Online Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions – What Does it All Mean?

Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions Focus - MGJ
Mia Avatar

Want to claim a casino bonus, but not sure what the T&Cs mean – Read On!

One of the best things about playing at an online casino is the bonuses and other promotions regularly offered to new and loyal players, right? However, speaking from experience, I can say that I’ve been hesitant to sign up at certain sites because of the casino bonus terms and conditions (T&Cs) linked to these promos.

Of course, all casinos – wager-free or not – have casino bonus terms and conditions. It’s important to understand what they are before accepting any promotion to make sure you:

  • Are eligible to claim it
  • Know what you have to do to claim it
  • Know what you’re getting
  • Know if there are wagering requirements linked to it and how they work
  • Know if there are any restrictions
  • Know when it expires

I’ve created this casino bonus terms and conditions FAQ to lay out all these need-to-know facts in a simple and easy-to-understand format.

So, without any further preamble, let’s get to it!*

Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions - Bonus in Box - MGJ

Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions FAQ

What are casino bonuses?

They are promotions offered by the casino that players can claim. They are generally offered in the form of extra bonus funds or free/extra spins** for slots. There are a number of rules that apply to these promotions and typically, a player first must deposit a minimum amount of their own money into their account in order to claim the reward.

**I’m using the term “free/extra spins” because some online casinos refer to them as Free Spins, and some refer to them as Extra Spins. From what I understand, promotional spins on slot games can be called “Free Spins” if a player is not required to make a deposit to claim the offer and if there is no wagering on any winnings that may result from those spins. On the other hand, “Extra Spins” refers to spins that function like a bonus. This means, you’ll likely need to make a deposit to claim them and any wins from the spins are subject to wagering requirements.

What are casino bonus terms and conditions?

They are a list of rules that apply to casino promotions. These rules explain:

  • Who is eligible to claim the promotion (e.g. first time depositor, etc.)
  • How to claim the offer (e.g. the minimum deposit required)
  • The precise offer that will be awarded (e.g. maximum bonus amount given, number of free/extra spins**, etc.)
  • Wagering requirements and how they can be fulfilled
  • Any restrictions (e.g. if there are payment method or game restrictions)
  • When the offer expires
  • The online casino’s right to cancel the offer or withhold any bonus winnings under specific circumstances (e.g. player engages in irregular play, bonus abuse, etc.)

Although most promotions offered by the same casino sites with bonus rewards have a general set of similar rules that apply to all promos they offer, each promotion typically has its own specific bonus T&Cs. For this reason, it’s worth taking the time to read the terms (at least the main points) of any offer before you claim it. This helps you to decide if the offer is right for you and ensures that you get the most out of it with no unwanted surprises.

What are no deposit bonus terms and conditions?

They are rules for promotions that do not require you to make a deposit first in order to claim them. While some of these promotions are wager free with no win caps, it is more common for no deposit bonuses and no deposit spins to be subject to wagering requirements and total win amount restrictions.

How do I know if I’m eligible to claim a casino bonus?

Screenshot of PlayOJO Welcome Offer for Ontario Players - Image Source - Playojo.ca - MGJ
Screenshot of PlayOJO Welcome Offer for Ontario Players – Image Source: Playojo.ca
Screenshot of SlotsMagic Welcome Offer for Ontario Players - Image Source - SlotsMagic.ca - MGJ
Screenshot of SlotsMagic Welcome Offer for Ontario Players – Image Source: SlotsMagic.ca
  • 19+
  • A registered real money player at the casino

Other eligibility requirements may include:

  • Be a first-time depositor (for welcome promotions only)
  • A minimum deposit (e.g. a minimum of $10)
  • Casino bonus codes
  • Using a certain payment method (sometimes payment method exclusions apply)

What are bonus wagering requirements?

They represent the total amount of times (e.g. 10x, 20x, 30x, etc.) you are required to wager a certain amount of funds (bet) before you can withdraw any winnings you might win from a bonus offer.

To know the total amount you need to wager before you can withdraw any bonus winnings, you simply multiply the wagering requirement by either the total bonus amount or the total combined bonus and deposit amount (whether it’s just the bonus amount or the combined bonus and deposit amount depends on the online casino).  

For instance, here’s how to calculate a wagering requirement using a 30x bonus-only wagering requirement for a 100% match bonus offer as an example:

Casino bonus terms and conditions wagering requirements - MGJ

From what I’ve seen, there are three main types of wagering: 

  • Bonus Wagering – Wagering only the bonus amount you receive from the promotion. See example above.
  • Deposit + Bonus Wagering – Wagering the combined total of the deposit and bonus amount. For example, in the case of 30x wagering requirements, if you deposit $20 and receive a bonus of $20, the total amount combined is $40. You would need to wager a total of $1,200 ($40 x 30 = $1,200) to convert bonus winning to withdrawable cash.
  • Mixed Wagering – A portion of your wager is drawn from your deposit (real money) balance (e.g. 75%) and from your bonus balance (e.g. 25%). As such, a portion of any winnings you might win while the bonus offer is active is added to your cash balance. This means that even if you don’t manage to fulfill the wagering requirements in time, playing the bonus wasn’t a total loss.  

What are free spins wagering requirements?

Just like bonus wagering requirements, it’s the total amount of times you need to wager a certain amount before your spins winnings are converted into real cash you can withdraw.

