What is a First Deposit Bonus?

What is a First Deposit Bonus?

In the past 10-15 years, the online gambling industry has grown at an exponential rate. As a result, the competition for consumer dollars has become intense. There are currently more than 1,000 registered and licensed online casinos and sportsbooks that are available to gamblers all over the world. Additionally, there are far too many unlicensed, rather dubious sites as well. For consumers, there are many different factors to consider when choosing a site in which to enlist.

Most casinos use a variety of promotions and bonuses to attract customers. One of the most popular bonus promotions is the "first deposit bonus". This bonus is available for all new customers after they have opened an account with the casino. They are required to make a minimum deposit using one of the available deposit methods provided. Once the first deposit is made, the customer can request the first deposit bonus by entering a bonus code at the time the deposit is initiated, or they can contact customer service and request the bonus directly.

Click for details on choosing an online casino, what is a no deposit bonus and what are wagering requirements?

Types of First Deposit Bonuses

The first deposit bonuses are usually provided through one of several different methods. The most common of those methods is a "matching" deposit. For instance, the customer may decide to deposit $500 USD. The promotion will most likely agree to match that deposit at some pre-determined percentage up to a maximum dollar amount. For sportsbooks, those matching percentages can range from 25%-100% match. Generally, the average percentage seems to be 50%. For casino style gambling, that includes poker and bingo, the matching bonuses tend to be significantly higher, ranging from 100%-500%. The maximum matching amount varies based on the site and their overall policies.

Understanding the Rules & Wagering Requirements

When receiving any type of promotional bonus, it is extremely important for players to read and understand the rules related to the promotion. The rules relating to how those monies can be used are usually very clear. The most difficult rule to understand is commonly referred to as the "rollover requirement". Here is an example of how the wagering requirement works.

If the player deposits $500 USD and receives a 50% match, the site will deposit $250 USD into a "free-bet" or "free-roll" designated account. The player can choose to use those funds to gamble as the rules permit. Before they can ever withdraw any credits associated with the matching funds, they must meet a rollover requirement. If the rollover requirement is 10 times (10X) the matching amount, they will not be allowed to withdraw any funds associated with the match until they have made $2,500 in gross wagers. After they have reached that limit, they are then permitted to withdraw any leftover portions of the promotion. Most policies do not affect the player's ability to withdraw any amounts they previously deposited themselves.

It's always best practice to contact the casino or gaming site prior to depositing to confirm the rules and wagering requirements.

Free Bets

Another popular first deposit bonus is the "free bet". This type of promotion is most commonly associated with a sportsbook. Simply put, the player will be given the opportunity to make a free bet for a specified amount. Sometimes, they are required to bet on a specific event such as the Super Bowl. The wagers are usually restricted to straight bets with no juice involved. If the player wins, the "net" winnings are placed in the player's normal wagering account. There may or may not be a rollover requirement on those funds depending on the rules.


While these are the two most popular bonuses, players may also receive free tournament entries or access to handicapping information. As long as the player understands the rules of the promotion, they should always take advantage of free opportunities. In fact, promotions should be heavily weighted when considering a casino or sportsbook.

Posted by CCJ Team