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Understand Casino Bonuses

In short, casino bonuses are promotions to encourage players to join and stay with a casino site. They offer either free spins, cashback on losses, match a percentage of a deposit made, and so on.

Online casino bonuses also come with terms and conditions, some more complicated than others. The main one is the wagering requirement. We go into details on the main conditions in a section below. We always recommend you read the full terms and conditions, but we provide an overview of the key ones in all our online casino reviews.

Types of Online Casino Bonuses

There is an array of online casino bonuses on offer. Some bonuses require bonus codes, others don’t – there’s no hard and fast rule, it all depends on the individual casino. We take a look at the most popular bonuses you’ll find at our recommended casinos.

Welcome Bonus

When you join a new online casino site, the chances are there is a tempting bonus when you sign up and make your first deposit. These welcome bonuses are often split over a number of deposits, in order to lower the risk for the casino.

The most common form of welcome bonus is the match percentage and free spins combo. Over a number of deposits, the casino will match your deposit by a certain percentage, and often with some free spins.

For example: 100% match up to $10,000 + 100 free spins over 5 deposits

So when you sign up and make your first deposit, it could be: 100% match up to $2,000  and 20 free spins; and so on over the next four deposits. In all cases, there will be terms and conditions to be met before you can withdraw any winnings.

Free Spins Bonus

Free spins are a pokies lover’s dream bonus. They give you the extra chance to play and win without having to dip into your own funds. Usually found as part of a welcome bonus, they can be used to promote new games and are more often than not for a specific game.

There are advantages and disadvantages to them:


  • You often receive lower wagering requirements
  • In most cases there are no caps on how much you can win
  • You can try new games without spending your own money


  • There will be wagering requirements before you can withdraw winnings
  • They are usually game specific, so not available for all games

Reload Bonus

This is a casino bonus for existing players registered at a site. They are often associated with certain days, so you may find a Wednesday reload or a weekend reload bonus. For a deposit you make on that day, you will receive a bonus in return. This could be free spins, or a match bonus. It’s a great way to get free play.

A minimum deposit amount will apply, along with other T&Cs.

Cashback Bonus

Nobody wants to lose money, but a cashback bonus sweetens that bitter pill. A number of top casinos we recommend offer cashback bonuses to their players, either as part of the VIP/Loyalty Program or as a weekly bonus.

Essentially, the cashback bonus gives players a percentage back of their net losses that week. It’s not a huge percentage – usually around the 5% mark – but all the same, it’s money you wouldn’t have had.

High Roller Bonuses

For the players who make big deposits and wager a large amount of money there are often specific bonuses on offer. The aim of these bonuses is to treat those high rollers so they stay with the casino site.

They are often in the form of the VIP or Loyalty Program, where players work their way through tiers getting bigger rewards as they climb. Some of the bigger casino sites will offer players who reach the top tier prizes such as a holiday to Las Vegas with spending money. As that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars in bets, there are very few who make it there. However, along the way there will be reload bonuses, increased withdrawal amounts and much more to keep the players happy.

Game Specific Bonuses

To encourage players to try out new or featured games, casinos will often put up game-specific bonuses. Players get to enjoy extra play credits, and may also be rewarded with VIP points or free spins. Other advantages as a player include broadening your skill base and experiencing new games.

Deposit Bonuses

This is a catch-all name for many of the bonuses on offer. As the name suggests, players have to make a deposit in order to get the bonus. Types of deposit bonus are reload bonuses, free spins and welcome bonuses.

No-Deposit Bonus

This is the bonus every player is looking for, but few casinos now hand out. When online casinos were new, no-deposit bonuses were everywhere enticing people to join their site. However, it became expensive as players hopped from site to site.

You may be lucky and find the odd one out there, but it is likely to only be for a small amount – certainly not more than $10 or 10 free spins. More than any online casino bonus, you should read the T&Cs in detail as they are likely to have very strict wagering requirements.

How to Redeem Online Casino Bonus

Once you’ve decided on a casino and which bonus to claim, there are a couple more steps you need to complete.

  1. Register and make a deposit

Once you have registered with the casino – usually a simple process – you can make a deposit. At that point you decide whether or not you want to take the welcome bonus on offer.

  1. Apply Bonus Codes

You need to either apply the bonus code, which is usually provided in an email when you register, or tick a box to say you want to accept the bonus.

For other bonuses, go to the promotions section of the casino site and see which bonuses are on offer. There will usually be a bonus code which you can apply when making your next deposit.

