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A welcome bonus is the first bonus offer you get at a casino. It's typically the best casino bonus, giving you lots of extra money to play with. An offer that includes free spins is also reasonably common. If you're looking for the best welcome bonuses for UK players, look at the list below and find your next welcome bonus!
The purpose of a welcome offer is to tempt you to sign up and become an active player at the casino. In many ways, the welcome bonus is a carrot. Typically, this bonus is the best one you're likely to get at the casino, as few regular casino promotions can measure up to the value of the first bonus you get.
There are no standards for the welcome offer, as each casino does its best to offer its players something unique. You can expect to get at least a 100% bonus, but some casinos will offer less. Free spins are also a standard bonus and usually something you get in addition to the match-up bonus. The free spins can come in their hundreds, but then they are typically given in batches of 10 or 20 over several days.
Furthermore, a welcome bonus isn't just one bonus for the very first deposit you make. Often there will be a welcome package stretching over your first few deposits. If you choose to max out all the bonuses, you can get hundreds of pounds worth of bonuses.
Most casinos don't require you to do anything to claim a welcome bonus other than signing up at the casino. Once you've activated your account and logged in, the welcome bonus will be added for you when you make your first deposit. Some casinos make you select the bonus or simply confirm that you want it on the deposit page.
Some operators require a bonus code to claim the welcome offer; if that's needed, you'll find those codes here at GoodLuckMate. You'll enter it into the bonus or deposit page at the casino, depending on the system. A code is not usually needed for the first deposit bonus. But, if it's a welcome package giving you bonuses on multiple deposits, you might need some promo codes for the second, third, or fourth deposit.
The welcome bonus itself usually requires a deposit to be activated, but some casinos choose to offer yet another welcome bonus. This registration bonus doesn't require a deposit to be activated, thus being a no deposit welcome bonus. This bonus will typically give you either some free spins or some bonus money so you can try out the casino before deciding to make a deposit.
Even though it is, in theory, a part of your welcome bonus, it's usually better known as a registration bonus or a sign-up bonus. Or simply as a welcome no deposit bonus. This bonus is supposed to tempt you to sign up at the casino, and the welcome bonus that requires a deposit is supposed to lure you in as an active depositing player.
The bonus terms for the welcome bonus are the most essential part of your bonus. Getting your deposit doubled, tripled, or even higher won't do you any good unless the terms also allow you to withdraw your winnings. Then again, it will always allow you to make a withdrawal, so the real question is whether the terms make it likely that you can win and withdraw cash.
Every time you play with a bonus, you need to make sure you have read the bonus terms. If you breach these terms, the casino can deny your withdrawal request. But, as long as you're on the right side of these rules, you should be fine. Generally, the rules for a welcome bonus are the same as for any other bonuses at the casino, so more often than not, the general bonus terms at the casino apply. We at GoodLuckMate have listed all key bonus terms associated with the welcome bonuses we feature. Make sure you consider these before you choose which offer to accept.
If you've followed all the bonus terms, and you're left with winnings when the bonus money is converted into real money, you can request a withdrawal from your casino account. Before paying out the cash, the casino will likely ask you to fully verify your player account, which means your personal details. In some cases, you might also need to verify the payment method you used for depositing and the payment method used for your withdrawal. Once that's done and dusted, they'll accept your cashout request, and you'll get your welcome bonus winnings paid out.
As mentioned above, the bonus terms for a welcome offer are usually aligned with the general bonus terms at the casino. Then again, some casinos might have made the terms a bit harsher for this specific bonus. That might be the case if the bonus is considerably better than what they usually offer their players. The percentages you'll get as a match-up offer might be tripling or quadrupling your deposit. You might also get hundreds of free spins, so there will be cases where the terms for the wagering are set a bit higher than the norm. But most casinos won't do this and instead stick to their standard terms.
The industry standard for a welcome offer is a 35x wagering of your bonus amount or 30x wagering of the bonus amount and the deposit. If a casino has a truly excellent offer, the wagering requirement will be lower. If the offer is less than ideal, the requirement for wagering will be higher than the standard. For free spins winnings, it's usually 35x the winnings from the free spins.
Other rules might include a max bet amount while playing with bonus money; typically, this limit is £5. A max win cap might apply, but that's usually not the case at the best casinos. Then, perhaps the most important welcome bonus rule at an online casino, is the rule that it can only be claimed once. Since the welcome bonus is typically the best bonus you'll ever get at the casino, it could be tempting to open multiple accounts to claim it again and again. But if you do this, you'll get banned, and no winnings will be paid out. So make sure that you only claim the bonus once at each casino. Instead, find a new casino to sign up with where you can get a new welcome bonus if you find these offers irresistible.
If there is one bonus type every casino (with very few exceptions) offers, then it's a welcome bonus. You can just assume that the casino wants to offer something special for new players. Then again, that also means there are hundreds of welcome bonuses to choose from, as there will typically be one bonus available per casino.
Before you claim any random bonus, you should make sure that it's the best offer for you. Not only will the bonus terms have to be good, but you should also make sure the offer is excellent. For a casual player, a bonus offer giving you a 200% bonus up to £100 + 200 free spins might be the best offer. But for a high roller, that bonus won't be very tempting, as they'd probably much rather go for a 100% bonus up to £500. So to identify the best welcome bonus for you, you should first determine what kind of offer is best for your player type.
Once you've identified what you want from a welcome bonus, take a look at the list of bonuses further up on this page. Then, go ahead and read the full and in-depth casino review to ensure that you'll be happy with the offerings at the casino. Pay special attention to the bonus page, so you can ensure that you'll be satisfied with the casino's ongoing promotions and bonus offers. After all, the welcome bonus is only available once, so it's more important that you're happy with the bonuses the casino has for active players.