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What are casino bonuses?

First things first, let’s understand what a casino bonus even is. Simply put, it is a special offer given by online casinos that gives incentives like extra money or free spins to new and/or existing players. These incentives can come in multiple forms, which include:

  • Deposit bonuses
  • Free spins bonuses
  • Match bonuses
  • No deposit bonuses

Like most other things that come out of gambling sites, online casinos in Canada give out bonuses to keep their players playing, and by extension, spending. As we will see further down in the guide, all bonuses in one way or another are designed to get people to spend more and yes, even the ones that don’t need you to deposit any money.

 

Why take advantage of casino bonuses?

While you don’t have to claim that casino site’s welcome bonus if you don’t like it, we still encourage Canadian players to claim bonuses whenever it is convenient.

The reason for this should be pretty simple – online casino bonuses are free money. Even if the bonus can’t be used on the games you want to play or you don’t expect to make it over the wagering requirements in time to cash out, the bonus still serves as extra wagers. These wagers can be used to extend your playtime where you otherwise would have to make another deposit.

 

Types of Casino Bonuses

There is a huge variety of bonuses you can claim at online casino bonuses in Canada. While each casino has their own set of bonuses for players to choose from, the kinds of bonuses they have will usually fall into any of the 5 following types.

 

The Deposit Match Casino Bonus

The casino deposit match bonus (typically called a ‘deposit bonus’ or a ‘match bonus’) is arguably the most common kind of bonus you will find at Canadian online casinos. The way it works is as simple as the name suggests: you deposit real money to the casino site, and the casino matches some percentage of your deposit to give to you as extra funds to wager on the casino’s games.

A good simple example of a deposit match bonus is the one at Red Spins CA, which gives players an extra 100% of their first deposit up to C$500 with an extra 200 spins that can be used on a variety of slots.

 

No Deposit Casino Bonus Deals

The opposite of the deposit bonus is, naturally, the no deposit bonus. This highly sought-after no deposit casinos arguably offer the best definition of ‘free money’, giving players money or slots spins just by signing up. King Billy casino has a good no deposit bonus available, allowing Canadian players to claim $5 for free, when they register an account.

Of course, nothing on casino sites is ever truly ‘free’, especially not a casino bonus; no deposit bonuses in particular are notorious for having very high wagering requirements, which we will explain in more detail later.

 

Free Spins Casino Bonus Offers

Casinos with a free spins bonus are also pretty easy to understand based on their name. Unlike match bonuses that give casino credit you can use on most games, free spins are specifically locked to online slot games.

A good example of a free spins bonuses is the exclusive bonus that our players have with Jackpotcity Canada. This is a popular casino site in Canada and the players we send them get 50 free spins, which they can use on the Egyptian Gems slot game. What makes things better, is that you don’t even have to register to start playing. As soon as you click through, you are in the game and can begin spinning away.

 

Welcome Bonus – Tiered Casino Bonus Deals

When it comes to attracting new Canadian players to sign up, leaving a good first impression is very important. And for a lot of online casinos, having a strong welcome bonus is one of the ways they can pull this off.

One of the more recent trends in online casino bonuses are the tiered bonuses (oftentimes called “bonus packages”). These bonuses put more bonus money and/or free spins on the table for subsequent deposits, giving further rewards to players who are willing to stay with the casino for a bit longer. Playing at Miami Dice gives you a solid tiered welcome bonus, allowing you to get total of $3,500 across your first 3x deposits after registering.

 

Cash Back Casino Bonus Offers

Losing is an inevitable part of gambling, online or offline. Some sites like 7Bit Casino use cashback bonuses to help players recoup some of their losses. In 7Bit’s case, the cashback bonus accumulates a percentage of the money you lose from selected games and gives it to you to either play or cash out with the next day.

 

Casino Bonus Codes

Some online casino bonuses in Canada can have a requirement for players to input a bonus code as part of the steps needed to claim the bonus. Palmslots is a site that has such a bonus code scheme, requiring players to input a code to claim each one of the 4 deposit bonuses that are part of their welcome bonus package.

 

How/When do I receive bonus code offers?

Since they serve as another step for claiming the bonus, casino bonus code offers can be found in all kinds of online casino bonuses in Canada.

As for the matter of receiving them, bonus codes are often written down in the terms and conditions of the bonus. In other cases (usually welcome bonuses), the bonus code will be sent to the email address you used to sign up for the online casino site.

