Almost every online casino today offers each new player either a matching deposit bonus when they make their first real money deposit or a free spins bonus to try selected slots.
These promotional offers are often referred to by players and operators as welcome bonuses or sign-up bonuses. The question being asked here is, are online casino welcome bonuses for new players worth claiming? Let’s dive straight in and find out.
What is a welcome bonus?
A welcome bonus is a free gift given to new players to entice them to sign up to their casino. It’s hard to find an online casino that doesn’t offer some kind of initial welcome bonus.
Take the official Unibet online casino Canada website, for example. It’s Canada’s number-one casino site, and you must be at least 19 years old to sign up here and claim their welcome bonus.
However, if you live in certain US states where it’s legal to play at licensed online casinos, you must be 21, and in the United Kingdom and most other regions, it’s only 18.
The welcome bonus can usually only ever be claimed on your first deposit, and when you are offered the bonus, you have the option to either accept or decline it.
If you decline it and have a change of heart later on, there’s no way you could go back and claim the welcome bonus because it will no longer be available.
What is the welcome bonus at Unibet?
Canadian players can actually choose between a CASINO, SPORTS, or POKER welcome bonus. The three options available include the following:
- CASINO – a 100% matching deposit bonus worth up to the value of C$500
- SPORTS – a 100% matching deposit bonus worth up to the value of C$200 + 100 free spins for selected slots
- POKER – get an extra C$30 poker chip + C$1,000 bonus
Are online casino bonuses worth claiming?
Yes, and no. The wagering requirement is the most important thing you need to consider before accepting a bonus. Many players don’t realise that they must complete wagering requirements (aka rollover or playthrough requirements) when accepting an online casino bonus.
In short, the wagering requirement stops players from simply withdrawing their free bonus money and is the amount they must wager before they can cash out any bonus winnings they have made.
It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Let’s take a quick look at an example of how it works using the same casino welcome bonus example mentioned above. It can be claimed whether you sign up to the casino from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
If you deposit a minimum of C$10 with a 100% matching bonus, players will each receive C$10 for free on top of your deposit (giving you a total of C$20 to play with). If you deposit C$50, you will receive a C$50 bonus; additionally, if a player deposits the full C$500, you will receive C$500 on top of the deposit, and so on.
The 100% match bonus means you will be doubling your deposit. Most casino bonuses at Unibet come with a 50x wagering requirement.
Therefore, if you deposited C$10, you would need to wager C$500 (C$10 x 50x wagering requirement), and if you deposited the full C$500, you would need to deposit C$25,000 (C$500 bonus x 50 wagering requirement).
Bonuses with 60, 70x, or higher may not be worth claiming. However, bonuses with a 50x wagering requirement attached are fairly standard.
Don’t forget that only certain games will help contribute towards completing your wagering requirements, and you usually only have a certain amount of time to complete them.
Remember to read through the terms and conditions of your bonus before accepting it because the Ts and Cs will tell you everything about the best games to play, how much you have to wager, and how long you have to complete your wagering requirements.
Also, some payment methods, say the Neteller digital wallet, may be excluded from the promotion, so if you want to claim the bonus, you would have to use another trusted Canadian online payment option.