Wagering Requirements For Bonuses

Learn what wagering requirements are and why do online casinos use them for their bonuses and promotions. Know how to calculate them too!

Who does not want free money that casino gives out to new and existing players? There is a common catch for all these free bonuses online casinos give us: wagering requirements.

This article takes a close look at what wagering requirements are. We will also cover the best methods to clear bonus wagering requirements so you can take home your reward as cash, and how to avoid common mishaps associated with such requirements.

Wagering Requirements Explained

Wagering requirements are the amount you must wager your bonuses before you can withdraw them. Your bonuses are essentially online casino credits that you can only spend within the website. To turn the online casino bonus into actual cash, you need to use it on qualifying casino games.

It is important to note that the amount is never anything as low as twice or four times your bonuses. Most casinos usually set their requirements to around 20x to 30x the bonuses. If you happen to get $200 of bonuses through a casino promotion, you need to bet this bonus up to $4,000 or $6,000.

Calculating Wagering Requirements for Casino Bonuses

You can expect three common bonuses from any online casino. To understand the wagering requirement amount for each bonus, below is a brief description of each bonus and how to calculate the amount required for wagering them. 

Welcome Bonus

welcome bonus icon

New patrons are the only ones to receive this bonus, which often offers the highest bonus of around 200%-300% of your deposit amount. It is important to note that this is a "one-time" offer. If your deposit is less than the minimum requirement to get the welcome bonus, you will miss out on that free casino money.

To illustrate the wagering requirement you need to clear, we will set the welcome bonus to 200% with a $50 deposit and 20x requirement. Your bonus should be $100 ($50 x 200%) after your deposit goes through. While your total bankroll may come to $150, we will only focus on the $100 credit.

Given the wagering requirement of 20x the amount of your bonus, you need to use your $100 credit until you win up to $2,000. This amount is essentially your total winnings from online slots or casino games with a contribution of 100%. You do not need to hold $2,000 or the original amount of $100 when you complete the wagering requirement. As long as you clear the requirement, you can withdraw any bonus credit amount you have left.

Deposit Bonus

deposit bonus icon

For existing players and those who were not able to get the welcome bonus, there is the deposit bonus. These promotions are provided regularly among prominent casinos, encouraging existing players to spend money on specific dates. Because the deposit bonuses occur regularly, these can grant you a 50% match bonus on your deposit. If there is a holiday or special event such as the anniversary of a casino, that bonus may reach 100%

Deposit bonuses are nearly the same as the ones you get when you sign up for a casino. Setting the same example of depositing $50 with a bonus of 50% and a wagering requirement of 20x, you will be working with a $25 bonus only. With this bonus credit, you just need to wager it for a total of $500.

Remember, you do not need to have $500 or $25 just to deposit your bonus credit when you satisfy the wagering requirement for the deposit bonus. If you happen to be lucky enough to win more than $500, you can withdraw the extra amount since this is already considered real casino money and not as casino credits.

Free Spins Bonuses

free spin bonus icon

Apart from bonus credits, casino promotions may offer free spins for specific games instead. These online casino bonuses are commonly used to promote a casino platform's game such as Starburst slot among NetEnt powered gambling sites. Free spins tend to be a part of a welcome bonus, adding more reasons for potential players to sign up. Otherwise, they are also offered to existing players for certain days and special occasions.

Each free spin you receive has a set bet amount along with active pay lines. If you want to play the game with a specific bet and coin value, you need to exhaust all of your free spins.

After spending all of your free spins, all of your winnings are considered bonus credits and are subjected to the casino's wagering requirement. Let us say you won $100 and the online casino wagering requirement of 20x, you will need to wager your winnings until you get a total of $2,000. It is important to note that your winnings can be used on other online slots or casino games apart. Of course, you can attempt to clear the wagering requirement with the game where you spent your free spins.

Reason for Implementing Wagering Requirements

There are two main reasons why online casino wager requirements are set to bonuses.

Avoid Immediate Cash Outs

The first and main reason behind the use of wagering requirements in most bonus' terms and conditions is to avoid having players join just to withdraw the welcome bonus. The gambling operator would simply bleed too much money as the bonus system would be abused.

By requiring players to wager at least the amount given as a bonus, the casino or sportsbook is giving themselves a real chance to get that money back so you can't just cash out the bonus immediately.

