Casino operators want to attract new players to sign up by offering them additional bonus money when they make a first deposit. This is known as the First Deposit bonus. The amount players receive will vary, depending on the casino in question and how generous they want to be. There will also be restrictions imposed on when and how the bonus can be withdrawn.
How does this First Deposit Bonus work?
Once you sign up and make your first deposit, you are usually required to ‘opt in’ as the bonus is not awarded automatically. There will always be terms and conditions in relation to the bonus and some players may choose to decline the offer. If you do choose to accept, the online casino will add a separate bonus account, which will have your bonus money in it. As you continue to play and place bets, the bonus money will be released into your main account. The bonus amount is usually a percentage of the deposit (e.g. 50% or 100% or 200% of your deposit) and/or free spins. In addition, it is also very common for there to be an upper limit on the bonus you can receive (e.g. up to £300) Please see full details of this is in the example section below.
Is the Bonus free?
Some casinos are very generous and offer a free First Deposit bonus. However, this is quite rare and what you will often find is that the bonus carries with it a wagering requirement (also known as playthrough). A wagering requirement refers to conditions that must be met before a player is able to withdraw funds. It will be displayed with a number and an ‘x’. This requirement places a restriction on the withdrawal of the bonus fund, as well as the initial deposit made and any winnings gained using the bonus amount. Wagering requirements are explained in greater detail in the example section below.
Does the First Deposit Bonus expire?
The First Deposit bonus usually runs for a period of time. Casinos tend to run this promotion for 30 days. If you haven’t met the wager requirement in the specific time frame, the bonus amount will be reclaimed from your account. This means that if you receive a £200 bonus and do not wager it through, any balance below £200 will be reclaimed. Any funds you have above the bonus threshold will be released and you will be free to withdraw it at your convenience.
Example of First Deposit Bonus
A casino offers a 200% up to £300 bonus. Wagering requirements 35x
- “200%” – this means that the bonus amount you receive will be double your first deposit. For example, if you deposit £100, the casino will also give you an additional £200 in bonus money. If you deposit £150, the casino will give you £250.
- “Up to £300” – this means that the bonus amount the casino is willing to offer cannot exceed £300. Therefore, if you deposit £400, you will still only receive the maximum bonus amount of £300.
- “Wagering requirements 35x” – this means that you need to play the bonus amount 35 times in order to be able to cash your winnings. Let’s say your bonus is £200. £200 x 35 = £7,000. This means that you will need to bet a total of £7,000 before you can cash in on your bonus.
A casino offers a 50% up to £500 bonus. Wagering Requirements 20x
- “50%” – this means that the bonus amount you receive will be half of your first deposit. For example, if you deposit £100, the casino will also give you an additional £50 in bonus money. If you deposit £300, the casino will give you £150. In this instance, the maximum bonus you can receive is £500.
- “Wagering requirements 20x” – this means that you need to play the bonus amount 20 times in order to be able to cash in. If we work under the assumption that your bonus is £50, you will need to wager £50 x 20 which is £1,000. It is only after you have satisfied these conditions that the bonus amount will be released and available to withdraw.
Note: It is important to read the Terms and Conditions at each casino you want to join, they will differ in terms of the bonus wager requirements. They will also differ in relation to the games that are allowed/restricted using the bonus amount. Be sure to do your research and have a thorough understanding of the eligibility requirements before proceeding. Once you opt in for a First Deposit bonus, you are locked in and it is highly unlikely that you will be given an option to cancel.Therefore, you will have to either meet the wagering requirements or wait for the bonus to expire. Some casinos will go as far as to void the bonus if you request a withdrawal. In some instances, this could even include winnings. Therefore, make sure you have satisfied all wagering requirements before initiating a withdrawal.