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Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements

A. Antonova (editor)

Casino Welcome Bonuses

Online casinos treat their customers to a rich variety of promotional incentives as a means of attracting new players and retaining the action of existing ones. Claiming bonuses is indeed a great way to boost your gambling bankroll and extend your play time but these offers inevitably have terms and conditions you should comply with to fully benefit from the casino promotions you participate in. 

Wagering requirements are among the most common terms attached to online casino bonuses. They indicate the number of times players must wager the bonus funds over before they can withdraw any related winnings. Also known as “rollover” or “playthrough”, wagering requirements are in place to prevent customers from abusing casino bonuses and withdrawing money from gambling sites without playing. 

Learning the ins and outs of how wagering requirements work is a must before you start redeeming any online casino bonuses as violating this term commonly results in bonus forfeiture. But before we get there, let’s have a closer look at the most common types of bonuses offered by online gambling operators. 

Types of Bonuses

Casino BonusVarious types of casino bonuses are available to players, each one having unique terms and conditions you should be wary of. Newly registered players are commonly treated to no-deposit and welcome bonuses consisting of free credits to play with, sometimes combined with free spins on select slots.

Returning customers are not left empty-handed, either, as they get to claim reload bonuses on subsequent deposits, take advantage of cashbacks, and collect comp points for each real-money wager they place. Continue reading for further information on each of these common promotional incentives.

No Deposit Bonuses

Casino No Deposit BonusesRemember what we said about online casinos never giving money for free? Well, no-deposit bonuses are an exception to the general rule. As you can probably tell from their name, these promotional incentives require no deposits and are granted to new customers simply for registering real-money accounts. Nevertheless, terms are attached to these promotions to prevent bonus abuse. Without these terms, sharp players would simply claim the free credits and withdraw them immediately after without placing any real-money bets.

Some online casinos refer to no-deposit promotions as free-money bonuses but this wording can be misleading. No-deposit bonuses are commonly granted either as free credits (no more than $10 in most cases) or in the form of free spins new players can use on specific slot games from the casino’s portfolio. No-deposit bonuses and their associated winnings are subject to wagering requirements players must clear to convert them into withdrawable cash. There is usually a cap on the maximum winnings customers can withdraw from their no-deposit bonuses after satisfying the playthrough requirements.

Any winnings exceeding the stipulated withdrawable amount are automatically forfeited after players request a withdrawal. Maximum bet limits are another condition you should be wary of when claiming no-deposit bonuses. Wagers are often capped at a nominal amount and placing bets exceeding the maximum allowed limit leads to confiscation of the no-deposit bonus. In rare instances, the winnings from no-deposit bonuses are credited as free credits you can play with but cannot withdraw. It all depends on the specific policies of the online casino running the promotional incentive.

Free Spins

Casino Free SpinsAs we previously mentioned, no-deposit bonuses are sometimes credited in the form of free spins. However, bonus rounds on select slots are also offered as part of some casinos’ welcome packages available to new customers who deposit for the first time. Many gambling operators also offer daily, weekly, or monthly bundles of free spins to existing customers as a means of retaining their action and popularizing the latest slot titles added to their gaming libraries.

Free spins are not granted as cash and are intended simply for playing purposes. This means players can cash out only the winnings they have landed while playing with their free spins. You should always check the terms and conditions of free spins promotions. Most of them overlap with those attached to no-deposit bonuses as players must usually comply with a specific maximum bet limit and clear the wagering requirements before they can withdraw any winnings from free spins.

Said wagering requirements must usually be cleared within a specific period and if you fail to do so, the casino will forfeit your free spins winnings. Maximum withdrawals are often capped at a certain amount as well. Claiming bundles of free spins poses a great way to explore new slot releases without risking any of your own money. It is also important to mention this type of promotion often requires opting in or entering a valid promo code to redeem. In most cases, players must meet certain minimum deposit requirements (usually $10) to qualify for receiving the free spins.

Welcome Bonuses

Online Casino BonusesIn addition to no-deposit bonuses, new casino members can also enjoy other types of incentives. No matter which virtual casino you choose to play at, you will almost certainly qualify for receiving a welcome bonus. Unlike no-deposit promotions, welcome bonuses require players to process a minimum qualifying deposit to get the free funds. Keep in mind this minimum does not necessarily coincide with the overall minimum deposit amount at the casino. Welcome bonuses usually consist of a first deposit match that is sometimes combined with a package of free spins.

