Information about Online Casino Bonuses

When exploring the world of online gambling, one thing you'll come across quickly is so-called 'bonuses'. These can be seen as perks that online casinos offer players for different reasons, with a special focus on new players signing up for the platform.

While bonuses can seem exciting and lucrative at first glance, there are a lot of options to sift through and many different terms to navigate. That is why it is a good idea to know what you are in for before accepting any bonus at all. And that is exactly what this guide is here to help you with!

At Bonus Focus, we understand that finding the best casino bonuses can be overwhelming, with so many options to choose from, which is why our goal is to provide players with a comprehensive overview of casino bonuses offered by online casinos. Our rating system ensures that the best online casinos and the best bonus offers are prominently featured at the top of our website.

On this page, we will address numerous commonly asked questions related to casino bonuses, and give you a clear introduction to the topic. For further reading, also make sure to open our pages exploring specific bonuses more in-depth.


  1. What are casino bonuses?
  2. What are some of the most typical bonuses?
  3. Terms and conditions apply
  4. FAQs

What are casino bonuses?

Casino bonuses are different types of promotional offers that players at online casinos can claim. Generally, the bonuses offer players the chance to play more – for example through the use of free spins or money provided by the casino.

Before gambling was introduced online, land-based casinos would sometimes offer players perks such as free food and drinks, additional chips, etc. to enjoy while staying at the establishment. But with the evolution of online casinos, bonuses have mainly turned into money-based incentives that allow players to play for more than what they deposited.

Why do casinos hand out bonuses?

With the help of a bonus, a player can potentially win real money by gambling with funds given by the casino. This, of course, sounds very favorable for the player, and not so much for the casino. But the truth is that bonuses can be seen as a win-win deal for both the giver and the receiver.

As a player, the main perk of bonuses is pretty clear. To put it simply, no deposit bonuses give you something for free after registering a new account and deposit bonuses give you something extra to play with after depositing money.

But keep in mind that in order to receive the bonus, usually, you will have to create an account at the casino, and in many cases also make a deposit. This is where the 'ulterior motive' comes in.


Online casinos use bonuses as a marketing strategy. They offer and advertise bonuses in order to attract players.

The online gambling market is highly competitive, with new online casinos opening up all the time. Casino bonuses are now the norm and players are on the lookout for the best deals. By offering a new bonus, an online casino can attract players to choose them over other competitors on the market.

Many online casinos focus on the so-called welcome bonus offered to new players. They advertise it heavily to get new players to sign up and complete their first deposit. But some casinos also take it a step further and advertise promotions for active players, simply to keep them active and depositing.

What are some of the most typical bonuses?

So far, we've only talked about bonuses as a rather general concept of 'player perks'. This is because 'bonus' is an umbrella term covering a lot of different variants of perks. To give you a better idea of how these perks can look, we will now introduce a few of the most common ones with examples.

Deposit bonuses

Deposit bonuses are any bonuses linked to a deposit. This means that you will have to deposit money in order to 'pay for' and claim the bonus. But another way of looking at it is that you get something extra on top of what you would deposit to play anyway.


100% up to €500 on your first deposit

In the example above, you can see a typical match deposit bonus. As the name suggests, the bonus matches the amount you deposit (here by 100%). So, if you make a deposit of €200, the casino will match it with an additional €200. This means that you will have a total of €400 at your disposal.

It's also possible to get something other than additional money added on top of your deposit. It is for example possible to claim free spins, free bets, cashback, and more. The only thing all deposit bonuses have in common is that they are linked to a deposit.

To learn more and find the best deposit bonuses at the moment, check our deposit bonuses page.

No deposit bonuses

As you might have guessed already, no deposit bonuses can be seen as the opposite of deposit bonuses, as they are not linked to a deposit. With a no deposit bonus, you are not required to fund your account and as such 'pay for' the bonus in order to claim it. Instead, you can get it for free – making this specific bonus category a very popular one.


€5 in free credit when you sign up

No deposit bonuses are typically given as a set amount of playing credit or free spins added directly to your account once you complete a specific action. This can, for example, be that you register and log in to your account or write a specific code to customer support.

To learn more and find the best no deposit bonuses at the moment, check our no deposit bonuses page.

Welcome bonuses for new players

The type of bonus most casinos and players focus on is the welcome bonus for new players. As the name suggests, this bonus is used to welcome new players to the platform. This can either be done in the form of a no deposit bonus (also called 'registration bonus') or a bonus on your first deposit(s).


100% up to €200 + 100 free spins on your first deposit

Many casinos advertise a welcome package. This can be a combination of bonuses (such as additional funds and free spins in the example above) or an offering of bonuses on several consecutive deposits.

