How to choose the best welcome bonuses in the UK

Welcome bonuses are one of the best reasons to join a new casino. After all, you can get yourself some bonus cash or free spins by simply creating a new account and making a first deposit! That said, not all casinos – or bonuses – are equal, so it’s good to know how to choose the ones that are the best for you by following the Casino Hawks guide. 

The Best Casino Welcome Bonuses in 2023

1. Check our casino reviews

First off, well worth reading our online casino reviews to learn more about the casinos that strike your fancy. The Casino Hawks review process analyses every point that makes an online casino site, and that includes the welcome bonuses, as well as any other offers available at the casino. 

2. Read the terms and conditions

They say the devil is in the details, and you know what? They’re right! Always check the terms of use of the bonus before you accept any UK online casino’s offers. 

3. Pay attention to the wagering requirements

This is another detail you should go through carefully. The wagering requirement tells you when and how you can withdraw your winnings – specifically by gambling them by a specified number of times. 

4. Make sure your payment methods are accepted

UK casinos exclude some specific payment methods, including certain e-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill, from their welcome offers. This means you will not be able to take advantage of the bonus should you make your first deposit using these payment methods. 

5. Check how high the deposit is

A welcome bonus is always tied to a minimum first deposit amount. This is typically £10, but it can reach up to £20 at some casinos. That said, there are also rare but desirable no deposit bonuses that you can get without paying a penny! 

6. Make sure to check the eligible games

Like most other bonuses, welcome bonuses tend to be tied to specific games. This is especially the case with bonus or free spins, which will be given on either one or a small number of different slots

7. See about maximum payouts available

The payout is the actual amount the bonus can be worth. As such, one might want to go for a bonus with as big a payout as possible! 

8. Pay attention to withdrawal times and terms

Make sure to check the casino’s withdrawal times so that you know when and how you can withdraw your winnings. While you’re at it, also confirm the casino’s maximum withdrawal limit. 

9. Take advantage of our Bonus Calculator

Still struggling with the task of finding a decent welcome bonus? Then our Bonus Calculator is the tool for you! This provides with all the information you need to locate the best bonuses and get the most out of them. 

Welcome Bonus
Casino Welcome Bonus

Are welcome bonuses legal in the UK?

The short answer to this question is… yes! Thanks to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), welcome bonuses are perfectly legal, and you can find plenty of these right at Casino Hawks, not to mention this very page. 

Is playing in a welcome bonus casino safe?

As mentioned above, an online casino needs to be licenced by the UKGC in order to be truly safe. In addition, the site should also have Responsible Gaming efforts in place to encourage customers to treat gambling as a leisure activity, and not a means to make an income. 

Why are casinos offering welcome bonuses?

As you might know, the online casino industry in the UK is one of the most competitive around. This means operators need to offer plenty of bonuses and other such goodies in order to attract new customers.

Why use welcome bonuses?

Well, why not? A welcome bonus is a great way to get started as a new player at an online casino. In addition, a welcome bonus allows you to test out the casino and try out some of its games, some of which might be new to you. That said, nothing is without its cons, so let’s take a look at both the positive and negative aspects of welcome bonuses. 

Great way of checking out a new casinoHigh wagering requirements might be involved
A chance for potentially risk-free winningsThe time to use the welcome bonus is typically limited
Allow you to try different slots for freeYou might not like the slots the free spins are available on

Types of welcome bonuses

Welcome bonuses can come in many different shapes and sizes. Some consist of free spins, others a cash bonus based on your first deposit, and others might even come for free. They have one thing in common – they are given out to new players at an online casino. Confused? Don’t be; this list will take you through all of them! 

Free spins welcome bonuses 

One of the most popular types of welcome bonuses, free spins are used primarily on online slots. This makes sense, considering that slots are the most popular games available in online casinos! Free spins allow you to check out a particular game (or games) for free, providing a good taster of what the casino has to offer. Some of the most popular slots that get free spins include the classic Starburst and Book of Dead, while casinos sometimes run promotions centred around the games from a specific provider. 

Spin and Win welcome bonus
A Welcome Bonus of up to £500 at Spin & Win!

New Player Welcome Bonus

A common type of welcome bonus, new player welcome bonuses tend to involve a match deposit bonus. This means you can deposit an amount – usually up to £100 – and you get an equal amount back as bonus funds for use on the casino’s games.

Reload Welcome Bonus 

A reload welcome bonus can come into play when making a second deposit at an online casino. Some casinos might go a step further by giving you a weekly reload bonus in the form of a cashback that gives registered players a percentage (generally around 10%) of their deposits for that week.

