What Are Wagering Requirements, and How Do They Work?

By Ryan White Updated: March 2023

If you’ve played at online casinos a few times, and already made deposits, you probably know that there are rules called “wagering requirements.” But you probably don’t know what that means, as most people skip the parts of the online casino website that deals with the fine print. Let’s have a look at the concept of wagering requirements and see how this affects you and your game.

The Truth About Wagering Requirements

First of all, let’s just bust a myth that is quite persuasive, namely that only low-quality online casinos have wagering requirements. This is, simply put, not true as virtually all online casinos have them. They are part of the business practice that online casinos need to make their profit. But they also make sense seeing as most players make use of bonuses. You see, wagering requirements and bonuses go hand in hand.

A wagering requirement is normally expressed in a number, and a typical number is 20, 30, and perhaps up to 40. Some casinos have higher wagering requirements, even up towards 60, but these casinos are pushing these requirements quite a lot according tio the opinion of most online casinos players.

On the other hand, an online casino that has a wagering requirement of 20 to 30 must be considered completely in line with industry practices.

Bonuses Add Up

The number of the wagering requirement needs to be multiplicated with the first deposit you made and the bonuses you got in virtual money to play for. If a particular casino has a wagering requirement of 20, for example, and you have deposited $100 and received another $100 as a match bonus, you have a stack of chips worth $200. 200 times 20 is 4000, and this means that you have to play for $4000 before you may withdraw money that you win online, or – indeed, any bonuses or money that you have deposited yourself.

Don't Be Taken By Surprise

Many players find this to be a huge surprise, and when these people try to withdraw a smaller sum of money and get a clear “no” from the casino, they start complaining about the casino in question. But they should rather take the blame for not understanding the rules and regulations that online casinos use.

Harsh words, perhaps, but if you stop for a minute and start thinking a little differently about these things you’ll probably see that casinos need to have some kind of wagering requirements.

Let’s have a look at why.

Casino Money vs. Real Money

Do you know what a wagering requirement is?The best way of looking at this is by differentiating between money that you have in your online casino account and money that you have in your own bank account. Once you make a deposit online, you will receive a bonus and the BONUS money will be locked in this casino until you play for an amount that the casino deems reasonable. Now, looking at the example from above, let’s say you deposit $100, get another $100, spend 1-hour playing, and win $500. Then you get all excited and want to withdraw the money, only to discover that you need to spend another $3800 to complete the $4000 wagering limit that we calculated using the wagering requirement number (20), your own deposit ($100) and your match bonus ($100). However, if you want to withdraw the original $100, you can do so at any time. 

Sure, this is probably a surprise, but still, it is just a matter of continuing playing. The $500 you won will show as your casino account balance. Keep playing, and keep winning, and you will be on the way of opening up for withdrawals.


If you’re normally endowed with mathematical skills you probably see that the match bonus that you get is an important part of squeezing up the sum needed to play for to comply with wagering requirements. And you’re right. It has to be like that because no casino is going to give you hundreds, even thousands of dollars – in casino money – as a bonus and then let the player simply withdraw the sum right away. Casinos are in the business of making money, so you can’t blame them.

However, some players avoid casinos that offer too high bonuses. This may seem counter intuitive, but it’s a way of lowering the need for too high wagers before you can withdraw. After all, we live in a free market and players may choose exactly the casino they like, so if you accept the right for casinos to have wagering requirements, you need to accept the idea of some casinos getting fewer clients because they are considered too strict.

You Decide

A few players actually refuse to accept bonuses at all, and some casinos let you do this. Not all, but some. It is completely up to you to decide which casino to go for, and we suggest that you pay a little more attention to rules and requirements before choosing an online casino. There are so many casinos out there that everybody will find one they like. And don’t forget: It’s all about the fun, and about playing exciting games.

A welcome bonus is a promotion casinos use to attract players to their casinos and other games, as the majority of players prefer to get more money to play for. Think about this bonus money as play-money, or rather: Money for you to play with. All winnings get registered on your account, and when you reach the required level of play, you get to withdraw!