All online casino bonuses have a wagering requirement attached. A wagering requirement is the stipulated amount that players must gamble in order to claim free cash from the casino. They can be generous or fairly mean, depending on the site, so it's important to check bonus terms before you whip out the credit card.

Whether you're into slots, table games or scratchcards, there is a wealth of bonus promotions open to you. Your job as a savvy gambler is to find the best bonuses and work out if they're achievable. No-one wants to waste their bankroll chasing a dream, and with our tips you can avoid losing out.

Getting Started: What Is A Wagering Requirement?

Most online casinos offer new and regular players the chance to earn some free cash, just for playing games.

In many cases the offer is a "deposit match". That means the casino will match the player's deposit (usually 100%) if they meet the wagering requirement. The requirement is a multiple of the total deposit, say 30 times. In some cases, players must gamble the deposit PLUS the bonus by 30-40 times. Meet the requirement and the free cash will be released to your account, usually in instalments.

Casino Game Eligibility

Not all games contribute towards a bonus requirement. You'll find a list of eligible games in the bonus terms and conditions. A typical list of eligible games might read like this:

All Slots (minus progressive jackpots): 100%
Roulette: 20%
Blackjack: 20%
Craps / other table games: 10%
Scratchcards: 5%
All other games: 0%

It's important to look at both the wagering requirement AND the eligibility before you sign up. If you're a hardcore slots player you'll be looking at 100% eligibility. If you want to play even-money roulette bets to work off a bonus, 20%+ is a good amount.

Example: Bonus Playthrough

You sign up to a new casino that is offering 100% up to $500 when you open an account. You want to play slots and roulette and notice that the eligibility is 100% on slots and 20% on all forms of roulette. In addition, the wagering requirement is set at 40x.

  • You decide to deposit the full amount, $500. The casino will match your $500 with another $500, IF you meet the wagering requirement within the timeframe.
  • With a wagering requirement of 40x, you will have to gamble 40 x $500, or $20,000, in order to earn the $500 free.
  • You start to play slots and do well, keeping your win rate up and managing to play through the required rate.
  • With your roulette play, only 20% of your games contribute, so you find you have to bet five times as much just to keep up. However, sticking to even-money outside bets you work off the bonus within the timeframe.
  • The casino pays out your $500 in instalments to your account.

Accessing A No-Deposit Or Free Spins Bonus

Wagering requirements also exist for other kinds of casino bonuses. Some casinos let new players gamble without even making a deposit. These 'no-deposit' bonuses may offer a few bonus credits to play with or free spins on a selected slot.

The wagering idea is the same: play your allotted free spins or cash and amass "winnings". To claim the cash you now have to apply a wagering multiplier, perhaps 20-30 times.

Let's say you claim 25 free spins on a big NetEnt slot when you sign up to a casino. You play the spins and win $100. To claim the $100 in cash you'll have to "wager" it on the casino site. There may be criteria on the size of the bets allowed too (a maximum spin bet of $1, for example) to stop players abusing the bonus.

Hunting Out The Best Casino Bonuses Online

All online casinos offer some kind of bonus to players. It could range from a deposit match to free spins, or a straight no-deposit offer. Even regular customers can earn smaller 'reload bonuses' which offer, say, a 50% match up to $100 each month.

It's important to be careful of 'bonus abuse'. Casinos will punish any customers they feel are taking unfair advantage of the bonus terms, e.g. claiming a bonus and leaving the casino, attempting to open multiple accounts, or making suspicious betting patterns during a play-through.

But with some sensible game selection, and the right casinos, you can work off a bonus much quicker.

Casino Wagering Requirement FAQs

What Is A Wagering Requirement?

A wagering requirement is the amount of games a casino player must play in order to trigger a deposit or free spins bonus.

Do Only Welcome Bonuses Have Them?

No. Most casino bonuses that involve free games or a deposit will have a wagering requirement attached.

Are They Easy To Achieve?

It depends on your chosen games. It's important to check the eligibility of different games when working off a bonus - some games contribute 100% towards the bonus amount while others offer nothing.

Are Some Games Better Than Others To Play?

In general, most slots will contribute 100% of play towards a deposit bonus (apart from big-money progressives). Table games like roulette and blackjack contribute around 10-20%. If you're playing table games, try to stick to even-money bets which are better for the player. Be careful of falling foul of bonus abuse, however.

What Other Casino Bonuses Have Wagering Requirements?

As well as a welcome bonus, you'll find wagering requirements attached to regular reload and deposit bonus. Even no-deposit and free spins/bonus spins bonuses will have a wagering requirement.

What Happens If I Miss The Bonus Requirement?

If you don't play through enough money within the deadline you'll have to revert to a regular reload bonus which doesn’t pay as much.

How Quickly Will My Bonus Money Be Paid Out?

Successful bonuses are paid out straight after being triggered, but casinos will generally pay out in instalments.