What are Wagering Requirements?

What are Wagering Requirements?

Most online casinos and sports books are very happy to offer special bonus promotions to new and existing customers. Those promotions are a critical part of the marketing process necessary in such a highly competitive industry. At times, these bonuses can appear quite enticing. When a casino offers a 200% matching bonus on deposits up to a $1,000, customers sit up and take notice. However, it’s important for players to realize that casinos and sports books are not in the business of giving away money.

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Bonus Restrictions

Prior to accepting bonus offers from online gambling sites, it is critical for the player to read the fine print. The fine print will detail out all the account restrictions that are applicable to each specific bonus. By reading and understanding these restrictions, the player can avoid any misunderstanding related to making wagers or withdrawing funds. The most common restrictions levied involve "Wagering Requirements".

Wagering Requirements - Specific Wagers

In order to avoid big hits, most online gambling sites will restrict how bonus monies can be wagered. In the case of an online casino, they will often restrict which games can be played with the bonus monies. Players will usually be directed to the games with the lowest pay-outs or largest house advantage. Also, the casino will most likely restrict the amount of any single wager. Their hope is that by instituting strict wagering limits, they can force the player to "grind-out" wins putting them at the mercy of the house's advantage. In the case of a sports book, the bonus money will usually be directed towards wagering on specific events such as the Super Bowl. They might also limit wagers to straight bets eliminating exposure to high pay-outs provided by parlays and future bets. The player has to win the bet(s), and then the rollover requirement starts.

Wagering Requirements - The Rollover

Another way online gambling sites minimize winnings from bonus deposits is by instituting a "rollover" requirement. The rollover requirement is the number of times an individual must wager a dollar in order to receive the actual cash. This is another method the casinos and sports books use to force players to grind-out winnings. Until the rollover requirement is met, the money is not available to be withdrawn.

Calculating the Rollover

The rollover requirement is not complicated to calculate. As an example: Online casino X offers a 200% signup bonus on a player's initial deposit with a 10X rollover requirement. If the player deposits $250, they will receive a bonus of $500. That money is deposited into a "pending bonus" account. The rollover requirement on that amount will be $5,000 ($500 X 10). When a player gambles, they are required to designate whether they are using the pending bonus account, or their real money account. If they use the pending bonus account, the casino will track the gross dollar wagers within that account. The player will continue making wagers with that account until they have accumulated gross wagers exceeding $5,000. If they achieve that goal, any monies remaining in the pending wager account at that point in time will be transferred to the players real money account and become eligible for withdraw.


On the face of it, it seems rather daunting to earn an actual real money bonus. While that may be true, it is still an opportunity to win some free cash. Players should take advantage of any bonus they can qualify to receive. However, they should do so with an understanding of how difficult it will be to turn the bonus into something real.

Posted by CCJ Team