Attract Players Who Gamble

Bonuses are primarily for bringing in new players and encouraging them to spend money on their gambling sites. Free money and a chance to further turn that into a small fortune is always a great promotional tool to attract paying patrons. However, what would stop anyone from spending their free money on other casinos?

Wagering requirements are set within casinos to stop patrons from walking away with their bonus credit as soon as they received it. Without the wagering requirement for their bonuses, operators can go out of business within a week.

Prevent Money Laundering

Criminals are always looking for opportunities that will launder their ill-gotten wealth into legitimate fortunes. This includes casinos and their numerous promotions. Even if the bonus was 100% of the deposit amount, illegal businesses will jump on that opportunity to make taxable income from dirty money.

Apart from wagering requirements, other forms of discouraging money laundering within a casino are a bonus limit. These are always mentioned in the title of a promo such as Stake's welcome bonus of 100% up to €1,000. Criminals need to play the bonus they obtained from a casino and can only receive a limited amount per promotion.

Beating the Wagering Requirements

wagering requirements list icon

Growing a $100 to $2,000 or $50 to $1,000 bonus may seem like a daunting task given the risks present among online games, there is a better way to complete any online casino wagering requirement. Below are two helpful tips to consider.

Check on the Games' Contribution

Before spending your bonus on any casinos games with your wagering requirements, it is recommended to check out the terms and conditions of an online casino. What you will need to check are the game contributions for their wagering requirement. Nothing is more painful than to have grown your bonus credits to ten times their value, only to learn that the game does not count to the wagering requirement.

You read that last sentence right. There are games that do not contribute to the wagering requirement. In Fortune jack, their provably fair games offer 0% contribution such as their Dice, Plinko, and Video Poker titles from Orbital. This is likely to the dynamic gameplay where players can adjust the risk vs reward of each game.

Table games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat usually have low contributions to the wagering requirement due to the low house edge. Around 5% to 15% contribution is provided by table games. If there are live dealer games available, these have even lesser contributions of around 5%-10%.

Online slot machines tend to provide a 100% contribution to the wagering requirement. However, it pays to check which slots may offer little to no contribution. Looking back at Fortune Jack, multi-spin slot games are not counted to the video slots that can give 100% contribution.

Find a High to Medium RTP with Low to Medium Variance Game

Return to player (RTP) is the statistically predicted return of your wager after several spins while variance is the measure of risk vs reward. High RTP rates of 96% to 99% with a wager of $100 mean a return of $96 to $99 after several spins. Low variance can grant you numerous wins with a low payout.

High to medium RTP slots with a low volatility rate can help you complete the wagering requirement with minimum risk of losing your bonus. Do not be concerned about the small payout. Your goal is to get just the right return on your wager that you do not lose too much of your money.

Before hitting the slots, make sure to read the terms and conditions of a site's online casino wagering requirement. Certain operators might set the contribution of their high RTP and low variance slots to 50% or less. If this is the case, look for slots with medium RTP rates and medium variance to minimize the risk.

Wagering Requirements For Online Casinos & Sportsbooks
Understanding Wagering Requirements For Online Casino & Sportsbook Bonuses

Bonus Wagering Requirements: FAQ

What are wagering requirements? 

Every bonus and winning from free spins has a wagering requirement, which is the amount you need to bet your bonus money before you can withdraw it from the casino.

Are there bonuses that do not require a wagering requirement? 

While these are rare, some casinos offer bonuses without any wagering requirement. It is important to note that these bonuses are usually small such as 10 free spins offered by Leo Vegas.

Why are there games that contribute only 10% or lower to the wagering requirement? 

Any casino games that have low house edges such as blackjack, baccarat, and roulette tend to have a low contribution to the wagering requirement. Since these games can make it easy for players to complete their wagering requirements, they contribute only a small amount.

Do casinos have the same wagering requirements? 

Every casino has its wager requirement policy such as the total amount you need to wager your bonus as well as the contribution of their games.

Which games make it easy for players to complete their wagering requirements? 

Look for high RTP games with low to medium variance rates. These games lessen the risk of losing most of your bonus credit as you complete the wagering requirement.

Can high variance slots allow players to complete their wagering requirements quickly? 

High variance slots have better payouts than those with medium to low variance rates, allowing you to complete your wagering requirement within a short period. However, the risk associated with these games makes them unsuitable for reaching the required amount for your bonus money.

Online casino wagering requirements are the only catch that prevents players from taking out their free money. Fortunately, playing high RTP slots with low variance can reduce the risk of losing your bonus money while completing the wagering requirement.