There’s a lot of pressure on casino bosses when it comes to welcome bonuses. More often than not, the casino welcome bonus, also called a first deposit bonus, is the deciding factor when choosing where to play.
With so many options available to players in Canada, you may wonder what the best first deposit bonus for you is. That’s where Casino Select is on hand. Our expert team has combed through all the online casinos that legally accept players from Canada to bring you the top offers. All you have to do is compare – select – and sign up to claim one.
Finding the best first deposit bonuses
For new players seeking their first welcome bonus, it’s easy to be swayed by the larger monetary amount and think that those are the more generous bonuses. After all, 100% up to $500 sounds better than 100% up to $200.
However, the trick to finding the best first deposit bonus is to look through the terms and conditions. This will reveal the bonus’ actual value, and more importantly, the likelihood of you making a profit from it. We’ve already explored the terms of the first deposit bonus offers on our list, and although there are differences between them, each offer is fair and in-line with industry averages.
How they work
Most casino welcome bonuses are matched deposit offers. Besides loading up your account from the off, they are straight forward to claim, too. Their simplicity is most certainly an advantage for new players who are unfamiliar with how they work. For guidance, we’ve outlined the steps required to get your hands on a first deposit bonus of your own.
- Compare the casinos on our list and select a favourite.
- Use our quick links to take you to the casino’s bonus page.
- Create your account. If you have a bonus code, insert when prompted.
- Go to the cashier and make your first deposit.
- Once your account has real money funds, the casino releases your bonus.
- Enjoy your favourite games.
To come away with a profit from the bonus, you must clear the wagering requirements. See below for more details on what that means.
Other terms and conditions
As well as the wagering requirements, first deposit bonuses come with other need-to-know terms and conditions. These include:
The first time limit to observe is how long do you have to claim the first deposit offer from the time of registration. Between 7 and 14 days is around the average, but it depends on the casino you are playing at.
Another time limit applies to how long you have to use the bonus and clear the wagering requirements. Most sites allow 30 days, but you may find offers with shorter or longer time limits. As a player, you want to ensure you have ample time to use the bonus. There’s no point in claiming a $500 first deposit offer with 40x play-through if you only have 3 days to complete the requirements.
Several first deposit offers have payment method restrictions. Typically, e-Wallets and some prepaid cards are excluded. As such, if you use one of these methods to fund your account, you cannot claim the bonus.
Although the best first deposit bonuses are more flexible than free spins promotions, there will still be some restricted games you are unable to play with bonus funds. Each casino has its own rules, but live dealer games and progressive jackpot slots are regular exclusions.
Also in the small print is information about the maximum bet limit when using your first deposit bonus. This is normally $5, but check the terms at the casino where you play. Casinos impose these limits to make it more difficult to clear the wagering requirements. Additionally, you may not be warned in advance if your wager exceeds the bet limit, only to find out later that you’ve invalidated the T&Cs.
Win limits are more often associated with free spins bonuses, but you may find some first deposit offers which include them too. It’s something you need to look for in the terms and conditions. Alongside the wagering requirements, win limits help determine the value of a bonus. For instance, there’s not much value in claiming a $100 bonus if the win limit is only $100.
How wagering requirements work
With a first deposit bonus, the wagering requirements (also termed playthrough or rollover requirements) work in one of two ways. For some offers, the wagering requirement is based on the bonus amount only, whereas others use the deposit amount plus the bonus amount. This does make a big difference in the value of the bonus.
- 100% up to $200 – the wagering requirement is 40x bonus amount. You deposit to $200, and get $200 in bonus funds. Total wagering is 40 x $200 = $8,000.
- 100% up to $200 – the wagering requirement is 25x deposit + bonus amount. You deposit to $200, and get $200 in bonus funds. Total wagering is 25 x ($200 + $200) = $10,000.
At a glance, 25x appears more appealing than 40x, but when you look at the finer details, you can see that this isn’t the case. Now that you know what to look for, and how to calculate the total wagering, you’ll always get the best first deposit bonuses.