 

How do I activate casino bonus code offers?

Activating the casino bonus code offer is no different from using a discount or coupon code when you check out at an online shopping outlet. Simply enter the code into the specified field when you make your deposit.

 

Why do casino sites offer bonus code deals?

Now, you might think that a bonus code is unnecessary for online casino bonuses since they add an extra step for claiming the bonus that might deter some of the less patient players.

The actual reason for this is tracking. By having players input a code when claiming a bonus, the casino can keep track of how many players claimed which bonus and when. All of this data becomes incredibly useful for the operator to come up with new promotions.

 

Other Types of Casino Bonuses

Although the 5 types we listed above are by far the most common casino bonuses you will see in Canada, online casinos over the years have come with more novel ways to keep people playing. While our list below might not be comprehensive, they are otherwise a good look at the kinds of bonuses you can find.

 

Reload Bonuses

Reload bonuses, sometimes called top-up bonuses, are a kind of deposit bonus that is made available to players after the welcome bonus, and are therefore designed for longtime players.

New gambling site Slot Hunter casino offers one of the best reload bonuses for Canadian players. Currently, they offer players reload bonuses of 50% up to C$150 on Mondays, up to 130 free spins on Wednesdays and up to 20% cashback on Saturdays.

 

Live Casino Bonus Offers

The same way that free spins bonuses are specifically designed for online slots, live casino bonuses are meant to be wagered in Canadian live casinos on games like blackjack, poker, baccarat, and roulette.

Leo Vegas Canada has a live casino bonus offer for new players that matches 100% of your first deposit after signing up and also gives a Golden Chip worth C$20 that can be used on any of the site’s live casino games.

 

VIP Casino Bonus

Canadian casino sites call them by many different names like VIPs, high rollers, Gold members, and more. All of these big spending casino players deserve to receive some reward to recognise their efforts. VIP casino rewards are what these are.

Dream Vegas is one site that offers a ton of rewards for players who reach the highest tiers of their VIP club. From fast-tracked payment processing to exclusive bonuses, guaranteed cashback and a dedicated account manager, the special players that make it this far get royally rewarded.

 

Refer a Friend Casino Bonus

Word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective ways to market an online casino to new players. Sites like VIPcasino CA know this and have, for this reason, set up a refer-a-friend bonus that reward players for bringing in new people to sign up and make their first deposit. This gives players a $50 bonus for each referral and their friend also gets a $10 bonus added to their account.

 

Gamification Bonus Prizes

The trend of applying the video game rewards loop to mundane activities (or “gamification”) has also spread to casino bonuses in Canada. The select few casino sites that implement this reward, gifting players with special prizes for continued engagement with the site.

The recently launched Nomini casino, has a unique gamified bonus system called Bonus Crab. Players can collect coins from daily deposits and by completing certain activities on the casino site. These coins can then be used to play the Bonus Crab crane game for a chance to win huge secret prizes.

 

Online Casino Tournaments

Another popular technique for improving player engagement on the online casino site is through tournaments that have players competing on certain games to win an additional cash prize. This is a great way for the casino to keep their players playing. Some sites only give away a few spins, whilst others are a lot more generous, with the value of some weekly prizes in the thousands. Mount Gold Casino has one such tournament on the Gate of Olympus slot game, giving the player that racks up the most tournament points from in-game wins, a lump-sum prize of C$3,000.

 

Casino Bonus Wheel Promotions

There are also online casinos that let players spin a bonus wheel to claim one of a pool of bonuses. While these used to be pretty popular casino bonuses many years back, they have been slowly phased out in favour of gamification, tournaments, and fixed bonus offers as it gave Canadian players more control over what bonuses they actually wanted to have.

 

Mobile Casino Bonus Deals

Given the popularity of playing mobile casino sites in the online gambling industry, online casinos have taken to offering special bonuses for players who either download or sign up for an account on the mobile app version of the casino site. While they are popular in other regions, bonuses from mobile casino apps are hard to find in Canada as casino sites are already designed to work on mobile devices right on the browser.

 

Casino Bonus Deals for Payment Methods

Some online casinos also give out bonuses for players who make deposits with specific payment methods. Arguably the most common variant of this is the crypto deposit promotion, which gives extra funds to use at the online casino if you make a deposit in cryptocurrency.

