Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements Explained

Written by:
Bogdan Lunkan
Fact checked by:
Jon Ridehalgh
Updated:
January 26, 2024

Casino Bonuses Wagering Requirements

Online casinos are well-known for offering bonuses, which have become their signature feature. However, these offers may sometimes disappoint players, primarily due to the wagering requirements attached to them. While some consider these conditions to be unclear, others view them as excessive.

A crucial aspect of casino bonuses is the concept of real-money wagers (or bets). When a player places a successful wager, they not only earn associated winnings but also contribute to meeting the wagering requirements of any bonus they want to claim.

To help you navigate the murky waters of casino bonuses and their wagering requirements, we have developed this guide covering all the essential elements you need.

What Are Wagering Requirements at Casinos?

As you know, bonuses represent complimentary gaming funds offered by online casinos. These bonuses cannot be immediately cashed out and taken home. Instead, you must first wager them on the casino’s site.

A term that frequently surfaces in the realm of online casino bonuses is “wagering requirements”. Often listed in the fine print of casino bonuses, this seemingly minor detail has a significant impact on your potential casino earnings. So, what exactly are wagering requirements?

Wagering requirements are conditions imposed by casinos stipulating that a player must bet a specific amount of real money to be eligible to cash out any winnings derived from the bonus.

Typically, the wagering requirements are applied to the bonus amount, but some casinos may apply the wagering requirements to BOTH the deposit AND the bonus.

The wagering requirements can vary dramatically depending on the online casino you choose. Hence, it is a crucial factor to consider if you intend to take advantage of the bonuses and promotions on a gaming site.

Generally, the wagering requirements are specified in the bonus’s specific terms and conditions. If they are not clearly stated there, consult the casino’s general terms and conditions, and do not hesitate to contact customer support for further clarification.

Also, keep in mind that an online casino that does not clearly display its bonus terms is rarely trustworthy.

Similar Terms Used by Online Casinos

In online casinos, “wagering requirements” are known by various terms. These synonyms include “playthrough requirements”, “rollover requirements”, and “betting requirements”.

A few casinos may also refer to them as “turnover requirements” or simply “bonus requirements”. These terms all describe the rules dictating how many times a player must wager the bonus amount (and sometimes the deposit) before being able to withdraw any winnings.

How to Calculate How Much You Must Wager

Calculating the amount you need to wager to meet the wagering requirements (WR) of a casino bonus and unlock your winnings is an easy and straightforward 3-step process. Here is the path to follow:

  1. Identify the wagering requirement rate, typically represented as a multiplier (such as 20x, 30x…);
  2. Determine the base amount to which this rate applies (the bonus amount, the deposit amount, or the sum of both);
  3. Consider the contribution rate of different games (if slots contribute 100% and table games only 10%, a $10 bet on slots would count fully toward the wagering requirements, whereas the same bet on table games would only contribute $1).

So, for instance, if you receive a $100 bonus with a 30x wagering requirement, you must wager $3,000 in total to meet the requirement. If the WR rate applies to both the bonus and the deposit, then, you would need to wager $6,000 for a $100 deposit.

Types of Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements

Each type of wagering requirement (WR) greatly influences the overall attractiveness of a casino bonus. Here is a short list of the most common types of wagering requirements so that you can make informed decisions about which bonuses to consider:

  1. Low-WR bonuses come with relatively low wagering conditions, making it easier for players to convert their bonus winnings into withdrawable cash.
  2. No-WR bonuses come with no wagering conditions. Players can withdraw winnings directly without needing to wager their bonus a certain number of times.
  3. Some casinos require players to wager BOTH the bonus amount AND the deposit amount a certain number of times. As such, “bonus + deposit” wagering requirements can significantly increase the total amount that needs to be wagered before withdrawals are allowed.
  4. In slot games, “free spins wagering requirements” dictate how many times winnings from free spins must be wagered before they can be withdrawn.
  5. Cashable bonuses allow players to withdraw the bonus amount along with their winnings once they have met the wagering requirements. This type of WR bonus favorably increases the total withdrawable amount.
  6. Unlike cashable bonuses, sticky bonuses are non-withdrawable. They can be used to play games and generate winnings, but the original bonus amount cannot be cashed out.

Examples of a Casino Bonus Wagering Requirement

Understanding the wagering requirements set by online casinos is best illustrated through concrete examples:

10x Wagering Requirement

Consider a scenario where a casino offers a 100% welcome bonus of up to $200 on the first deposit, with a wagering requirement of 10x on BOTH the bonus AND the deposit amount. If you deposit $200, your total playing funds would be $400 (your $200 deposit plus a $200 bonus).

As per the associated playthrough requirements, you would need to wager the combined amount of the bonus and deposit 10 times to claim winnings from this bonus. This means you must bet a total of $4,000 ($400 x 10, where $400 is the combined amount of your $200 deposit and the $200 bonus).

