Casino Bonus - More Money to Play Your Favourite Games!
Online gaming is a remarkably competitive industry. There are thousands of casinos (tens of thousands, even) out there vying for new players. The competition for players is good, as each casino will do everything possible to entice prospective gamblers to sign up and deposit funds. They'll partner with the hottest gaming providers, create dazzling websites, and implement the payment methods you know and love. And, of course, they'll also offer the most generous casino bonus possible!
If you're new to online gambling or haven't perused a virtual casino in a while, you might not know what a casino bonus is. Gone are the days of getting a small $50 match to register for a site. Now, it's not unheard of to get thousands of dollars in free casino play just for signing up with your favorite sites!
Yes, you read that correctly - thousands of dollars!
Part of what makes online gambling so remarkable is the substantial bonuses online casinos can provide. At GambleGuys Canada, our job is to help you maximize your fun and provide you with all the best gaming action! And since getting free money is fun, here's your guide to today's best casino bonus Canada!
Best Casino Bonus and Promotions - December 2023
What is a Casino Bonus?
For those new to online gaming or who haven't gambled online in a while, it's worth reviewing what an online casino bonus is. Perhaps more specifically, it's worth exploring what, exactly, is a casino bonus. What do casinos give you for free?
Casinos typically use two primary bonuses to entice bettors to register: a free money match (or multiple matches) for deposits and a set of free spins or plays on various games within the casino itself. The money match is precisely as you might expect; the casino offers to match a certain percentage of your deposit. To illustrate with an example, suppose you deposit $100 into your new casino account.
An online casino might offer to match that 100%, so you might have a balance of $200 on your first deposit. Some casinos may even match with 150% or even 200%, giving you potentially $250 or even $300 to play with, and all you needed to put in was $100!
Casinos frequently throw in free spins, as well. So you might get a 100% match on your first deposit and 50 free spins on a specific slot. Most of the time, casinos restrict which games you can use the free spins on - for example, you might only be able to use your free spins on Elvis Frog in Vegas (slot review). Some casinos are a little more lenient; it depends on the bonus terms and conditions!
As online casinos frequently search for new gamblers, they often offer some of their best bonuses for new patrons. But the fun doesn't stop there!
Are There Bonuses After the Welcome Bonus?
Yes! After your initial new casino bonus, most casinos have recurring promotions and other perks that encourage people to continue playing. Sometimes these perks are pretty substantial. For example, it's not uncommon for an online casino to offer something like a "Thursday reload," where all deposits receive a 100% match up to $200 plus 100 free spins on a slot.
Other bonuses are not straight cash awards but instead take the form of casino tournaments or loyalty programs. For example, there might be a slot tournament where $5,000 is up for grabs or maybe a trip to Las Vegas to compete in a poker tournament.
Many casinos also have loyalty programs that offer a cashback bonus on losses, free money, swag, and other perks as you progress up the tier. These casinos usually (but not always) have priority support for their most established and esteemed patrons.
Therefore, while evaluating a casino based on its welcome bonus is essential, that should not be the only metric! Instead, it's important to assess a casino based on all the bonuses - the welcome bonus, recurring bonuses, loyalty programs, etc. - if you're going to get a comprehensive view of how it will treat you once you create an account!
Are There No Deposit Bonuses?
As you may have noticed above, most of these bonuses match a deposit amount, but you may have also read about a no-deposit bonus casino. Is it possible to have a casino bonus with no deposit - that is, can you claim a bonus without depositing any funds?
The answer is, surprisingly, yes! However, these bonuses are often significantly smaller than those you find that match a deposit amount. For example, you might find a code that will give you 100 free spins on a slot. These are usually at the minimum denomination allowed, so this might be a value of as little as $10. Factor in rollover requirements on any money won, and you will likely find that cashing out those bonus funds is not a particularly fruitful or likely endeavor. Therefore, while you can find no deposit bonuses, you'll typically find the ones that require a deposit to be much better overall!
How Do These Bonuses Work?
The way these bonuses work is relatively simple, but it depends on the casino and the type of bonus you are receiving! Once you've made your initial deposit (and claimed your bonus), you'll see your original deposit amount plus any bonus funds in your available balance to gamble. However, you cannot cash this entire balance out - at least not yet! Before cashing out, you'll have to complete any rollover requirements and any other stipulations in the bonus terms and conditions. We'll get into that in more detail later. Once you have satisfied the bonus terms, you can cash out your entire balance. Some casinos permit you to cash out your original deposit amount should you choose to forfeit the bonus.
