Bonus, bonanza, bonsella! Free, gratis, for niks!
Freebies, extras, bonuses and incentives – whatever flavour they come in, there’s one thing we can all agree on: anything extra that you get for free is a win. Online casino bonuses are no exception. They’re that extra biscotti with your latte, the bar peanuts to your beer, the little touches that let you know you’re valued as a customer.
Casino bonuses can be pretty tricky to navigate, though, especially when it comes to wagering requirements. This guide will cover the types of casino bonuses and give you an overview of wagering.
To start with, bonuses fall into one of two categories: deposit bonus, and no-deposit bonus.
A deposit bonus is a bonus awarded to you by the casino when you make a deposit into your account. For the most part, these are monetary bonuses, but they can consist of anything the casino wants to offer. This type of bonus is usually offered as a welcome bonus, but some casinos do offer these to ongoing customers under various guises. Usually, the only qualifying requirement, aside from wagering, is to make a deposit. The specifics of how to claim the bonus are provided by the casino.
Sometimes, a casino may offer bonuses outside of deposits. For instance, a bonus might be awarded to members of a loyalty programme, or for playing a certain game. No-deposit bonuses don’t require you to make a deposit into your account, and requirements vary depending on the casino.
Welcome bonuses are the best known and most popular type of bonus for an online casino. They are offered when you sign up and usually have a monetary value but may include extras, like free spins.
You can use this monetary value – also known as a sign-up deposit match – to play with; you can’t usually withdraw it right away. Depending on the value and structure of the bonus, you will only be able to claim the bonus and any winnings from it, once you have played to a certain value.
Most online casinos in South Africa offer their bonuses when you make your first deposit. Others will divide the bonus up over your first two or often three deposits, or they may offer different types of bonuses for these. Make sure to read the terms and conditions for each operator carefully – they can and do differ.
When a casino offers a deposit match bonus, they match your deposit up to a certain value, or they offer a percentage of your deposit up to a maximum value. These usually show up as welcome bonuses, or sign-up bonuses, but many online casinos do offer them at other times.
Deposit match bonuses are usually subject to wagering terms and conditions. Casinos that offer deposit bonuses besides welcome bonuses include PlayLive, Springbok, and Silver Sands.
Video slots are the life blood of most online casinos. This means that they often have new or unique games they want to show off. Frequently, they will give free spins for certain slots, giving you the opportunity to both experience a new game and win risk free.
Free spins often feature as part of a welcome bonus and can be awarded at the same time as the monetary bonus or as a standalone. However, this is not the only time they appear.
Free spins can be offered whenever the casino sees fit. Some casinos offer weekly free spins; others award them as special promotions; or they can even be dispensed as part of a loyalty programme.
Some casinos that offer free spins are Europa, Casino.com and Slots Heaven.
Yes, it’s true. Some South African online casinos do offer you cash back. This usually happens if you exceed a certain loss limit, in which case the casino will reimburse you a percentage of your losses, up to a maximum amount.
How each casino structures this bonus is up to them. PlayLive, for example, offers 10% of weekly net losses, with no limit, while Slots Heaven offers 20% of losses on selected slots back, up to a limit of R400. These are just two examples among many of how different casinos approach this.
The great thing about online casinos is that they can get creative with the bonuses they offer. While those mentioned above are the best known and most popular, many casinos will offer specials, bonuses and extras that are unique to them.
Thunderbolt, for example, offers a weekend bonus, during which qualifying players can claim prizes, including deposit match and free spins. Europa, on the other hand, offers a referral bonus, which gives you a bonus when your referred friend signs up and makes a deposit.
Bonuses can take the form of prizes, access to tournaments, or even free wheel spins. The only limit is the casino’s imagination.
Wagering is usually applied to most deposit match bonuses. It means that, in order to be able to claim the bonus, you need to play games at the casino up to a certain bet value. Some games count more towards this bet value – often, slots are your best bet for making up wagering requirements.
For an in-depth look at wagering, please read our article here.
A bonus can be a real score, but you can bet your bottom dollar that no two bonuses are completely alike, so make sure you check your facts before you get carried away with a nice looking package – play safe for the most fun.