What Are Online Casino Wagering Requirements?

By Alex Smith Apr 26, 2022

If you’re looking to join a new online casino, claim casino bonuses, or have casino bonus money, and are unsure what the wagering requirements are all about, this guide is for you.

When you’re playing with bonus money, we will show you what wagering requirements are, how they work, and what they mean for you. We’ll also look at some of the main casino promotions you’ll come across and other relevant terms and conditions that you’re likely to see when claiming bonuses at an online casino.

What Are Wagering Requirements?

When you join a new online casino and claim a welcome bonus – or when you claim certain types of casino promotions – you’ll often find wagering requirements attached. Wagering requirements are a requirement for many bonuses and promotions today. You’ll need to complete these wagering requirements before your bonus money is converted to real money – i.e., the cash you can withdraw.

Wagering requirements determine how many times you need to play through bonus money before you can withdraw the funds as cash. In the section below, we will look at how they work and what they involve.

How Do They Work?

While wagering requirements can differ depending on the specific type of bonus you choose to claim, you’ll usually find that online casino wagering requirements come with a turnover requirement of between 35-50X.

This means that you’d need to wager the total amount of the bonus, say, 35 times, before you can withdraw your bonus and any winnings associated with it. 

Wagering requirements can apply to various bonuses and promotions, including free spins, matched deposit bonuses, and more. No-deposit bonuses also usually come with wagering requirements, although these will typically be higher than the other types of bonuses that we’ve looked at.

How To Calculate Wagering Requirements

It’s pretty easy to determine the wagering requirements for your casino bonus. First, you’ll need to find out what the wagering requirements are; you can find this within the terms and conditions page for the specific bonus you will be claiming. For this section of our guide, we’ll assume you’ve claimed a $10 bonus, and the wagering requirements are 30X.

To complete the wagering requirements, you’d need to wager that $10 a total of 30 times – so in this scenario, you’d be required to wager $300. That may sound like a lot, but when you’re playing games like video slots, you’d be surprised at how quickly it’s possible to complete these wagering requirements.

Provided you play the right games and don’t breach any of the terms and conditions (some of which we’ll take a look at below), you’ll find it’s much easier than you think to bear the wagering requirements and convert your bonus to real money – which then allows you to withdraw your funds!

Wagering Requirements: A Bonus Guide

We’ll go through the different forms of bonuses in the section below. While most of these bonuses may be claimed in conjunction, some must be claimed separately, so it’s important to understand how they all function.

Free Spins

Video slots – or online slots- as some players refer to them – have grown in popularity in recent years. Demand for these games is now higher than ever, with players looking for extremely volatile machines that can pay up to 100,000X your bet!

This phenomenon has been observed by casinos, which is why free spins, also known as bonus spins or additional spins, are currently one of the most popular forms of bonus given at casinos.

Free spins are meant to be used on a specific slot – or, in some cases, a selection of slots from a single game developer. They allow you to play through a game for free for a set number of times without paying or jeopardizing any of your cash.

For example, suppose you were given ten free spins to utilize on NetEnt’s Jack and the Beanstalk slot, each costing $1. In that case, you’d receive ten free spins totaling $10, with any profits from the spins being credited directly to your casino balance.

Free spins are sometimes given out as part of a first deposit promotion, while other times, they are given out as part of a random one-time promotion or a new-slot offer.

When you claim free spins, read the terms and conditions carefully. For example, various free spins promotions have different wagering requirements for your winnings, and some rules specify a maximum amount of free spins winnings. (The most significant amount of money you may receive from the spins is the max free spins wins.)

Today, there are many free spins bonuses to choose from. At Casinomeister, we’ve partnered with some of the industry’s largest companies to bring you the finest free spins offers – some of which you can discover right here at the top of this page!

Deposit Bonus

Deposit bonuses are among the most popular online casino bonuses you’ll come across. They are typically included as part of a casino’s welcome bonus promotion; for example, deposit bonuses are often given to new players to thank them for signing up and joining their site. A deposit bonus is generally applied on your first deposit, although some casinos will offer deposit bonuses on your first two, three, or four deposits too.

As a general rule of thumb, a deposit bonus will be delivered as a matched deposit bonus; the online casino will match the amount of money you fund your account with up to a maximum amount.

For example, you may find that an online casino is offering a 100% matched deposit bonus of up to $300. This means that whatever amount of money you deposit on your first deposit will be matched by 100%, up to $300. So, if you created a casino account and deposited $75, the casino would credit your account with an additional $75 in bonus money.

Deposit bonuses are a great way to start playing your favorite casino games without having to risk as much as your own money. Most online gambling sites offer deposit bonuses in one form or another. Expect to see online casino wagering requirements attached to your deposit bonuses.

