We look at how no deposit bonuses or zero deposit bonuses are becoming increasingly popular. A free offer from a casino always sounds good.

Last Updated: September 22, 2023

Online Casino Zero Deposit Bonuses

Online casinos’ no deposit bonuses or zero deposit bonuses are also becoming increasingly popular. Even for a rich player, a free offer from a casino always sounds good. And what really makes them tick, is you get to learn how to gamble, without spending your money.

Gambling revenues hit $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021 in the US alone, and they may exceed $43.6 billion by December 31. That indicates how much money players are spending gambling, or how fast online casinos are growing.

With that in mind, players may want to spend these zero deposit bonuses or the bonuses with low wagering requirements, before spending their own funds.

However, there are a number of things that you should know about no deposit bonuses, to avoid getting disappointed. Read on to discover the “ins and outs” of free online casino bonuses.

What is a No Deposit or Zero Deposit Bonus?

Zero Deposit Bonuses like any other free stuff from a business, benefits players and the online casinos alike. However, since it’s an expense for the casinos, casinos offer these no deposit bonuses discriminately.

No Deposit or Zero Deposit Bonuses are bonuses that new players get for registering an account with a casino. These bonuses can be used to play real money games, and players can use them to play and win real money.

Some casinos use these bonuses to popularize new game titles among existing players. In other cases, they are used to activate dormant accounts, by drawing the player’s attention back to the casino.

Once players receive these bonuses, they are required to adhere to certain wagering requirements. Players aren’t obligated to follow all the requirements. However, if they don’t, the casino may choose to withhold the bonus winnings.

For instance, using the bonus winnings to play certain games may invalidate any winnings the player gets after that. In other cases, a player must wager a certain amount of their own funds, before they can withdraw their winnings.

With that in mind, it’s best to read the small print when it comes to using the Zero Deposit Bonuses.

How to Use Zero Deposit Bonuses

You can use zero deposit bonuses to learn how to play a new game, or just to familiarize yourself with a casino’s platform. Because of the strict wagering requirements, you shouldn’t use the bonuses with an intention to win big!

For players vulnerable to problem gambling, we don’t recommend that you mix your bonus wagers with your deposits. For many players, that often happens in an attempt to recoup bonus losses, or to fulfill bonus wagering requirements.

Topping up your account while the free bonus is still active may tie your deposits to the bonus. If you do, some online casinos may withhold any winnings you get, until you meet their Zero deposit bonuses requirements.

Types of Zero Deposit Bonuses

For casinos that offer players the zero deposit funds bonuses, here are some of the different deposits they frequently offer. You can easily identify them because they don’t require you to deposit funds to access them.

No Deposit cash Bonus

This is the most common free bonus that a casino will award a player to register an account with them. While players get real cash, the wagering requirements are strict as we mentioned above.

The goal of this bonus is to retain the player for as long as possible. Moreover, the player is only allowed to use it on certain games. That restricts players to games they might not find thrilling.

And in a way, that forces online casinos players to fund their account to play some of the popular titles. But you can still win real money with it.

Zero Deposit Free Spins

These are popular with slot games, and can be awarded at any time. Players can get them when opening an account, after wagering a certain amount, or after playing for a certain period of time.

Some online casinos also award them on special days, such as on the player’s birthday. To activate these free spins, a player can use a free spin code, or they may get a screen prompt to click on.

Unlike the zero deposit bonuses, the free spin deposit is applicable to slots only. However, players can still win real money with a free spin bonus. And most casinos don’t place wagering requirements on their winnings.

No Deposit Time-bound Free Spins

These are free spins that must be used within a specific period. They usually last for periods of up to 72 hours, after which the online casino can withdraw them without notice. Casinos don’t usually attach wagering requirements to this bonus.

What to Keep in Mind When Using Zero Deposit Bonuses

You may have seen a couple of negative reviews about online casinos that withhold bonus winnings. That occurs when they choose to use the bonuses without reading its terms and conditions. These terms are often found on the bonus notification page, or on the bonus coupon activation page.

Wagering Requirements

You should find out if the zero deposit bonus you are about to activate has any wagering requirements. You can then decide whether you are in a position to meet those requirements.

Often, it’s not a big deal if you don’t. The worst the casino can do is to withhold your winnings. For some players though, this can be a problem, such as when they win after using their funds along with the bonus funds.

Overall, you should make sure you read a casino’s bonus wagering requirements, before you activate its bonus.

Capped Winnings

As you may have expected, you cannot win astronomical amounts, if you wager with no deposit bonuses. It’s possible that you can wager $10 zero deposit bonus funds, and win say $50,000, and online casinos know that too.

However, that can easily bankrupt casinos, so casinos often cap bonus winnings to amounts that are less than $400. Overall, online casinos don’t offer players zero deposit funds to make them rich. They offer them to attract new or dormant players, or popularize new titles.

Limited Games

Some games have higher Return to Player (RTP) amounts compared to others. Casinos tend to limit how much such games contribute towards the wagering requirements of the free bonus funds.

For instance, a game with a 97% RTP may contribute 20% towards the wagering requirement of a free or zero deposit bonus. However, one with an RTP of say 95% can earn a play though contribution of as high as 40%.

Minimum Withdrawal Amounts

Online casinos often place limits on how much you can withdraw. In turn that places a limit on the minimum amount you can withdraw from your zero deposit bonus winnings. This can mean that you often don’t get to withdraw your bonus winnings.

So if you win say $10, and the minimum withdrawal amount is $50, then you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings. That may then force you to keep wagering your winnings, and eventually lose them. Unfortunately, that often happens before you attain the minimum withdrawal limit.

Conclusion – Is No Deposit Bonus Legit?

A zero deposit bonus or no deposit bonus is a legit bonus that online casinos offer new or existing dormant players. Players can win real money with these free bonuses, but they have to meet certain requirements to withdraw those winnings.

For gamblers, the biggest reward for using these free bonuses is to enjoy playing or learning online casino games, without spending money. We recommend that you take advantage of these free bonuses, to have as much fun as possible.

Casinos on the part get to benefit from getting new memberships to increase their market share, as well as to introduce new titles, with a minimal marketing budget.

About the Author

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Dave is a gambling enthusiast who boasts 25+ years of experience. His writings not only unravel the intricacies of online casino games but also explore the psychology behind betting. Dave's commitment to responsible gambling shines through, making every wager a mindful choice for players seeking a thrilling yet balanced gaming experience.