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Guide for Finding and Claiming the Best Welcome Bonuses in the UK
When it comes to searching for the best, fairest and most useful welcome bonuses in the UK while also finding those at safe, fair and fun casinos, it can get a little tricky.
While we aim to always list the best casino bonuses on offer in the UK, we also put a strong emphasis on ensuring that all casinos listed are are safe, secure, licensed and enjoyable to play at. We feel that these criteria are infinitely more important than the welcome bonus offered by the casino. However having said that, a good welcome bonus is always a strong indicator of how well any given casino is likely to treat its players.
As a rule of thumb, every casino you’ll find listed here has met the following criteria.
- Licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
- Is able to display and demonstrate its fairness as a casino
- Consistently delivers excellent customer support to its players
- Offers players a fair and competitive welcome bonus
- Has an all encompassing games selection that the majority of players will be satisfied with
Available GamesSlots Poker Blackjack RouletteAll Games Slots Poker Blackjack Roulette Baccarat Video Poker Craps Bingo
Available GamesSlots Poker Blackjack RouletteAll Games Slots Poker Blackjack Roulette Baccarat Video Poker Craps Bingo
How we Rate Casinos
Once casinos have met the aforementioned criteria, our team of highly experienced igaming professionals conduct a thorough and detailed investigation of each casino looking at the following factors.
- Customer Support
- Player and Bonus Terms and Conditions
- Games Selection
- Withdrawal Times
- KYC Processing Times
- User Experience
Casinos are then ranked based on how highly they score in each area. Given that we only list very strong casinos, it can often be difficult to determine which casinos have the edge and this can mean that User Experience becomes a very defining factor for our scoring decisions.
What you can be certain of is that Casino Canary will never recommend to our users and casino that we do not deem ourselves to be fair, safe, secure and enjoyable to use.
What you should know before claiming a casino bonus
First and fore most is extremely important to understand that when you claim a casino welcome bonus, the likelihood is that these bonus funds will come with strict wagering requirements.
For example, if you were to claim a welcome bonus of 100% up to £100 and made an initial deposit of £100. Your starting balance would be £200. The first £100 you spend at the casino will be the raw funds you deposited and anything you win while wagering those funds will be entirely withdrawal (even though this may require you to cancel the welcome bonus). However if you lose that initial £100 and your balance dips below £100 then you will begin wagering with bonus funds. This is where wagering requirements come in to play. Here in the UK wagering requirements tend to sit around 35x to 40x times the money. Essentially this just means that you have to wager your bonus funds 35 times in order to make it withdraw-able. For example, if you have a bonus of £100 then you will have to wager £3,500 to make that bonus money available for withdrawal. This may seem unachievable but of course it is something many of us have achieved on several occasions.
The bright side is that here in the UK all casino bonuses are legally required to be non-sticky. This means that your bonus funds can never be connected to your real money funds. So there is never any down side to taking a welcome bonus. If you hit a win with your initial deposited money then it is immediately withdrawal. Your balance will only ever become restricted if you drop in to your bonus funds. Others have named this style of bonus a parachute bonus or a safety net bonus. Here we prefer to just call it non sticky.
In many EU countries bonuses are often sticky and require players to have a restricted balance that requires wagering from the moment they deposit. So here in the UK we are blessed to have the UKGC ensuring that players are given fair incentives to play with new casinos rather than incentives that won’t necessarily help the enjoyment of their play like on the continent.
