Best Casino Welcome Bonus Offers in 2023
The best casino welcome bonus isn’t easy to identify. Luckily our experts have done the legwork. Based on a number of criteria, we’ve singled out the most favourable sign-up offers in the UK.
Our page lists bonuses that give you the best value for your money. We’ve prioritized fairness of terms, brand integrity and bonus amount. Have a look at our list below or keep reading to discover more.
Top 13 Welcome Bonuses at UK Casinos
- Over 2000 games
- PayPal accepted
- Excellent loyalty program
- Part of a widely trusted iGaming brand
- Good choice of slots
- Trusted payment methods
- Diverse software providers
- Multiple payment methods
- Generous welcome package
- Fair wagering requirements
- Accepts PayPal deposits
- Updated slots catalog
- 24/7 live chat
- Secure payment options
- Generous welcome offer
- Valuable welcome offer
- Variety of payment options
- Over 1000 slots
What is a Casino Welcome Bonus?
The welcome bonus is the primary tool for casino operators to attract new players. It is the most valuable promotion you can claim at an online casino, which is why we often refer to it as the holy grail for casino players.
A casino welcome bonus is offered to you as a new player in the hopes that you become a loyal customer. In general, these bonuses will double your initial investment through bonus cash that you can turn into real money through wagering.
Typically, UK casino welcome bonuses offer good value for your money, as operators look to one-up their competition on the online market. There are several types of welcome bonuses, and with rare exceptions, you must make the distinction that these bonuses are not exactly free money.
You must consider wagering requirements and key bonus terms. It is possible to profit from a welcome bonus. After all, that’s the whole point. But, if you could just take your bonus cash and instantly withdraw it, online casinos would go bankrupt overnight.
Welcome Bonus vs Sign-Up Bonus – What’s the difference?
A sign-up bonus and a welcome bonus are essentially the same. These bonuses are exclusively offered to new players and in most cases, first-time depositors.
They can be claimed only after creating your account. This means that if you’ve made your first deposit without claiming your casino welcome bonus, you can’t claim it later on.
Rest assured; the casino welcome bonus is only one piece of the puzzle. There are many other bonus types that are reserved for regular customers and VIP players, such as reload bonuses, cashback offers and free spins. But these promotions will rarely match the value of a sign-up bonus.
Should You Claim a Welcome Bonus?
It’s natural to wonder if bonuses are legit or a scam. After all, many offers out there look too good to be true.
We will let you in on a little trade secret; casinos look at welcome bonuses as acquisition costs. This means operators are essentially paying money upfront to make a profit somewhere down the line.
In translation, players tend to get the better end of the deal when it comes to an online casino welcome bonus.
Also, keep in mind that most welcome bonuses are split across several deposits, regardless of other factors. You could see an advertisement for a £500 bonus. But actually, your first deposit will give you £100 or £200, and the rest of the bonus cash is stored away for 2nd, 3rd and 4th time deposits, with a reduced deposit match such as 50% or 25%.
When looking at welcome bonuses under a magnifying glass, you’ll see that most of them are actually realistic. Typically, first deposit bonuses offer the best value.
The bottom line is welcome bonuses can be well worth your money. Your decision on claiming one is completely valid, as long as you know what you’re getting into. And by that, we mean having a clear understanding of the bonus terms.
It still needs to be said, welcome bonuses are not guaranteed, profit makers. There is some variance involved. Not all players successfully wager their bonuses. The reason could be as simple as bad luck. Also, many players engage in high-risk gameplay or unknowingly disobey the bonus terms.
Casino Welcome Bonus Types
As we mentioned above, there are several types of casino welcome bonuses. We’ll go through the common offers that may cross your path, with an explanation of each.
First Deposit Bonus
The first deposit bonus is self-explanatory, it’s a bonus reserved exclusively for when you’re making a first-time casino deposit. This promotion type can be offered in standalone form, or it can be part of a multi-tiered package of bonuses that spans across several deposits.
With a first deposit bonus, a casino will match your deposit up to a predetermined maximum sum. For example, you’re making a £20 deposit, and the casino will give you £20 in bonus cash, resulting in a total bankroll of £40. We go into more details about deposit welcome bonuses later in this article.
Casino Welcome Bonus No Deposit
Sign-up bonuses are highly sought-after, but not as much as a bonus that doesn’t require a deposit. You as a player have nothing to lose; you’re playing for free with a chance to profit.
In general, a casino no deposit welcome bonus will be offered to you right after registration. Meaning, you will have the opportunity to claim it before making your first deposit.
Casino welcome no deposit bonuses are not your money makers. They are typically low in value and come with strict bonus terms. Many UK online casinos will offer you this bonus, just to show you a taste of things to come.
You can explore the casino with no strings attached and possibly win a little bit of cash in the process. You may have to enter payment method details to claim your bonus, but you will not be charged.
The no deposit bonus can come in two forms: bonus cash or free spins. With bonus cash, you’ll have more choices on how to wager your bonus, whereas free spins no deposit are typically restricted to one video slot.
