Online Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements - A Complete Guide

Published on 16 Jul 2020 by Mason Jones
What is Casino Bonus Wagering? Learn to Win Real Money

The wagering requirement is a multiple that the casino defines for its bonuses. You have to play through the bonus before the free credits are turned into cash. For example: If you are given a $20 casino bonus with a 20x wagering multiple, you need to wager $400 (20x20) on the permitted games before you will be allowed to withdraw money.

If you need more help to understand this concept, our guide dives deep into one of the most widely discussed and critical aspects of casino bonuses. You'll learn what wagering requirements are, how they work and what you should look out for when comparing bonuses.

What You Need to Know About Casino Wagering Requirements

Below, we've listed the most important things you should know about wagering requirements. And if these explanations seem a bit brief, don't worry - we'll go through each topic in much more detail later on in this guide.

  • What are wagering requirements?

    In simple terms, they specify how much you need to play to convert your bonus to withdrawable cash. A wagering requirement is always a multiplier, typically ranging from 35 to 60 times your bonus, the total sum of your bonus and your deposit or a free spin win.

  • Why casinos have wagering requirements

    Casinos implement them to ensure they don't give away money for free.

  • How wagering requirements work

    You start wagering a bonus when you've exhausted all the money in your cash balance and begin to play with bonus credits. Now, the casino will deduct an amount from your wagering requirement with every spin or hand you play. When you've completed the wagering requirement, the casino will convert any remaining bonus funds to real money you can withdraw.

  • What are the rules you need to consider when wagering a bonus?
  • You need to consider win limits, bet size limits, weighted games and excluded games when comparing bonuses and wagering requirements.
  • Why you should pick casinos that only require you to only wager your bonus

    You should try to pick casinos that only apply wagering requirements to your bonus. When a wagering requirements is applied to both your bonus and your deposit, it becomes much harder to complete.

What Are Wagering Requirements and Why Do Casinos Have Them?

When a casino requires you to wager a bonus, it means you must play a specified amount to convert your bonus credits to withdrawable cash.

This amount is always a multiplication of one of three things:

  1. The bonus credits, or
  2. The bonus credits PLUS your original deposit, or
  3. An amount of bonus credits you've won with free spins.
Expert Advice

Typically, wagering requirements range from 30 to 60 times these amounts, depending on which casino you're playing with. In other words, you have to "turn over" or "play through" your bonus that many times - which is why wagering requirements are often referred to as play through and turnover requirements.

Let's demonstrate what wagering requirements are with three examples:

Example #1

100% bonus up to £/€/$200 at Karamba Casino

  • Wagering requirement of 35x your bonus

Let's assume you deposit £/€/$100 and claim this offer. The wagering requirement will now be applied to your bonus:

£/€/$100 bonus x a 35x wagering requirement = £/€/$3,500 to wager.

When you've staked a total of £/€/$3,500, Karamba will transfer any remaining bonus funds to your cash balance.

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Example #2

100% bonus up to £/€/$200 at LVBet Casino

  • Wagering requirement of 30x your bonus and your deposit

Again, let's assume you deposit £/€/$100 and claim this offer. The wagering requirement will now be applied to the total sum of your bonus and your deposit:

£/€/$100 deposit + £/€/$100 bonus = A total of £/€/$200 x a 30x wagering requirement = £/€/$6,000 to wager.

When you've staked a total of £/€/$6,000, LVBet will transfer any remaining bonus funds to your cash balance.

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Example #3

77 no deposit free spins at 777 Casino

  • Wagering requirement of 30x your free spin win.

Let's assume you win £/€/$100 with your free spins. 777Casino will now credit your win as £/€/$100 worth of bonus credits. Subsequently, the wagering requirement is applied to this sum:

£/€/$100 bonus x a 35x wagering requirement = £/€/$3,500 to wager.

When you've staked a total of £/€/$3,500, 777Casino will transfer any remaining bonus funds to your cash balance.

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A Note About No Deposit Bonuses And Wagering Requirements

No deposit bonuses are bonus credits or free spins that you typically get when registering with a casino.

When it comes to wagering requirements, these bonuses work exactly the same way as deposit offers - the only difference is that you'll start wagering your bonus immediately since you haven't made a deposit. Another thing worth mentioning is that no deposit bonuses generally have much lower withdrawal limits than deposit bonuses.

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Why Casinos Have Wagering Requirements

Casinos have wagering requirements to ensure they're not giving away free money.

If there weren't any wagering requirements, players would be able to withdraw a bonus instantly without playing a single spin. Obviously, it wouldn't take long for a casino to go bankrupt if it was to implement such a business strategy!

However, when you're required to wager through your bonus, there's a bigger chance you'll lose all your bonus credits. In other words, wagering requirements allow casinos to incentivise players with bonuses and still keep the house edge they need to make their business profitable.

