Casino bonuses explained

Casino Bonuses Explained: Everything You Need to Know!

7 July 2023

An in-depth guide to how casino bonuses work, what you need to do to claim them, and the different types of casino offers in the USA.

Casino Bonuses Explained

Online casinos in the US love to incentivize new players to sign up by offering huge casino sign up bonuses. But some of the terms or clever marketing phrases can be a bit confusing, so we're here to break down everything you need to know about casino bonuses, and where to get your hands on the best ones! 

What Are Casino Bonuses?

Casino bonuses are how online casino incetivize new players to sign up, and generally award new players with huge amounts of bonus funds to wager on casino games in place of real money

Fanduel square casino banner

Casinos like FanDuel offer huge bonuses like this, sometimes without even needing to deposit!

Top 10 Casino Bonuses for Beginners

Online CasinoAvailabilityBonus
FanDuel CasinoNJ/PA/MI/WV/CT24 Hour Play It Again up to $1,000
Caesars PalaceNJ/PA/MI/WV100% Bonus Match up to $1,000 + $10 Sign Up Bonus
DraftKings CasinoNJ/PA/MI/WV/CT100% Deposit Bonus up to $2,000
BetRivers CasinoNJ/PA/MI/WV100% Match Bonus up to $500
Bet365 CasinoNJ100% New Player Bonus up to $1,000
Betway CasinoNJ/PA100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000
Borgata CasinoNJ/PA100% Deposit Match up to $1,000 + $20 Bonus

Just click the name of the casino to claim your bonus and get sent over to register!

Where Can I Get A Casino Bonus?

Online casinos in the US are legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Delaware. Players are eligible to claim casino bonuses in all of these states, but not every online casino operates everywhere. Open up the dropdown for your state to find a list of current casino bonuses in your state if one from the list above doesn't take your fancy!

Online Casino Bonuses in Legal States

NJ Casino Bonuses

Aslo operating in New Jersey:

  • Harrah's Casino
  • Ocean Online Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Casino
  • Pala Casino
  • Party Casino
  • Resorts Casino

MI Casino Bonuses

Also operating in Michigan:

  • Eagle Casino & Sports
  • Four Winds Casino
  • PlayGunLake (via PARX)
  • Stars Casino

PA Casino Bonuses

Also operating in Pennsylvania:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • PARX Online Casino
  • Stars Casino

WV Casino Bonuses

CT Casino Bonuses

DE Casino Bonuses

There are no online casinos operating in Delaware yet, though the state has legalized it. Check back soon to see when online casinos launch, and what bonuses are available!

Legal and Licensed Online Casinos

At Bookies Bonuses we only feature fully legal and licensed online casinos who have been fully authorized by state and federal gaming commissions. This means you can rest assured your money is secure, your data is secure, and the terms associated with any bonuses will be adhered to.

⛔️ Avoid Offshore Casino Bonuses ⛔️

Mason Kelliher

Mason Kelliher

Aside from the fact that offshore casino are not safe in general (no data protection, no money regulation, difficult payout process), the bonuses on offer are incredibly deceptive and almost impossible to make beneficial to you.

You may have seen some online casino bonuses from these offshore sites offering bonuses of $10,000 plus, but from the ones we've seen there is typically a crazy wagering requirement of 150x, or minimum deposit of $1,000, or an extremely short expiration that will almost certainly mean you end up with nothing in your pocket at the end.

Types of Online Casino Bonuses Explained

No Deposit Casino Bonus

No deposit bonuses are easily the best offer you can find when it comes to casino bonuses, purely because you don't need to spend any money to get the bonus funds. While the amounts are generally quite small compared to the rest of the casino bonus, any winnings at the end of the turnover are pure profit, and again: there is no deposit required to claim the bonus!

Casinos with a no deposit bonus

  • Caesars Casino: $10 Sign up Bonus
  • Borgata: $20 Bonus
  • 888casino: $20 Bonus

Free Spins

Similar to a no deposit bonus, free spins are given to new players just for signing up to a new online casino. The best free spins bonuses don't require you to use them on a specific game, but either way these are still a great addition to any bonus since you can try out some slots without using your own cash, and even turn them into a profit!

