All online casinos offer bonuses for both new and return players, to attract and retain members. For savvy players who shop around, bonuses are a great way to increase your bankroll as the different casinos try and outdo each other in an effort to compete for your business. To get started, see our list of the best 2015 casino bonus offers for Australian players in the table below. Then keep reading for details on what each bonus type offers you.
All online casinos will give you a welcome bonus when you sign up. The only thing that differs is the percentage, maximum amount, and number of steps it takes to collect in full.
The most common form of casino sign-up bonus is where the casino matches your first deposit (or first few deposits) dollar for dollar.
For example, one of our recommended casinos Spin Palace gives a total of AU$1000 free, spaced out over your first three deposits. The first stage bonus is 100% up to $250. This means that if you deposit up to $250 and play-through this bonus (see below) then you’ll get a $250 bonus. The second stage bonus is 25% up to $300 which means that you’d have to deposit $1200 to get the $300, whilst the third stage bonus is 50% up to $450, requiring a $900 deposit to get the full amount. Altogether this comes to $1000 ($250 + $300 + $450).
A good welcome bonus really depends on the type of player you are. A high roller, long-term player will prefer a match bonus with a number of stages to capitalize across more deposits, whereas a player just looking to make one deposit will prefer one big first stage bonus.
In almost all cases you will need to “play through” the bonus. This means you need to place a certain number of bets equal to the bonus (it’s usually 20-30X, although recently casinos have been raising the wagering requirements to 40X) before you can “unlock” the bonus.
So, if the casino offers a $200 sign-up offer with a play through requirement of 20X, you would have to place a total of 20 x $200, or $4000 in bets before you would be able to withdraw your bonus. This is done to ensure players aren’t just bonus hunting, and are real, loyal patrons.
Different casinos also have different stipulations about what games you are allowed to play to redeem your sign-up offer. Pokies for example may contribute 100% toward the bonus while video poker may contribute just 5%.
When evaluating a casino’s welcome bonus it’s also important to know whether the casino is offering a cashable or non-cashable bonus, and if it needs to be cleared within a certain amount of time. Bottom line, it’s important you check the fine print at whichever casino you choose, for all the details on receiving and redeeming its welcome bonus offer.
A no deposit casino bonus is another type of introductory bonus wherein the casino allows you to play without having to make a real money deposit. This will usually be for a small sum, around $5 to $10. This is a free bonus and a great way to try the games on offer at a casino without having to risk your own money.
Remember to always read the terms and conditions for bonuses of this type because they may have higher play-through requirements or cash-out rules than welcome bonuses.
Another type of reward offered by online casinos is the refer-a-friend or recommend-a-friend bonus. As the name suggests, the casino rewards players who refer someone else. Usually the criteria will be that the friend must make a deposit on the site.
Refer-a-friend bonuses can be quite lucrative. For example, Grand Reef Casino awards $50 for each friend referred who makes a successful real money deposit, whether or not the friend continues to play thereafter.
A free play bonus is similar to a no deposit bonus and is another great way to try out an online casino without risking your own money. The way it generally works is that the casino gives an allotment of chips you can use for a set amount of time – usually something between 1 and 24 hours. Whatever you win during that time is put aside for you and awarded as a bonus when you make your first deposit. If you lose, you’ve lost nothing!
A good example of a generous free play bonus is Platinum Play casino’s 1500 free bets offer, where you have 24 hours to bet 1500 units, and then claim whatever profit you have made with your first deposit.
Free spins are also considered a form of casino bonus – and are either absolutely free, or free upon meeting a certain condition.
For example, many online casinos will give new players 10 free spins (deposit-free) just for signing up.
More usually, free spins are part of another bonus offer. So for example, you might get a 100% up to $50 bonus PLUS 20 free spins upon deposit.
In both instances the free spins are generally on a particular game. For more details, have a look at our free spins article.
Online casinos like to reward players who turn over a lot of money on their sites, whether based on the size of the bets or the sheer volume. These are often called high roller or VIP bonuses. To qualify, you will need to be in the upper echelon of players on the site in terms of total money wagered. For more details on how you can achieve VIP status and attain these bonuses, read our review of VIP casinos.
Bonuses are one of the biggest draws of any online casino. Usually new players are hooked by a particularly lucrative welcome bonus, and stay for the continued promotional offers.
When looking for an online casino, we recommend you check out their overall bonus offering, including the amounts given, at what intervals, and how easily each bonus can be redeemed. To be sure you’re playing at an Aussie-friendly establishment, you can always play at one of our recommended casinos.