If you receive free spins, those are added to the game when you load it up (you'll get a notification giving you instructions). You'll play the slot as usual, and then, once all the free spins are gone, you'll receive a message that the free spins have ended, and any further play will use your actual balance. If you're looking at claiming a bonus after depositing your first funds, those tend to work like the welcome bonus (you'll have to go to the casino's promotions section and select the promotion you want). Once you satisfy the bonus terms and conditions, it'll be yours!
How Can Casinos Offer These Bonuses?
If you're new to online gambling, you might wonder how casinos can offer these bonuses. After all, if a casino offered every new patron $1,000 or every recurring depositor $1,000 in free money, wouldn't they go bankrupt pretty quickly themselves? The answer to how casinos can offer these bonuses (and still stay solvent) lies in the terms and conditions of these bonus funds, as well as statistical math that means, over many customers, the casino has a fair shot at retrieving at least some of that money.
Most online casinos have a promotion that reads like 100% match up to $200. In the terms and conditions, there's a rollover requirement. That is the number of times you have to wager your bonus amount before you can withdraw it. If you deposit $200 and get $200 free with a 40x rollover, you'll need to wager $8,000 to claim it.
Online casinos also limit the number of games that count toward these rollover requirements. These are usually games with a standard 95%-97% return-to-player (which is why a live casino bonus tends to be less common - live games have a higher RTP). We'll get into the significance of this later, but essentially, the casino has a fair shot at recuperating some of those bonus funds.
Similar terms and conditions apply for all recurring bonuses, as well. If you pick places with the best bonuses, those terms and conditions will be fair; however, if you choose more problematic casinos, those terms and conditions may be so strict that cashing out your bonus becomes near impossible. Fortunately, with the help of all the casino reviews at GambleGuys, you can find the best casino bonus with fair and reasonable terms and conditions!
How Can You Claim a Casino Bonus?
Claiming a casino bonus is a very straightforward process most of the time.
For a new players casino bonus, when you register for an account and make your first deposit, you'll usually see that welcome bonus listed on the payment screen. You'll have the option of claiming it or making the deposit without the bonus funds.
Some casinos don't list the option on the payment screen but instead have casino bonus codes. In these situations, you'd enter this code on the payment screen. If you make your first deposit without the bonus, you'll forfeit it indefinitely (usually), so make sure that you specifically select that you want the welcome bonus!
If your bonus includes free spins, you'll typically receive instructions from the casino on how to claim those. You'll often get an email or another notification that new free spins are available and provide instructions on what to do (usually, it's as simple as loading up the slot!).
Subsequent bonuses are usually in a tab or section on the casino's website. Sometimes a casino will send promotional emails letting you know that new rewards are available.
Many times, though, the best way to check if a casino has an incredible new bonus is to check out its promotions section. Before depositing any funds or playing games, check out the promotions to see if there's a way to maximize your play. For example, some casinos will offer cashback on all losses, but only if you claim that perk first. So, before playing, check for any promotions like that so you don't lose out on potentially free money!
What's the Catch (i.e. What Are the Bonus Terms and Conditions)?
Free money sounds great, of course, but you may wonder, "what's the catch?" After all, as the adage goes, nothing in life is free!
Casinos offer these bonuses to entice gamblers to register, and they are genuinely "free money." There are no "catches" or "gotchas" with these bonuses. However, there are typically a few clauses and conditions associated with the bonus that doesn't quite make it free money (as in, you cannot merely register, claim the prize, and walk off with the additional cash!).
The Rollover Requirement
The most important condition is that casinos have a rollover requirement for all funds that receive a casino match. Typically, this rollover requirement is about 40x, although sometimes casinos will go as low as 30x or as high as 50x. If you see a value higher than that, you likely want to try elsewhere! You can't cash out your bonus funds until you satisfy the rollover requirement.
Let's explore this rollover concept in more detail. Suppose you deposit $100 with a $100 bonus at 30x rollover. That means you'll need to wager a total of $3,000 (30x your original deposit of $100). This amount sounds like a lot, but it isn't really. Suppose you play $1 per spin. Further, suppose you play ten spins per minute. That's $10 per minute to count toward your rollover requirement. Every hour, you'd wager $600 and be able to cash out in five hours of play!