40x Wagering Requirement

Now, let us imagine another casino offers a 100% welcome bonus of up to $200 on the first deposit, but with a wagering requirement of 40x only on the bonus amount. Assuming you made a $200 deposit and received an additional $200 as bonus funds, you have $400 to play with. To withdraw winnings from this bonus, you would need to wager the bonus amount a total of 40 times, which equals $8,000 ($200 x 40).

Therefore, before opting for an online casino bonus, it is important to perform this type of calculation to see if the bonus conditions seem achievable.

Sometimes, it may be better to decline a bonus rather than to claim it and never be able to withdraw the winnings it generates. In addition to wagering requirements, online casinos apply other conditions to their bonuses, which will be outlined in one of the following sections.

Are Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements Good or Bad?

Well, first and foremost, you need to recognize that the primary goal of online casinos is to make a profit. Bonuses present a risk for online casinos because, when used effectively, they can slightly tip the odds in the player’s favor.

If a player successfully meets the wagering requirements of the bonus and wins using bonus money, it impacts the casino’s profits negatively. This is not ideal for their business…

But beyond mere profit, online casinos also impose conditions on bonuses to protect themselves from players with malicious intent who might use the bonuses as a means to launder illicit funds. Bonus conditions also serve to prevent bonus abuse, which refers to players who continually claim bonuses without ever depositing real money into the casino.

That being said, many unreliable online casinos implement overly strict bonus conditions that make it nearly impossible to withdraw any winnings. This practice is not particularly ethical, but many uninformed players use these bonuses without fully understanding the terms, resulting in them playing without ever being able to cash out their money.

As a consequence, wagering requirements have both positive and negative aspects. There is a mix of good and bad, which underscores the importance of discerning the reputable offers from the less favorable ones. This careful approach can help differentiate beneficial opportunities from those that are potentially exploitative.

How to Clear Casino Wagering Requirements

To clear casino bonus wagering, firstly you need to start by thoroughly understanding the specific requirements of the bonus you want to claim, including the multiplier and whether it applies to the bonus amount, your deposit, or both.

Next, be aware of the contribution rate of the various games at hand. Always prioritize playing games with higher contribution rates to fulfill the requirements more efficiently and, above all, more quickly.

Last but not least, manage your bankroll wisely and avoid making unnecessarily large bets, as this can lead to rapid depletion of your funds. Be mindful of the bonus’s expiry date to ensure that you meet the requirements within the given timeframe and thus unlock the ability to withdraw your bonus-related winnings.

Tips to Successfully Playing Through Your Bonus Wagering Requirement

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#1 Select the right casino

Firstly, choose a casino that employs software from reputable providers whose algorithms are tested and verified. Well-established casinos are usually player-friendly and offer bonuses with relatively low wagering requirements.

#2 Read the fine print carefully

Make sure to thoroughly read all terms and conditions, including the casino’s bonus policy. This will help you understand all the parameters attached to the release of your bonuses, such as the possibility of maximum bet limits and games that are ineligible for the bonus.

#3 Choose the right bonuses

Browse through the list of available bonuses and select those with the least restrictive conditions. Generally, it is better to opt for bonuses whose wagering requirements apply only to the bonus amount, rather than those that impose requirements on both the bonus and deposit amounts.

#4 Select the right games to play

Once again, remember that not all games contribute equally to fulfilling wagering requirements. Slot machines usually contribute 100%, while games like blackjack and roulette contribute much less, or sometimes not at all. It is crucial to identify which games can help you quickly clear the wagering requirements.

#5 Use a betting system

Provided the casino allows it (check the general terms and conditions), do not hesitate to maximize your chances of winning by using a betting system. While they do not guarantee success, incremental betting systems can help you meet the wagering requirements of your bonus more quickly.

Steps to Claim a Bonus And Clear Wagering Requirements

  1. Choose a casino known for its trustworthiness and ensure it uses software from reputable providers;
  2. Register by providing your personal details and get your account verified;
  3. Read the bonus’s terms and conditions (wagering requirements, time limits, game restrictions…) and note any codes required to claim the bonus;
  4. Deposit the minimum amount specified for the bonus and use the correct payment method (some may be excluded from the bonus);
  5. Enter the casino bonus code if needed and opt-in for the bonus through the promotions page or when depositing;
  6. Ensure that the bonus is credited to your account;
  7. Know the multiplier of the bonus (and/or deposit amount) that needs to be wagered;
  8. Play games that contribute the most toward the wagering requirements;
  9. Adhere to any maximum bet limits and possibly use a betting strategy, if allowed;
  10. Always monitor how much you have wagered and how much more is needed;
  11. Ensure you meet the wagering requirements within the specified time frame;
  12. Once wagering requirements are met, withdraw your winnings.

