A Beginner’s Guide to Online Casino Bonuses

The difference between land-based and online casinos is that online casinos offer a wide range of bonuses for both new and existing members. 

Online casino bonuses are a great way to entice new people to sign up, and they are also a great way to keep existing members regularly coming back to the casino. 

On this page, we will be taking a look at the most common bonuses you are likely to come across at today’s best online casinos around the world. 

What is an online casino bonus?

An online casino bonus is some kind of offering the casino operator makes to the player. It usually appears in the form of a matching deposit bonus, a no deposit bonus, a cashback bonus, or a free spins bonus. 

What are online casino bonus wagering requirements?

Wagering requirements, sometimes referred to by players and operators as wagering requirements or rollover requirements (they all mean the same thing), are something you usually cannot avoid when you claim an online casino bonus at any online casino, such as instant withdrawal casinos

In short, the wagering requirement is the amount of money a player must wager before withdrawing any winnings they have made from that bonus. If online casino operators failed to attach wagering requirements to bonuses, they would quickly go out of business, but why?

It’s simple. Most people who receive, say, a free $/€/£10.00 bonus (or equivalent currency value) might decide to withdraw that free money and spend it somewhere other than the casino. Wagering requirements stop players from being able to do this and protect the casino. 

How do I complete online casino bonus wagering requirements?

Completing wagering requirements is relatively straightforward. However, the best thing to do would be to read through the bonus terms and conditions before accepting an online casino bonus. The Ts and Cs will tell you exactly how much you need to wager before you can withdraw. 

The Ts and Cs will also reveal which games count more towards completing them than others. For example, online slot machines (and usually online scratchcards) usually contribute 100% per $/€/£1.00 wagered towards completing your wagering requirements. 

Other games, like baccarat, blackjack, craps, poker, and video poker games may only contribute as little as 5.00% to a maximum of 20.00% per $/€/£1.00 wagered towards completing them, and live dealer games usually don’t contribute ANYTHING per $/€/£1.00. What does this mean exactly?

It means you should stick to playing any of the selected online slots (stated in the Ts and Cs) to complete your wagering requirements in as little time as possible – NOT live dealer games or any other regular table & card games. 

How much do I have to spend to complete my wagering requirements?

This can vary a great deal from one online casino to the next. For example, some online casinos might have super low wagering requirements worth anywhere from as little as 1x up to 20x the bonus amount. Remember, the lower the wagering requirements are, the better it is for you. 

Most of the time, you will find online casino bonuses with 25x to 50x wagering requirements. You can also find some with 60x or 70x wagering requirements. Let’s take a quick look at how this works using the following examples. 

If you have just taken advantage of a 100% match bonus worth up to $/€/£250, and you deposit the full $/€/£250.00, you will end up with $/€/£500 to play with, which includes your initial $/€/£250 deposit amount + $/€/£250 free money from the casino operator. Your balance will appear as $/€/£500. 

If you deposited just $/€/£40.00 using the same example above, you would have $/€/£80.00 to play with ($/€/£40.00 deposit + $/€/£40.00 bonus money), and so on. 

If this bonus is dependent on, for example, a 35x times wagering requirement, and you deposited just $/€/£40.00, you would need to wager $/€/£1,400 ($/€/£40 bonus money multiplied by 35x wagering requirement) before you could withdraw. 

Don’t forget that most online casino bonuses also require you to wager the initial deposit amount AND the bonus amount, in which case, the total amount you would need to deposit would be $/€/£1,440, not $/€/£1,400. 

You can keep track of how much you have left to wager by logging into your casino account from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, smartwatch, or desktop computer and checking with player support. Alternatively, when logged in, you should be able to find out how much you have left to wager in your account/bonuses section. 

Wagering requirements sound steep and annoying, but many players do get lucky and end up with money left over after they have completed them. If you are one of the lucky players that do end up winning from your bonus, the money is yours to do with as you, please. 

Finally, you can easily forfeit the bonus if you lose patience trying to complete your wagering requirements. It means that you would lose any bonus winnings you have made. The only other thing you must be aware of is that wagering requirements normally have to be completed within a certain amount of time.