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100% up to £250 on Slots + 100 Free Spins
18+. New players only. Min Dep £20. Max Bonus Bet £5. Offer: 100% of 1st deposit up to £250 on Slots + 100 Yoo Spins on Starburst, Book of Dead, Fire Joker, Gonzo’s Quest, and Big Bass Bonanza, respectively (first 20 credited immediately upon first deposit; rest credited at 07:00 GMT at 20/day). Spins expire after 23:59GMT on day they’re credited. Winnings from each 20 spins capped at £50 & credited as bonus. Bonus funds expire after 30 days, are separate to Cash funds, & subject to 35x wagering of bonus + deposit amounts. Only bonus funds contribute to wagering requirements. Affordability checks apply. Full Terms Apply. BeGambleAware.org
Avoid Extravagant High Paying Bonuses
Unfortunately, here in the UK many players may be temped by very high paying match bonuses. These are often marketed by casinos not recognised by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). It’s very easy to spot these offers as they tend to offer outrageously high match bonuses such as 400% up to £2,000 or similar. A very easy way to check if a casino is licensed by the UKGC is to scroll to the very bottom of the home page. If the casino is UKGC licensed then it will display a link to it’s licensee page on the UKGC’s website.
Sadly, these offers tend to target problem gamblers who are unable to play at UKGC casinos after having rightly self excluded themselves from many brands and white labels. If you fit in to this category, please don’t be temped by these offers. Instead, check out some of the helpful resources below.
- GamCare – Provides free, confidential information and support
- Gamstop – Offers a way to easily self exclude from the bulk of UK gambling operators
- Gamblers Anonymous – A confidential environment to talk to people who can help
If you’re not a problem gambler yet still find yourself temped by these over the top offers then simply recognise that the only way to play safe is to play at a UKGC licensed casino.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to play online casino?
The best time to play online casino is the time that you feel comfortable to do so. There are no times of the day specifically affecting your chances of winning. Online slot machines are run using complex algorithms which pay out wins to players based on the amount of money wagered through them. Unless you have a crystal ball, we’re afraid it really is just luck!
How much money can you make in a casino?
This is often dependent on how much you are willing to bet. But you shouldn’t chase big wins at any online casino if you wouldn’t be happy to lose. There are of course other ways to win big that don’t involve huge bets. Very high variance slots can offer a way to win big without huge bets but as you may expect, these wins can be extraordinarily rare. Let us know if you hit one!
What are casino bonus wagering requirements?
Wagering requirements are simply the amount of times you need to wager the bonus funds at the casino before those funds become eligible for withdrawal. For example, a 35x wagering requirement on a bonus of £100 will require you to wager that money 35 times. In other words, if you’re playing slots, that would be £3,500 worth of spins. Often this is more achievable than it seems if you play sensibly with low variance games.
Can I get free spins as part of the casino bonus?
Yes, most of the bonuses listed on this site come with a free spins element. It’s become a rather standard practice these days to offer players free spins on top of a match bonus. A good tip if you’re not sure is to contact live chat and ask them if your bonus has free spins attached to it. They will always be happy to explain your bonus.
What if a casino bonus looks too good to be true?
Generally when a casino bonus looks to good to be true. It is. Often UK players are targeted by casinos not regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. These casinos are often run specifically to capture deposits from players without intention to pay out to winners. The only way for UK players to play safe is to make sure to choose a UKGC licensed casino.
What slot machines have the best bonuses?
It really depends by what you mean by “best”. There are lots of slots that have extremely enjoyable and interesting bonuses and there are also many slots that have high potential bonuses capable of delivering large pay days. These are not necessarily the same slots. In our opinion Big Time Gaming offer some of the best slots with extremely high variance coupled with enjoyable game play.
How do you beat casino wagering?
The best way to beat casino wagering is to play low variance slots. Slot games are counted as 100% weighting towards your wagering requirements whereas table games count less. Low variance slots with high RTP offer a good chance to get through wagering in as sensible a way as possible.
What is a casino bonus?
A casino bonus is when an online casino gives you a bonus when you deposit with them. Here in the UK, a good example would be a bonus of 100% up to £100. This would involve depositing £100 yet receiving a balance of £200. Be aware though, the bonus funds are restricted and come with wagering requirements.
Are online casino bonuses worth it?
In the UK, casinos are legally required to refrain from restricting real money funds. This means bonus funds are only used after you have lost your real money funds. This is called a “non-sticky” bonus. For this reason there is no real drawback involved in utilising casino bonuses in the UK.