus spins for Gonzo’s Quest, you must use them on that slot alone until they have been exhausted. There are also several terms and conditions tied to these kinds of bonus – which is why they are called bonus spins and not the erroneous ‘free spins’ title that is used in countries outside of the United Kingdom – chief amongst these being wafering requirements that must be satisfied in full before any bonus spins winnings can be withdrawn by the player. Nevertheless, we would never turn down any bonus spins given to us, as you don’t need to complete the wagering if you don’t win or don’t want to grab the winnings.
This one is something that only normally applies to regular players and VIPs once they are through the welcome bonus stage (although we have seen a couple of cashback offers being given at the beginning of a player’s journey too). Essentially, a cashback offer is akin to an insurance policy. So, if you lose instead of win over a given time period, you can claim a percentage of your losses back from the casino. Typically, this will be around 5% or 10% of your losses, but it can rise dramatically for VIP players who have been given special privileges.
In order to keep certain bonuses exclusive to a subset of players, based on nationality, loyalty level or whether they are new to the online casino or not, some brands require their customers to enter a bonus code to activate the associated deal. The process isn’t at all complicated, but it is another step in the chain and you must ensure that you copy and paste the bonus code directly from the CasinoTop UK review or the casino’s own promotion pages to get it right – they are case sensitive or feature letters, numbers and/or symbols, such as WELCOMEBONUS1.
Bonus codes are, in the vast majority of cases, entered into a field at the time of making a qualifying deposit, so look out for that box whenever trying to claim your deal. Another, thankfully out of fashion, method requires a player to get in touch with the casino’s customer support team to tell them what the bonus code is before one of the in house agents manually confirms the validity of the code and then adds the bonus funds to your account.
We’ve noted wagering requirements being applied a couple of times above, and that’s because they are important criteria that you must fulfill in order to withdraw any of the winnings associated with a bonus. The industry standard wagering requirement is around 35x, which means (in a typical example) means that you must wager (or play through) 35x the bonus amount that you have been given. If your bonus was £100, then you must play through £3,500 (35 x 100) on slots or other qualifying games before you can withdraw your winnings. This might seem like a lot, and it is, but you can pick up wins as you go along, making it not as bad.
You’re in the right place. Simply read the online casino reviews right here at CasinoTop UK. We always describe the welcome bonus package in full and give you all of the major terms and conditions right up front so that you can make an informed decision. Now go find that deal!