No Deposit Welcome Bonus

A no deposit bonus is a type of welcome bonus that is given to newly registered players even if they don’t make a deposit. This runs contrary to typical welcome bonuses, which, as a rule, require the new player to make a first deposit before the bonus is credited to their account. 

Welcome Bonus Codes

Some welcome bonuses require entering a special code when making your first deposit. This code takes the form of a string of letters and numbers, such as “CASINOHWKS23”, and needs to be inputted in the appropriate field in the deposit page if you are to take advantage of its bonus, which can include free spins or a match deposit bonus. 

Pokerstars welcome bonus
The PokerStars welcome bonus brings both bonus funds and free spins!

How to withdraw your winnings after using a Welcome Bonus?

So you took advantage of any of the welcome offers available on this page, and now want to withdraw the bonus and the payment from any winnings. How do you go ahead and cash out? This depends on the casino in question. Most casinos put wagering requirements on their welcome bonuses, while some bonuses might be wholly non-cashable. What to do in such cases? Glad you asked!

Cashable vs. non-cashable casino offers

A cashable casino bonus is self-explanatory – you can claim both the bonus and any winnings gained once you meet the wagering requirement. This can be either a pre-wager or after-wager bonus, with a pre-wager bonus being added immediately to your account balance after you deposit the qualifying amount while an after-wager bonus is added to your account after earning the required amount with your deposit money. This means that if you receive a £100 bonus and accumulate a total of £500, you will be able to cash out the full £500.

Meanwhile, a non-cashable bonus cannot be withdrawn by the player. As such, you will be only able to cash out any winnings accumulated once you meet the wagering conditions, without the bonus amount itself. In this case, say you get a £100 bonus and earn a total of £500 through winnings, then you can cash out just £400.

Maximum win limit

A maximum win limit is one of the conditions online casinos tie to their welcome bonuses. It determines the maximum amount you can win when using the casino bonus.

Cash out limits

As the name might suggest, a cash-out limit is the maximum amount you can cash out from the winnings accumulated by using the casino bonus.   

Bonus percentages and payouts

A bonus percentage is the percentage you get as a bonus after making a first deposit. This tends to be 100% in the case of a welcome bonus, meaning you get double the amount you deposited. On the other hand, the payout is the actual amount of the bonus.

Solutions for common issues 

While online casinos are, as a best, doing their best to ensure you get the bonuses you deserve, there is always a chance that some odd glitch might pop up during this process. In this case you’ll surely want to know what happens next, so here’s our list of tips to keep in mind should you run into any issues: 

  1. I don’t want a welcome bonus any more 

Not wanting your bonus is something that can happen, and it’s good to know that you can either opt out of it or contact customer service. That said, make sure to browse the terms and conditions of the bonus in question as these might hold the key to your question. 

  1. I can’t see the wagering progress of my welcome bonus

Your wagering progress should be available in your player account page. If that’s not the case then the best thing to do is to reach out to customer support, who should be able to help you fix the issue. 

  1. My offer page is not showing a bonus

Some bonus offers will only be visible once you meet certain criteria, such as completing registration or confirming your identity, so first make sure you have met any and all requirements. Otherwise, the bonus might be available in another location. 

  1. I would like to close my player account

The solution to this issue differs from casino to casino. Some online casinos allow you to close your account from within your player profile with just a couple of clicks, while others require you to contact customer support directly. If you require to temporarily close your account due to personal gambling concerns, self-exclusion and cool-off tools should be available within your account. 

Enjoy a warm welcome at your online casino! 

As discussed in this article, welcome bonuses are a great way to start your adventure at an online casino! That said, always remember that not all welcome bonuses are made equal. Check the wagering requirements, the games the bonus applies to, the time limits, and any win limits in order to find a bonus that fits your needs. 

Now, with all of this in mind, you can get yourself a truly great bonus from your next online casino site. Good luck, and as always, have fun! 

Frequently asked questions

You can get a casino welcome bonus by signing up for a player account with an online casino and making your first deposit. As a rule you can only claim the welcome bonus once per IP address or household.
No deposit bonuses are some of the most popular casino offers in the UK, and for good reason. That is why our team has compiled lists of the best no deposit bonuses and no deposit spins available!
Most casino welcome bonuses come with wagering requirements attached. This means you need to play through the bonus for a specific number of times (as noted in the casino's offer terms and conditions) before you can withdraw any remaining winnings. The lower the wagering requirement, the less risk you have of losing your bonus winnings.
Many online casinos in the UK offer free welcome bonuses, but not all are equal in value. As such you should fully read the terms and conditions before opting for any casino promotion.

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