For example, claiming a 100% welcome bonus of up to $100 with a $20 deposit gives you a total of $40 to play with. Note that making a higher deposit does not result in receiving a larger welcome bonus. You will still get $100 in this case even if you deposit $200 into your new account. There are two main types of welcome bonuses on new players’ first deposits, sticky and non-sticky. Intended solely for free-play purposes, sticky bonuses cannot be withdrawn but players can cash out the resulting winnings after clearing the playthrough. Non-sticky bonuses, also known as parachute bonuses, are more beneficial since players can convert them into actual withdrawable cash once they meet the wagering requirements.

Bonus credits and their triggering deposits are kept separately in this case, allowing players to withdraw their own money at any stage even without fulfilling the wagering requirements. Another important thing to mention is that certain games are either completely excluded or have a lower contribution toward the wagering requirements. This is known as “game weighting”, with high-house-edge games like slots and keno having full contribution (100%) toward the playthrough. Low-house-edge games like blackjack and video poker either have nominal (10% or less) or no contribution at all.

Playing excluded games will have your welcome bonus forfeited, so make sure you read the promotional terms and conditions carefully before you opt in. Caps on maximum bets with active bonuses are usually also applicable in this case. Last but not least, you should keep in mind that deposits with e-wallets like Skrill, PayPal, Payz, and Neteller are disqualified from redeeming welcome bonuses at some online casinos. We suggest you consider using alternative banking solutions like bank cards, vouchers, or online banking if you are bent on claiming welcome bonuses. Each new customer can redeem no more than one welcome bonus per account.

Reload Bonuses

Astropay Casinos DepositOne great thing about online casinos is that their generosity extends way beyond welcome bonuses. Most gambling sites regularly offer reload bonuses to existing customers as a means of rewarding them for playing consistently. Said reload bonuses are granted on subsequent deposits, with most of their terms and conditions overlapping with those of welcome bundles. Your deposit is matched up to a specific amount, although some online casinos are generous enough to throw free spins into the bargain.

Online casinos often update the list of promotions they are offering and notify their members via emails and notifications. However, you must opt in for receiving marketing communications from your favorite casino to stay abreast of the latest promotional incentives. Whenever you are interested in claiming a reload bonus, you should make sure that you have read the terms and conditions of the promotion carefully. Usually, such incentives require players to deposit a certain amount and wager the bonus several times before withdrawing it.


Astropay Casinos DepositCashbacks are another commonly available incentive designed to reward existing customers. Players who opt in for this type of offer can recover a specific percentage of the daily, weekly, or monthly losses they incur while playing at a given online casino. Some cashbacks refund a portion of the net wagers players have placed during a specific period.

Cashback percentages typically range from 5% to 20%, although some gambling operators are generous enough to offer larger cashbacks of up to 50%. The terms of this promotion are casino-specific and can vary vastly from one gambling site to another. However, one common requirement stipulates a player’s balance must drop below a specific threshold for them to qualify for receiving a cashback.

Some cashbacks require opting in during the deposit process, while others are applied automatically. Most online casinos credit the cashback amounts as cashable money customers can withdraw from their balance at any time, although some operators require players to wager the cashback amount a given number of times before withdrawing it. There are usually caps on the maximum cashback amount each player can receive but it all depends on the policies of the respective online casino. When offered as a recurring promotion, cashback percentages often depend on the level players have reached in the casino’s loyalty program. VIP customers and high-tier players are commonly entitled to larger cashback bonuses.

Loyalty Programs

Online Casino BonusesAll major online casinos value their customers and have a great way of showing it. Loyalty programs are commonly available at most gambling sites,  allowing depositing players to collect comp points each time they place real money wagers. Said programs normally comprise multiple tiers and climbing up the loyalty ladder entitles customers to bigger and better perks, including higher cashback percentages, increased withdrawal limits, early access to new games, and a personalized support service.

More often than not, players must earn a specific number of comp points before they can convert them but conversion rates are strictly casino-specific. Some gambling operators allow customers to exchange their points for real withdrawable cash without wagering, while others credit the points as bonus monies with a low playthrough.

Point accumulation rates also vary from one gambling site to the next. Slots, scratchcards, and similar instant-win games will typically earn you the highest number of points per dollar wagered and sometimes are the only games that qualify for point accumulation. This is usually the case at slot-centric gambling sites that cater predominantly to the needs of reel spinners. It is also worth mentioning that comp points expire when left unused for prolonged periods at some online casinos. Lastly, customers are usually enrolled in loyalty programs automatically as soon as they register, deposit, and start playing for real money, although some online casinos run invitation-only VIP programs reserved for the most long-standing customers.

Why Do Casinos Give Bonuses?

