Online casino bonuses is an emotive and emotional subject for many of us.

Online gambling sites have to provide them in competition with their rivals. Consumers expect them. Newbies get drawn in by them. Seasoned players assess them, sorting out wheat from chaff. And affiliates and marketers report them!

No matter which angle you are coming from, all casino bonuses will be of the utmost importance, and the casino bonus online is really the bread and butter aspect of our sector.

But what do the best offers share in common?

What should you look for when shopping around? Well, let’s start with an explanation of what an offer is NOT. A bonus is just that, something extra, just as you might get 25% extra free in a 2 litre bottle of coke, but not the thing itself.

Equally, a casino bonus is really a beginning rather than an end. It is not a way to make easy money, nor should you base your choice of a gambling site solely on who is apparently offering the most y, goodies, whatever.

There are all sorts of factors to take into consideration when searching for casino bonuses online.

First of all, why are players offered bonuses in the first place? Is it a welcome package for new players (ie. those who have not set up an account yet, regardless of how long they may have been gaming in general)?

Is it a ‘reload’ bonus for existing players? Does it require a deposit? Is it part of a series of bonuses that can be unlocked one after another? Does it pertain to a particular game or can it be used across the range of slots and other games offered? Is it a seasonal promotion connected with Christmas or Easter, for instance?

All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when selecting the best online casino bonus for you; but what are the main themes the newcomer needs to know about?

A major sub-category of the online casino bonus is the Welcome Bonus. This is what you will get for joining, and is a major part of the marketing strategy.

If you find a casino which doesn’t offer a Welcome package, immediately turn around and run away (or at least close your browser!)…

Normally a Welcome Bonus would be for a fixed percentage of your deposit, up to a maximum amount. 100% would be the norm, up to a value of around 200-300, Pounds, whatever currency you are playing in.

So for instance if you put in 100, they would match it with an additional 100. At the same time there has to be a limit, so if the maximum value of the bonus is 100% up to 250 and you deposited 1,000, you’d still ‘only’ get 250.

But what’s to stop somebody opening up an account and simply withdrawing the ‘free money’? Well, lightning sharp as they are the people behind the best casino bonuses have thought of that, and that’s where the wagering requirement comes in.

The wagering requirement essentially states that before making a withdrawal on winnings from your bonus money, you have to have wagered it a set number of times. This will be expressed as a multiplier, for example x32 would be quite a common figure.

Does that mean, if you deposit 100, and the welcome bonus is another 100, you actually have to wager 100 x 32=3,200? Well, yes and no. No, you don’t then have to deposit another 3,000 on top of your original deposit plus bonus, that would be mental.

But it does mean you have to ‘play through’ that amount of money before you can withdraw. For instance, if you wager 5 on a single spin, and win 100, wagering that 100 as 20 individual, 5 spins, will mean you’ve wagered your deposit x1 already. And that’s regardless of any winnings you may accrue from those 20 spins.

Without going into the nitty gritty, and bearing in mind the best casino bonus will have been drawn up by the eggheads at not only an online casino, but also the developers of the online games, the maths is such that you are given a good chance to not only get plenty of playing fun, but also a good chance of netting some winnings.

Please note that whereas wagering requirements can be played through usually 100% on the slots, this is not always the case with table games and other types of gaming.

Games like Blackjack will carry a percentage with them, beyond which, whilst you can play as much as you want, your hands won’t contribute to your wagering playthroughs, so always consult the small print if you are opting to use Welcome Bonus money on table games and other non-slot variations.

Whilst wagering requirements aren’t necessarily advertised in huge, bold letters on its site, they will all be there, clearly set out under the terms and conditions, or, if you don’t want to pick through that, you can query the customer services via live chat or, even better, on Casino Daily News reports of the latest casino bonuses — we always publish the wagering requirements with our reports of Welcome and other offers.

Which brings us to the next aspect of online casino bonuses — the fact that they aren’t confined to initial, Welcome packages.

Newcomers will often encounter multi-stage promotional offers, so for example once you’ve made a first deposit, you can make a second deposit which might also have a bonus attached to it (often even more attractive than the first). And this can run for as many as 5 or more rounds of depositing.

But online casino bonuses are not all just about the new players

Existing, active players will also be treated to various offers. For instance, at various important times of the year like Christmas, New Year, Easter, even Halloween, promotions are usually offered. Also, when a new slot is launched, it is often publicised with free spins offers on that game, which brings us to the next type of bonus…

…Free spins are an additional type of bonus which are quite popular and can be included as part of a Welcome package as well as unveiled at other times.

As their name suggests, you just get a number of free spins (which can range from just a couple, to dozens) on an online slot, either a specific one or one of your choice depending on the nature of the promotion.

And with the Wilds and Scatters, bonus rounds, not to mention jackpots that modern online slots offer, these are a real fillip for the regular player. At the very least, you get a chance to try a game out for free to get a flavor of what it looks like…

Finally, there is an additional category which a casino might present as part of its latest casino bonus which is almost a combination of the offers and free spins we have already seen.

This is often simply called ‘Free Money’ and, like free spins, may be confined to a specific game or suite of games, but also resembles the welcome bonus in that it has some kind of deposit requirement (though this can often be as little as /$/£1, etc.)

The only real catch here is that the free money often needs to be used up within a fixed period of time, often a shortish period like an hour, so you need to watch out for these offers, but on the other hand they can be a great way to play, commitment free, and even get some winnings with that.

All of our casinos listed here with CDN offer only the best of Welcome Bonuses, free spins, free money and other promotions on offer in the market, so stick with us and subscribe to our email alert in order to be first in the line for the best online casino bonuses.