In the case of free spins, however, the wagering requirement applies to your total winnings from your spins. For instance, if you win $40, and the wagering requirement is 20x, you’ll need to wager $40 a total of 20 times ($800) before you can withdraw your winnings.

What does no wagering requirements mean?

No wagering means that you are not required to wager a specific amount of money to withdraw your winnings from the free/extra spins or bonus. As long as you activate and use the spins or bonus in full before it expires, any wins from them are directly added to your cash balance and can be withdrawn at any time. Personally, I think all online casinos should have no wagering requirements.

Can I just bet the full sum in one or two wagers to satisfy wagering requirements?

Nope. Though that would be super-convenient, to keep things fair, prevent bonus abuse, and ensure the casino makes a profit, most online casinos restrict how much you can bet on a game when fulfilling requirements. For instance, some casinos may make the maximum bet permitted 10% of the bonus amount (e.g. $20 Bonus = maximum $2 bet). This helps to prevent what some casinos refer to as “irregular play”, which includes low margin betting, equal betting, zero risk bets, or hedge betting.  

Can I play any game I want to fulfill wagering requirements?

Usually not. Most online casinos limit fulfilling wagering requirements to specific games. Sometimes it might be only one specific game or type of game (e.g. slots), with all other games excluded.

In other words, while you can still play the excluded games, wagering on them won’t count toward meeting the promotion’s wagering requirements.

What’s more (and to make things even more complex) even if all types of games offered at the casino are eligible for bonus wagering, this doesn’t mean that they all contribute to the requirements in the same way. For instance, while most slots might contribute 100% toward wagering requirements (e.g. a $2 bet counts the full $2 toward meeting wagering requirements), table games like blackjack and roulette might only contribute 10% (e.g. a $2 bet counts only $0.20 toward meeting requirements).  

Naturally, if you want to fulfill wagering requirements as quickly as possible, stick to games that offer 100% contribution.

Woman wondering why - confusion - MGJ

Why do wagering requirements exist?

Honestly, bonus terms and conditions with wagering requirements might sound sneaky and can take the fun out of claiming certain promotions for some players. However, they do exist for a reason. They are there in part to protect the player, but mostly they exist to:

  • Ensure the operator makes a profit – Wagering requirements prevent players from taking any free money they’ve won and cashing it out without paying anything back into the casino. Gambling operators always want their cut.
  • Protect the operator from bonus abuse – Players who engage in bonus abuse create multiple fake accounts to take advantage of welcome offers for new customers (because they’re typically the most generous offers), cash out, and abandon their account.
  • Prevent criminal activity – Stop criminals from laundering dirty money by making it hard for them to simply deposit and then easily withdraw the money as clean, legal cash.

What is a win cap?

It is a restriction on the total amount that you can win from the bonus, free/extra spins, etc. For instance, bonus wins may be capped at $500 and free/extra spins wins may be capped at $100. Therefore, even if what you win from the bonus surpasses the win cap, you’ll only receive up to the total win cap amount. While not a scam, personally, I think that’s a cheap tactic, especially if wagering requirements are involved. As long as you follow the bonus rules, how much you win should be yours, fair and square.

Do casino bonus offers expire?

Indeed, they do. The casino bonus terms and conditions will tell you how much time you have to claim the offer. It will also inform you how long you have to use the bonus/free spins and/or fulfill any associated wagering requirements before the activated offer expires.

For instance, you might have anywhere from:

  • 24 hours, 3 days, or 7 days to claim the offer.
  • 24 hours, 3 days, or 7 days to use the promotion in full once it’s activated.
  • 7 days up to 30+ days to complete wagering requirements.

The amount of time you have before the bonus expires depends on the casino, the type of offer, and the party running the promotion. In many cases, it’s not uncommon for no deposit bonuses and no deposit free/extra spins to expire within 24 hours of being offered and claimed.

What happens if a casino bonus expires?

You lose out on claiming the promotion. Or, if you have claimed it, and do not use it in time or fail to complete the wagering requirements within the allotted time, you’ll lose any of the winnings you won from the bonus funds or free/extra spins. The unused bonus amount, spins and/or bonus winnings are simply removed from your account.

Casino Bonus Explained – Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions Quick Recap

☑️ Casino bonus terms and conditions are rules that inform you how to claim the promotion, what you get, how it works, if there are restrictions, wagering requirements, and expiry.   

☑️ Wagering requirements is a bonus rule that represents the number of times a player must bet the total bonus amount (or combined bonus and deposit amount), a specific number of times (e.g. 30x:  $20 bonus x 30 = $600) to be eligible to cash out any bonus winnings.

☑️ Free spins wagering requirements is a bonus rule where you must bet the total amount of any winnings you won from your promotional spins a certain number of times (e.g. $40 win x 20 = 800) before you can cash them out.

☑️ No wagering means that any winnings you might win from a bonus or spins promotion is directly converted into cash and can be withdrawn at any time.

☑️ Online casinos primarily use wagering requirements to ensure a profit, prevent bonus abuse, and prevent criminal activity.

☑️Bonus offers can have restrictions. These may include excluding certain deposit payment methods, restricting the types of games that can be played, limiting the maximum amount that can be bet per game, and enforcing win caps.

☑️All promotions expire. If you do not claim them, use them in full, or complete wagering requirements before they do, you will lose the bonus and any associated winnings.

Until next time, good luck and have fun.

Mia 👩‍💻

***All links and images in this post are for informational purposes only. I am not affiliated with PlayOJO or SlotsMagic.

Mia Avatar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *