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Wagering Requirements Explained

Wagering Requirements Guide: What is Wagering?
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Wagering requirements are the mandatory evil of almost every casino bonus. Most casino sites attract players with lucrative deposit bonuses and free spins – but 99% of these can’t instantly be converted into cash. Before you can withdraw any money, your bonus or free spins winnings need to be bet a set number of times.

But what exactly is a wagering requirement? What does wager mean in casino terms? Is there a way to beat wagering requirements? We explain all that and more so you have a full understanding of how to beat wagering requirements.

What does wagering mean?

Example video explaining the meaning of wagering requirements and how they work

If you decide to play at a casino using one of the many casino bonuses available, you will be given extra bonus money to play with. A wagering requirement is how many times you need to bet the bonus before it becomes real money which you can withdraw to your account.

In some cases, a casino might apply wagering requirements to both the bonus money AND the amount you deposit. In the above example, that would mean your £10 deposit being added to your £10 bonus money for £20. That would then be multiplied to find the wagering requirement (£20 x 30), which would be £600. This adds a considerable amount to the total. Therefore, it’s very important to check if you need to wager the bonus only or the deposit + bonus in the terms and conditions.

Wagering requirements can also be called something else. For example, some casinos call them playthrough requirements or rollover requirements. However, all these terms still have the same meaning as described above. They are almost always written in the same way too – such as “x30”.

Wagering requirements calculator

You can also use our wagering requirements calculator to find out exactly how much you need to bet before you can withdraw any winnings. This is a good way to measure your chances of completing them.

We realize that wager requirements can be confusing and aren’t a fun part of playing casino. So, you can use the below tool whenever you like to work everything out.

Use our Wagering Requirements Calculator to know your bonus obligations

Wagering Calculator – How to use

Watch: How to use our wagering requirements calculator

For the calculator to work, you need to fill in the form completely. Here’s what needs to be included for each field:

  • Deposit Amount: How much you deposit.
  • Bonus Amount: How much bonus money you will get.
  • Wagering: What the casino bonus wagering requirements are, found in the terms.
  • “Bonus” or “Deposit + Bonus”: Select whether you need to wager the bonus money only, or the deposit amount and the bonus money. Again, this will be visible in the terms.
  • Contribution %: How much the game/slot you will play contributes to the wagering (If you don’t have a game in mind yet, just write “100” to get the standard requirements).

Once all this has been inputted, just hit enter to see the result. The wagering requirements calculator will give you a number. That is how much you will need to wager before the money can be withdrawn, in your own currency.

Why do casinos give bonuses with wagering requirements?

The reason for this is simple: casino sites are in the business of making money, and giving out free money wouldn’t be good for business. However, they want to make things attractive for the players as well to get them to sign up.

Giving players casino bonuses is a way of offering players incentives to join – namely, by giving them extra bonus money to play with. This allows players to enjoy the casino’s game selection, for example, which often consists of hundreds or even thousands of different games. Of course, there is the possibility that you will complete the wagering requirements too and be able to cash out the winnings. Whatever happens, it’s a nice extra from the casinos to give out; remember, they don’t have to do it!

What other terms affect wagering requirements?

Alongside what the wagering requirement amount is and what it applies to, there are a few other terms and conditions that may affect how you wager a bonus. A few examples of these rules include:

  • Deposited money or Bonus money first? – You will either start playing with your own money that you deposited, or the extra bonus money you are given. This varies by each casino and is useful to know. For example, if you play with your own money first and win, you might be able to forfeit the bonus and withdraw the winnings without needing to wager.
  • Max bet while wagering – Unfortunately, you can’t place big bets to clear the wagering requirements quickly. Instead, you are restricted to a maximum bet when completing them – usually £5.
  • Expiry date – Most bonuses expire after a certain amount of time. You often need to have completed the wager requirements by this date – otherwise you may lose the bonus money.
  • Game weighting / Exempt slots – Some slots don’t contribute as much to the wagering as others. For example, if a slot contributes 50% to the wagering, a £1 bet that you make on it would only be considered as £0.50 towards completing the wagering. Some slots are exempt too and contribute 0% (more on this later).