How we find the best welcome offers
Like everything, finding the best welcome offers is easy once you know what to look for. However, the best offer for you may not be the best offer for another player. This is why Casino Select provides a wide range of top-quality first deposit bonuses for you to choose between.
These are the factors that we consider when picking the best welcome bonuses for our website.
- Payment restrictions – For some deposit bonuses, there are restrictions on the payment methods you can use.; for instance, Paypal or Paysafe card deposits are ineligible. This is rarely an issue in Canada, unlike some other countries, but it’s still something we double-check.
- Minimum deposit – A minimum deposit amount will be required to activate the welcome offer. Typically, this is $10 – $20; however, we have seen bonuses requiring $50 or more. We assess the overall fairness of the minimum deposit with the value of the bonus.
- Total wagering requirement – As highlighted above, the total wagering amount is critical to the player. Our team pays close attention to this so that we only provide Canada’s top casino bonuses.
- Game weighting – When clearing wagering requirements, game weighting rules apply. Some games (mainly slots) contribute 100% towards the wagering, whereas others may not contribute at all.
- Expiry dates – How long the bonus is valid for is another thing we review. Certain offers may squeeze you to only a few days, and other bonuses allow up to one month.
- Maximum bet limits – A player can void a bonus by exceeding the casino’s betting limits while the offer is active. Don’t worry; we look into this as well.
All of the first deposit bonus offers promoted on Casino Select Canada are mobile-friendly, so it doesn’t matter which device you use. Several sites also have native iOS and Android casino apps. You can also claim the welcome bonuses through these, too.
While the bonus is the same regardless of the platform, playing on a mobile is more convenient. As long as you have an internet connection, you can enjoy using your first deposit offer anywhere, any time. Furthermore, the latest mobile devices often load games faster than a desktop computer, so you’re not waiting around too long.
The small screen is one of the main disadvantages for mobile gamers, as is the battery life of your device. Although new smartphones and tablets have improved in this area, it’s still a downside. It’s possible to solve this by carrying a powerbank, but this isn’t always convenient.
Also, you need a stable connection, otherwise, you’ll keep getting disconnected (extremely frustrating). For this reason, it’s best to avoid playing if you are traveling (by car or train, for example), as there’s more chance of hitting a signal blackspot.
Canada’s best first deposit bonuses come in various shapes and sizes. Here’s an overview of the most common offers.
The matched deposit bonus is one of the original online casino promotions and it’s still popular today. These are straightforward bonuses in which the casino matches a player’s deposit by a specified percentage up to a maximum value.
An example of a matched deposit bonus is 100% up to $200. If a player deposits $50, the casino gives them another $50 in bonus credit. Players must complete the wagering requirements to convert the bonus credit into real money, which can then be withdrawn.
While not as common as matched deposit bonuses, some casinos use free spins as their first deposit offers. There are a couple of variations for these bonuses. One example is ‘deposit $10 and get 100 free spins’. Of course, there will be terms and conditions to comply with before you can get your hands on your winnings.
Another type of free spins offer could be ‘get 1 free spin for every $1 deposited – up to a maximum of 50 free spins’. The difference between these offers is that there may not be wagering requirements with this bonus, so all winnings are paid as real money.
Matched Deposit + Free Spins
As the online casino market has become more competitive, operators are adding extra perks on their first deposit bonuses. 100% up to $300 + 50 free spins combines the classic matched deposit with some free spins. Both parts of this bonus are usually activated by a single deposit. Terms and conditions will apply.
A few casinos offer first deposit cashback bonuses. There will be a time limit, for example, get up to $1,000 cash back on net losses for the first 24 hours. The countdown will begin when you make your deposit and then you can play risk free. There’s a slight catch in that the cashback is usually paid as ‘site credit’, so this money cannot be withdrawn until it’s been wagered one time.