No-Deposit Bonuses

A no-deposit bonus is perhaps the most common type of bonus casinos offer. While they’re far less common than they once were, they can still be found if users search hard enough. Here at Casinomeister, you’ll notice that we’ve put together a list of some of the best no-deposit bonuses accessible to our users.

So, what exactly is a no-deposit bonus, and how does it differ from other casino promotions?

A no-deposit bonus does not need you to make a deposit or jeopardize any of your cash to be eligible for it.

This means you may start playing at an online casino without spending any of your cash – and most no-deposit offers also enable you to win real money! No-deposit bonuses are frequently provided to new players to entice them to join a new casino.

What’s the catch, then? For starters, most casinos will limit how much money you may earn through a no-deposit bonus. If a casino offers a $10 no-deposit bonus, you could find that the maximum you can win is capped at $100. Any amount over this will be forfeited.

It’s important to remember that casinos are companies; they exist to generate money, and they cannot afford to give away no-deposit bonuses to everyone. As a result, there are frequently additional terms and conditions attached.

Cashback

Online casinos understand that players don’t like losing, which is one reason why another popular type of casino bonus is a cashback bonus. This type of promotion allows you to get some of your losses back as a cashback. A typical example of this working in practice is a casino offering new players 20% of their losses back during the first week of play, up to a maximum of maybe $200.

Most online casino sites that offer cashback promotions like this choose to do so by giving the cashback at the end of each week – typically on a Friday. Some casinos offer this promotion to existing players, so it’s not exclusively available to new users.

Whether cashback comes with wagering requirements or not depends entirely on the online casino you choose to play at. For example, some cashback will be credited to your online casino account as casino bonus money. In contrast, other casinos will offer wager-free cashback, which means you can withdraw it as real money right away.

VIP Program

Almost all casinos offer some VIP program or loyalty scheme to their players. While the barriers to entry for these VIP schemes can differ a lot, depending on which site you play at, there are generally three different types. Below, we’ve included an extract from one of our main casino bonus pages on what these three different types are:

  • Invitation: Invitation-only VIP programmes are the most common types of entry into a VIP scheme, and this format means that you’ll only be eligible to join the VIP scheme once a member from the VIP team or casino management team invites you to join.
  • Merit of Play: This format is slightly more difficult to reach, in many cases, and it requires you to be a very loyal player at an online casino. To reach a VIP programme in this way, you’ll need to frequently make deposits, play at high levels and be considered to be one of the site’s top-staking players.
  • Tier-Based Programs: The final way you’ll see used at certain casinos is the tiered-based system. These are probably the second most common type of VIP entry system, and a casino will have a number of tiers in place; the more you play, the more points you earn, and you gradually work your way through these tiers.

It doesn’t matter how you manage to become a VIP; once you do so, you’ll be entitled to a wide variety of perks. For example, many VIPs are awarded exclusive bonuses – often free spins and matched deposit bonuses – which tend to have much lower wagering requirements than conventional bonuses.

VIP players may also be able to benefit from other perks. This can include a dedicated VIP manager, faster deposits and withdrawals, higher withdrawal limits, access to exclusive games, and sometimes even physical gifts and rewards, including Rolex watches, cars – even holidays!

Wager-Free Bonuses

While most bonuses come with wagering requirements attached, some casinos are starting to try out different techniques to compete with one another – and wager-free bonuses are one of the key examples of this.

As the name suggests, a wager-free bonus is simply a casino bonus that doesn’t come with any wagering requirements attached; the casino bonus is credited to your account, and any winnings from the bonus are credited to your account as wager-free cash. This allows you to withdraw it immediately or wager it on other games without worrying about any other terms and conditions.

Generally, wager-free casino bonuses are limited to free spins and cashback – but you can occasionally find other types of bonuses without online casino wagering requirements. When you do find them, they can often be pretty lucrative.

Parachute Bonuses Versus Sticky Bonuses

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll find two different types of bonuses when you claim a bonus from an online casino: sticky bonuses and non-sticky bonuses, the latter of which is also known as a parachute bonus.

When you claim a sticky bonus, your deposit instantly becomes tied to the bonus money that the casino credits your account with. This means that you cannot make a withdrawal until you’ve completed the wagering requirements; the bonus money is ‘stuck’. On the other hand, the non-sticky bonus means that your bonus funds are separated from the money you deposit into your account.

You play through your real money balance first, and only once that’s run out do you then dip into your bonus money. The wagering requirements only come into play when you’ve dipped into the bonus money; up until that point, you’re free to spend your money in whatever way you want.

Interestingly, since 2018 the UK’s Gambling Commission passed a new rule that means casinos are no longer allowed to give players sticky bonuses. This means that if you’re located in the UK, any time that you claim a casino bonus, it will be a non-sticky bonus, so you can withdraw your cash balance at any time you want. However, wagering requirement restrictions do still apply once you dip into the bonus funds. 

