Ontario, home to Ottawa and Toronto and with direct and easy access to the United States, rapidly became one of the hottest markets for online casino gaming in all of North America last year. Now approaching its second-year anniversary, the province’s regulatory body reported in April 2023 that one year of operation in Ontario had led to $1.4 billion in total gaming revenue.
Still a top-five market for iGaming on the continent, it’s clear that the scene is thriving in Canada. As it continues to hold strong and entertain existing players, it’s only natural that more people want to try the online casino experience. After all, Q2 of 2023-2024 alone yielded $540 million, inevitably set to eclipse the first year total of $1.4 billion.
While many people have successfully jumped into Canadian iGaming, the market’s popularity has created a huge amount of competition. This is excellent as it leads to better conditions and products for players, but it can also be a hindrance. After all, how can newcomer to online casinos know what the best bonus is and what to look out for when there are over 70 websites in operation? If you’re a beginner, here’s the expert information that you need to know.
What is the best bonus for a beginner in Canadian online casinos?
The matched deposit bonus used to reign supreme in online casino gaming. The platforms would offer different percentage matches up to greater and greater sums on new players’ first deposits and, often, the next few as well. However, for the businesses to function, these bonus funds naturally had to be tied to fairly long rollover requirements.
Rollover or wagering requirements mean that winning have to bet a number of times over before the winning can be withdrawn. So, while these bonuses were big and flashy – and still are – many players prefer to look for other bonuses to buck the trend. One of the main ones that is now prevalent among the top casino bonuses in Canada is no-deposit offers.
Unlike the commonplace matched deposit bonuses, these don’t require you to input any payment details or commit money to the online casino. They are as good as free bonuses that let you play a select number of games and explore the whole offering with an account. This is how all bonuses should be used, ideally – as a way to test the site and see if it’s for you – but no-deposit bonuses make it even easier by not requiring money to activate.
There is certainly a place for matched deposit bonuses, especially when they come with a bundle of free spins on top slots, but for newcomers, the no-deposit bonus is the best way to go. Once you’ve found your footing and know what you like, you can then look to maximize your first deposit with a matched bonus.
How do wagering requirements work?
Wagering requirements are essential elements of the terms and conditions of online casino bonuses both for the player and the platform. Anything won from almost any matched deposit, free spins, rollover, refer a friend, loyalty, or no-deposit bonus will be subject to them. Those winnings are then subject to whatever the number is for the wagering requirements to be played that many times over to be viable for a withdrawal.
As an example, if you get a $100 bonus with 10x wagering requirements, play through the bonus amount of $100, and end up winning $200. That $200 remains as bonus funds until it has been wagered ten more times. Should you do that and place $ 2,000 worth of bets with those bonus funds without losing them all, you’ll get whatever winnings are left.
As a rule, the larger the bonus is, the higher the wagering requirements will be, as this makes the most sense for the business behind the casino – otherwise, they are just giving away free money! The best way to go about it is to find the bonuses that suit you and come with the lowest wagering requirements. As anyone who has been down to Toronto to visit the attraction Little Canada will know, bigger isn’t always better.
Now that you know what bonuses are and the key terms to watch for, you’re ready to experience the entertainment world of iGaming in Ontario.