Of course, all casinos build their own bonuses and terms so there will be differences at each site. You should always read through the terms and conditions of an offer before making a deposit to make sure you agree with them. If you don’t understand a term, make sure to contact customer support first (many are available via live chat) so it can be explained to you.

Check casino terms via live chat

How hard is it to complete wagering requirements?

This varies a lot – as some bonuses can be a lot easier than others! In almost all cases, the lower the wagering requirement the better chance you will have – as this reduces how many times you need to bet before you can withdraw the winnings.

However, this can all change if the wagering is for both the deposit amount and the bonus money. In that case, even a lowly x20 wagering requirement would be a lot higher than it looks. It could even end up being higher than a x30 wagering requirement that only applies to the bonus amount.

For example:

  • You deposit £50 and get £50 bonus money with a wagering requirement of x20 for both the deposit amount and the bonus money. You need to add both £50 together for £100 and multiply it by 20 for £2000 overall.
  • Alternatively, you deposit £50 and get £50 bonus money with a wagering requirement of x30 for the bonus money only. You multiply the £50 bonus money by 30 for £1500 overall.

This shows just how much impact a deposit + bonus term can have.

But are you always looking to win from a bonus? Not necessarily. Sometimes you might decide to use such an offer to play a new game without using your own money. Or maybe you want to try out one of the new online casinos to see what kind of features it has. In these cases, the wager requirements aren’t as much of an issue as your primary goal isn’t to win. You can take a much more relaxed approach – with any winnings being an added bonus.

How to compare wagering requirements?

When browsing through the sites on our UK online casinos list, we’ve made it easy for you to quickly find and compare each casino bonus wagering requirement. Within each casino card on our site, we tell you what bonus the casino is currently offering to new players. Next to each bonus, you will see a gray question mark symbol (?). Simply hover your mouse or tap it on mobile to bring up the key terms and conditions. We always include the wager requirements within these key terms and conditions.

How to find wagering requirements in the terms on Casino Professor

However, we strongly advise that you also check that the wagering requirements (and other key terms and conditions) are the same once you get to the casino’s website. Some casinos change their bonus and/or terms without warning so make sure to check this yourself.

You will generally find wagering requirements written next to the bonus on the casino’s website. This is mandatory in the UK.

Online casino wagering UK

That’s because all online casino wagering must be clearly displayed at a UK casino. The fair and transparent terms and practices policy of the UK Gambling Commission ensures that wagering requirements must be found within the Significant Conditions section – which is always written alongside a bonus. All casino reviews that we publish are licenced by the Gambling Commission so they must adhere to this policy.

Does wagering mean the same for bingo or sports betting?

In general, a wagering requirement means the same thing for bingo and sports betting bonuses as a casino. You have to bet the bonus a certain number of times before it is considered real money.

However, make sure to check the terms and conditions as there may be some differences. For example, bingo bonuses can usually only be used on bingo games. Sports bonuses can only be used to place bets on sports. You need to make sure you are adhering to the terms and conditions of every bonus you use. So make sure to always read the terms before playing.

Wagering Requirement Weighting

Also, every game has a specific contribution to the wagering requirements. For example, a Slot A contributes 100% whereas a Slot B contributes 75%.

  • £1 bet on Slot A = the full £1 being contributed to the wagering.
  • £1 bet on Slot B = only £0.75 being contributed to the wagering.

The casino often decides the contribution (and possible exclusion) of a game based on its RTP (return-to-player). This is a theoretical percentage which indicates how much would winnings can be expected to be paid back compared with overall bets. For example, if you bet £100 on a slot with an RTP of 98%, the theoretical return rate would be £98. Of course, this is purely a mathematical calculation often based on millions of spins. You should NOT expect it to be accurate when you play. However, it does give an idea of a few slots that could possibly give the player a bit more of an advantage. Therefore, some casinos devalue any wager on high RTP games – possibly blacklisting them altogether.

You will be able to find how much a game contributes to the wagering in the terms and conditions. Here is an example:

  • Slot machines (except those exempt): 100%
  • Video Poker: 30%
  • Casino Hold’em: 10%
  • Oasis Poker: 10%
  • TXS Hold’em poker: 10%
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em: 0%
  • Baccarat (all kind): 0%
  • Punto Banco: 0%
  • Roulette (all kind): 0%
  • Blackjack (all kind incl. Pontoon and Double Exposure): 0%
  • All other games: 100%

As you can see, most slot machines contribute 100% – but not all. Some are exempt, and they are generally the ones with a high RTP (NetEnt’s Bloodsuckers is a common example of an exempt slot). Also, table games like blackjack and roulette often have high return-to-player rates which can see them devalued too.