What Other Bonus Terms & Conditions Am I Likely To Come Across?

In addition to online casino wagering requirements, almost all bonuses will also come with several other terms and conditions attached to them, regardless of whether you claim a deposit bonus, free spins, or cashback. 

Below, we’ll take a close look at some of the other terms and conditions you’ll want to watch when you begin playing at casinos with bonuses.

Time-Frames

Almost all casino bonuses include a time restriction or deadline by which the wagering requirements and other conditions must be fulfilled. Any bonus monies remaining in your account will be lost if the wagering requirements are not met by the end of this time frame.

Fortunately, most casinos allow you plenty of time to meet the wagering requirements, with some bonuses lasting up to 30 days! We’ve discovered that the worst-case situation is generally 7 days – but certain sites may have lower time limitations. It’s always worth checking ahead of time to know how much time you have to meet the wagering requirements.

Minimum Deposit Restrictions

Many casino bonuses, particularly no-deposit and match deposit bonuses, have a minimum deposit requirement, which implies the amount of money you must deposit into your online casino account to be eligible for the bonus.

The minimum deposit size varies significantly depending on the sort of bonus you want to claim. Free spins bonuses, for example, frequently have a modest initial deposit of $5 or $10, whereas matching deposit bonuses frequently have a little larger minimum deposit of, say, $20.

High roller bonuses often have a considerably larger minimum deposit, and depending on the sort of welcome bonus you pick, the minimum deposit amount might be as high as $1,000.

Thankfully, finding out the minimum deposit amount for a specific bonus you’re interested in claiming is simple. Like everything else on this list, the information can be found on the offer’s terms and conditions page.

Game Exclusions

Whenever you claim a bonus and review the terms and conditions, you’ll see that the casino has some ‘game restrictions’ in the area under wagering requirements. This implies that you won’t be able to play specific games with your bonus cash (remember, your cash is often separated from your bonus monies).

Alternatively, if you play any of the banned games, your bets will not contribute to the wagering requirements. So, why is this significant, and why is this rule in place at online casinos?

To begin with, it’s significant because if all of your favorite games aren’t allowed to be utilized when you claim a deposit bonus, there’s no purpose in actually claiming the bonus, whether it’s a first deposit bonus or a high roller reload.

What is the rationale for the casinos enforcing this rule? It ultimately boils down to the return to player percentage, or RTP as it is often called. The RTP measures how much money a casino can anticipate winning – on average – from a game over time.

For example, if a game’s RTP is 97 percent, it indicates that for every $100 wagered, you’ll lose $3 on average, which is the casino’s profit. While most video slots have an RTP of 95-96 percent, certain games have extremely high RTPs – even as high as 99 percent – making it quite easy to meet the wagering requirements when playing these games.

To prevent this, most casinos simply do not allow you to play these games with bonus monies. It’s also worth noting that most casinos don’t allow progressive jackpot games, casino table games such as Roulette and Blackjack, or live dealer games.

Maximum Cashout Limits

Many no-deposit bonuses include a maximum cashout limit, sometimes called a win limit. However, it’s uncommon to see it used with traditional welcome bonus offers like match deposit bonuses. A limited cashout indicates that the amount of cash you could earn from a bonus is limited.

For instance, if a casino offers a $10 no-deposit bonus, the maximum win limit maybe $50. Any prizes over $10 would be lost as a result.

It may appear to be an irritating restriction, but keep in mind that no-deposit bonuses are offered to players for free, and casinos do incur a risk when they do so.

If you’re unsure whether the offer you’ve claimed has any maximum win limitations, you can always check the promotion’s terms and conditions or contact the casino’s customer care team immediately.

Payment Method Exclusions

When looking for the best casino bonus, you’ll probably notice something as you go through all the different online casinos accessible. Most online casinos prohibit the use of certain payment methods to claim their first deposit and future deposit bonuses.

Skrill and Neteller deposits, for example, are nearly always prohibited from bonus promotions. If you do make a deposit using one of these two payment methods, you will almost certainly be unable to earn the first deposit bonus.

So, why is this the case? Why are both of these popular payment options prohibited at most online casinos?

While both Neteller and Skrill are entirely secure to use (they’re both registered and controlled in the UK, for example), they don’t need much information from consumers when signing up. This implies that con artists may easily open many Skrill/Neteller accounts, collect the highest casino bonuses, and cash out.

Because casinos were losing millions of pounds each year, they decided to prohibit the usage of both payment methods openly. It’s inconvenient, to be sure, but happily, many alternative payment methods are approved for usage with bonus monies. You shouldn’t have too much trouble choosing the correct one for you.

Max Bet

Many of the casino bonuses available today include what are known as maximum bet limits. As the name implies, these terms and restrictions limit the amount of money you may spend every spin/hand while using bonus cash.

