Casinos regularly offer a variety of promotions to entice new gamblers in and reward existing players for ongoing activity. We explore the basics of the two sides below.
With plenty of casinos to choose from, they often try to entice new players in with a selection of no deposit bonuses. Free spins and credits are tied to specific slots and games, allowing for a modest sum (often $20-50) to be wagered with zero risk. Free money is a little less common but comes with much more flexibility.
In addition, newly signed up players can often benefit from deposit matching bonuses (either separately or alongside the promotions mentioned above). These involve the casino matching, up to a certain maximum, the initial deposit(s) a player makes. Sometimes the rate exceeds 100%, so for every dollar deposited the casino puts in more than a dollar.
Once a casino has you signed up they're keen to keep you. Promotions aimed at current gamblers are numerous. Monthly/reload bonuses allow players to claim rewards such as free spins as a reward for loyalty. Certain payment method bonuses may also be offered, such as matching (up to a ceiling and at a given percentage) additional deposits made.
A free promotion that players are often automatically enrolled in is a loyalty program. This allows a player to accumulate points as they gamble. Get enough points and a player can exchange them for cashback, or get entered into prize draws. High roller bonuses can include extra benefits from multi-tier loyalty programs. Gambling more frequently and with higher sums means rising up the different tiers, with the best prizes only available at the top tier. Fantastic vacations, sports tickets, and straight up cash prizes can be won.
Promotions to reward players who refer a friend are another way to get a bonus. When a referred friend signs up and/or makes their first deposit, the referring player gets a small sum deposited in their own account.
No deposit promotions can be pretty tempting, as they offer a risk-free way to bet (whether you're a first time gambler or just want to take advantage of the opportunity). However, they usually come with wagering requirements (for example, 30 times the value of the bonus has to be wagered before a withdrawal can be made), reducing the odds of finishing ahead.
If you're gambling anyway, a loyalty program is a chance to get a free bonus for something you'd be doing in any event. But it's worth remembering that the more you gamble, the more you're likely to lose, as the casino always has the edge. Deposit match promotions are nice, but come with ceilings when receiving them and wagering requirements when withdrawing.
It may depend how much money you have, with smaller gamblers benefiting more from new player promotions and bigger gamblers getting more out of loyalty programs and deposit matching.
Both new and current player promotions have much to recommend them, such as risk-free betting and a freebie for something the player would be doing anyway. There are lots of promotions out there, so don't be afraid to shop around for what seems best.