Each casino will publish a different list for game weighting contributions. If you can’t find this list, or you are unsure about a specific game, make sure to ask customer support before playing.

Amount left to wager

As mentioned above, you will start to complete these obligations for every bet you make on eligible games using your bonus money. Once you have started, a good casino will tell you the amount left to wager. This means how much more money you need to bet before the requirements are complete. Here’s an example:

LV Bet pop-up showing wagering requirements calculation

As you can see, they specifically told us how much more we needed to bet. This popup also appears whenever you use your bonus money which makes everything a lot easier.

However, not all casinos tell you the amount left to wager. This is pretty annoying as it’s very difficult to work out how much is left yourself after every spin. If you are unsure where you’re at, ask the customer support for a breakdown.

Best way to wager casino bonus

The casino well and truly has the house edge here, so you want to boost your chances of cashing out by any legitimate means possible. Although it’s not possible to guarantee that you’ll beat the wager requirements, it’s generally considered that the best way to wager a casino bonus is to follow a few strategies.

Reduce or remove wagering requirements

The most obvious is to avoid wagering requirements altogether! That way, you can play without having to worry about wagering at all. Anything you win will be placed into your account as real money straight away.

This might sound too good to be true, but more platforms in the UK scrapping wagering requirements for good including:

  • MrQ
  • Lottoland
  • PokerStars
  • Betfred

You can view our list of the best casino sites no wagering requirements currently to see more of these options too.

Yet, the majority of sites do still use wagering requirements in some form. Therefore, if you want to play with many bonuses, it’s going to be difficult to avoid wagering in the long run. Therefore, the best bet is to choose the a casino bonus with low wagering requirements. In general, the lower the wagering requirements the better as this often means a smaller target amount that you have to reach.

However, some casinos are sneaky and offer a first deposit bonus where you need to wager both the deposit amount and the bonus amount. In this case, what might seem to be a reasonable obligation at first is actually much higher. So be sure to check.

Understand wagering terms

Alongside checking what the wagering requirements apply to, you should read and understand the full terms and conditions thoroughly. Breaking one of the requirements can cause a problem, even if it’s done accidentally. For example, if you have placed a bet using the bonus money that was higher than the maximum bet.

In the worst cases, this could mean your bonus and any winnings are removed. In better cases, you may be able to rectify the mistake. For example, if you thought you’d completed the wagering only to realise that the slot you’re playing doesn’t contribute 100%. You could simply change to a more suitable game and carry on.

However, you can avoid all of this by reading the terms and conditions before playing. It sounds simple, but that is often the best way to wager a casino bonus. That way, you know exactly what is needed to beat the wagering while not accidentally voiding your efforts. If you don’t understand a particular term, we strongly recommend contacting the casino’s customer support for an explanation.

Best slots for completing wagering requirements

The best slot for wagering would be one that contributes 100% to the obligations and has a relatively high RTP. However, it’s also worth considering the slot variance / volatility too. A low variance slot pays out more frequently on average, but generally the payout is smaller. A high variance slot pays out less frequently on average, but generally the payout is higher. So, what to choose?

While there is no definite answer, it’s best to only really play a high volatility slot if you have a pretty big amount of bonus money – such as with a casino bonus. That’s because a low bankroll can often be wiped out before any winning spins on a high variance slot actually land. This is often the case when wagering free spins winnings, as you don’t usually start with quite as much.

Some of the best slots for wagering with low variance are:

  • Starburst
  • Gemix
  • Tomb Raider

Some of the best slot for wagering with high variance are:

  • Bonanza
  • Dead or Alive 2
  • Frog Grog

Of course, you need to make sure these games aren’t exempt from wagering or devalued at each casino you play at. Luckily, at PlayOJO, this doesn’t apply as their bonuses have done away with wagering altogether. So you can play the above slots while not worrying about contributions.

Wagering requirements FAQ