Welcome bonuses vary a lot in size and terms from one casino to the next. But what they all have in common is that they are only available to new players. So before signing up at a casino, it is worth shopping around a bit to find the best welcome bonus for your preferences.

Promotions for active players

Registration and welcome bonuses are definitely the main focus of many players and casinos, making it seem like only new players can take advantage of bonus perks. But that is far from the case, as there are also lots of bonuses to be claimed once the first one is played through!


50% up to €100 every Monday

Which and how many promotions are offered after the welcome bonus, really depends on the casino. Some casinos offer weekly and monthly deals such as top-ups, tournaments, and cashback. Others, not so much.

This is why it is important to take time to research and not get blinded by a big welcome bonus. While a big welcome offer can be fun, the gambling experience will be more enjoyable in the long run if you can also take part in frequent promotions and claim perks on future deposits.

VIP bonuses

In addition to the bonuses that are open to everyone, some casinos also offer exclusive bonuses or offers only for certain players. A typical example of this is VIP bonuses offered to the most active players only.


20% cashback on all losses

How you can become a VIP, varies a lot from one casino to the next. Some have specific tiered loyalty systems that all players can join and climb up the levels of. Others have more secretive, invite-only VIP systems. The bottom line is that in order to become a VIP, you generally have to be a high roller spending a lot of time and money gambling.

Terms and conditions apply

The bonus types listed above are only a few examples of the many different offers you can come across, and they can vary a lot. This is not only when it comes to the size of the bonus, or what you see at first glance, but also in terms of the fine print attached.

If online casinos handed out bonuses with no terms and conditions attached, they would quickly go bankrupt. While it is a nice thought that casinos hand out bonuses in order to please players, the truth is that casino sites are businesses that aim to make a profit. And in order to do so, they need to get players to deposit and spend money on their site.

No matter which bonus you end up claiming, there will always be certain terms and conditions that need to be followed. These are some of the most typical ones to be aware of:

Minimum deposit and bonus code

First of all, there will be terms stating how you can claim the bonus. If it is a no deposit bonus, it will say what you need to do in order to get the bonus (for example register an account).

In most cases, a bonus will be attached to a deposit. The T&Cs will then state how much you have to deposit (minimum) in order to get it. If the minimum deposit amount is €20 and you deposit €10, your deposit won't be eligible.

Sometimes, a specific bonus code is needed to claim the offer. You can think of this as a coupon code that gives you the discount available. This code might have to be input when you sign up or when you make your deposit.

Wagering requirements and time limits

Once you get a bonus, there will be rules for how you can spend it and how you can cash out any potential winnings.

One of the most typical conditions to look out for is the wagering requirement. This is actually such an important and confusing term that we have a dedicated guide to wagering requirements. Put simply, it states how many times you have to wager your deposit, bonus, and/or winnings before you can cash out anything you've won from the bonus.

Think of it as a way of 'converting' the bonus and winnings you got from the casino, to actually being yours.

Both when it comes to meeting the wagering requirement and spending the bonus in the first place, there will be set time limits in place. In other words, you won't have a bonus available forever. The terms might for example state that your free spins are available for 24 hours and that you have 30 days to meet the wagering requirement.

Always read the terms carefully

It is important to note that T&Cs can vary a lot from one casino to the next. Some casinos are quite reasonable, while others have terms that are simply impossible to meet.

This is why it is, again, important not to be blinded by the advertising of big welcome bonuses. Instead, you should take the time to thoroughly read through the terms and conditions to know what you sign up for before you claim it.


Do you have to pay to claim a casino bonus?

Sort of. Many casino bonuses are linked to a deposit, which means that you have to deposit real money in order to claim it. The bonus will then come with a minimum deposit requirement, of for example €10 or €20.

Is it possible to get a casino bonus for free?

Yes. While most casino bonuses require a minimum deposit, some bonuses are free from this requirement. So-called no deposit bonuses can be claimed for free, but note that you will have to spend real money before you can cash out any potential winnings (due to wagering requirements).

What are some of the most popular casino bonuses to look out for?

Many players prefer no deposit bonuses, since they can be claimed for free. Free spins are also popular, as they allow you to spin slot machines for free but still have the chance to win real money. In the end, it is more important to look for fair terms and conditions, for example low (or no) wagering requirements.

Anita (1)

Anita is a full-time content writer from Norway, living in sunny Spain. She holds a Journalism BA honours degree from the University of Roehampton and has been working with online content for more than a decade. For the last few years, she has specialised in online gambling, creating content for casino-related websites. From this work, she has acquired an expert understanding of online casinos and betting sites. Her aim is that she can share her knowledge with casino players looking for information that is objective, honest and easy to understand.