Casinos with free spins

  • Hard Rock Casino: 50 Free Spins
  • Tipico Casino: 200 Free Spins
  • Golden Nugget: 200 Bonus Spins
  • PlayStar: 500 Free Spins

Casino Deposit Match Bonus

This is by far the most common type of casino bonus, and generally comes with the largest possible amount of bonus funds you can get. Casino deposit match bonuses awards players bonus funds equal to their initial deposit into the casino up to a certain amount. Most deposit matches are 100%, but the occasional casino will offer 150% or on the flip side only 50%.

Regardless, casino deposit matches basically let you set the bonus amount you want, so it's possible to put in a little money to test out the casino with some extra funds, or go big any really try to convert the bonus into cash.

Top 5 casinos with deposit match bonuses

  • Caesars Casino: 100% Deposit Match up to $1,000
  • DraftKings Casino: 100% Deposit Match up to $2,000
  • BetRivers Casino: 100% Deposit Match up to $500
  • Bet365 Casino: 100% Deposit Match up to $1,000

Casino Insurance Bonus

Casino insurance is a little rarer when it comes to sign up bonuses, but it can be one of the best welcome offers if you play smart. The premise is that any net losses over a period of time (generally 24 hours to a week) following your first wager will be refunded as bonus funds you can use to try and win back your loses on the casino.

Casinos with insurance

  • FanDuel Casino: 24 Hours Play it Back up to $1,000
  • Bally Bet: $100 Cash Back on First Deposit
  • Virgin Casino: Cash Back up to $100

Bet & Get Casino Bonus

More common as a casino bonus for users already signed up for the site, bet & get bonuses are always nice to find since they are very straightforward. All you need to do is wager a certain amount (generally tied to particular games or slots), and you'll be awarded with a set amount of bonus funds to play with.

Casinos with Bet & Get offers

  • FOX Bet (Pokerstars): Bet $1 Get $100

How Do Casino Bonuses Work?

Ok, we've thrown a lot at you already, but in general there are only three main terms to keep in mind when understanding the ins and outs of a bonus once you look past the dollar value. But the process of using a casino bonus (how to claim a casino bonus) is this: 

  • Click (the green buttons) to claim your offer, sign up, deposit, and play with your bonus funds!

The main thing we recommend is carefully reading the terms and condition before using the bonus, since it can be frustrating to end up spending hours playing and not even make it through the wagering requirement before the bonus expires because of something like a 5% game contribution for blackjack. 

Casino Bonus Terms Explained

Wagering Requirement

  • The number of times the bonus funds must be wagered before winnings from these funds are converted to withdrawable cash: a $10 bonus with a 5x wagering requirement will need to have a total of $50 bet before the winnings are yours to keep! See more on wagering requirements for casino bonuses.

Game Contribution Rate

  • The amount you wager on each different game type counts towards the wagering requirement: slots tends to be 100%, while blackjack and live dealers are usually around 10-20%. (If you bet $10 on a game with 50% game contribution, only $5 will be considered towards the wagering requirement).

Bonus Expiration

  • Bonus expiration is simple, it just means how long you have to play through your bonus funds. Most casino bonuses in the US give players about a week to thirty days to play through the entire bonus, so you should have plenty of time as long as the wagering requirements isn't too high.

To sum it up, we look for casino bonuses with a low wagering requirement (turnover), high game contribution rate, and long expiration time because it makes it way easier to actually end up with some extra cash in your pocket. Sometimes the bigger bonuses might not be in your favor, so don't forget to check these in the terms!

How Do I Claim a Casino Bonus?

As you'd expect from online casino trying to bring in new players, claiming a sign up bonus is actually fairly simple - the tough part is converting it into actual cash, but we've got some tip and tricks to help you there too. Here is the step by step process to claim your casino bonus and what you need to do before the funds can be withdrawn.


Choose Your Casino Bonus

The first step is to find a casino bonus that suits how you want to play.

Deposit bonuses are the most common, and tend to have the highest value overall, but if you're just looking to test out some different games casino insurance might be the better choice.

Once you've decided on one (or two, or three) just hit one of the green 'CLAIM' buttons to get sent over to the online casino for the next step in the process.


