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Online Casino Welcome Bonuses Explained

If you've ever found yourself confused by the sheer number of casino bonuses available online, then this guide is most definitely for you. We take a look at the most popular welcome promotions advertised at UK casinos online in 2021. From those you'll need to transfer in real money to unlock, to those you can get your hands on just by opening up an account.

In this guide to British online casinos offers, we'll show you:

  • The different types of casino bonus eligible to UK players
  • How you unlock a bonus and use it to your advantage
  • What a playthrough requirement is and why it's important

What Exactly Are Casino Game Bonuses?

Just like when you open an account at a UK sportsbook and find yourself with a free bet, online casino sites in the United Kingdom also offer similar incentives to new members signing up.

These offers fall into several categories, some of which call for you to add real money to your betting account, while others are offered free of charge the moment you register your details. There are even promotions specific to certain types of real money games too so it's easy to see why so many Brits who are new to online gambling can feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of promotions on offer.

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Why Do Casinos Offer Promotions?

Promotions have become a core part of the way online casinos attract new members to their sites. Unlike at land based casinos in the UK, which may be few and far between, the internet opens British gamblers up to the possibility of playing at hundreds of different casino sites. Both those based in the United Kingdom and offshore too. And every one of these is competing for business.

Casinos make money from having players take part in their real money games. So they need to keep attracting new blood to their site to keep their profits ticking over. This is precisely why so many of the promotions you see at casinos online in England are geared towards new depositing players. As cash injections from real money gamblers are integral to the casino's bottom line. So welcome bonuses are just one technique that real money gaming sites use to bring in, and keep, new members.

What You Need To Qualify For An Offer

Being a UK online gambler is the first step to getting your hands on a lucrative cash bonus at any of today's top participating casino sites. But, you'll need more than just a British IP address before that incentive can be yours. Here's what else is required to qualify for a bonus online in Britain:

  • An account at a UK casino site - Even if you're only interested in playing for free, by opening up an account at a UK gaming site, you can automatically qualify for free spins and no deposit offers.
  • Real cash to bet with - Making a real money deposit in British £ sterling can open up a world of welcome offers - including huge deposit match promotions that can double your bankroll in an instant.
  • Time to devote to gambling online - Bonuses in Britain have a limited redemption time, usually just 30 days. So be sure you've factored in enough time to devote to playing through the bonus terms.
  • Money to meet the wagering terms - With free money promotions, players are normally required to wager their own money to keep any winnings. You need to make sure you have the capital upfront to meet these requirements or you'll forfeit your profits by default.

How Bonuses Are Collected in 2021

To pick up a bonus at a UK casino really isn't difficult. As soon as you land on a participating site's homepage the promotional offer will be one of the first things you see. Casinos don't shy away from advertising their bonuses front and centre on their online and mobile platforms, so new users thinking about signing up will be able to digest the latest offer in seconds.

Most promotions will come with T&Cs that stipulate what the player is agreeing to by redeeming the offer. Don't worry. This is just a way for the casino to protect itself and you. However, that doesn't mean you should ignore the small print. This is what tells you, the player, precisely what you have to do to be able to keep the bonus, and any winnings generated from it. So be sure you pay close attention to what's being asked of you.

Why British Gamblers Should Care About Bonuses

Bonuses at online casinos in the UK typically give you a shot at playing a real money game with a boosted bankroll. Or entirely for free. So these offers are great for new online casino gamblers betting for real money, who want to minimise risk to their bankroll.

If you're new to a game, a welcome offer can give you the chance to practice and familiarise yourself with the rules, without having to wager your own cash. Free spin slot offers in particular, are frequently offered on new launches so even die-hard slots fans can benefit from using free spin offers. Especially as you'll be able to keep hold of the winnings you generate as long as you meet the bonus wagering requirements too.

The Different Types Of Welcome Promo

No two casino bonuses are ever created equal. Here's a run down of the main types you'll commonly come across at casinos online in the UK.


Deposit Free Or No Deposit

These offers don't require you to spend a penny of your cash. You just register for an account, and the offer is yours, just like that. Normally these take the form of free slots spins or a tiny bankroll boost.


Deposit Match Offers

These offers unlock the moment you make a real money deposit to your account for the first time. The casino will match your deposit with its own contribution of free cash for you to play with.


Free Slots Spins

These bonuses are exactly what they say on the tin. You'll be credited with free spins to use on select slots games. Sometimes you'll receive the full amount upfront, and other times they'll be credited over a set time period.


Timed Promotions

Casinos today love to offer promotions around topical events, such as new game launches, TV shows, film releases, or sports. Look out for these offers, as they'll only be up for grabs for a limited time only.


Mobile Bonuses

To encourage sign-ins from smartphone and tablet, it's not uncommon for real money casino sites to offer a second welcome bonus the first time you deposit from your mobile device in Britain.


Free Bet

Most UK casinos also operate a sports betting site too. So being offered a free bet, when you place your first real money sports wager online, is another bonus type that casino players can benefit from.

Playthrough Requirements Explained

You know the expression nothing in life comes for free? Well, casino bonuses are a good example of this. Despite the offer advertising "free spins" or "free cash" these offers still come with T&Cs attached to them. One of which are playthrough requirements. These dictate the amount of real money you'll have to invest playing at the site, before you can withdraw any winnings. Not all casino games contribute equally to the playthrough requirements, and some not at all. So it's important to familiarise yourself with these before you start real money gaming. Or you could be handing back your bonus winnings after 30 days, if you haven't met all the playthrough requirements.

No Deposit Bonuses

No deposit bonuses are a type of casino promotion that reward players without having to first transfer in real money to gamble with. They normally unlock as soon as you've registered for an account at the site. You may first have to confirm your email address as a final confirmation step. But once fully registered you'll qualify for the deposit free promo. Which could reward you with free slots spins to use at the casino site (typically restricted to select games) or a free bet to play at a casino's sportsbook. Again, these offers can have their own set of T&Cs attached. So it's essential to read the small print before you take up the promotion.