Who doesn’t love a juicy casino bonus? From matched deposits to free spins, there are plenty of great offers waiting to be claimed at online casinos. However, most bonuses come with a catch, usually in the form of wagering requirements – two words no casino player likes to hear. But what exactly are wagering requirements, how do they work, and why are they important? Our wagering requirement guide has everything you need to know.

Whenever you’re browsing casino bonuses, it’s always important to check the small print to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your playing style and budget. The biggest bonus isn’t always the best – in fact, low wagering requirements can make a small bonus more attractive than a much larger one for some people. Let’s take a look at why that is.

What are wagering requirements?

Wagering requirements, also known as playthrough requirements, demonstrate how many times you must wager your total bonus amount before you can withdraw any winnings. At some casinos you have to wager your deposit as well as the bonus, meaning you have to gamble a lot more before you have the option to withdraw your winnings as cash.

As you can imagine, this can make it tricky to actually convert any of your online casino bonus to withdrawable cash.

Exact wagering requirements vary from between online casinos, and even between individual bonuses, but it’s fairly common to see bonus wagering requirements of 35x-45x- though some bonuses have wagering requirements as high as 60x your bonus funds. If you don’t manage to complete the playthrough requirements in the specified time period, your bonus funds (and often any associated winnings) will be void.

How do wagering requirements work?

Let’s say you have a £100 bonus and the wagering requirements are 35x. This means you’d have to wager £3,500 before you can get your hands on any returns. Sounds simple, right? Well, there are other factors that can impact how soon you can complete these wagering requirements:

Game weightings

If you’re planning on applying your poker skills or blackjack strategy to complete wagering requirements, you may want to think again. Not all the wagers you make on casino games will count 100% towards completing wagering requirements.

If slots are your thing then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, because most games usually count 100%. However, table games, roulette and video poker generally only contribute 10%-20%, and some casinos exclude wagers on certain games altogether.

Let’s imagine you’ve claimed a £100 bonus and the wagering requirements are 25x, so you need to wager £2,500. If blackjack only contributes 10% to the wagering requirements, only £10 out of every £100 you wager will count towards meeting the £2,500 benchmark. In short, it’s going to take a lot of blackjack to get there.

Time limits

Time limits don’t just apply to claiming and using casino bonuses – you’ll have to complete the wagering requirements within a set period of time, too. As playthrough requirements often mean you have to gamble a large amount, you may be in a rush against time to get it done. The time limits vary a lot from site to site – some give you a week, while others allow 30 days. Make sure to read up on the Ts & Cs so to avoid any nasty surprises.

Low wagering casino bonuses

You won’t be bound by huge wagering requirements with every online casino bonus. A selection of online casinos offer bonus deals with low wagering requirements, which means you’ll need to wager your bonus winnings fewer times before you can withdraw them as cash. While some casinos have low wagering bonuses as standard, others offer low wagering requirements as part of their VIP bonus package.

It’s pretty standard for wagering requirements to start at around 30x your bonus funds, so any bonus below 20x wagering could be considered low.

Of course, even 20x wagering requirements could be difficult to complete, depending on your gameplay style and your betting budget, so its important to compare wagering requirements to find something that’s realistic for you.

No wagering casino bonuses

A handful of sites go one step further to offer casino bonuses with no wagering requirements. This means you won’t have to jump through hoops to get your hands on any winnings you earn from your free spins or bonus funds. While some online casinos prides themselves on no wagering deals for welcome bonuses and other promotions, others may offer no wagering offers as one-time promotions.

No wagering bonuses tend to be more modest, offering just a handful of free spins or a small amount of free cash with your matched deposit bonus.

It’s important to bear in mind that, while these casinos bonuses have no wagering requirements, you may be subject to other terms and conditions like games restrictions and maximum winnings caps.

What else do I need to know?

It’s not just as simple as wagering your bonus the set number of times and then cashing in – there are other factors to take into account.