There is a good crypto deposit bonus when you play at Mystake, which gives players a 170% bonus on their cryptocurrency, up to an equivalent of C$1,000 in value.

 

Bonus Terms and Conditions

Like anything that comes out of the online gambling industry, online casino bonuses come attached with terms and conditions. Now, what these terms and conditions are will be explained in the list below; but before that, it is important to understand why these T&Cs exist in the first place.

Some of the more cynical players out there will immediately dismiss bonus terms as the casino trying to squeeze out more money from their players (which, to be clear, isn’t completely untrue). However, these terms and conditions were set in place by most casino sites in Canada as measures against bonus abusers. These players exploit loopholes to catch casinos unaware and constantly claim casino bonuses and in some cases, even manage to cash out.

This comes at a huge cost to the casino, which is why the terms and conditions you see now are so stringent. Some of the most common terms and conditions you will find here include:

  • Wagering requirements
  • Max bet limits
  • Max withdrawal limits
  • Time limits
  • Weighting rules

 

Wagering Requirements

Whether you’re claiming no deposit free spins or a big deposit bonus, the online casino will have you wager or play through some of that bonus money before they will let you cash out its winnings and whatever money is left in your bonus. The amount you need to wager is, as you can expect, the wagering requirement.

 

How Casino Bonus Wagering Works

Wagering requirements are typically expressed as a multiple, like 10x or 50x. This multiple is imposed on the money value of your bonus (sometimes including your deposit) and is set as the amount you need to wager on online casino games before you can cash out.

This explanation is pretty surface-level and should give you a basic idea of how it works. If you want to learn more about how that money is handled as well as some of the more technical aspects of wagering requirements, you can check out our guide to bonus wagering requirements.

As a basic example, we can use a common deposit bonus that has a wagering requirement of 35x the bonus amount. So if you deposit C$100 and claim C$100 in bonus money, you will still need to wager C$3,500 before you can cash out any of the winnings you got from wagering that bonus money.

 

Casino Bonuses without Wagering Requirements

It should be no surprise that most online casino players don’t like wagering requirements. Some casino sites have seen this as an opportunity to offer no wagering bonuses. These bonuses waive the wagering requirement entirely, allowing players to immediately cash out the bonus money and any winnings they earned from it.

If you see this and think that you should start hunting for it, though, do remember that there are still some other strings attached. Most notably, no wagering requirements give players a lot less money compared to their more-traditional counterparts.

 

Reasons for Casino Bonus Wagering Conditions:

Given that wagering requirements are the most effective bonus terms that keep players from cashing out, it is easy to agree with the idea that online casinos in Canada do this out of greed. Again, while this isn’t false in all cases, casino operators do have a more justifiable reason for having wagering requirements, and that is to deter bad actors. Some of these bad actors that casino operators have to deal with include:

  • Casino Bonus Abusers: The most common variety found online, casino bonus abusers seek out and exploit loopholes in casinos’ bonus terms to cash out the money with little to no actual money lost (and at great expense to the casino).
  • Big Bet Bonus Abusers: Betting big on an online casino often implies a high roller type of player. But when it comes to wagering requirements, a big bet is often used to make a one-and-done attempt to land a big jackpot that clears the wagering requirements and allows the abuser to cash out.
  • Money Laundering Criminals: Although operators and execs are loath to admit it, money laundering is still very prevalent in the online gambling industry. Outside of background checks, wagering requirements are a great way to deter potential money launderers from the site as the requirement forces them to spend—and thereby potentially lose—any money they plan to wash through the site.

We won’t go into too much detail about this, but what you do need to know is that there are certain players who sign up for online casino sites with more malicious intentions. Bonus abusers are the most common example, which are players that exploit loopholes in casino bonus terms to gain an unfair payout. Money launderers are the other variety.

 

Max Bet Bonus Limits

As one of the many measures to make it difficult to clear the wagering requirement, each real money casino in Canada can impose a cap on how much you can bet per game. By having a maximum bet amount (such as the C$5 max bet limit on the Spinaway welcome bonus), casinos can subtly cap how much players can win, significantly reducing the chance of a player landing a jackpot that clears the wagering requirement in a single spin on a slots game.

