Understanding Bonus Wagering Requirements

Because there are so many online casinos these days, there must be a way to entice gamblers to choose specific venues. As such, every online casino in the world offers bonuses. These bonuses are associated with what are known as bonus wagering requirements, which refers to an amount of money that a player must wager before he or she can cash out winnings.

There are two types of casino bonuses available to gamblers in a general sense; these are sticky bonuses and cashable bonuses. A sticky bonus is one which is provided to a player that can never be cashed out; only the winnings earned by the player can be withdrawn from his or her account. A cashable bonus, however, is one that can eventually be cashed out. In either case, the player will need to meet casino play-through requirements to withdraw anything at all.

In the case of a sticky bonus, a certain amount of money--for example, $200--is provided to the player for the purpose of gambling. If the player spends through this money and earns $1000 in winnings, the $200 will simply 'roll off' of the account, leaving the $1000 in winnings behind. The player must still meet the bonus wagering requirements before this money can be withdrawn.

Conversely, in the case of a cashable bonus of $200, once the player has spent through the money, it can be cashed out just like the winnings. The casino play-through requirements are often much higher for cashable bonuses, however, so players should be sure to read the terms and conditions associated with any bonus before they accept it. This will set the right expectations.

Normal wagering requirements are anywhere between 20 and 40 times the amount of the original bonus in most online casinos. Thus, if a player receives the $200 mentioned above and this is associated with a 25x wagering requirement, then the player must wager a total of $5000 in the casino before the bonus -- or even any of the winnings earned with that bonus -- will be available to cash out. This takes time, but when players make regular deposits and take advantage of promotions, it can really pay off.

Another thing to consider is that casinos will often dictate which games player can enjoy while attempting to clear their wagering requirements. Some casino games, such as blackjack, have a house edge that can be reduced to as little as 0.05% with a proper strategy. As such, online venues often state that players must choose games like online slots for clearing the requirements.

In the event that the casino allows a player to enjoy games like blackjack or video poker when clearing out wagering requirements, then a percentage is usually determined beforehand. For example, the player may be advised that 80% of the requirements must be met while playing slots while the other 20% can be met with games like video poker or blackjack. This is done to protect the casino's best interests and to prevent bonus abuse.