The advances in digital technology over the past ten years have led to substantial developments in the online casino industry. Nowadays, most major operators offer welcome bonuses to lure players to their sites and get them to sign up as members.
If you’re a Kiwi player just starting out when it comes to online gambling, we’ve put together this handy guide that will tell you all you need to know about NZ casino welcome bonuses and how they work. Read on to get the full low-down.
While this is not the most common of bonuses out there, we still feel it’s worth mentioning. Some online casinos will offer you a no deposit bonus, which put simply, means bonus cash in your account without having to put in any of your own cash. All you’ll need to do in order to receive this type of bonus is sign up for a new account on the casino website by filling out a generic form and hey presto, the bonus money will be credited to your account within a few hours. As a general rule, no deposit bonuses range from around $10 to $20 and is a great way to try out what a certain online casino has to offer without putting any of your own hard-earned cash at risk.
This bonus is sometimes referred to as a registration or first-deposit bonus and is definitely the major bonus offered by most operators. As the name suggests, new players will be required to register for an account and then receive the bonus upon making their first deposit, which must usually be at least $10 or more. Sign up bonuses are offered as a percentage match on your deposit, and may double, triple or sometimes even be up to 4 times your cash (eg. 100% bonus up to $200, 200% bonus up to $400, 400% bonus up to $800)
Free spins are another common form of the online casino welcome bonus, only instead of matching your deposit with cash, free spins allow you to spin the reels on some of an operator’s slot games for free. They may essentially be described as free play on slot games and the great thing about free spins is that any winnings you make using them are yours to keep. Free spins are generally distributed in batches of 10 or more, with some operators offering up to 100 free spins as a welcome bonus to new players. If you love spinning the reels on those slots, then there’s no denying that online casinos who give out free spins are the ones you should be looking for.
As you may have realised by now, welcome bonuses do indeed come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Another common feature of many online casinos is to offer new players a welcome package rather than just a single bonus. This package would generally include bonuses on your first, second and third deposits (sometimes going all the way up to the 6th!) and possibly in combination with batches of free spins too. Once again, this is a huge incentive for players looking for a new online casino to try out, since you would be getting multiple bonuses and more bang for your buck.
This is one for the fat cats, the high rollers, the players who can afford to raise the stakes and watch them pay off. Certain operators offer specific high roller bonuses which only may be claimed if you deposit over a minimum amount, usually in the hundreds. While the minimum deposit amount for this bonus is high, it usually pays off for those players who can afford it since the bonus itself will be high enough to match your deposit.
Sign up bonuses in the form of cashback can be super convenient for many players who prefer to have some form of insurance. In fact, unlike the other bonuses mentioned above, cashback bonuses literally give players a percentage (usually around 5-30%) of their wagers back on any losses made while playing at the online casino. They are usually valid on table games and live games, rather than slots and credited to your casino account over a specific period of time, usually monthly or weekly. The only disadvantage to cash back bonuses is that you can only claim it on losses made and not on any wins.
Naturally, welcome bonuses are not set in stone and operators are known to change them up once in while. This is especially the case when it comes to high season promotional periods such as Christmas, Easter, or St.Patrick’s Day, where special promotional welcome bonuses are offered to entice new players at this time of the year when people tend to have more free time on their hands. Promotional welcome bonuses may also be offered to mark the start of a new season (summer/winter), to celebrate a special event (the World Cup, the Oscars) or to boost the launch of a new game on the website.
The developments in mobile technology over the past decade have led to some significant changes in the online casino industry. Nowadays, most major online casinos have fully optimised their platforms to be accessible from smartphone and tablet devices too. This has led to operators realising that many players actually prefer gaming from their mobile rather than desktop pc and hence they now offer specific mobile welcome bonuses for those who choose to log in and play from the smaller screens.
Certain operators also offer welcome bonuses on sports betting too when this option is provided on their platform along with regular casino games. Sportsbook welcome bonuses usually come in the form of free bets and these can be highly lucrative for sports fans who want to try their luck and place some wagers on their favourite sporting events.
With the rise of e-wallets and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, some online casinos offer additional bonuses depending on the payment method used for deposits and withdrawals. Since these payment methods generally do not include the fees imposed by credit card companies, operators prefer their members to make use of them which is why depositing via an e-wallet or cryptocurrency could be more worth your while.
Reload bonuses can best be described as the opposite of a welcome bonus since they are offered to returning players who make another deposit on an online casino website. This type of bonus is generally smaller than a welcome bonus but still worth claiming, if you plan on sticking to one site.
Unfortunately, wagering requirements are part and parcel of accepting an online casino welcome bonus and there is no real way of getting around them. For the uninitiated, they refer to the terms and conditions surrounding bonuses, more specifically, how many times you will be required to play through your winnings before you will be allowed to withdraw them. Wagering requirements usually range anywhere from 10 to 50 times your bonus money or winnings and vary from one operator to another. The lower the wagering requirements are the better as this means that you will have less to play through and therefore quicker access to your winnings.
As common as wagering requirements may be, there are some operators out there who want to make players’ lives a bit easier by offering wager-free welcome bonuses and free spins. Yes, you read that right: some online casinos provide bonuses that come with no strings attached ie. no pesky wagering requirements to play through! Naturally, this is a massive benefit as it means that you will be to withdraw any winnings you make immediately. While we do admit that these operators are somewhat of a rare occurrence, we hope that more online casinos will follow suit by offering wager-free bonuses in the near future.
A note of advice when it comes to welcome bonuses is to go through the fine print carefully before opting in. The first thing to check would be the wagering requirements attached to them but also for how long the bonus will be valid for example. If these points aren’t listed clearly on the site, be sure to contact a customer support representative to clarify anything.
Kiwi players looking for online casino welcome bonuses are in for a treat as nowadays, there’s a wide array of operators who cater for the New Zealand market. Whereas before most online gambling was limited to European countries, operators have since broken into a variety of markets all over the world including the US, Australia and New Zealand too. What’s more, you’ll be able to claim a unique welcome bonus that’s only offered in your country. Hence all you pokie fans out there need not worry – there’s a welcome bonus out there with your name on it, just waiting to be snapped up!
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