 

Time Limits

Just about all online casino bonuses in Canada have time limits, which come in two forms. A redemption time limit and a playthrough time limit. In a redemption time limit, the bonus is only available for players to claim for a limited time. As for a playthrough time limit, the money, spins, and winnings attached to the bonus will be forfeited if the player fails to cash it out by the end.

The welcome package at Boocasino has both types of time limits in place. The free spins part of the welcome package can only be claimed for 7 days once all the prerequisites are met. Meanwhile, the match bonus part must also be played through in 7 days before it is forfeited.

 

Maximum Withdrawal Limits

For a similar reason, Canadian online casinos can also put a cap on how much players can withdraw from their bonus winnings. The limit, of course, protects the casino from having to pay out a significant sum. Like the ones on payment processors, the set limit can be per transaction, per day, or per week.

While most of the casino sites we’ve reviewed will not really have a deposit limit besides the one set by the withdrawal method, some sites do.  We have found some bonuses that have maximum withdrawal limits as low as 5x the 1st deposit in place.

 

Weighting Rules and Forbidden Games

The last kind of bonus condition you will find at online casinos in Canada is game weighting. How this works is that some games will be restricted in how much of their wager contributes to the wagering requirement.

For example, a slot game with 100% weighting will count all 5 dollars from a C$5 bet towards your wagering requirement. But if you use that C$5 on a game that only has 20% weighting, only C$1 will count towards your wagering requirement.

Some casinos will also block certain games entirely, which can sometimes be euphemistically called 0% weighting. These games, usually table games or progressive slots, are blocked from counting towards wagering requirements due to their higher RTP or bigger jackpots. It is common for casinos to have a welcome bonus with 100% weighting on its slot games and 10% weighting on all table and live casinos.

 

Best Online Casino Bonuses

Wolfy Casino

A top-performing online casino, Canadian players will find a lot to like in Wolfy Casino’s multiple promotions and bonuses, which includes a welcome package rarely seen in online casinos these days—a 4 deposit match bonus package worth up to C$1,000 with no wagering requirements.

 

Mr. Bet Casino

The diminutive mascot of Mr. Bet Casino hides the massive value of the bonuses and other promotions they have in store for players in Canada. A deposit bonus package worth up to C$2,250 with a low C$10 minimum deposit is a great starting point for both budget players and high rollers alike.

 

Katsubet

Crypto enthusiasts will find a lot to like in Katsubet as all of its deposit and free spins bonuses accept deposits in most of the major cryptocurrencies. Their welcome bonus, for one, gives players up to a whopping C$6,000 in casino credit for those who can pony up that much over 4 deposits.

 

Where do I Find the Best Casino Bonuses?

It really doesn’t take a lot of effort to find casino bonuses online. Just going to any online casino site in Canada will show you the bonuses that they have. But comparing and finding the best one that fits your online gambling needs is a bit more difficult as you will need to take the time to shop around and read through a lot of bonus terms from a bunch of different sites.

Alternatively, you could turn to sites like InsideCasino that have already gone ahead and catalogued these online casino bonuses so that you don’t have to. Our lists of casino bonuses are continually being re-checked and updated so you are always looking at the latest bonuses on offer as you compare offerings to find what works best for you.

 

Bonuses at Big Brand Casinos vs New Casinos

While the kind of bonus you get is crucial to getting the most out of it, where you get that bonus from is also an important consideration.

Generally, there are two typical choices that Canadian players have in this aspect.  You can claim a casino bonus from a big-brand casino or a newer/smaller casino site. Each choice naturally has its pros and cons, so it falls to you to decide which compromises you’re willing to take.

Getting a bonus from a big-name online casino like 888Casino or Pokerstars is often considered to be the ‘safer’ choice. Since the sites are larger and/or more well-established, it stands to reason that they have the money to reliably carry out withdrawals.

On the other hand, bonuses from some of the newer casino sites in Canada like will offer more substantial bonuses at more desirable terms in a bid to attract players. However, players do run the risk of taking a chance at a casino site that has yet to prove itself as a trustworthy gambling establishment.

 

Things to Consider Before Accepting a Casino Bonus

There are also a few other things you would want to consider when picking out an online casino bonus. While this list is by no means comprehensive, it should give you some ideas if you don’t quite know where to start:

  • Value: How much money or free spins is being offered by the bonus.
  • Wagering Requirements: How much money you need to play through before you can cash out the bonus.
  • Game Restrictions: What games you can and cannot play to count towards your wagering requirement.
  • Other Terms and Conditions: Other potential roadblocks like time limits affect your ability to claim your bonus.

