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Understanding Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements

Jennifer Lynn Written by Jennifer Lynn
Richard Grant Reviewed by Richard Grant

Understanding Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements

Casino bonuses virtually always come with wagering requirements, and understanding them will make it easier to find profitable offers.

The fundamental premise of a casino bonus is that the player is getting extra money for playing games they would be playing anyway. However, a key part of this premise is the “for playing games” part, and there are situations where many people would try to claim a bonus offer without actually placing a bet. This would make the promotions a major source of loss for the casino sites themselves, and they wouldn’t be able to run them at all as a result.

Wagering requirements (also known as play-through requirements) protect the sites from this type of abuse, and they protect all other players since these requirements allow casinos to run the promotions in the first place. By forcing players to actually play the games for a set amount before they’re allowed to cash out, it avoids these abusive situations.

A Basic Example of Casino Wagering Requirements

A Basic Example of Casino Wagering RequirementsIn order to prevent a loss of revenue, online casinos will often come up with wagering requirements for their bonuses. The objective here is clear: erasing the possibility of exploiting a mechanic which could result in the business losing money, rather than making it. For this reason, often when you join a new gambling website, you will notice that in order to be granted the Welcome Bonus, you will be required to put down a minimum deposit. Putting down a minimum deposit is the most basic of examples when it comes to casino wagering requirements. However, the question that any new players might be asking is, how are wagering requirements determined? Well, that takes some explaining, though it is overall a rather simple process.

Wagering requirements are typically a multiple of the bonus, the deposit, or both. For example, you might see a deal at an online gambling site, that has a 20x wagering requirement on both the deposit and the bonus for a 100 percent match. Players who deposit $40 would get a bonus of $40, and the wagering requirement would be 20 * $80, which comes to $1,600. Alternatively, depositing $100 with the same deal would yield a bonus also worth $100, and the resulting play-through requirement would be 20 * $200 for a total of $4,000.

Complications With Game Restrictions

Some games have different levels of play-through requirements, and that can make things seem a bit complicated. Other games might be restricted completely from play before a wagering requirement is completed. For example, consider a 150 percent match bonus on a deposit of $50 (for a $75 bonus) with a 20x base wagering requirement on the bonus and deposit for slots, but other requirements for additional games:

Complications With Game Restrictions

  • For slots, the requirement is 20x, so it’s 20 * $125 or $2,500.

  • Suppose the requirement for casino war is 50x. That would be 50 * $125, which comes to $6,250.

  • If the requirement was 120x for blackjack, then that comes to 120 * $125, and that’s $15,000.

  • Games like Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat may be restricted in contributing towards wagering requirements full stop because of the even bets available in these games with a low house edge that can easily be manipulated by players in order to easily meet wagering requirements.

  • On most casino sites the wagering requirement will be consistent throughout all games, and to compensate, you will normally see “contributions towards wagering requirements” expressed as a percentage (%) for each game listed.


As you can see, the complications virtually disappear as long as you go step-by-step and look at each game individually instead of trying to do it all at one time. Trying to take on too many numbers at once can cause you to make simple mathematical mistakes.

There is another way to ensure that you do not become entangled in some sort of complication with a bonus. You could simply thoroughly read through the Terms and Conditions of the online casino and the bonus you have your eye on.

You will find this at every online casino or sportsbook. Look through their website or mobile app, and find the section labeled “Terms and Conditions”. Then, go to the bonus section of the terms and conditions. Once you’ve done so, read through the terms as many times as necessary to fully grasp how the bonus works.

Usually, the terms will explain precisely which games are affected by which bonuses. Which bonuses can’t be used on which games? And most importantly, how long you have until the bonus you are eligible for runs out. So, when dealing with bonuses at online casinos, always remember to thoroughly read through the Terms and Conditions for the best possible experience.

Profitability of Bonuses

Many might be wondering whether casino bonuses are worth it in the first place. Newbies especially, those who still don’t have the experience might be apprehensive about trusting the quality of a bonus. So, if you are new, or even if you just need to know a trick for determining profitability, let us give you some tips that can help you make a bigger buck.

A cool trick you can do with wagering requirements like these is to figure out how much you’ll lose on average, based on the house edge of the game you’re playing. For example, suppose we have a 100 percent match on a $100 deposit with a 20x play-through requirement for a slot that has a 2 percent house edge.

Our wagering requirement is 20 * $200, which is $4,000 total. If we take 2 percent of that amount, we see that we’ll lose $80 on average from clearing these requirements. Since we’re losing $80 on average to claim a $100 bonus, we’re making an average profit of $20.

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About the author

Jennifer Lynn
Head of Content
Jennifer Lynn has spent 14 years working in the online casino industry, making her a real expert in the field. She's not just skilled at writing about casinos; she also has a deep interest in online gambling games and is a passionate researcher and player. Jennifer offers her expertise on a range of casino games and the smart strategies to use. But her life isn't all about gambling and casinos. She also loves riding horses and practicing yoga, showing that she knows how to balance her professional interests with personal passions.
Last Updated: Jun 19, 2024



What is an online casino bonus?

As you might have gathered, an online casino bonus is a special offer that a gambling website might grant new or existing players to make their gambling a little easier and a lot more fun. Bonuses could include free spins, extra cash, 100% Deposit Returns, etc.


What are wagering requirements in online casinos?

Wagering requirements are simple to understand. When casinos offer bonuses, they need to be sure that players don’t take advantage of said bonuses without placing a bet. Therefore, they have a set wagering requirement that has to be fulfilled in order for the player to get their hands on the coveted promotion.


Why do casinos set wagering requirements in place?

The reason is obvious. Wagering requirements are set in place to ensure that the players eligible for these bonuses actually play the games. If wagering requirements did not exist, then players could cash in their bonus and the casino would be losing revenue. For that reason, they set wagering requirements in place.


What are some common wagering requirements placed on a bonus?

One of the most common requirements for acquiring a bonus is that the player must at least place the minimum deposit on a game of their choosing. As long as the coveted bonus can be used in the game of choice, the player will then get their bonus.


Are Bonuses worth it with Wagering Requirements?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a question with a simple answer. If you take a look at this article, we have given explanations on how requirements work and the profitability of bonuses with wagering requirements. So, if after reading through our article, you’ve come to the decision that a bonus is worth it, then go for it. If you feel like the opposite is true, then avoid them. However, it is worth noting that bonuses do tend to yield an overall higher profitability then playing without a bonus.

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