Casino BonusThis may puzzle inexperienced players, especially in cases when online casinos are giving away no-deposit bonuses. While some may consider this type of promotion disadvantageous for casinos, no-deposit bonuses are a great way to promote gambling sites and attract new customers to them.

Since there are literally hundreds of online casinos out there, operators are commonly trying to draw the attention of players and beat the competition with bigger and better bonuses with friendlier terms and conditions. No deposit and welcome bonuses with low wagering requirements pose a great way to achieve this. They incentivize customers to register and give new casinos a free test drive without committing with large amounts of money. Reload bonuses, free spins, cashbacks, and loyalty programs, on the other hand, are mostly intended for returning players and motivate them to continue placing bets at the casinos they already hold accounts with.

Then again, there is no such thing as a free lunch, especially when it comes to gambling. As tempting as some promotions may seem, they often come with wagering requirements that diminish their value. This is why we recommend you carefully read the conditions of the promotions offered by online casinos and choose the website that presents you with the most lucrative options.

What Exactly are Wagering Requirements

Casino Bonuses And Wagering RequirementsYou will notice that nearly all online casino promotions come with wagering requirements. If you are not sure what exactly is meant by this term, you can continue reading this article as we try to explain it in the simplest and most helpful way.

When you join a virtual casino, you will notice that it offers a range of different promotions. As we explained earlier, customers can commonly redeem no-deposit bonuses, welcome offers, free spins, reload bonuses, and cashbacks. These allow players to gamble without risking any of their money or, in the case of deposit-match bonuses, increase their real-money balance. Since the casino is giving its members free funds to play with, it needs to protect itself against promotional abuse and bonus hunters.

Wagering requirements ensure players use casino bonuses for entertainment purposes only as a means of exploring new games and extending their play time. This is why when casino patrons are given a certain bonus, they cannot withdraw it right away. Instead, the bonus amount must be wagered a number of times before players can convert it into cash and withdraw it. Whenever newcomers are offered free spins, the winnings they generate during free play are also subject to wagering requirements. Otherwise, everyone will claim the free spins and immediately withdraw their winnings without making any real-money bets.

Most of the bonuses online casinos are offering are related to the deposits players make. Often, these promotions are referred to as “match-up” bonuses since triggering deposits are matched with bonus credits up to a specific amount.

When you redeem a 100% bonus of up to $100, for example, the casino will practically double your deposit with the same amount in bonus credits. The maximum bonus you can receive is limited to $100 in this case, and you will have a total of $200 in your balance to play with.

Before they can cash out the free funds, players must wager them as many times as the casino of their choice has stated in the terms and conditions of the bonus. A $100 welcome bonus with standard wagering requirements of 30 times its value will require you to place $3,000 before requesting a withdrawal. The triggering deposit is sometimes also included in the wagering requirements, in which case you must wager $6,000 in total to clear the playthrough. Another thing to note is that different games contribute differently to bonus wagering.

In most cases, only bets on slots contribute 100% towards the playthrough, which means every dollar you wager will clear the same amount of your wagering requirements. A game with a 50% contribution will require you to bet $2 to clear $1 of the playthrough. The majority of virtual casinos state the contribution of different game types on their terms and conditions page. This helps customers determine which games to play to meet their wagering requirements faster.

In addition to game weightings, there are often titles that are fully excluded from the bonus wagering. This means that no matter how many bets you make on certain games, which may also include slots, you will not be able to meet the wagering requirement of a bonus. Players can keep track of their progress in the dashboard of their accounts. There, they can see how much of the bonus has been wagered, alongside the remaining amount they must play over to release their bonus. Keep in mind some games are outright prohibited during bonus play and placing bets on them will result in bonus confiscation.

Are There Wager-Free Bonuses

Wager Free BonusEven though it may be hard to believe, there are actually some cases when bonuses come with no wagering requirements. Some online casinos offer their members free spins with zero wagering, allowing them to instantly cash out any resulting winnings with no strings attached. Before you get too excited, however, you should know that these bonuses are usually small and will not give your bankroll a significant boost.

Even though no-wager bonuses are not that common, there are some virtual casinos that have chosen to make this little sacrifice to attract more players. PlayOJO is a great example as it offers entirely wager-free promotions without maximum cashout limits. With this in mind, you should still check the promotional terms of these offers as various other conditions are in place to prevent bonus abuse.

Players should always be careful when claiming casino bonuses, as sometimes they may end up being tricked and accumulate no winnings at all. Make sure there are no fine print, impossible-to-meet terms, or misleading clauses with dubious interpretation. If everything seems right, you can definitely give some wager-free bonuses a try.

