Online Casino Bonuses

Online Casino Bonuses

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 2017 online casino bonus offers for Australian players in the table below. Then keep reading for details on what each bonus type offers you.

Casino welcome bonus

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.

Play-through requirements

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.

No deposit casino bonus

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.

Refer a friend bonus

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.

Free play bonus

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 bonus

Free spins are also considered a form of online 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.

High roller and VIP bonuses

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.

Bonus Types:

Mobile Bonus

These days most online casinos have a mobile site. Gaming on the go is not only fun and convenient; with the great range of mobile bonuses out there it can also be very lucrative! Whether you’re new to mobile casino gaming or you’ve been doing it for a while, a quick search around will find plenty of mobile bonuses that you can take advantage of.

Mobile bonuses come in a number of different forms including no deposit and deposit bonuses, free spins and more. Some require special codes to access them while others just ask you to navigate to the site or download a mobile app to claim the bonus offer.Most mobile bonuses are designed to encourage players to try out a casino’s mobile site and they are often exclusive for mobile players. As with any type of bonus you should always read the terms and conditions before you sign up, especially when it comes to wagering requirements and game contributions.

As well as specially designed mobile bonuses, most mobile players can get access to all the regular promotions available at their chosen casino. This includes welcome bonuses, loyalty club bonuses, free spins and daily or weekly promotions. Being a mobile casino player has never been more exciting or lucrative!

Daily Bonus

Online casinos want to reward their regular players and keep them coming back for more. For many casinos this means offering daily bonuses where there is a different offer or promotion each day of the week. This gives players daily motivation to log in to their casino account and helps the casinos keep their punters loyal and playing frequently.

Daily bonuses often vary between free spins, reload bonuses, deposit bonuses, tournaments and entry into prize draws. As a regular player you might get the opportunity to play for free on a specific pokie game on Mondays, enjoy a deposit match with any funds you put into your account on Tuesday, enter a prize draw on Wednesday and so on.

Daily bonuses are usually advertised on a casino’s promotions page so it’s well worth checking them out. You will often find new and daily promotions in the casino’s email newsletter too. Daily bonuses are a great way to keep things interesting and top up your casino account with a steady flow of free spins, bonus cash and other prizes, sometimes including big-ticket electronic items, holidays and more.


What makes a good online casino bonus?

With so many different casino bonuses out there it’s hard to decipher the good ones from the bad ones. It can be incredibly disappointing when you come across a bonus that looks great, but that turns out to be a big let down either because you can’t ever cash it out or because it has certain terms and conditions that are impossible to meet.


Here are the main criteria we look at when we’re assessing the different casino bonuses out there:


  • Percentage amount: For match bonuses the percentage amount is crucial. A high match percentage means that you’ll get more for your investment while a lower one is not going to be anything like as worthwhile, even if it has a high maximum limit.


  • Wagering requirements: The wagering requirements can make or break a casino bonus. With variations between casinos of anything from 20x to 50x, it’s well worth looking around to find a bonus that has a low wagering requirement, unless you’re a high roller and a very frequent player. Even the best bonus in the world is going to be useless if you can never meet the wagering requirements and actually withdraw it.


  • Game selection: Some bonuses, like free spins, are tied to specific games and this can be challenging if you’re stuck playing a game you don’t especially like. Other bonuses like match deposits may have certain games that you can play your wagering requirements through on and other that you can’t. The best bonuses have a wide selection of eligible games.


  • Clear terms and conditions: Confusing terminology can make it difficult to tell whether a bonus is a good deal or not. The best bonuses have really clear terms and conditions that are stated upfront and use plain English rather than jargon. If you don’t know what you’re signing up for, even after reading all the terms and conditions, you’re probably best off steering clear.


  • Time limitations: Many bonuses come with time limitations and what this means is that you need to play your bonus and meet the wagering requirements within this specific timeframe or you face losing the whole lot. Whatever bonus you’re signing up for, make sure the time limitations are actually realistic for you.

Bottom line

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 bonus, 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.