Welcome Bonus Slots & Free Spins
Among UK operators, the best casino welcome bonus is often a mix of bonus cash and free spins. For example, you may be offered £100 in bonus cash and 50 free spins as the icing on the cake. Free spins alone are seldom offered as a welcome bonus, simply because they would present low value.
Online Casino Welcome Packages
Nowadays, the best welcome bonus is presented in a package that will match your first, second, third and even fourth deposit. This varies by operator, but you can typically expect several bonus cash injections across your first few deposits at the casino.
There is a pattern we’ve noticed with online casino welcome packages. As we mentioned already, your first deposit bonus will present the greatest value with a 100% or 200% match and free spins to boot.
Then, the middle part of the package comes with a lower deposit match percentage of around 25% or 50% at most. The final deposit bonus usually kicks back up in value in terms of match percentage or bonus amount.
A Closer Look at Deposit Welcome Bonuses in the UK
Deposit welcome bonuses will match your deposit by a certain percentage, but these percentage and amounts will vary. We’ll list the most typical offers down below.
|100% Deposit Match||The most common UK casino welcome bonus. This bonus will match your deposit, pound for pound, up to the advertised bonus sum. Such as, 100% up to £200, resulting in a £400 bankroll with your real money and bonus cash combined.|
|200% Deposit Match||This bonus type doubles your initial deposit i.e. £200 in bonus cash for a £100 deposit. A 200% deposit match welcome bonus is far less common on first deposits than a 100% match.|
|300% Deposit Match||A 300% deposit match triples your initial deposit. This bonus type is rare, but still somewhat available in casino welcome packages. Typically, the maximum bonus amount of a deposit match of this size is lower than usual i.e. 300% up to £50.|
|400% Deposit Match||This bonus type will quadruple your deposit, and it is almost impossible to find in the best UK online casinos.|
|500% Deposit Match||A 500% deposit bonus is excellent on paper. But if you see one make sure to have a good look at the bonus terms. As this offer truly is too good to be true, there is usually a caveat or two such as highly restrictive max cashout and/or unrealistic wagering requirements.|
Welcome Bonus Policy Explained
Every casino welcome bonus has bonus terms. This even includes free spins, bonuses with no wagering requirements and no deposit bonuses as well. If you’re a new player, you may be confused by terms such as wagering requirements.
These terms are placed by casinos to protect themselves, while giving players a fair chance of profiting from their welcome bonus. If operators were to give money away like it’s nothing, that wouldn’t be a very feasible business strategy.
UK online casinos are ahead of the curve when it comes to fair casino welcome bonus terms and transparency. As per marketing guidelines by the gambling commission, operators must present players with concise and transparent bonus terms. This ensures you have a clear understanding complete of what deems a potential breach and how to wager your bonus.
Still, even with simple casino welcome bonus terms, it’s easy to miss the fine print. This is why we’ll guide you through the key bonus terms you need to be aware of.
Qualifying Minimum Deposit
We’ll start with the basics. Each bonus has a minimum qualifying deposit in order for you to be eligible to claim it. Typically, the minimum required deposit for a UK welcome bonus is either £10 or £20.
Payment Method Restrictions
When making a deposit to claim your casino sign up bonus, it’s important to be aware of any payment method restrictions. In UK online casinos, most e-wallets and prepaid cards are ineligible for welcome bonuses. This includes the likes of PayPal, Skrill, Neteller and even Paysafecard.
Each casino’s welcome bonus policy is different, but in general, e-wallets are restricted because of the potential for fraud and bonus abuse.
Your casino welcome bonus won’t last forever. On average, a welcome bonus must be wagered within 2 to 4 weeks from the moment you’ve claimed it. This is more than enough time, as realistically most bonuses are wagered within a week.
Expiry dates for welcome bonuses on slots are different. Free spins are usually rolled out in small increments on a daily basis and must be claimed and used up within 24 hours before they expire.
Wagering requirements are a core concept of casino welcome bonuses. They dictate the bonus amount that needs to be played through, before you are allowed to withdraw accumulated winnings.
The industry average wagering requirements are 35x your bonus amount. This means that for a bonus of £100, you will need to wager i.e. play through £3,500 before you can withdraw leftover winnings.
Playing through simply means placing bets, and there is no complicated philosophy behind this. The outcome of your bet does not make a difference. For example, a £1 video slot spin is £1 wagered. In our hypothetical scenario, spin 3,500 times staking £1, and you would have wagered your welcome bonus. The key is not to lose your bankroll in the process i.e. winning more than you lose until you’ve finished wagering.
Some bonuses require you wager your deposit + bonus amount. Some will use up your bonus cash first, whereas others will use up your deposited money first. As per UKGC regulations, if you’re forced to play with your deposited money first, even with a bonus active. Because of this, you're allowed to withdraw your real cash deposit and subsequent winnings at the cost of voiding your bonus funds.