A good rule of thumb that you would want to follow is to decide what you want to get out of the bonus first, as it will affect what you should expect from the bonus. If, for instance, you want to claim bonuses to cash them out, it would be a better idea to look for low wagering casino bonuses even if you get less value from the bonus as it needs less money to play through.

But if you just want to play through the bonus without expecting to win, then you can ignore the wagering requirements and just look for a casino bonus that gives the most money and free spins.

 

Bonuses and responsible gaming

Above all else, it is important to understand and remember that casino bonuses are designed to get you to spend more money on the casino, so remember to gamble responsibly. From the money you need to deposit to claim the match bonus to the money you need to wager to clear the wagering requirement, the bonus does everything to entice you to deposit.

Knowing this, it is important to remember two things. First, all bonuses from gambling sites in Canada are optional, which means you don’t have to lock yourself into the bonus terms if you don’t like them. Second, we advise you to avoid chasing after wagering requirements, especially if you have a tendency towards overspending.

 

Final Thoughts on Casino Bonuses

Online casino bonuses are no doubt a great way to get more out of your real money deposit and extend your play session just a bit longer. But unlike casino games, casino bonus terms and conditions are often designed to be as difficult as possible to cash out. We believe it’s important to still stay cautious with your spending before you jump in.

If you’re ready to claim your first (or your next) online casino bonus, a great place to start is by looking through our lists of the casinos we have here. You can also check out our online casino site reviews to see what our experts have to say, We test and play each casino, so we can give our honest opinion.

 

Casino bonus pros & cons

The sheer variety of bonuses being offered by online casinos in Canada makes it so that you should be able to find a bonus that fits the kind of games you want to play. But we will be the first to admit that bonuses aren’t for everyone.

We’ve made a short list of the general pros and cons of online casino bonuses to help you weigh your options. It should be noted that different types of bonuses also have their own benefits and drawbacks over others, so do read our guides on those specific bonuses if you want to learn more.

Pros

  • More bang for your buck: Claiming a casino bonus directly gives you an extra amount of casino credit or free spins to play casino games with. Short of winning a jackpot from a game and spending the winnings back into the casino, bonuses are your best bet to getting more game time from your deposit.
  • More chances of winning: Every extra dollar or free spin you get from an online casino bonus is treated like a real money wager in every aspect except cashing out. This means that your online casino bonus can extend your chances of winning by virtue of being able to throw more chances at the games you play.

Cons

  • Less game freedom: You and your deposit money are immediately beholden to the terms & conditions of the bonus as soon as you claim it, which means you won’t have a lot of freedom when it comes to the games you want to play with the bonus money.
  • Difficult payouts: The many terms and conditions that online casino bonuses in Canada have are all there to make it harder for players—bonus abusers or not—to cash out the bonus.

Casino Bonus FAQs

Which online casino offers the best bonus?

From our experience with online casinos in Canada, our exclusive bonus with Jackpotcity currently offers the best option for casino players, with substantial value and reasonable cash-out terms.

Can I withdraw money from a bonus?

Yes, you can withdraw money from a bonus or the money you won from wagering your bonus. Of course, online casinos in Canada won’t exactly make this easy, with wagering requirements and other terms preventing players from withdrawing the bonus money as is.

How do online casino bonuses work?

Online casino bonuses give players some amount of casino credit or slot game spins that they can use to wager on casino games.

How do free spins bonuses work?

The free spins bonuses at online casinos in Canada give your account a specified number of plays at a fixed bet amount on the game or games listed on the bonus terms.

What is a sticky bonus?

A ‘sticky’ bonus is an online casino bonus that cannot be withdrawn, effectively ‘sticking’ to your casino account balance. While this used to be the norm in online casinos several years ago, most modern online casinos in Canada do let you cash out your bonus money.

Do I need a code for an online casino bonus?

You may need to enter a code on deposit to claim some online casino bonuses, but most online casino bonuses do not have this.

Can I get bonuses without depositing money?

Yes, you can get a no-deposit casino bonus that lets you claim bonus money or free spins without depositing money. Trying to withdraw this bonus money, however, will be a lot more difficult.

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