Register Your Account

The sign up process for online casinos is incredibly quick and easy now, with just a few general bits on information you need to provide like:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • SSN
  • Email

You'll also be asked to verify your ID, which is as simple as uploading a photo of a driving license or even utility bill.


Check The T&C's

Yea we know, it's tedious. But before you actually make your first deposit and initiate your casino sign up offer, check the terms around eligible games, turnover, and expiration so you know exactly what you'll need to do to convert your winnings to cash.

Pro Tip: We list all the key terms for the bonuses right below the offer, so just have a glance at the grey text and you'll see them!


Make Your First Deposit

If you decided to opt for a bonus with a no deposit element, you'll already have some bonus funds in your account at this point (or free spins)! So go ahead and start wagering with those, but if not it's time to make your first deposit and really unlock that bonus properly.

Casino bonuses are almost always linked to the first deposit you make (deposit match bonuses), so now is your chance to choose exactly how much of a bonus you want by making a deposit accordingly.


Play Through Your Bonus Funds

With bonus funds in your account, you can start to play through the wagering requirement to both test out different games on the casino, and try to convert winnings to cash.

Most online casinos in the US have turnovers of around 10x, but some bonuses come with 20 or 30x turnovers which make it tougher to win any cash at the end.


Withdraw Your Winnings!

The final step. After you've played through the bonus funds as many times as the wagering requirement stipulates, all leftover winnings will be yours to withdraw!

Below are some tips and tricks to make it a little easier to end up with withdrawable funds from your casino bonus.

Are Casino Bonuses Worth It?

The short answer: Yes, absolutely!

The long answer: Also yes, but some are more worth your time than others. 

The reason we say casino bonuses are worth trying out is because there are a couple different way you can view a bonus: one is a way to actually make some cash, and the other is a way to test out different games and the casino as a whole. 

Using a Casino Bonus to Make Money:

The main thing to remember here is that a big bonus doesn't mean your going to win, but with some savvy play and favorable bonus terms players actually have a decent shot at completing play through requirements in the US right now. Don't expect to win every wager you place (that would be crazy), but there are some tips we have for using a casino bonus in a smart way to help increase the chances of winning in the long term. Also, having some bonus funds left over at the end of the playthough means you've profited, even if it's not much. 

Using a Casino Bonus to Test Out a New Site:

This is definitely the low pressure way to use a casino sign up bonus, since it takes the stress away from burning through your own cash on unfamiliar casino games. If you want to get a feel for a new online casino and see what games may be paying out more, using bonus funds is a great option. 

Overall, you really just need to consider is this casino bonus worth it for me?

Look at the terms so see how much you'll need to wager to release funds as cash, see if the games you like contribute well to the turnover, and make sure you actually plan to play enough during the bonus period to actually complete the wagering requirement. If you like what you see, it's worth it. If not, maybe consider just depositing a small amount for a little bonus, or just look for another bonus that fits how you want to play - there are plenty of choices for good online casino bonuses.

Tips for Using a Casino Bonus

Know the Terms of the Bonus

You may have seen us say this before, but this is genuinely the most important thing when planning for how to win with bonus funds. There is no foolproof way to win any individual bet, but if you know how much you need to bet in total (the wagering requirement), how long you have to bet (the expiration), and which games are better for fulfilling the requirement (the game contribution rate), you can come up with a plan for your bonus.

The lower the wagering requirement, the longer the expiration, and the higher the game contribution the better.

Choose Games With Better Payouts

If you're unfamiliar with the way casino games work, the main thing is to remember that different games have different probabilities of winning. This is commonly called RTP, or return to player. The higher the RTP percentage the more money players receive back on average.

If you're really trying to end up with cash after playing through a bonus, higher RTP games are statistically more likely to pay back a higher percentage of your bet, meaning you will have more to play with in the long term, and a higher probability of having funds left after wagering them multiple times in total.

An example of this would be $100 in bonus funds, with a 5x play through, on a 95% RTP game.

Starting with $100, after wagering the full amount once you are likely to have $95 left. From then on you expect to get 95% of the $95 ($90.25), then $87.74, $81.45, and finally $73.51. The total amount you would have wagered at this point is $527.95, which completes the wagering requirement, and leaves you with over $73 you can withdraw!

