Best Online Casino Bonuses 2022
Legal and regulated online casinos in this country often will offer a variety of promotions and bonuses to entice you to play. Such promos might help you turn nothing into something, or just let you try out an online casino without risking your own money, at least to start with.
Options include free spins, risk-free play, deposit matching bonuses and money just for creating an account. Which of these casino promos is the best? To at least some extent, it depends on what you’re looking for. Keep reading to learn more.
Top casino bonuses in your state
Best online casino sign up bonus for US players
We signed up at BetMGM Casino in West Virginia, which means we got a bonus of $50 in free play for signing up, a 100% matching bonus based on our first deposit (maximum of $2,500), and 50 free spins on the Bellagio Fountains of Fortune online slot.
Add it up, and it’s a bigger maximum in terms of bonus funds than you’ll find elsewhere, even Caesars and Golden Nugget. The overall maximum and value are smaller in other states where BetMGM offers its online casino: $25 when you sign up plus 100% up to $1,000.
We signed up at Caesars in Michigan, which means we qualified for a welcome bonus of a 100% deposit matching bonus up to $2,000. It would have been 200% up to $200 in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and 24-hour loss insurance up to $500 in West Virginia. It’s almost as big as a bonus gets and certainly comparable to what BetMGM is doing.
Golden Nugget Casino
Golden Nugget provided $10 in bonus cash the minute we signed up, along with a 100% deposit matching bonus of up to $1,500 and 200 free spins on 88 Fortunes once we got going. The 200 free spins are more than BetMGM is offering in West Virginia, and all told the Nugget’s welcome bonus felt as substantial as any. There’s just a 10x playthrough requirement at Golden Nugget if you play slots, but that requirement does apply to the amount you deposit plus the bonus you receive.
DraftKings Casino had a $60 bonus when we signed up, along with another $25 after we made a deposit. Along with that deposit is a 100% matching bonus, up to $2,000. The playthrough requirement on that, however, is 15x the deposit plus the bonus amount, so a little bit steeper than Golden Nugget’s.
FanDuel Casino welcomed us with a “play it again” bonus, which promises a refund in site credit up to $1,000 to cover any net losses after 24 hours. It also provided $100 in site credit after we made a deposit and started playing. This seemed like a great deal even compared to potentially bigger bonuses at BetMGM, DraftKings and Caesars, particularly because all we had to do was lose to get it, and we know we’re good at that. It’s one of the biggest casino bonuses in PA.
BetRivers’ welcome bonus looked small at first, but then we experienced how easy it is to clear and realized it is still a quality value. The offer was $250 in free play on a first deposit of $50. Sure, it’s a smaller maximum than the bonus at BetMGM, Caesars and the rest of the above, but the 1X play through requirement is the best.
Online casino bonuses at sweepstakes casinos
Regulation is rolling out piecemeal as states regulate their new online casinos. If you live outside of the currently regulated states, you can play slots and limited table games at sweepstakes casinos. They use laws designed for free-to-play sweepstakes draws or games and use them to offer casino games where you can win real prizes.
There are offers available at sweepstakes sites, including LuckyLand Slots, Chumba Casino and the FunzPoints Casino app. You can get free play (and you can win real prizes with it) and enjoy promotions tied to social media.
Sweepstakes casinos stay legal by not directly selling you chips that you can use on games. You buy play-money-only chips and receive redeemable chips as a “free” gift. Many slots have jackpots, and if you win, you can exchange your chips for prizes.
You can find out more about the sweepstakes casino model and the types of games at these sites on our sweepstakes casinos page.
The different types of casino bonuses and how they work
As you can see, real money online casino welcome bonuses take a variety of forms. Here is a rundown of the basics:
The deposit match: The online casino matches your initial deposit up to a certain amount with bonus money you can unlock by meeting certain wagering requirements.
Best casino for deposit match: BetMGM
Risk-free betting: The online casino will refund any losses you incur up to a specific amount and during a certain time period, which is usually your first 24 hours or week on the site.
Best casino for risk-free betting: FanDuel
Free spins: With a free spins bonus, online casinos will let you spin a select slot or slots for free a set number of times. Anything you win is yours, unless there are wagering requirements you need to meet first.
Best casino for free spins: Golden Nugget
The no deposit bonus: Bonus money to play with just for signing up. While no deposit bonuses are usually small and you can’t just withdraw the money immediately, they let you try the online casino without risking your own funds.
Best no deposit bonus casino: DraftKings
The reload bonus: Like the deposit match, but this ain’t your first rodeo. The online casino matches your latest deposit up to a certain amount with bonus money you can convert to real money by meeting wagering requirements.
Cash back: Based on your wagering, receive a set percentage back. Often part of a loyalty or rewards program.
Rewards program: Earn points by playing and redeem them for various rewards, like cash back, free play and gifts. Some programs are also part of brick-and-mortar casino loyalty programs, allowing you to earn online and redeem at various locations, if you wish. Caesars and BetMGM are known for their outstanding casino rewards programs.
How to decide which casino bonus is right for you
We could just say the bigger the bonus the better, but that’s not always true. You need to dig deeper to decide if a bonus is right for you.
You’ll want to know how easy it is to meet the wagering requirements, what it takes to do so, and if you can clear it by playing the games you like to play. Otherwise, it may offer little or no value to you.
Different bonuses are good for different players, depending on factors like gameplay tendencies and how big a deposit you generally make. Free spins are good for everybody, especially if you like to play slots, while deposit matches are better for players who make bigger deposits and play enough to meet the play through requirements.
Just make sure to read all the terms and conditions to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Plus, remember that playthrough requirements may be different for table games than slots, so pay attention to that if you’re a blackjack or other table games player, and make sure you choose a bonus that gives you at least a chance at clearing it.
Understanding playthrough requirements
Online casino bonuses almost always come with wagering requirements. These requirements force you to play through the bonus a certain number of times before the casino releases it to you or you can make a withdrawal. If a bonus has a 10x wagering requirement, you need to make ten times that amount in bets to get your hands on it.
Another important thing to note is that some wagering requirements apply that multiplier to the amount of the bonus you received, and others apply it to the amount of your deposit plus the bonus. Obviously, the first one is preferable.
The terms and conditions will spell out how many times you must bet a bonus amount before it is truly yours, what games you need to play to meet that requirement, and if some games count a smaller percentage toward clearing the bonus than others. They will also let you know if you can release a bonus in increments or if it’s all or nothing.
The fine print of casino bonuses
Always read the fine print. In other words, plow through every bit of any online casino bonus’s terms and conditions. These will tell you what the wagering requirements are and how you can meet them. Plus, they will spell out any restrictions on things like withdrawals while you’re attempting to clear a bonus.
Some online casinos won’t let you take out your initial deposit without meeting the bonus requirement or giving up on it first, for instance.
Why use the bonus offers at PlayUSA?
PlayUSA sometimes has access to exclusive bonuses you can’t find elsewhere. It’s also the kind of place that’s transparent about what you need to do to claim these bonuses. We only promote legal and regulated online casinos and the bonuses they offer. Plus, we keep our information up to date.
Of course, we also review the online casinos that meet our criteria based on a multi-step process that includes a look at available bonuses and the true value each one offers. Our editorial staff has previous experience working in the online casino industry and battling it out for these bonuses on the online casino streets.
In short, we’re here, we’ve been here for quite a while, we’re doing the legwork, and because of all that, you can trust what we say about the latest online casino bonuses. Read more about how we rate casinos and our editorial guidelines.