Generally speaking, all bonuses you claim in an online casino are linked to (so-called) wagering requirements or playthrough requirements for a reason. Bonuses are offered to give you the incentive to play. However, this only works for the casino if the players actually use the bonus for recreational purposes. Wagering requirements’ sole purpose is to prevent the player from withdrawing the money immediately. In fact, if an instant withdrawal were possible, online casinos would not be in business. This means that the player must wager (playthrough) a minimum amount of bets before a withdrawal can be made. Knowing about the terms and conditions that are linked to a casino bonus is therefore crucial.
How do bonus wagering requirements work?
The casino bonus wagering requirement is the number of times an amount of money has to be staked. Either that applies to the bonus amount only (B) or the bonus + the deposit amount (D + B). As a rule of thumb: Unless the wagering requirements have been met, you are not eligible to withdraw any winnings you may have generated from the bonus.
Let us explain this further with an example:
Lee has taken up an 100% bonus up to 200 USD (or currency equivalent). To claim the full bonus, he deposited the maximum of 200 USD, and therefore started with a casino bankroll of 400 USD. Lee knows that the casino welcome bonus is linked to wagering requirements of 20x the deposit + bonus. That means he must wager his bankroll of 400 USD (deposited sum + casino bonus) 20 times in order to withdraw the bonus. The minimum total to be wagered therefore amounts to 8,000 USD. In the terms and conditions of the online casino’s bonus, this term would look something like this: wagering requirements = 20x deposit + bonus.
Lee has also inquired about the fact that not all games contribute equally to playing through the wagering requirements. Since slot machines are one of his favourite type of casino games, he will try his luck with these. In this example, all bets placed on online slots contribute 100% towards unlocking the bonus. Now, Lee just needs to be lucky and win enough in order to be able to place the wagers required to meet the playthrough requirements of 20 times 400 credits to reach 8,000 USD.
The above example describes a casino bonus with reasonable wagering requirements. Watch out for playthrough requirements that are too high, though. Map the previous example to a wager of 50x the deposit and bonus and you are dealing with 20,000 USD, which will need to be cleared to unlock the bonus. However, rest assured that in the case of using up the initial deposit and bonus money, the wagering requirements for that bonus are cancelled out as well. In our Asia online casino reviews you can find details on each casino welcome bonus offer. Also take a look at our section on Pros and Cons of a sign-up bonus.
Excluded games with wagering requirements
As a rule of thumb, games that have a low house edge only partially contribute to clearing the casino bonus, or not at all. An example of this is table games such as baccarat, blackjack and roulette, which often contribute no more than 25% towards the wagering requirements. Welcome bonuses are intended for players who love to play high house edge games that are based on pure randomness, such as slot machines or Keno.