What to look out for in Canadian casino bonuses

Canadian gambling industry makes a lot of profit

Online casino bonuses have become ubiquitous among online casino sites. It is one of the best ways to attract new players or to keep existing players engaged with the online casino site. And while many casino bonuses have similarities there are differences based on the location and customer gambling habits. In this article, we will go through the different Canadian casino bonuses and also discuss how to find the best casino bonuses in Canada. It is important to note that these bonuses are not available to Ontario residents.

Here I will go through the different terms included in casino bonuses, describe what each one means, and give you examples of each.

Casino Bonus Terms

When you analyze any casino bonuses it is important to take into consideration a number of terms and casino bonuses before deciding whether the bonus is worth it or not. Let’s go over the most important terms below. We will use the below welcome bonus as an example. In the descriptions below we will present the relevant part of the welcome bonus or the bonus terms.

Example Welcome bonus

This is a screenshot of the welcome bonus of the slotbox casino for the article review

100% Deposit match bonus up to $1000 and 100 Free spins.

Terms: New Player Welcome Bonuses will only be offered on your first four (4) deposits. Max bonus awarded for each deposit is $250. Players must deposit a minimum of $10. The deposit bonuses can be claimed within 7 days after registration. Players need to wager the first four Welcome bonuses 40 times before they can withdraw the Bonus or any winnings gained from them. Bonuses are valid for a maximum of 14 days from the date of being credited. Wagering requirements must be met within 14 days, if not the bonus and any potential winnings will be forfeited. 50 Free Spins will be instantly credited upon qualifying deposit. The remaining spins will be awarded 10 per day for 5 days. Free spins are awarded on Starburst. All Free Spins are valid for 7 days.


Example: 100% Deposit match bonus up to $1000 and 100 Free spins.

In our example, the bonus money amount is up to $1000. What is important to keep in mind when looking at the amount is that you need to understand if the amount is split into different bonus amounts, the wagering, and any time limits. Sometimes just having the highest amount does not mean it is the best casino bonus if you only have a few days to complete the wagering, or if the requirements are too high.


Casino Bonuses usually have time limits. Your deposit bonus will have a time limit for you to take up before it expires. You will also have a limited amount of time to use the bonus and to play through your wagering requirement. If the validity of the bonus money and the bonus spins are too low then it would also make the bonus less enticing. In our example, you can claim the bonus within 7 days, the wagering requirements have to be completed in 14 days and the free spins are also valid for 7 days.


The percentage amount in the welcome bonus shows how much the online casino will match your deposit amount. A 100% deposit match bonus, as in our example, means the casino will give you a 1:1 match on your deposit amount. Anything less than 100% means that they will only match a part of your deposit while over 100% is more than your deposit amount.


It is also important to check whether there is a minimum amount to deposit in order to qualify for the bonus. If you do not meet this minimum deposit amount you will not be eligible for the bonus. In our example, the minimum deposit amount is $10. Anything less than that amount will not allow you to claim the bonus money.


Some online casinos only allow you to play your bonus or free spins on specific slot games. In our example, the bonus spins are valid only for Starburst.

How to Activate a Canadian Casino Bonus

Once you have found the best bonuses at your chosen online casino you will need to activate the bonus. This is a simple process and only means you need to register a new account with the online casino and make the required deposit amount.

Within Canada, you will need to complete a registration form and verify your account. You can then make a deposit using your chose payment method. One more thing you need to be aware of is that sometimes online casinos require you to use a bonus code in order to activate a bonus. If you do not use the bonus code you will not get the bonus. It is also important to note whether you need to use the code before or after you make your deposit.

Once you make your deposit your deposit bonus should be available. There are a few online casinos out there that might require you to wager your deposit a few times before they award the bonus funds, but that is not very common.

What are wagering requirements? ARE WAGERING REQUIREMENTS?

As I mentioned earlier in this article, all bonuses come with wagering requirements. This is the only way the online casino prevents players from getting free cash. Wagering can vary between something as low as 30 times to as high as 70 times. Wagering is usually on the bonus amount but sometimes it can also be on the bonus amount plus the deposit amount, which can make it very cumbersome. To return to our original example, the total bonus amount in the welcome bonus is $1000 and the wagering requirements were 40 times the bonus amount. If you take up the entire bonus amount, this means that your wagering would need to total $40,000. This means that you would need to turnover that amount of money before your bonus funds and any bonus winnings convert into real cash.

Wager-Free Bonuses

Very occasionally, you’ll come across wager-free bonuses. They are very uncommon and most of the time the related bonus amount will be minimal. Usually, the way they work is that they allow you to play certain casino games and any winnings from this are real money and you can withdraw it immediately.

Popular Casino Games to play with a Casino Bonus

When you have seen as many casino bonuses as I have you will quickly realize that most online casinos offer bonuses on a select amount of casino games. This is usually because the games are very popular, easy to play or have a high engagement value. Below is a small selection of very popular slot games that are usually part of a welcome bonus offer.

Book of Dead

This is a picture of the game Book of dead for the article top 5 slot games that every Canadian loves to play

This is a very popular online slot game from Play’n Go which has an Egyptian theme. The game is very popular as it offers some very good payouts even though they do not land very often.


Starburst is one of the most popular online slots in the world. NetEnt released this game all the way back in 2013 but it is still a very popular game. This is an amazing game for new casino slot players because it offers constant low-value wins which keep your bankroll intact. It also does not have any really high payouts so online casinos love it too since it will not cost them a lot of money.

This is a screenshot of the Starburst slot game

Gonzo’s Quest

This Spanish conquistador-themed game was also released by NetEnt and was the first slot game to have the cascading reels function. Any reels that form a winning combination disappear from the reels and new symbols drop from above and fall into their place. Theoretically, you could keep landing multiple wins from just one spin. This feature was quickly copied by a number of different game providers, but Gonzo’s Quest was the first.

A screenshot of Gonzo's Quest base game

Mega Moolah

This is an online progressive jackpot slot game which has been nicknamed the Millionaire Maker. Since its release, there have been over 65 different winners of the Mega Jackpot. The latest winner, at the time of writing, was a lucky Canadian player who won over $5,00,000 in September 2022.

A screenshot of the Mega Moolah base game

Final Thoughts

There is always a lot to keep in mind when it comes to online casino bonuses but once you understand all the terminology around bonuses you’ll quickly be able to tell whether an online bonus is worth it or not. If you would like more information about casino bonuses you can check out our Casino Bonus Breakdown videos on YouTube. In those videos, I take a very close look at a specific casino bonus and the terms around the bonus and give my opinion on whether I think it is a decent bonus or not. We have a lot of resources focused on casino bonuses on the rest of the site.

About the Author

Michael Vella

Michael has worked in media and publishing for the last 20 years. His first jobs in online publishing were at online tech sites focusing on Microsoft Networking, Security all the way through SaaS and Cloud technologies. In 2016 he started his online gambling journey and since then has worked at Betsafe, Royal Panda, and STS before joining the iBet Network team.

He has also worked as a freelance writer for a number of newspapers and magazines and has interviewed dozens of local authors and celebrities. For seven years he was also the Co-Editor of Shlock Magazine, an online magazine of short fiction.