There are also typically game restrictions where some games don't count toward the rollover requirements. Typically, very-high RTP games, like table games or the highest-RTP slots, don't count toward the rollover requirements. While this may initially seem unfair, consider the casino's perspective. Blackjack has a theoretical RTP as high as 99.54%, depending on the rules. Continuing with the example above, wagering $3,000 total would have an expected loss of just $15. That would mean, statistically speaking, the casino would almost assuredly need to pay out all bonus funds ($85)! The casino would go out of business pretty quickly if they, on average, owed every new account $85!
As such, they typically restrict players to games with a lower RTP to make it statistically likely that some people will lose the bonus funds.
What Are the Different Types of Casino Bonuses Available?
Every casino has its unique bonus structure. As such, the answer to the question of "what types of casino bonuses are available?" is pretty much "anything!" Some casinos will offer extravagant bonuses like trips, while others will barely provide a $50 match on your first deposit. With that said, there are typically three types of casino bonuses that you will encounter if you play online: welcome bonuses, reloads, and VIP programs.
Casino Welcome Bonus
The casino welcome offer is perhaps the most extravagant of the casino bonuses. The reason for this is apparent - the casino wants to entice you to play! With a solid welcome bonus, casinos know that patrons will want to deposit their funds and see what the casino offers - on the casino's dime!
The welcome casino bonus typically only happens on the player's first deposit after creating a new account. However, some casinos offer a welcome bonus that occurs over multiple deposits. In this case, the first deposit might receive a 100% match, while the second deposit might get 50%, the third 25%, and so forth. Each casino will have its unique bonus structure.
Players typically receive some form of cash matching up to a certain threshold. For example, you might see a casino that offers a 100% match up to $500. If you deposit $50, you'll get a $50 match bonus. If you deposit $5,000, however, you'll get a $500 deposit bonus as you hit the maximum allowed. There's also a trend to emphasize casino free spins in addition to the cash award heavily.
With these free spins, the casino will pick the slot they are good for, and typically the denomination is the lowest the slot allows. Some casinos will also spread the free spins over a few days to encourage people to come back!
While the welcome bonus only happens once, it's crucial for players as it provides a tremendous opportunity to play some of the hottest casino games, all on the casino's dime!
Reload Casino Bonus
The welcome bonus happens once, but once you've created an account at an online casino, the fun does not stop there! Indeed, most casinos have robust rewards programs that keep players feeling valued for their continued patronage. Most places offer casino promotions like reload bonuses to encourage people to keep playing, where you get a money match, free spins, etc. when you reload your account with funds.
These reload bonuses have the same components as the welcome bonuses, money matches, and free spins, but they are usually at lower levels and usually come with some time restrictions. For example, it's not uncommon for a casino to offer a Thursday reload match of 100% up to $200. You won't receive the match if you want to deposit on any day but Thursday. But if you're going to deposit on a Thursday (or can wait until Thursday), you're in luck! You'll get some additional money to play!
Typically, these reload bonuses have the exact rollover requirements as the welcome bonus. However, it's best not to assume that. Make sure you read a bonus's terms and conditions before accepting it!
An Overlooked Casino Bonus : the Casino VIP Program
Casinos want to reward loyalty. They don't want you going to check out a competing casino. As such, in addition, to reload bonuses, most casinos have a VIP program that lets you earn points, rewards, and other perks as you play more with the casino. Unfortunately, players often overlook VIP programs as some casinos don't offer them. However, when done correctly, the benefits of these VIP programs can be stellar (and all our reviews at GambleGuys will let you know if the VIP program is stellar or not).
Depending on how much you play, you can sometimes find VIP programs that offer free trips, cashback, tournament entries, and more. Other VIP programs provide concierge service, faster withdrawals, and other administrative perks that make playing at the casino significantly more enjoyable overall.
The VIP program is where you can sometimes find a high roller's bonus. For people looking to gamble a significant amount of money, there are often unique perks that the highest levels of these VIP programs will provide (trips, cash, and more!). Ultimately, if a casino offers a VIP program, check it out! Estimate, roughly, how much you anticipate gambling at the casino to see what types of perks it may offer you.
What's Considered a Good Casino Bonus?