Terms and Conditions

Before you accept an online casino bonus, it is advisable to check the small print. It is so important to read the T&Cs for any bonus offer you want to take up, as trying to withdraw funds before completing the playthrough could see you forfeit your winnings.

The terms and conditions will provide you with information such as:

  • The minimum deposit for the bonus
  • Which games are included
  • Whether you need to use any Bonus Codes
  • If there’s a time restriction
  • Wagering requirements
  • The contribution rates for game types

All good casino sites will provide you with this information in a transparent fashion.

How do wagering requirements work?

Wagering requirements are one of the crucial terms and conditions placed on a bonus. In short, a wagering requirement is the amount of money you need to wager before you can convert the bonus funds into real money and withdraw any winnings.

Generally, wagering requirements range between 35x and 50x the value of your initial deposit and/or the bonus amount you’re receiving. Therefore, the lower the requirement the better.

This particular condition may also be restricted by time, maximum bet amounts and which games can be used with the bonus.

Here is a breakdown of how wagering requirements work:

How wagering requirements work infographic

What are contribution rates?

Different games may contribute a different percentage towards the wagering requirement (WR), so it is important to take that into consideration when calculating your wagering requirement.

In most cases, 100% of your wagers on pokies contribute to the WR. So if you bet $10 on a pokies game, all of that will go towards the WR. Table games, however, usually have a considerably lower contribution rate – as low as 10%. So, if you bet $10 on Blackjack, you would only be contributing $1 towards the WR.

With the WR requiring 40x the bonus amount, a contribution rate of only 10x would push the example above from $4,000 to $40,000 – a considerable difference. That is why it is important to check all the T&Cs before starting to play.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino Bonuses in Australia

At Australia Online Casino Sites, we’ve some of the best casino bonuses aimed specifically at Australian players. But of course, each of you is looking for something slightly different, so there are some things to take into account when choosing the bonus for you.

All of the elements below are taken into account by our experts when reviewing each casino, and are also a good checklist for players:

  • Generous bonus
  • Fair/low wagering requirements
  • Inclusive free spins
  • Suitable banking method
  • Reasonable terms and conditions
  • Excellent customer support

As before, we always recommend you read the Terms and Conditions in full to make sure you understand what the bonus entails. The bonus may seem attractive, but check out what lies beneath.

Top 5 Online Casino Bonuses for Aussie Players

We review each casino thoroughly, taking into account many elements before we recommend them. These are the best online casino bonuses for Australian players we’ve found.

  1. Golden Crown Casino

Bonus Amount: up to $10,000 + 100 free spins

Number of Deposits: 2

Wagering Requirement: 40x


  1. Ricky Casino

Bonus Amount: up to $7,500 + 550 free spins

Number of Deposits: 8

Wagering Requirement: 50x


  1. Neospin

Bonus Amount: up to $10,000 + 100 free spins

Number of Deposits: 5

Wagering Requirement: 40x


  1. Dundeeslots

Bonus Amount: up to $8,000 + 700 free spins

Number of Deposits: 10

Wagering Requirement: 50x


  1. Stellar Spins Casino

Bonus Amount: up to $10,000 + 200 free spins

Number of Deposits: 5

Wagering Requirement: 50x

How to Calculate the Value of a Bonus

The most common question asked when it comes to deposit bonuses with a match percentage is, How are Casino Bonuses Calculated?

Nowadays, the majority of casino bonuses are of the match percentage kind. These may range from 50% to 200% and the percentage refers to the amount of your deposit the casino will match.

They often include ‘up to’ and an amount in dollars. This is the maximum amount the casino will give in bonus funds when you make a real money deposit.

Example 1: 50% match up to $500

A deposit of $100 matched at 50% : Deposit $100   Bonus $50  Total in account $150

A deposit of $400 matched at 50% : Deposit $400   Bonus $200  Total in account $600

A deposit of $1,000 matched at 50% (max reached): Deposit $1,000  Bonus $500  Total in account $1,500


Example 2: 100% match up to $200

A deposit of $100 matched at 100% : Deposit $100  Bonus $100  Total in account  $200

A deposit of $200 matched at 100% (max reached): Deposit $200   Bonus $200  Total in account  $400


As you can see above, to get the same $200 in bonus you need to deposit twice as much in the first example. However, as the maximum amount is met at $200 in example 2, there is no more bonus available, whilst with Example 1 you could continue to grow your bonus amount with a larger deposit.

The big caveat to these is the wagering requirement. The money goes directly into your playing account and cannot be withdrawn. You need to play through the bonus (and in some cases the deposit) before you can withdraw any winnings.

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