Other Casino Bonus Rules

The wagering requirements are the most important but not the only rule. Other things players must consider when claiming a bonus include:

The validity period of the bonus

Casino bonuses are not valid indefinitely. They often come with a validity period that varies from one casino to another. For instance, some casinos offer bonuses valid for only 24 hours, while others extend up to 30 days. This means players have a limited time to meet the wagering requirements. Otherwise, any winnings gained through the casino bonus will be voided.

Contribution percentage to wagering requirements

Not all games equally contribute to meeting wagering requirements. Generally, slot machines contribute 100%, meaning that 100% of real-money bets placed on slots count towards meeting the wagering requirements.

Table games, however, contribute significantly less (usually between 5% and 25%), and this varies widely across different casinos. For example, if you need to wager $200 to meet a bonus’s wagering requirement, you would need to:

  • Wager $200 in real money on slot machines if they contribute 100% to the playthrough requirements.
  • Wager $4,000 in real money on table games (like blackjack or roulette) if they contribute 5% to the playthrough requirements.

Ineligibility of certain games for wagering requirements

On some sites, certain games do not contribute at all to meeting wagering requirements. Often, progressive jackpot slots and live dealer games are directly affected by this rule.

Each online casino has its own list of excluded games, and you must check this before selecting games to meet your wagering requirements. Essentially, if you bet on an excluded game, your wager will not count toward meeting the playthrough requirements.

Maximum bet limit

By imposing a maximum bet limit, online casinos ensure that you place as many bets as possible to meet the wagering requirements. Without such a limit, you could place a large bet and win more than enough to cover the wagering requirements in one go, putting the online casino at high risk.

The maximum bet limit varies depending on the games and casinos. It is usually outlined in the terms and conditions of the bonus offer. Typically, it is a fixed amount ($5 per round, for example).

Inability to unlock multiple bonuses simultaneously

Commonly, online casinos enforce a simple rule regarding bonuses: you can only enjoy one bonus at a time per account, IP address, or household. As long as a casino bonus is active, you usually cannot claim another. Consequently, you cannot claim a second bonus until you have met the wagering requirements of the first.

Are No Wagering Casino Bonuses a Myth?

No, it is not a fantasy. Online casinos offering no-wagering bonuses do indeed exist, but as you might expect, they are exceedingly rare. They are so rare that you could count them on one hand.

In these casinos, you can use the bonuses that are made available to you and, after utilizing them effectively, you can profit from the potential winnings they generate, all without the need to wager large sums of money to unlock them.

Do not expect extraordinarily large no-wagering casino bonuses, though. Also, typically only the winnings generated by the bonus can be cashed out, not the bonus itself.

What’s a Reasonable Casino Bonus Wagering Requirement?

The first aspect to verify when considering casino bonuses is whether the wagering requirements apply solely to the bonus amount, or to both the bonus and the deposit. When wagering requirements apply only to the bonus OR to winnings from free spins, they can be categorized as follows:

  • Excellent if they are 25x or lower;
  • Good if they range between 26x and 39x;
  • Standard if they are between 40x and 59x;
  • Disadvantageous if they are 60x or higher.

In cases where wagering requirements apply to both the bonus AND the deposit, the categorization is slightly different:

  • Excellent if they are 15x or lower;
  • Good if they are between 16x and 20x;
  • Standard if they are between 21x and 29x;
  • Disadvantageous if they are 30x or higher.

Comparing the welcome bonus packages offered by online casinos is a critical step in selecting an online casino to sign up with. In an online casino, you can typically claim only one sign-up bonus, so it is vital to choose the one with the least restrictive requirements for obtaining it.

This careful consideration ensures that you maximize the potential benefits of the bonus while minimizing potential limitations or difficulties in withdrawing any winnings.

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Casino bonuses are an excellent way to enhance your bankroll, enabling you to enjoy your favorite games with additional perks like free spins and cashback. There is a wide array of offers available, and each gaming site implements its own set of terms and conditions, which can vary in clarity and ethical standards.

It is crucial to understand that you will not be able to cash out every bonus you claim. There will be instances where you fail to meet the wagering requirements. This is a part of the gaming experience.

In any case, it is important to take the time to review all the criteria and specific conditions outlined by the casino for enjoying the bonuses. If you have any doubts, especially if a clause seems unclear, do not hesitate to contact customer service. By doing so, you will be fully informed when deciding to opt for a casino bonus.

Always ensure that you do not violate any terms, as this could result in the loss of the bonus. It is essential to be aware of these conditions to make the most of the bonuses while adhering to the wagering requirements set by the casino.

Before leaving you, we would like to provide you with a list of the best online casinos offering bonuses with low wagering requirements. Each operator is licensed and legal. Use our bonus codes and links to grab your exclusive bonuses!

Bogdan, our resident online slots and casino bonus expert with over five years of iGaming experience. A keen follower of the latest games found on Twitch streams, he simplifies and explains complex game mechanics for players. Beyond work, his love for online gambling keeps him connected to the emerging online casino industry trends.

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