How do Casino Wagering Requirements Work?

Nearly all online casinos use wagering requirements when it comes to bonuses and offers. This article will help you understand what they mean.

What are wagering requirements?

Wagering requirements are terms and conditions that online casinos apply to their bonuses and offers to prevent bonus abuse and limit how much players can win from bonuses.

Wagering requirements

You will most often see them displayed as an amount. So a casino offer with wagering requirements of 35X means you need to wager your bonus 35 times before you can withdraw it.

Let’s look at a more detailed example to help you understand. You join an online casino where the offer for new players is ‘Deposit €100, Get a €100 Bonus’. 

If that offer was for real cash, players would sign-up, claim the offer, and withdraw the bonus. There would be no incentive to stay on the site, and casinos would quickly lose money.

By introducing wagering requirements, casinos ensure players stay at the casino to play with their bonus. And casinos hope you will lose your bonus before you reach the wagering requirements. This is why they are so high and can be so complicated.

If, in the example above, you claimed the €100 bonus by depositing €100 and the wagering requirements were 50X, you would need to wager your bonus 50 times before it would be eligible to withdraw. 

That’s a total of €5000 in bets required. As you can see, it’s a lot, and most players would never be able to achieve it.

Wagering requirements may also be applied to winnings from separate offers like Free Spins or Live Casino bonuses. 

Why do casinos have wagering requirements?

In the early days of online casinos, the terms and conditions of bonuses were a lot looser. Intelligent players would easily be able to complete any requirements and make money from bonuses.

Gamblers would trade strategies and the names of new casinos on forums and private messaging groups that players could target for free money.

Casinos quickly became smarter. They referred to these smart players as ‘bonus abusers’ and tightened up the terms and conditions. High wagering requirements instantly deter this type of unprofitable casino player.

Casinos want players to take bonuses to explore the games they have rather than as a way to make free money.

How do wagering requirements work?

As we mentioned above in the previous example, a wagering requirement is the amount of bets a player has to make before the bonus or winnings from a bonus can be withdrawn as real cash.

So a bonus with 35X wagering requirements must be wagering 35 times, and a 50X condition, 50 times etc.

However, most casinos also include additional requirements. Clever players sticking to ‘safe’ bets like red or black in roulette or playing a decent strategy on video poker or blackjack can give themselves a decent chance of completing wagering requirements.

In response, most casinos forbid you from using your bonus on safe bets like those described above. Some limit the games you can use your bonus on and limit how much you can wager on one bet.

What are reasonable requirements?

Whatever your views on online casinos, it’s clear that no business can leave themselves open to losing money by offering offers without some form of control. Wagering requirements are here to stay. 

Trying to beat the casino’s wagering requirements is part of the fun and part of the game. Casinos with wagering requirements of 10-20X on their offers are fair enough. The upper limit would be 35X. 

Wagering requirements of 50X and above (we have seen 75X) are impossible to beat, and it’s just not an offer worth taking if you want to try and make real money from your bonus.

Note that a growing number of cashback casinos are offering real cashback or rebates on your casino losses. This usually comes with no wagering requirements and is excellent value for players.

Cashback casinos with wagering requirements are cheeky – this is your money, and they shouldn’t be applying wagering terms on it.

What requirements should I avoid?

Anything over 35X is just not worth it. But also remember to check what restrictions are placed on bets you make with your bonus. 

Casinos that apply very low limits on bets placed with your bonus should be avoided. Naturally, you’ll need to make many more bets to complete the requirements and, therefore, have many more chances to lose.

Casinos will usually employ the 50% roulette wheel term, which means bets covering 50% or more of the roulette table don’t count towards completing wagering requirements. 

This is fair enough, but casinos that prevent any roulette bets or include clauses like ‘table games only count as 5% towards completing wagering requirements’ are unfair.