Wagering requirements refer specifically to online bonuses.
Different Types of Bonuses
First of all, let’s quickly run through the three major types of online-casino bonuses:
The most well known, and most of the times also the most profitable option, is the sign-up bonus, which you earn by entering a code or signing up through a casino guide like the one you’re visiting right now.
These bonuses are generally match bonuses. When you make a first deposit, it’s matched by a percentage – often a few hundred.
For continuing to play on a particular site, you may receive a loyalty bonus.
In nine cases out of ten, these are also match bonuses (but usually for a smaller amount compared to the sign-up bonus.)
You may also get a referral bonus for getting someone else to sign up. These are usually flat amounts rather than amounts based on a deposit.
Online Bonuses and Wagering Requirements
In most cases, the casino site can’t allow you to receive your bonus right away – or else you might simply withdraw it without ever playing.
This is the purpose of wagering requirements.
Wagering requirements are the amount you have to wager in order to "clear" your bonus. Note that it is not necessary to lose the amount of the wagering requirement – you are only required to put it in play.
If you have a wagering requirement of 10x your bonus and your bonus is $50, you will have to play $500 before receiving your bonus. You don't have to play it all at once and you can usually play it at any game.
Once you have played $500, no matter how much you have won or lost, the $50 goes into your account.
Another structure may be a bonus multiple. This is the same idea except bonus determines the wagering requirement, rather than the deposit.
You may also be facing a combination in which you must wager a multiple of the bonus plus the deposit.
Notes on Wagering Requirements
There may be a time limit for when you must clear your bonus or else it will be lost, so make a note of this.
Also, some of the low-edge games (like blackjack) may be excluded from the bonus offer, or may have tougher wagering requirements.
So before you choose where to play, make sure that site allows you to clear the bonus with your preferred casino game.