A "good casino bonus" is a definition that typically changes from year to year and month to month. After all, if things are going well for the casino industry, the casinos may get away with providing smaller bonuses and avoid (potentially) spending that extra money. When times are a little rougher and finding new people to join becomes more difficult, casinos tend to roll out the red carpet for players (with enough terms and conditions to make the bonus fair).
Low Rollover Requirement
One aspect of any casino bonus to focus on is the rollover requirement. A bonus with an absurdly large rollover requirement is not an excellent one. Any rollover requirements exceeding 80x the original deposit will ensure the casino statistically takes the bonus money back and your deposit if you play the average online slot with an RTP between 96% and 97%.
A rollover requirement of 40x will mean, statistically, the casino can expect to win back the bonus but not your original bet. Rollovers that are 35x or below are actual home runs as, with the average slot, you're still statistically likely to walk away with some of your bonus. Of course, your circumstances and luck may vary, but, per the law of large numbers, on average, players would get to keep some of the bonus money.
High Dollar Value for Match
Other than the rollover requirement, the other aspect of a casino bonus to be on the lookout for is the actual match itself. There are typically two ways to view these matches. If you are looking to deposit a lower dollar amount, like $100, for example, then you'll want the highest percentage match possible. If a casino gave you 200% on a $100 deposit, that would be fantastic.
A 20% bonus on a $100 deposit is only $20 and probably not worth the effort of meeting the rollover requirement to withdraw it! However, if you want to deposit a large sum of money, like $5,000, your best bet is to find a casino that offers a match on that high of a deposit. A 50% deposit up to $5,000 beats a 100% match up to $1,000 if you want to make that a large initial deposit.
Good casino bonuses also don't stop at the welcome bonus, either. Top casinos have substantial post-welcome rewards, like reload bonuses, tournaments, and VIP programs. When evaluating these casinos, consider the total package, not merely what you can get for registering a new account.
Where Can I Find the Best Casino Bonuses?
Finding the top casino bonuses is like finding a needle in a haystack. The reality is that there are so many different online casinos out there that picking the one with the top bonus, especially considering the welcome and recurring bonuses, is typically a significant endeavor. With that in mind, there are a couple of ways that you could begin sorting through all the different casinos to see which ones have the best bonus offerings.
When visiting a new casino, you'll likely see a promotional banner for the welcome bonus. If you recall, that's only one aspect of a casino's incentive package. Also, check out all the other promotions to evaluate the entire bonus package. For example, if one casino has a 100% match up to a $500 welcome bonus and no further promotions, but another casino has a 100% match up to a $250 welcome bonus and other promotions with $1000's more in matching funds, the latter casino offers the better overall package. Secondly, read all the terms and conditions. One casino might have a stunningly high bonus with high rollover requirements. Another casino might have a lower bonus with far more readily attainable rollover terms. The latter bonus may be better than the first, as you'll be more likely to cash out.
Of course, if you ever want a much easier way to find the best casino bonuses, check out the reviews for casinos here at GambleGuys! We review countless casinos, rank them, and help players across Canada find the best bonuses and bang for their buck.
How Frequently Do Casinos Update the Bonuses?
There's no universal timeframe for when casinos update their bonuses. Usually, casinos will monitor broader economic conditions and change their rewards appropriately. Casinos often tie bonus changes in with major global events (especially sports bonuses). For example, a casino might promote its traditional casino bonus but switch to promoting the sports bonus more heavily during the World Cup or hockey season.
That said, nothing stops a casino from updating the bonus amounts, terms, or conditions at any given time. So, if you see a casino you like, want to try, and it has a killer bonus, the time to register is now! If you wait even a day, it's technically possible (perhaps unlikely) that the welcome bonus you wanted will change.
Regular promotions typically change much more frequently than welcome bonuses. Casinos like to switch things up, so instead of always offering entries for a free trip to Vegas, they might provide entries for other prizes or other trips. Or, they may tweak their loyalty tiers to make a play within the casino rewarding for the patron and the casino itself. Casinos also occasionally like to switch up reload bonus days, so those reload Thursdays may become reload Fridays over the summer.
There is no way of knowing or predicting when a casino will alter its recurring bonuses. If you find that a casino is no longer rewarding your play as well as it used to, it may be time to find a new gambling destination!
Fortunately, our guides here at GambleGuys not only tell you the most lucrative welcome bonuses but also which casinos have the best recurring promotions, loyalty tiers, and more! Check them out to see which places are the best for promotions!
