Casino welcome bonuses are the most popular promotions in the USA. Below we’ll explain what a welcome bonus is, the advantages of using them, as well as how they work. We’ll also cover the legal aspect of casino welcome bonuses and answer some of the most common queries that fans have about these introductory offers.
Of all the casino bonuses, this one is the most loved by new players, and for a very good reason. A welcome bonus is essentially a sum of money and/or free spins awarded to new players who join a US online casino. Depending on how the sign-up offer is structured, new players will either have to make a deposit, or just open the account, before the bonus funds are added by the casino. Players can use the bonus to play games and kickstart their experience in the online casino of their choice. Welcome bonuses are a great way for US online casino fans to try out a new operator with a minimal investment.
Welcome bonuses are legal in all US states where online casino gambling is legal. Right now, you can legally play casino games on the web in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan.
New Jersey was the first state to legalize online gambling, and is still the most developed online casino market. There are now more than 18 online casinos in New Jersey, and practically all of them offers some kind of welcome bonus.
West Virginia was an unlikely early state to regulate online casino gaming. It’s still one of the smallest markets, with only five WV online casinos available at the moment. However, this number is predicted to expand in the future.
Pennsylvania is relatively new to the world of online casinos, but it has a huge potential. There are currently 12 licensed online casino platforms in PA, and all of them feature a wide array of bonuses, including welcome offers for new players.
Finally, there’s Michigan, which is also a new market for online casinos. There are now 13 Michigan online casino sites currently available to residents of the Wolverine state. Welcome bonuses are legal here as well, and the majority of platforms offer them.
There are several kinds of welcome bonuses available to new customers. Below are the most common.
This is the most common type of bonus for new players, and requires them to first make a deposit before some kind of prize is credited to their account. In most cases, players will receive bonus cash to use in the casino, but some operators also award free spins. The bonus money is often a matched offer, i.e. if the player first deposits $100, they will receive another $100 from the casino. Of course, these bonus funds are subject to wagering requirements before they can be withdrawn.
This bonus often is offered alongside the standard bonus. It awards free spins on online video slots, and in most cases, players can use the free spins on eligible slots only. For example, 10 free spins on Starburst would mean that you could only use them on the popular NetEnt game. On other occasions, free spins are eligible across several titles, often from the same software provider, whether that be Barcrest, BTG, or Bally.
Unlike the last two, this welcome bonus doesn’t require you to make a deposit. Players get credited with some kind of bonus (money and/or free spins), just for registering in the casino. As you might expect, these kinds of bonuses are extremely popular. On the other hand, no deposit bonuses are usually much lower compared to matched deposit welcome bonuses, as players usually receive just a couple of dollars or several free spins.
Welcome bonuses are the most common type of promotion in online casinos. Apart from rewarding players, the goal from an operator’s perspective is to attract new customers to the site. That’s why many online casinos compete with each other to offer generous bonuses and expand their share of the market. And as a player, you can clearly benefit from this competition between casinos. First of all, you need to take a look at all available casinos in your state and pick the one you like the most.
The next step is to sign up, and if the casino offers a no deposit bonus, you’ll receive it as soon as you become a member. However, if the casino offers a welcome deposit bonus, you’ll have to go to the banking section on the platform and make a deposit with one of the eligible payment options. You then ppt-in for the bonus and proceed with the deposit in order to receive it. Some US casinos use bonus promo codes that you need to enter during the registration process or before making a deposit to activate the bonus.
Undoubtedly, some of these welcome bonuses can be pretty lucrative for players, once they understand how they work and how to use them correctly. Below is a list of 5 key advantages that casino online bonuses have to offer
1. You have a bigger budget — This first one is obvious: by using welcome bonuses, you simply have more money than you deposited, giving you a head start in every possible way.
2. You get to explore more games for free — By using your bonus money and/or free spins, you’ll be able to explore new games in the online casino of your choice without actually spending your money.
3. There’s less risk involved — You don’t have to risk your funds at all in online casinos when using your bonus funds.
4. You’ll understand how bonuses work — By getting a bonus for the first time, you’ll get an idea of how bonuses actually work in practice, which will help you avoid possible pitfalls when getting welcome bonuses in other casinos.
5. You’ll get familiar with the casino — A welcome bonus will allow you to explore the casino of your choice and understand all of its advantages and disadvantages.
Welcome bonus terms and conditions (T&C’s) tend to be pretty standard across all US casinos. That said, you should do your research on each casino’s T&C’s before you accept their welcome bonus. Here are the main things to look out for.
Once you receive the welcome bonus funds, you can’t withdraw then immediately. First, you’ll have to meet the wagering requirements, which define the number of times you need to wager the bonus funds. For example, if the bonus wagering requirements are 10x, and you get $100 as a bonus, that means you’ll have to wager $1,000 to unlock your bonus funds. A typical waiting requirement today is 40x. This means you must play through the wager 40 times before it can be eligible or withdrawn.
Another important term is the eligibility period. Players are usually given a timeframe during which they need to meet the wagering requirements and unlock the bonus funds. Failing to do that usually forfeits the bonus. You need to find the welcome bonus with a decent combination of wagering requirements and expiry dates. Unless you are a high roller, the eligibility period means it might make sense to open an account with one casino, fulfil the wagering requirements and eligibility period there, and then move onto the next casino.
Choosing a welcome bonus is an easy process, but you still have to pay attention to several things to make sure that you’re getting the best offer for you. Let’s take a look.
This is the most basic question that welcome bonus customers face. Do you want to try out the new casino with a low risk to yourself, or a zero risk? The no deposit welcome bonus is risk-free, but tends to be a lot smaller than the standard matched offer.
Your decision also is influenced by how whether you are happy to play the slots available from the free spins welcome offer, or whether you prefer bonus funds to spend on your own favorite slot picks, table games, or even live casino.
Percentages are an important component to consider, because that is how much the casino will match your deposit. The average percentage match is 100%, but there are higher and lower contributions from the casino. How much cash are you really getting from the casino?
To work out just how lucrative the welcome bonus is, you need to consider how many times you must wager your bonus to be able to withdraw it. And do wagering requirements apply to the bonus amount only or bonus + deposit? This can have a massive effect on the generosity of the offer.
It’s not jus a question of how generous the wagering requirements are, but how long do you have to meet the requirements? If you are a sporadic leisure gambler, then you should consider how many days you have before the bonus expires.
Last but not least, not all games contribute the same towards the wagering requirements. Usually, slots contribute 100%, but many skill-based games like blackjack will contribute considerably less. Are you a slot fan? Then welcome bonuses are a great idea. If you prefer the tables, then they might not be.
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