How Wagering Requirements Work

Now that we've clarified what wagering requirements are, let's take a look at how they work.

First and foremost, you need to grasp these four key points:

  • Your player account has two balances - a cash balance and a bonus balance.
  • The cash balance shows the money you've deposited. The bonus balance shows bonus credits you've been given by the casino.
  • You can only withdraw funds from your cash balance.
  • Usually, you play with the money you've deposited first. You'll only access your bonus balance when you've exhausted the funds in your cash balance.

When there are no funds left in your cash balance, you'll start playing with bonus credits. And it's at this stage you start wagering your bonus. Now, the casino will deduct an amount from your wagering requirement with every spin or hand you play.

The amount the casino deducts will be equivalent to:

  • Your entire bet.

    This is the case when you play slots, with the exception of specific games that are excluded from bonus wagering. If you bet £/€/$1.00 per spin, the casino will deduct £/€/$1.00 from your wagering requirement. Or,

  • A percentage of your bet.

    This mainly applies to table games and live casino games and is called game weighting. Generally, game weighting percentages range from 5% to 20% of your stake. So, if you play a hand of £/€/$1.00, the casino will deduct anywhere between £/€/$0.05 and £/€/$0.20 from your wagering requirement.

Top Tip

You can always check the wagering requirement in your account settings. Some casinos will even display a progress bar at the top or bottom of your screen so that you can track your progress while you play.

Important Note

Only Wagers You Make Using Bonus Credits Count

You only wager your bonus when you play with bonus credits. Generally, spins or hands you play with real money won't contribute to your wagering requirement at all.

You might come across casinos where you stake a combination of real money and bonus credits. However, such casinos are so far and few in between that we won't bother talking about them in this guide.

Understanding Game Weighting - An In-Depth Look

A good understanding of game weighting becomes critical when you're trying to wager a bonus on other games than slots. Casinos will always apply game weighting and display a game weighting index in their terms and conditions.

Let's take 777Casino's weighting contributions for example:

Game Category Contribution
Video Slots & Slots, Scratch card, Keno, Race, Arcade, Dice and all other games that do not appear in this table 100%
Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Poker, Triple Card Poker & Poker table games 20%
All versions of Blackjack, Live Blackjack, Hi-Lo, VideoPoker, Power Video Poker, Baccarat, Live Baccarat, Live Casino Hold'em, all versions of Roulette & Live Roulette 10%
Craps 5%

As you can see, different games categories contribute very differently to your wagering requirement. And what you really want to know is how much you have to play to convert your bonus to withdrawable cash.

To find out, you need to divide the wagering requirement by each percentage converted to decimal points. Let's demonstrate how this is done with an example.

Example

Assume you've claimed 777Casino's welcome bonus of 100% up to $200.

You've deposited $200 and claimed the full amount. This bonus has a wagering requirement of 30x, which means that:

  • you have $200 bonus.
  • you need to play $6,000 to convert your bonus credits to withdrawable cash.

$200 x a wagering requirement of 30x = $6,000.

Now, you divide the wagering amount by each percentage converted to decimal points:

Slots (100%)

Wagering requirement of $6,000 / 1 = $6,000. You need to play $6,000 to convert your bonus.

Table games (10%)

Wagering requirement of $6,000 / 0.10 = $60,000. You need to play $60,000 to convert your bonus.

Video poker (20%)

Wagering requirement of $6,000 / 0.02 = $30,000. You need to play $30,000 to convert your bonus.

Craps (5%)

Wagering requirement of $6,000 / 0.05 = $120,000. You need to play $120,000 to convert your bonus.

As you can see, game weighting makes a huge difference in how much you'll be required to play to complete your wagering requirement.

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Expert Advice

Game weighting isn't very relevant to no deposit bonuses since they're mostly only valid on slots, and slots are always 100% weighted.

Do Casino Bonuses Always Have Wagering Requirements?

No, not always. Wager-free bonuses have become a fad in recent years, and by offering wager-free bonuses, a casino is sure to stand out. However, in most cases, a casino will apply wagering requirements - especially when offering no deposit bonuses and no deposit free spins.

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How Casinos Apply Wagering Requirements - What to Look Out For

Whenever you claim a match deposit bonus, you must pay close attention to the wagering requirement. This is because casinos can apply the wagering requirement in two different ways:

  • Only to the amount of bonus credits it's given you.
  • To the total sum of your bonus and your deposit.

When a casino applies the wagering requirement to the total sum of both your bonus and your deposit, you'll have to wager a significantly larger amount. Subsequently, the wagering requirement also becomes much harder to complete.

Our examples above illustrate this clearly. The Karamba Casino bonus requires the bonus to be wagered through, while LV Bet Casino will apply the wagering requirement to the sum of the deposit and bonus amounts.