Thankfully, most online casinos in the UK now automatically restrict you from putting a wager exceeding the maximum limit the terms and conditions allowed. The casino software will refuse to let you place a bet if you try.

However, this isn’t accessible at all online casinos, so be cautious while placing bets to make sure you’re not wagering/staking more than the maximum allowable amount.

While the maximum wager you may put with bonus cash varies depending on the offer you choose to claim, most casino sites cap the maximum bet at $5. On request, this can be increased, although this is relatively uncommon for new players.

Limited To One Person Per Household/IP

Whenever you claim a promotion that gives you bonus money you’re quite likely to find, buried deep in the bonus’ terms and conditions that it’s only available to be claimed by one person per household or sharing the same IP address. This rule is because casinos were very prone to fraud; someone would join a casino multiple times from the same home, getting their partners, siblings – even their children – to create an account that allowed them to claim the main welcome bonus repeatedly again.

To try and curb the amount of bonus abuse today, casinos will generally limit their bonus money offers to one player from each household. If you’re in doubt about whether someone in your home has ever had an account with a casino in the past, reach out to the customer support team, who can tell you whether you’re able to play or not.

FAQs

What is bonus money?

Once you claim one of the many bonuses and promotions on offer at a casino, you’ll notice that the money you claimed isn’t added to your cash balance – i.e., you can’t go ahead and withdraw it right away. Instead, it’s classified as bonus money – and it will stay as bonus money until you complete the online casino wagering requirements.

Online casino wagering requirements are applied to most bonuses and promotions. If you want to learn more about what online casino wagering requirements are, head to the top of this article, where we explain it in great depth. Alternatively, we give you a short preview below.

What are wagering requirements?

When you claim a bonus, more times than not, you’ll find online casino wagering requirements attached to the bonus; these wagering requirements determine the number of times you need to play through the bonus money before you’re able to withdraw it.

Wagering requirements determine the number of times that you need to play through a specific amount of money before you can withdraw it as cash. For example, if you claimed a $10 bonus with wagering requirements of 10X, you’d need to wager a total of $100 before you could withdraw the money from the casino.

Wagering requirements may seem annoying, but they’re implemented to allow the casinos to keep on giving out bonuses. Without wagering requirements, it would be too easy for players to abuse the online casinos’ bonuses.

What is a fair wagering requirement?

The wagering requirements attached to a bonus can vary dramatically depending on where you play – and the type of bonus you claim – so it’s pretty hard to put an exact figure on what’s ‘fair’ when it comes to wagering requirements. For example, if you claim free spins, then generally, the wagering requirements will be roughly 10X; matched deposit bonuses can see wagering requirements between 25X and 45X.

If you choose to claim a no-deposit bonus, then the wagering requirements will be significantly higher – and you may find that they’re as high as 75X.

Can I withdraw winnings from a bonus?

Yes, absolutely; however, to be able to withdraw a bonus you need to make sure that you’ve completed the wagering requirements of that bonus. It’s also important that you don’t breach any of the other terms and conditions attached in addition to the wagering requirements. For example, it’s not just the casino wagering requirements you need to think about; make sure you don’t play any restricted games and complete the wagering requirements within the given time frame!

Can I use bonus money on casino table games?

This depends on where you’re playing; some casinos will allow you to use bonuses on casino table games while others don’t. However, if you are allowed to play your bonus on casino table games, you’ll probably find that the contribution to the wagering requirements is lower. For example, every $1 you wager contributes 100% towards the wagering requirement restrictions when you play video slots.

However, when playing casino table games, this can drop to as low as 10% – if they’re even counted at all – so it’s something to be aware of. 

Do free spins have wagering requirements?

Wagering requirement restrictions can apply to all bonuses, and free spins are not excluded from this. Of course, whether the specific free spins promotion you claim comes with wagering requirement restrictions depends on the casino you’re playing at, the value of the free spins, which games the free spins can be used on, and more. Generally speaking, free spins do come with wagering requirement restrictions.

Where can I find the best bonus promotions?

Right here at Casinomeister! Our team of online gambling experts works hard to bring you the best bonuses and promotions available at reputable casinos that our team has tested out themselves. This allows you to actually find the best bonuses and promotions. It also allows you to play at safe, fully-regulated casinos that have a good reputation with our players and management team.

What is a no-deposit bonus?

A no-deposit bonus is a bonus that’s given out by some casinos that you can claim without needing to deposit any of your own money. On paper, it sounds great, doesn’t it? However, no-deposit bonuses tend to come with very high wagering requirement restrictions. There’s usually a max cashout limit. The terms and conditions for no-deposit bonuses are a lot harder when compared against free spins bonuses example.

If you know where to look you can find no-deposit bonuses around today – but they’re not as common as they once were, so you have to do a little bit of digging to make sure you can find the best-value ones!

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