Online casinos have changed the way people gamble by bringing the gambling action directly into the home. You can now play your favourite casino games at the online casino of your choice from the comfort of your living room as long as you have a computer with an Internet connection. To attract new players to sign up with them and play for real money, online casinos offer exciting incentives in the form of promotions and bonuses. The bonuses that new players receive at online casinos are called welcome or sign up bonuses – they are offered to welcome them once they sign up with the casino.
On this page we will discuss a bit about the sign up bonuses available to South African players at online casinos that accept them. We will list out the top 10 online casinos offering sign up bonuses and then discuss the different kinds of sign up bonuses available to players.
A sign up bonus is an incentive that online casinos offer new players to get them to sign up and play for real money. It is usually offered in the form of free money, bonus money, free spins, and more. The sign up bonus is used as a marketing tool by online casinos to promote themselves and bring in new customers, thereby increasing their player base and building their brand.
Sign-up bonuses are extremely popular because there is nothing like a juicy bonus to use when you visit a casino for the first time. Of course, there are many who may not want to use the sign up bonus because of the terms attached to them, especially if they come with a high wagering requirement. Most casinos have a provision that allows you to play without using the sign up bonus; all you have to do after signing up is inform the casino that you do not want to use it.
Also, some sign up bonuses are not available to players of specific countries. And a lot of casinos also have restrictions on the use of sign up bonuses depending on a variety of factors, including the use of certain kinds of payment methods.
When you sign up with an online casino, you get one of two kinds of sign up bonuses. They are:
The no deposit sign up bonus is a unique bonus that you get only at select online casinos. It is offered the moment you open an account for real money play with the casino: you do not even have to deposit funds into your new casino account to get and use this bonus. Effectively, this is a free offering that casinos offer as a token of their appreciation for signing up with them.
There are basically 3 main types of no deposit bonuses:
This bonus gives you a limited amount of free cash or casino credits that you can use to play for real money. The amount offered is usually small, anywhere between R50 and R300, and you can use it to play the games of your choice.
This bonus applies only to slots. You get a specific number of free spins the moment you sign up with the casino. The free spins can be used to play a single game that the casino is promoting or a bunch of them; the games covered by this bonus are listed out by the casino usually.
This is a unique no deposit bonus that gives you a large amount of free cash or credits, with a catch: you have to use it up within a given time period, usually 60 minutes. The amount offered is usually anywhere between R5000 and R25000. Any bonus cash that is left over after the expiry of the time period is rendered unusable. Some casinos give you the option of resetting the time period back to the beginning to give you another shot at picking up some good ones. But if you choose to use this option you would lose any winnings you may have picked up till that point in time.
There are many advantages that the no deposit casino offers:
There are a few things about the no deposit bonus that you should know. This bonus, like all other bonuses, has its own set of terms and conditions. These are incorporated to ensure players are not able to abuse the bonus. The terms and conditions include, among others:
The most common of all sign up bonuses at online casinos accepting South African players, and indeed any online casino across the world, is the deposit bonus. As the term indicates, this bonus is available to use the moment you open an account with a casino and make your first deposit.
The moment you make your first deposit into your casino account, the casino matches the amount you deposited with a deposit of its own. The amount that the casino offers as bonus is usually a percentage of the deposit amount, e.g. 100%. Also, most casinos have an upper limit to the amount they will match the deposit with; e.g. a 100% match bonus up to R3,000.
The deposit sign up bonus is usually a matching amount, but some casinos also add an additional incentive in the form of free spins. So you could potentially get two bonuses wrapped into one. And if there is a no deposit bonus thrown in as well, that is a lot of bonuses to start off with!
Another thing to know: while a number of casinos offer the deposit sign up bonus on your first deposit, there are also some that offer it across multiple deposits, e.g. your first 4 deposits. That is great incentive to deposit not just the once but 4 times over and continue playing, because you get a matching bonus with each deposit. Some casinos offer a combination of a deposit bonus and free spins as the sign up bonus.
So how do you claim your sign up bonus at an online casino? The sign up bonus is usually available the moment you make your first deposit. The casino informs you of the availability of the bonus through a message in a pop-up box that appears on your computer screen. Some casinos may inform you about the sign up bonus being available through e-mail. And some casinos may require you to get in touch with the support team to get the bonus activated.
Another way that a sign up bonus can be claimed is by using a bonus code. This is a code that the casino offers to players as they fill up their registration form. Some casinos may also offer it through affiliate sites. Some of the review portals and repositories work out exclusive deals with the casino that gives a new player higher sign up bonuses if they use the bonus code provided. Once you enter the bonus code in the allotted field, the sign up bonus becomes active for use.
One of the most important terms and conditions that you have to fulfil to be able to redeem winnings from the sign up bonus is the wagering requirement. This is just one of the multiple terms and conditions that are associated not just with the sign up bonus but practically every other bonus available. The wagering requirement is the casino’s way of ensuring players do not rip them off by opening multiple accounts, availing the sign up bonus, and cashing out.
The way the wagering requirement works is simple: you need to wager a multiple of the bonus available a specific number of times. The number of times it has to be wagered is determined by the casino. At some casinos the wagering requirement covers only the sign up bonus amount.
But there are casinos where the wagering requirement covers not just the bonus amount but also the amount you deposited. So if you deposited R300 and received a 100% match bonus of R300 from the casino, and there was a 35x wagering requirement, you would effectively need to wager R600 x 35, i.e. R21000 to be able to redeem your winnings from this bonus.
So when choosing an online casino to play at, checking out the wagering requirements is very important. It will be easier to play at a casino with a 35x wagering requirement than at one with a 60x wagering requirement, for instance.