US Online Casino Deposit Bonuses vs. Free Money Offers: Player Guide US Online Casino Deposit Bonuses vs. Free Money Offers: Player Guide

The US online casino market is booming, and many operators compete for market share and their place under the sun. Free money offers, and deposit bonuses are some of their top marketing tools and major value to the players themselves.

If you are a US casino player looking to play some real money games online, there is a lot of value to find out there — if you know what to look for. But there are a lot of different offers, and many players don’t understand the distinction between free play, no deposit bonus, deposit bonus, and other types of promos being given out.

In this guide, we will clear up any confusion, explain how deposit bonuses and free money offers work, and give you some of the best examples. Keep reading to find out how to get the most value when you play US online casino apps and what terms and conditions you must consider carefully.

We’ll go through

Free Money Offers (“Free Play”) in a Nutshell

Many online casinos in the US offer free money or “free play” to their players. This concept is sometimes misunderstood, and many players think the offers are too good to be true.

At PokerStars Casino, for example, all players who wager at least $1 in real money casino get $100 in free play, spread across six days and the different PokerStars products.

This offer includes a variety of poker tournament tickets and casino bonuses, which are paid into your account every day for a week after you sign up.

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Last verified: May 2024
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On the other hand, BetMGM Casino has a $25 free play offer for all newly signed-up players without any requirements whatsoever.

At BetMGM Casino, you will get $25 to play with, with no strings attached, and you can even cash the money out as soon as you have wagered it in full just once.

Other online casinos have similar offers, with free money with little to no strings attached. However, these offers are usually also relatively small in value and are meant to allow you to test real money games before making a deposit.

Claiming a free money offer is one of the best and easiest ways to give a new online casino a few spins and see how you enjoy playing on a particular site. Learn more in our in-depth player review: US Online Casino Free Money Offers: The Ultimate Guide.

Casino Deposit Bonuses Explained

On the other side of the spectrum are deposit bonuses, casino bonus offers that require you to deposit real money into your account but also provide a lot more value.

A deposit offer at a US online casino will usually match your first deposit by 100%, adding the same amount of cash into your balance that you have deposited.

At Borgata Casino, for example, you can claim a hefty $1000 deposit bonus on your first deposit, which means you will get to play with $2000 if you deposit just $1000.

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Other online casinos offer similar deposit bonus offers, with PokerStars Casino giving $600 in bonus money and BetMGM Casino offering up to $1000 to new players.

It is important to note that deposit bonuses are usually 100% matches of your deposit, which means you can’t get more than you deposit.

For example, if you want to claim the total $1000 deposit bonus at BetMGM Casino, you will need to deposit $1000 of your own money, and you will get to play with $2000 in total.

Wagering Requirements Basics

One key factor to consider when considering a free money offer or a deposit bonus at a US online casino is the wagering requirements associated with the promotion.

Each bonus offer comes with some wagering requirements, which the operators attach to prevent users from claiming the bonus, cashing it out, and never revisiting the site.

While many international casinos have very harsh wagering requirements associated with their bonuses, US online casinos are often quite lenient in this regard.

For example, some bonuses like the BetMGM Casino $1000 deposit match bonus come with wagering requirements of 15x, which is not a walk in the park — but it is not that hard to achieve, either.

At PokerStars Casino, you will need to earn 2 Redemption Points per $1 of your bonus, which means there is a variable wagering requirement, as Redemption Points are earned at a different rate at different games.

In either case, before you claim any free money or deposit bonus offer, make sure you understand the wagering requirements and what’s required of you before you can cash out the funds from your balance.

Which is Better — A Free Money Offer or a Deposit Bonus?

Players often ask if they should look for free money offers or deposit bonuses and the truth is that both these types of promotions have a lot of value if used correctly.

However, the two types of bonuses are not necessarily designed for the same kind of players, with free money offers often appealing to low-rollers and fun players and deposit bonuses appealing to more serious players.

If you want to have some fun and see how real money gambling suits you, a free money offer like the one at BetMGM Casino will be a great starting point.

On the other hand, more seasoned players looking for actual value will want to use valuable deposit bonuses like our exclusive $2000 deposit offer at FanDuel Casino.

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Last verified: May 2024
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Of course, you can always claim a free money offer to test out the platform and check out what games you can play on it before making your first deposit and claiming any deposit bonuses.

It is worth noting that bonuses at US online casinos are far superior to anything else you will find in the rest of the world, thanks to the newly emerging market being very competitive and brands looking for new customers and being very willing to invest plenty of marketing dollars to bring them in.

Claim Your Casino Bonus

Now that you understand the difference between free money offers and deposit bonuses, as well as the main things to look for in each, all that’s left is to pick a casino you want to play at and claim your first bonus.

You can check out our list of the top US online casinos for a detailed look at the different operators and their free money offers and deposit bonuses.

Pick the casinos with the best offers to get you started and boost your online gambling bankroll by significant amounts, with minimal effort involved.