Maximum bets

Somewhere in the small print of online casinos you’ll often find that you can only bet a certain amount per game with your bonus funds. The limit varies, but a common example is £5. So if you were playing mobile slots, you’d only be able to bet a maximum of £5 per spin.

This doesn’t increase or decrease your chances of winning, but it does mean that it may take a little longer to meet the requirements. On a lighter note, it’ll help stretch out your bonus funds so that you can enjoy your favourite titles for longer, which is always a good thing!

Maximum win caps

You’ve claimed an enticing bonus, completed the playthrough requirements and managed to come out the other end in the green. Now you have to hope your winnings are within the limit! Casinos often cap bonus winnings in case you get lucky and land a big one, so this is something you should be on the lookout for.

Of course, wagering requirements already make it pretty unlikely to come out with a big profit, so you probably won’t have to worry too much about win limits. Most casinos have reasonable caps anyway, such as £500, so you’re still getting a pretty decent deal. It’s always good to have a heads up, though!

So why claim casino bonuses?

If you’re new to casino bonuses you may be wondering why anyone would bother claiming them if it’s so difficult to actually win any cash. Well, the answer is simple – to have fun! We play casino games for enjoyment first and foremost, and the same goes for bonuses. Casinos need to make a profit, and they would struggle to do that if they were giving away large bonuses without covering themselves.

Of course, there’s always the chance you could land some winnings. After all, many casino games have large jackpots, and it only takes one lucky play to win big. However, if you’re only intention for claiming bonuses is to come out richer the other end, you’re probably going to be disappointed! Bonuses are best used as a way to boost your bankroll and enjoy the thrill of real-money games without wagering your own money.

Ready to go?

Feel like you’ve got to grips with wagering requirements? Good, because we want you to be sure you’re getting the best value when claiming casino bonuses. Remember, less is sometimes more, so try not to be blindsided by huge offers and always check the small print. We’ll always highlight the terms and conditions of bonuses on our lists of top UK casinos, but now you know what to look out for yourself.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get a no wagering no deposit bonus?

Yes. It sounds like the dream online casino bonus, and at some sites you can claim no wagering no deposit bonuses. These are usually free spins, but you may come across a cash bonus with no wagering requirements, too. It goes without saying that these no wagering casino bonuses are pretty rare and tend to be pretty small, such as 10 free spins or a £1 no deposit. Though it’s basically free money, so you can’t have too many complaints!

What’s the best way to complete wagering requirements?

Your best bet is to use play casino games that contribute 100% to the completion of wagering requirements, and out of those games you should choose the ones with the highest RTP (return to player rate). However, even with a high RTP, you aren’t guaranteed to make a profit. Use your casino bonuses to enjoy extra play time on your favourite games rather than as a way to make a quick buck.

Can I withdraw my winnings once I’ve completed wagering requirements?

Yes. Once you’ve completed the requirements in line with the casino’s terms and conditions, your winnings will be credited to your account ready for withdrawal. Of course, you’ll need to meet the casino’s minimum withdrawal requirements, which could vary depending on the banking option you choose to withdraw with. The withdrawal method you choose can also affect the processing times – withdrawing with PayPal may be quicker than using a debit card, for example.

Do live dealer games contribute to wagering requirements?

Yes. Some casinos allow you to wager your bonus on live games, and some even have specific live casino bonuses. However, as with animated table games, wagers placed on most live games won’t count 100%. Some sites exclude live games altogether, so make sure to read up on this if you’re a fan of live dealer casino software.

Which casino bonuses have the highest wagering requirements?

Wagering requirements will vary between casinos, which means there’s no definitive answer. However, it’s no deposit bonuses that tend to have the highest wagering requirements across the board. This is because the casino is essentially giving you something for nothing. But remember, every offer has its pros and cons. So whether you fancy a large matched deposit or a smaller no wagering casino bonus, make sure to weigh up the options to find the best bonus for you.