In order to prevent bonus abuse and unnatural acceleration of the wagering process, most welcome bonuses will restrict your maximum bet with a bonus active in your account.
Max bet restriction is typically to the tune of £5 per game round or video slot spin. It’s important to note that this restriction must be self-imposed; the casino will not mechanically limit your stake size. That’s why you should always keep it in mind, or you will risk voiding all your hard-earned winnings.
Maximum Cashout Limits
Some welcome bonuses have a maximum cashout limit, but rest assured that most of them don't. This will not affect your wagering process but being aware of the max cashout can save you time if you’ve finished wagering and surpassed the cashout limit.
When a welcome bonus has a cashout limit, it’s usually £500, £1000 or higher.
Cashable vs Non-Cashable Bonuses
Once you start going through enough online casinos and welcome bonuses, you will notice that some bonus funds are “non-cashable”. This means that the bonus can only be used to wager and generate winnings, but it cannot be withdrawn. You will only be allowed to withdraw winnings generated using your non-cashable bonus funds.
Cashable bonuses are much more common, and it means you can withdraw any winnings in your account assuming you’ve fully wagered your welcome bonus.
When you have a bonus active in your account, not all games will qualify towards wagering. This means that bets made on these games will not count as wagered money. In some cases, making bets on restricted games can void your bonus cash and subsequent winnings.
The various game contributions and lists of restricted games are found in the terms and conditions of each casino welcome bonus.
Typically, video slots have a 100% contribution, meaning a £1 bet is £1 wagered.
Table games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and Baccarat contribute less, such as 10%, or have no contribution at all. Live dealer games and progressive slots rarely contribute to wagering.
Keep in mind, various slots are commonly excluded from casino welcome bonus wagering. NetEnt’s Blood Suckers is one example, because of its high RTP (Return to Player) of 98%.
Welcome Bonus Slots – UK Favourites
Slots dominate UK online casinos, but no matter how much they rise in numbers, there will always some that stand out. These slots are particular fan-favourites for wagering and often the target of free spins casino welcome bonuses.
Have a look at the top 5 UK welcome bonus slots, in the opinion of your fellow players, and our team of reviewers.
Which Are The Best Casino Welcome Bonuses?
- Huge range of live games
- Exclusive slot titles
- Rewarding VIP scheme
In a sea of 120+ UK online casino bonuses, we looked through them all, to give you a list of the best casino welcome bonus. Many of these bonuses double as cash injections topped off with welcome bonus slot spins to make for a well-rounded sign up bonus package.
Most importantly, all of these offers are considered the best welcome bonuses because of fair bonus terms and excellent value in terms of deposit match percentage and bonus amount.
- Exceptional loyalty rewards
- Excellent design
- Fast e-wallet payouts
How to Claim a UK Welcome Bonus?
If you haven’t claimed a UK casino welcome bonus before, follow our step-by-step instructions. You could be playing with your bonus cash within minutes.
- Have a look at our top UK welcome bonuses
- Pick the one you like the most
- Create an account at the online casino
- If required, verify your phone number and/or identity
- Make a deposit and select that you wish to claim a bonus
- You can start playing with your bonus funds immediately!
Welcome Bonuses in Different Regions
If you happen to be visiting from outside the UK, it might be beneficial what we have in store for other regions. Online casinos' welcome bonuses vary by region in a lot of cases, and there are some sites with a specific focus on a certain region.
Casino Welcome Bonus FAQs
- What is a casino welcome bonus?
A casino welcome bonus is a deposit match in the form of bonus cash that will typically double your initial deposit. Many casino welcome bonuses come in packages, and they can boost your bankroll across several deposits. These bonuses are exclusively offered to new players making a deposit for the first time at a casino.
- What percentage is a good first deposit bonus?
100% is all-around good first deposit bonus percentage, and it is considered an industry standard. Though, there are some online casinos which offer 200% first deposit bonuses. Typically, higher deposit bonus percentages are found in bonuses that have a lower maximum value. You can learn more about the various deposit bonus percentages in our article.
- Do I have to wager a casino welcome bonus?
Yes, most casino welcome bonuses need to be wagered. The average wagering requirement for welcome bonuses among UK online casinos is 30x to 40x your bonus funds. You can learn more about wagering requirements and other key bonus terms further up on our page.
- What is the best casino welcome bonus in the UK?
The best casino welcome bonus in the UK is one that is offered by a trusted brand, offers good value for your money, and comes with fair bonus terms. There are dozens of welcome bonuses that fit these criteria. Feel free to check out our recommendations on the best casino welcome bonus offers.
Other Casinos with Welcome Bonuses
On this page, our experts feature all the casinos with welcome bonuses that we think are worth your time. You can rest assured that these sites offer not only fantastic signup bonuses but great payment methods, games, and more too.
Perhaps, however, you want to find out whether a certain casino rewards new players. We've got you covered. Browse our full list of sites with welcome bonuses below.