Expert Advice

Only wager your bonus

Although the wagering requirement in the second example seems lower, it's actually much harder to fulfil, as it's applied to both your bonus and deposit. In other words, you should always try to pick casinos where you only have to wager your bonus.

Rules You Need to Think About When You're Wagering a Bonus

Unfortunately, wagering is not the only rule you need to follow when playing with bonuses. Here are some other important rules you must be aware of.

Bet size limits

Casinos will always put restrictions on how much you can bet per spin when wagering a bonus.

Generally, casinos set this limit at £/€/$5 per spin. This is a way for the casino to limit your chances of converting a bonus to withdrawable cash.

To understand the impact bet size limits have on bonus wagering, you need to consider two things:

  • Casino wins are always a multiplication of the stake you're playing with.
  • The higher a win multiplier is, the more unlikely it is to occur.

If you bet more considerable sums, you won't have to get a huge win multiplier to win a substantial amount that can cover your wagering requirement.

Let's demonstrate this with an example:

Example

100% welcome bonus at Johnny Kash Casino

You claim Johnny Kash Casino's welcome bonus of 100% up to £/€/$6,000. You deposit £/€/$100, which means that you:

  • Have £/€/$100 bonus.
  • You need to wager £/€/$3,000.

Let's pretend there's no bet size limit and that you bet £/€/$50 per spin. This means that you only have to win 70 times your stake to cover your wagering requirement.

£/€/$3,000 to wger / £/€/$50 = 70 times your stake.

Now, let's use the exact same scenario but apply Johnny Kash Casino's bet size limit of £/€/$5 per spin. All of a sudden, you'll have to win 700 times your stake on a single spin to cover your wagering requirement.

£/€/$3,000 to wager / £/€/$5 = 700 times your stake.

Expert Advice

There's a much higher probability that a slot will pay 70 times your stake than 700. By limiting the bet size, Johnny Kash Casino has drastically reduced the likeliness of you wagering your bonus.

Game weighting

This is a term that describes the percentage of bets that contribute towards your wagering requirement in a specific game. We've already covered this topic in great detail in this guide.

Excluded games

Online casinos will always exclude specific slots from bonus wagering. This means that these slots won't count towards your wagering requirement at all.

Typically, casinos will exclude volatile slots with potentially high payouts. Casinos do this for the same reason they impose bet size limits - to minimise your chances of covering your entire wagering requirement with one, or just a few, spin(s).

Chances are some of your favourite slots will be excluded, so always check which slots you can wager your bonus on before you claim an offer. Just as with weighted games, casinos will list excluded slots in their terms and conditions.

Win limits

Casinos impose win limits to ensure you can't withdraw more than a specified amount regardless of how much you win with a bonus.

Win limits can vary quite a bit from one casino to another and are obviously important to consider. Casinos typically apply win limits to no deposit bonuses, but it's not uncommon for them to set limits for deposit offers as well.

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Put your knowledge to the test!

Feel you've got a good grasp of how all this works already? Check out our top three casinos and compare their wagering requirements and bonus terms.

Why Wagering Requirements Matter

Wagering requirements are undoubtedly one of the most significant aspects to consider when playing with a casino bonus.

What seems like an excellent bonus offer can quickly lose its value if its wagering requirement turns out to be unreasonable. In other words, going through the fine print on the casino's promotion pages becomes a necessary evil when you want to take full advantage of the latest casino bonuses.

Luckily, we do this tedious work for you and clearly state each casino's wagering requirements in our dedicated reviews. By reading our casino reviews, you can save precious time and focus on having fun instead.

Find a Great Bonus

As you can tell, there are quite some things to be said about wagering requirements. Chances are, you'll have to reread this guide to fully grasp every aspect that goes into wagering a casino bonus. However, here are some guidelines that'll make it a lot easier to pick a casino with decent wagering requirements :

How we classify wagering requirements:

  • Great - Anything below x30.
  • Standard - Wagering requirements between 30x and 45x.
  • Not that great - Wagering requirements above 45x.
  • Unreasonable - Anything above 50x.
Important

These guidelines assume the wagering requirement is applied to your bonus. When applied to both your bonus and your deposit, you should avoid wagering requirements above 25x. This is especially true if you're going for a match bonus of 100% or more.

Here are a few other things you should keep in mind when looking at wagering requirements:

  • Pick casinos that only apply wagering requirements to your bonus.
  • Shy away from casinos with bet size limits lower than £/€/$5.
  • Try to stay away from casinos with wagering requirements above 45x.
  • Make a list of your favourite slots and match it against the excluded games in the casino's terms and conditions.
  • Don't play with casinos that impose win limits below £/€/$100.

Revisit this page to refresh your memory next time you're looking for a bonus with favourable wagering requirements. Or why not put your newfound knowledge to good use immediately and pick one of our five most popular casinos?

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