Wagering Requirements: Decoding the Terms in Casino Bonuses

wagering requirements for guide for canadian players
Last Updated on | by Matt Devlin

Online casinos are much more than a selection of games. They operate on a set of terms and rules and impose various requirements. Casino enthusiasts are probably familiar with them, especially the wagering requirements. Nearly all Canadian casino promotions go with wagering requirements, so it’s a must that players understand how this works and everything that it entails. However, even the most experienced players may be unclear on the meaning of the concept, so it’s due for an explanation.

Whether you’re a novice in online gambling or a seasoned player that still has trouble navigating the rules, without meeting the wagering requirements you’ll waste your chance to withdraw bonus winnings. Even though each bonus may have different requirements, they all work on the same principle.

Defining Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements AKA rollover requirements and playthrough requirements are all synonyms for one and the same thing. All of these terms are used to refer to the multipliers that are attached to casino bonuses. The size of the multiplier can range from 1 to up to 200. Even though some casinos grant access to no wagering requirements bonuses, these offers are quite sparse and difficult to find. It’s likely that most people who claim a casino bonus will have to wrestle with the wagering requirements.

Wagering requirements are expressed as a number with a multiplication sign next to it. If the requirement associated with a bonus is 20, it will be expressed as 20x. When a bonus is subject to a wagering requirement, the funds awarded with the offer — either bonus money or free spins — need to be played through as many times as specified in the terms & conditions of the bonus. So, if a player gets a bonus of C$100 with a wagering requirement of 30x, they will need to multiply the bonus amount (C$100) by the requirement (30x) and see how much they need to wager to claim the C$100 bonus, which in this case is C$3,000 (C$100×30).

Behind the Bonus: Why Casinos Set Requirements

Bonuses are just great for new users to join online casinos, but also for existing players to keep returning to the platform. Bonus offers provide players with the opportunity to engage in more dynamic gaming sessions and accumulate real-money winnings. Bonuses also affect the casino’s profits, which is one of the reasons why casino websites for Canadian users impose wagering requirements on their bonuses.

By imposing a playthrough requirement your casino ensures that you will play through the funds a set number of times before withdrawing.

In doing so, the casino ensures that there is a balance between the players’ incentives and their profits. Seeing as the bonus is essentially bonus money (except for a qualifying deposit), without the wagering requirement, the casino would lose a lot of money in giving out bonuses to hundreds of players, which would ultimately render its business operation unsustainable.

Unpacking the Math: Making Sense of the Numbers

The wagering requirement can vary significantly depending on the casino and the bonus offer. It can be as low as 1x or as high as 200x. The most important thing to remember when considering the wagering requirement is that lower is better. A lower number before the multiplier sign means that the bonus funds will need to be played through fewer times, increasing the chances of more real-money winnings. As the number of wagering requirements grows, it becomes exponentially more difficult (and more time-consuming) to play through the bonus and have something left in your balance.

To understand how wagering requirements work we will use a simple example. Let’s say players receive a C$50 bonus with 10x wagering requirements that need to be fulfilled before the winnings are valid. Then, you will need to wager C$500 on eligible games.

If the bonus is only available for slots, the player will have to wager $500 on slot games. If the bonus is awarded as free spins, the players will have to go through the spins, and then wager all the collective amount of their winnings ten times (10x) over.

Varieties of Playthrough Conditions

Once you understand how the wagering requirements work, you feel ready to claim a bonus and start playing. However, you shouldn’t do this unless you know the type and size of wagering requirements. If you want to know how to use the bonus to get the most out of it, you need to learn what kind of requirements apply to it, which will make them easier to complete. The information should be available in the bonus policy, but understanding it will be easier when you are familiar with the different variations of wagering requirements.

Some wagering requirements are game-specific, meaning they vary depending on the game. This is particularly important for cash bonuses because they can be used on a variety of games, but not each of these games will contribute equally to fulfilling the requirements. Spinning the slots once may count as 1x off the requirement, but placing a bet on video poker, roulette or blackjack may take off only 0.5x (or less) of the wagering requirement. When choosing a game to play with the bonus, pick the one that contributes most to the requirement rather than the one you know how to play best, unless the two overlap.

Most bonus offers have a validity period. This means that they are only available for a set amount of time, and more importantly, the wagering requirements have to be completed within this time frame. If the requirements are not met during this time, the bonus and all winnings from it are declared void and players won’t get anything out of it.

Navigating the Playthrough: Tips for Players

Claiming a welcome bonus or another offer is simple. The tricky part is learning how to wager out your bonus to maximise winnings and complete the rollover terms in a timely manner. Even though there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this, there are several things you can do to ensure you are getting the most out of your bonus funds.

The first thing to do is identify unfair wagering requirements. If a casino offers a substantial bonus, but with a 200x rollover, take this as a red flag and seek out other offers. Other signs of unfair requirements include limited availability of games — sometimes only one game counts towards the requirement — low contribution to the requirement, and a low maximum bet limit. All of these limitations make it difficult to win any real money and can discourage users from playing.

Once you find a bonus offer with fair rollover, you will need to find the optimal game for wagering your bonus. Besides the game’s contribution to the requirement, consider its Return to Player rate and if you’re spinning the slots, the volatility level. It’s also important to manage your bonus funds — don’t wager them all at once. And if possible, spread your wagers across different games to minimise risk.

Our Conclusion

Wagering requirements seem and are complex, but they are an essential part of every bonus offered to Canadian casino players. Even though they can seem difficult to grasp, once you understand the underlying concept — that of the multiplier — it becomes much easier to start playing through them.

You can’t expect bonus payouts unless the wagering requirement is met. The key to meeting the requirement and walking away with the winnings is understanding the intricacies of wagering requirements, such as calculating approximately how much it would take to meet the requirements and understanding the limitations and restrictions. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Wagering Requirements: FAQ

  • What are wagering requirements?

    Wagering requirements are multipliers attached to casino bonuses. The wagering requirement signifies the number of times a cash bonus, or free spins winnings, needs to be wagered before players become eligible to withdraw any winnings. Nearly all bonuses have wagering terms.

  • What is the typical wager rate on bonuses?

    The wagering requirement largely depends on the bonus and the casino’s bonus policy. Even though the numbers vary, Canadian bonuses have rollover requirements between 30x and 200x. Understandably, bonuses with lower wagering requirements are the more favoured option amongst casino players.

  • Why can’t I find low wagering bonuses?

    Low wagering bonuses on the Canadian market are scarce. One of the most prominent examples of low wagering bonuses are those offered by PlayOJO, but this is one of the few available. Low wagering requirements aren’t economic for the casino in the long run. Players should remember that all bonuses are optional.