Ways to Avoid Bad Bonus Offers

Slots Bonus GamesWhile having fun should be your main motivation to gamble online, enjoying some good payouts will not hurt as well. If you want to make your online gambling sessions more rewarding, you can participate in promotional incentives occasionally to potentially boost your bankroll. Once you have understood the wagering requirements, you can easily decide which deals to avoid and which bonuses give you decent chances of earning a little extra. There are certain tips you may want to follow if you want to fully benefit from the casino bonuses you claim.

Compare Different Bonuses

Slots Bonus GamesThe best way to find advantageous promotions is to compare the bonuses available at several casinos. Do not be fooled by the bold marketing gambling operators commonly use and read their general bonus terms instead to determine whether they work in your favor. This will help you to figure out which casino offers the best promotional conditions and the most valuable bonuses. Do not forget to research the overall reputation of your chosen casino by reading player feedback and comments in online forums or gambling-related social media groups. Avoid blacklisted gambling sites that have racked up tons of player complaints no matter how appetizing their bonuses may seem.

Make Sure You Read the Fine Print

cherry casino jackpot gamesSometimes it may be difficult to distinguish a shady casino from a reputable one. All trusted gambling operators are subject to strict gambling regulations that require them to list their bonus terms clearly and unambiguously. Be aware of the fine print that can contain crucial information. You should not be careless about the bonuses you claim at online casinos since they can make or break your gaming experience.

You should not forget, however, that it is your responsibility to acquaint yourself with the promotional terms so that you don’t violate them. Some players are quick to claim bonuses only to have them confiscated due to non-compliance with the terms. Then, they accuse the gambling operators of unethical practices while forgetting it was their fault their bonuses got forfeited.

Pay Attention to Wagering Requirements

gw casino softwareYou should always pay attention to the wagering requirements and the game weightings before you opt in for a bonus. Bonus wagering can vary wildly from one online casino to the next, although the standard playthrough commonly ranges from 30 to 40 times the bonus amount. Look up the terms to ensure the triggering deposit is not included in the wagering requirements because this will essentially double the amount of money you must commit with to release the bonus. Some gambling operators attach impossible-to-meet wagering requirements to their bonus offers while giving players a limited time to clear the playthrough.

We have even come across online casinos with wagering as high as 200 times the bonus and deposit amount, which is preposterous, to say the least. Needless to say, you should steer clear of redeeming bonuses with such absurd promotional terms. Remember that the lower the wagering requirements, the better for the player.

High wagering requirements and multiple game restrictions greatly take away from the value of the bonuses you claim. Players can determine whether a given bonus is advantageous and worth claiming by factoring in its size, wagering requirements, and the percentage contribution of the games they can play with bonus credits. Plenty of bonus value calculators are available online, allowing you to easily determine whether you can break even or lose money while clearing the playthrough of a given bonus.

Read All Conditions Related to the Bonus

Casino Weekly BonusesKeep in mind that minimum deposit and playthrough requirements are not the only promotional conditions you should be wary of when playing with bonus money. Most bonuses remain valid for a limited period and expire if players fail to use them or clear their wagering requirements within the designated time. Casinos automatically remove expired bonuses from customers’ accounts, along with any bonus-related winnings players have raked in. Because of this, you should always ensure you have sufficient time to clear your bonus wagering.

Another important thing to look out for is the withdrawal limit as most online casinos impose caps on the maximum amounts customers can cash out from bonuses, especially if the offers require no deposit to obtain. Any remaining winnings exceeding the cap are automatically removed upon requesting a withdrawal. This is a standard condition at many gambling sites, although some operators are magnanimous enough to waive their restrictions on the maximum withdrawable amounts from bonuses.

When wagering your bonus, you should also check the contribution percentage of the different game categories. This way, you can avoid betting on titles that do not count fully toward meeting the playthrough. Games with high house edges like keno, scratchcards, and slots usually contribute 100% to bonus wagering, although certain slot releases are sometimes altogether excluded from bonus play. Table games and video poker have a lower contribution by default that typically ranges from as little as 2% to no more than 20%. Playing certain games while having an active bonus in your balance is prohibited in some cases and violating this rule can cost you your free credits.

Last but not least, online casinos set caps on the maximum bets players can make while meeting their wagering requirements. Exceeding the maximum bet limit leads to, you guessed it, bonus forfeiture. Last but not least, certain deposit methods and countries are ineligible for claiming welcome bonuses and participating in promotions. This is a form of damage control implemented by gambling operators who were subjected to frequent bonus abuse from players residing in specific jurisdictions.

Once you have fully understood the requirements you must meet when playing with a given bonus, you will be able to choose a promotion that gives you good value and is worth claiming.