The Best Strategies to Make the Most of Your Casino Bonus
When thinking about the casino bonus, it's vital to remember the point of it: to try new games, have more fun, and get a feel for everything the casino offers. You may, of course, get lucky, and those bonus funds might lead you to hit the jackpot; however, a better way to view these bonuses is that they extend your enjoyment at the casino.
Given that, there are three primary strategies that you can use to make the most out of your casino bonus.
Use Your Casino Bonus to Try New Games
If you get $200 free from the casino, it's just that - free money! Why not use it to try new slots (assuming they are on the list that counts toward the casino rollover)?
Have you been curious about the latest releases from an edgy company like Nolimit City? Use your free play to try one of those slots!
Or, have you always wanted to play one of the Buffalo slots, but you just haven't gotten around to trying that yet? Again, your bonus funds can give you a free way to test those fun new games.
At GambleGuys, we aim to help you discover all the latest slots from every provider imaginable. One way to maximize your bonus is to check out our top-rated slots and use your bonus funds to try them out!
Use Your Bonus for High-RTP Slots
The effectiveness of this tip depends, of course, on the terms and conditions of the bonus. That said, most bonuses have a wide variety of games to choose from, and, statistically speaking, you're better off picking games with a higher RTP (return to player) than you are with a lower RTP if you want to maximize the life of your bonus.
As a quick example, suppose you can play from two different slots. One has an RTP of 97% (average for online casinos), while the other has an RTP of 94% (very low for online casinos). Suppose further that you have $200 deposited ($100 bonus and $100 of your own money) with a rollover requirement of 35x, which is average for online casinos. To cash out, you'd need to wager $100 thirty-five times, for a total of $3,500. The average statistical loss for the 97% slot is $105 (3% of $3,500), meaning that you could play that game and, statistically speaking, barely touch your initial deposit - most of the fun would be on the casino's dime! However, for the 94% slot, the statistical loss is $210.
That's the entirety of your bonus funds and your original deposit!
Luck, entertainment, and many other factors go into gaming enjoyment, so please do not merely focus on RTP (RTP is more applicable for very long periods of gambling). However, please keep it in the back of your mind. If you want to play a couple of slots and one has a higher RTP than the other, you might want to go with the higher RTP one, in general, to maximize your entertainment!
If you don't know the RTP of a given slot, see if we have a review for it here on GambleGuys. We include a slot's return-to-player percentage on all our slots reviews!
This last tip generally applies to all gambling, but it is imperative when discussing a casino bonus: pace yourself! You don't have to use your entire bonus all at once!
Many people get excited when they sign up for a new casino and see free money in their accounts. As such, they might hit the slots hoping for a big win and may use their bonus rapidly.
Pick a few games that you are interested in trying. Remember, many new online casinos have thousands of slots to choose from, so you can take some time to see what they offer. Then, when you've found a few games you want to try, figure out how much of your bonus money you'll allocate to each game. For example, suppose you received $200 in bonus funds and have five slots you want to try. In that case, you might want to allocate $40 to each machine. Then, if you use your bonus funds, you can use your initial deposit money to play the games you enjoyed the most instead of blowing through everything and needing to top up again to play the games you loved.
Please note that most casino bonuses have a time limit on them. You usually have to complete your rollover requirement in a week or so. Therefore, don't take too much time, but take some time at least to maximize the enjoyment of your bonus funds.
Claim Your Casino Bonus Today!
It's easy to see that getting a casino bonus is an exciting event! It gives you significantly more money to play with, provides you with a longer opportunity to explore the casino and see all it has, and you get to try new games, go on missions, and have competitions all on the casino's dime! Free money is always good, and the bonuses you can claim from an online casino are no exception!
When claiming your bonus, please keep the terms and conditions in mind to ensure it is fair. Some unscrupulous casinos will make the bonuses so hard to cash out that you'll never succeed, rendering the whole point of the additional cash moot. Fortunately, if you follow all the guides here at GambleGuys, you can find all the best casinos with all the best terms and conditions!
And, when playing with your bonus funds, keep the above strategies in mind. They will help you prolong your bonus funds and maximize your enjoyment using them!
Ultimately, though, have fun! These casino bonuses give you time to experience the new casino, try out new games, and try your luck! Using our casino reviews, you'll be well on your way to having a blast on the casino's dime!