The more money you keep each wager the more money you have to bet on the next wager, so you actually will be placing fewer bets overall to play through the requirement, giving you a better chance to end up with withdrawable cash!

Low (volatility) & Slow (play)

The 'Low & Slow' mentality suits winning with casino bonuses perfectly.

Low volatility games may not sounds exciting since they don't offer the big potential payouts, but they are far more consistent in rewarding players with small profits. Its also a safer way to play through a large turnover requirement since there is less of a chance you lose a lot of funds on a single wager. Low volatility games tend to be more accurate to the RTP of a game, so you have a better idea of what you are actually going to get back.

Play it slow, and don't play tilted! As soon as you start to get in a rut or lose take a break. The best casino bonuses give you a long time to complete the wagering requirement so there is no harm in coming back tomorrow.

Best Online Casino Bonuses in the US

There are a ton of online casino bonuses to choose from in the US, but in our opinion some are definitely better than others. We don't just consider the potential dollar value in our rankings, we also take into account things like wagering requirement, expiration, and any added extras like a no deposit bonus or free spins. So without further ado here are our picks for the best online casino bonuses in the US (which you should be able to easily understand now!):

US Online Casino Bonuses

21+. Bet Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

  1. 100% Back up to $1000 + 50 Bonus Spins

  2. 100% Deposit Match up to $500

  3. 100% New Player Bonus up to $1000

    21+. NJ only. Largest deposit into Bet365 within 7 days of registration prior to claiming casino welcome offer (min. $10) will be considered your qualifying deposit. This qualifying deposit will be matched 100% up to $1000, unless any portion is withdrawn, as it will no longer be considered 'qualifying'. Claim offer from 'My Offers' section in your account within 30 days to begin wagering with bonus funds. Wagering requirement of 20x the deposit plus bonus funds must be fulfilled within 60 days of claiming the offer to withdraw bonus funds. Full T's & C's apply, visit Bet365 for more details. #ad

  4. 100% Back up to $500 for 24 Hours

  5. 100% Deposit Match up to $1000
    + 1000 Free Spins

  6. 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1000

  7. $10 Sign Up Bonus + 100% Deposit Match up to $1,000
    and 2,500 Bonus Rewards Credits

  8. 100% Deposit Match up to $1,000 + $20 Bonus

Casino Bonuses FAQ

How do casino bonuses work?

Casino bonuses are actually pretty simple to understand once you know what a wagering requirement means, and you get past the marketing jargon associated with the bonus.

Fundamentally, a casino bonus rewards new players with a certain amount of bonus funds that can be used on the site, and after being wagered a certain number of times can actually be withdrawn as cash. There can be a wide range in value from casino bonuses, but most are tied to how much you actually deposit initially, meaning you can more or less choose how much of a welcome offer you want.

The process from start to finish with a casino bonus is:

  1. Find your bonus (click claim!)
  2. Sign up for the casino
  3. Make a deposit
  4. Claim your bonus funds
  5. Wager through the requirement
  6. Withdraw any winnings leftover!

Check out the specifics for:

Are casino bonuses worth it?

Almost always. While some casino bonuses can be a little harder to turn into real cash if they have a high wagering requirement or short expiration, they are still a great way to get a feel for a new casino and test out games you think will end up being profitable in the long run.

We highly recommend looking for bonuses with low turnovers, high game contributions, long expirations, and particularly ones with a nice added bonus of free spins or no deposit funds!

Can I withdraw a casino bonus?

No, casino bonuses are given out as bonus funds that need to be wagered on the site before the winnings can be withdrawn. Sometimes you'll need to play through the bonus funds multiple times before winnings can be with drawn, but bonuses with low wagering requirements will be easier to convert into withdrawable cash.

Cash back bonuses are the one exception, as they refund losses as actual cash, to technically they are withdrawable.

What does 100% casino bonus mean?

A 100% casino bonus refers to how much of your initial deposit is matched as bonus funds. For example, if you deposit $50 with a 100% match, you'll get $50 in bonus funds, so $100 in total to use on the casino.

What is a bonus wagering requirement?

Wager requirements are the number of times the bonus funds need to be bet in total before the funds are converted to withdrawable cash. The lower the wagering requirement (turnover), the easier it is to actually get real money at the end since you won't be risking your funds as often.

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