Why Do Online Casinos Give Out So Much Free Money?

Online Casino Phone Money

Online casinos come in all shapes and sizes. While some are certainly better than others, attempting to differentiate the great ones from the mediocre ones can be a tall task for an inexperienced player.

That’s where we come in. We at The Sports Geek have scanned the interwebs, far and wide, in search of the best online gambling sites for both new and returning players.

With so many internet-based casinos already out there and new ones popping up all the time, these sites often struggle to separate themselves from their competitors.

One way they can do so is by offering lucrative bonuses. At their basic core, bonuses are essentially free money the casinos are giving to players as tokens of appreciation. Nowadays, any online casino that doesn’t offer a variety of bonuses and promotions just isn’t worth your time. Why are casinos so willing to offer up free money? And what kind of online casino bonuses can you find at these sites?

Read on for everything you could ever want to know about online casino free money.

What Bonuses Do Online Casinos Offer?

While the concept of bonuses is pretty uniform across the industry, not all bonuses are exactly the same. Some promotions are one-time offers, for example. With others, you may be able to take advantage more than once.

Deposit Bonus

You will find deposit bonus offers at just about every online casino you encounter these days. The concept is quite simple.

With a deposit bonus, the site is offering to match the amount of your deposit up to a certain percentage.

Many sites will even go up to or north of 100 percent, which can add up to quite a bit of online casino free money.

As you may expect:
You can’t simply withdraw the bonus money right away, however. These offers come with playthrough requirements. Think of it as the site funding your account with extra bankroll.

While it’s not literally free money that you can immediately claim as your own, you do get to keep whatever winnings you earn with the deposit funds you use to play online casino games.

Please Note:
The sites will require you to claim your deposit bonus within a certain timeframe. You then typically have a limited amount of time to meet the playthrough requirements, as well.

You can still greatly exceed the amount of the bonus offer if you happen to get lucky, which makes this one of the best online casino bonus offers you’ll find.

Welcome Bonus

A welcome bonus is similar to a deposit bonus. While existing users can still take advantage of deposit bonuses, welcome bonus offers are, obviously, designed to attract new users.

If you sign up to play at a new site, you can take advantage of the variety of welcome bonus offers available there. Some welcome bonus offers can be used more than once.

In many cases, this means entering the requisite bonus code on your first handful of deposits. Here’s an example of a welcome bonus offer spanning your first three deposits at a new online casino:

  • 100% match bonus worth up to $500.
  • 75% match bonus worth up to $300
  • 50% match bonus worth up to $200

As is the case with a deposit bonus, a welcome bonus offer is almost always subject to some playthrough terms and conditions, depending on the site.

Reload Bonus

A reload bonus is essentially a deposit bonus that isn’t used on your first deposit at an online casino. So, if you’ve already worn through your welcome and initial deposit bonus offers, a reload bonus is another way for you to claim online casino free money whenever you make a new deposit.

In most cases:
Reload bonuses are smaller and less lucrative than initial welcome bonuses. A standard example of a reload bonus would be a 50 percent match on any deposit of up to $500.

Reload bonuses are one way for sites to keep existing customers happy and coming back for more. If you’re on the verge of running your bettable cash down to zero, a reload bonus can be helpful in boosting a lagging bankroll. This puts reloads among the best online casino bonus offers out there.

No-Deposit Bonus

As you can probably tell by the name, a no-deposit bonus is a bonus offer that does not require you to make a deposit. Instead, you can simply sign up for an account and claim your bonus right away.

Here’s an example:

  • A casino offers a $20 no deposit bonus.
  • You create your account.
  • You claim the $20 bonus from your account.
  • Unlike with a deposit bonus, you don’t claim the full value of the offer ($20 in this instance). Instead, you use the funds to try and build up winnings that you can later withdraw.
Please Note:
A no-deposit bonus comes with a few playthrough strings attached, too.

Here’s how that may play out:

  • You start with a $20 bonus
  • Playthrough is 40x
  • 40 x 20 = $800 must be wagered
  • You have $17.50 left after satisfying playthrough
  • You can withdraw $17.50 as long as this amount meets the casino’s minimum cashout

Most no-deposit bonus offers come with a cap on your winnings. A no-deposit bonus may not be the best online casino bonus offer in terms of profit potential, but you do not have to make a deposit before trying your hand.

Free Spins

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what free spins are.

The casinos are literally giving you free spins at certain games. So, you’re not risking any of your own cash, but you can win and withdraw real money if you’re lucky enough.

Free spins are essentially a way for you to make a test run at a site you may have never played before.

Free spins may work as follows:

  • A casino offers you 30 free spins as part of a welcome bonus.
  • You use the spins to accumulate $15 in winnings.
  • You can now withdraw $15 after satisfying playthrough and other terms and conditions.

As is the case with a no-deposit bonus, there is also likely to be a cap on the amount of money you can actually win via free spins. It may sound alluring, but sites don’t want to be paying out massive jackpots to players that aren’t risking anything to play.

VIP Rewards

Land-based casinos offer VIP programs to loyal customers. So, why should internet-based gambling sites be any different?

Please Note:
If you play enough at a certain online casino, you, too, can earn some of the perks that come with a VIP status. Many VIP programs offer cashback, free spins, and other unique bonuses not offered to every player. Many of the top online casinos use a points system.

You earn points by playing real money games, and you can eventually cash those points out in exchange for free spins, extra bonus cash, or merch, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Crypto Bonuses

Cryptocurrency is all the rage these days. You can’t watch a football game without seeing an ad for a crypto exchange service anymore.

With the massive surge in popularity of cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum, online betting sites have tried their best to keep up. At several sites, you can earn online casino free money in the form of your preferred crypto. If you make a deposit with Bitcoin, for example, you may find a bonus offer available only to Bitcoin users.

Many sites offer welcome, reload, deposit, and other types of bonuses if you make your transactions with crypto, too.

Why Are Online Casinos Generous With Their Bonuses?

While a casino free bonus may seem like something your favorite site is offering out of the goodness of their hearts, there is something in it for them, too. Why are casinos willing to offer bonuses and promotions?

You’ll Play More

Quite simply, a bonus offer is designed to be attractive enough to entice you to play. The more bonus offers you see, the more likely you will be to try and take advantage.

Once those bonus offers dry up, you’re less likely to go back, right?
The sites use bonuses and promotions as a way to incentivize both new and returning players to keep playing. Those that run the online casinos are well aware of the fact that they’re not the only names in the industry.

Once you have exhausted your bonus opportunities at one site, you can simply sign up at another and do the same thing over there.

That’s why casino free bonuses don’t only target new users.

You’ll Deposit More Often, Too

A few rough rounds at the online casino sites may leave your bankroll looking awfully weak.

Please Note:
One way the sites try to keep you from giving up is by offering you a reload bonus that you can use on any deposit you make after you’ve claimed your initial welcome bonus. By reloading your account with your subsequent deposit and the extra reload bonus cash, the sites are giving you a chance to turn that frown upside down and start winning again.

If the sites can successfully convince you to keep making deposit after deposit, they’re doing their job. Keeping customers is one of their primary goals, of course.

Snag Your Email Address

Everybody is in the marketing game these days. By getting you to sign up for an online gambling account, the sites are also unlocking the ability to notify you directly of any new bonuses and promotions they decide to launch.

You don’t even have to sign up and make a deposit at an online betting site. As mentioned, you can use a no-deposit bonus if you can find a site that offers one.

However, that still requires you to create an account, which means you need to give them your email address. After that, the casinos can try to lure you in by emailing you details of their latest offers.

You Can Do Some Recruiting

A refer-a-friend bonus is another popular type of bonus you’ll find at most online casinos. The concept is simple. If you refer someone you know to the site, you are eligible to receive a bonus of your own once they sign up and make a deposit.

It may sound old fashioned:
But word-of-mouth has always been one of the best ways for businesses to advertise their services. The only catch here is your friend will have to make a deposit and/or play a few games before you can grab that referral bonus. Your friends don’t even have to be successful gamblers, either.

As long as you can convince someone you know to sign up and start playing, you’ll earn that referral bonus. Online casinos are always looking to expand upon their base of customers. With a refer-a-friend bonus, they’re essentially compensating you for helping them achieve that goal.


While online casino free money may not be exactly what it sounds like, there are still countless reasons for you to take advantage of your site’s various bonuses and promotions.

Think of a bonus offer as a win-win trade.
You’re getting extra funds with which to wager on your favorite online casino games. The casinos are also keeping their new customers happy while attracting new ones all the time. There is no singular best online casino bonus out there. Every type of bonus offer comes with its own unique perks.

Be sure to take the time to shop around to a few different online casinos before settling on the one that best fits what you’re looking for in an online gambling experience.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

  1. Very interesting article, thank you. I used to be afraid to use casino bonuses. Now I know that I am not really risking anything. Thank you, I will choose bonuses)))

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