What Does Wagering Mean? (Gambling Bonuses Explained) (2024)

For many sports fans, the allure of betting on a game is irresistible. But for those who are new to the world of sports betting, the terminology can be confusing. What does “wagering” mean? Why do you get bonus money but can’t cash it out right away?

These are the questions this article will answer. You will also learn all about the terminology modern casinos and betting sites use, and how to calculate the playthrough rate and what bonus offers to avoid.

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Wagers and Wagering

What Does Wagering Mean? (Gambling Bonuses Explained) (1)

Before we can talk about winnings and chances, we need to ask and answer one simple question – what is a wager?

A wager is a bet placed on the outcome of a sporting event. The person who makes the wager is called the “bettor” or the “punter,” and the amount of money wagered is called the “stake.” The company that takes the bet is called the “bookmaker” or the “sportsbook.”

So, by that logic, wagering is betting on an outcome by filling a paper or an online betting slip. Wagering can focus on a single game or an event, or even mean betting on the results of a whole season. Bets can also be made on non-sporting events, such as who will win an election or whether a particular movie will be a box office success.

What Are the Wagering Requirements?

Now that we’ve answered the question “what is wagering?”, let’s move on to another common phrase at casinos and betting sites – wagering requirements.

When you sign up for an online casino or sports betting site, you’re likely to get an incentive as a new player in the form of a welcome bonus or other casino perks. These benefits show up in many forms – from doubling your deposit to giving you a certain amount in free bets.

While this is technically “free money” you’re receiving just for being a customer, each casino bonus comes with some strings attached before you can turn that bonus money into real money that you can withdraw.

This is what’s often referred to as a wagering requirement. It is a condition set by the site that specifies how much you need to bet in order to withdraw any winnings earned using the bonus money. It’s usually represented as a multiplier, along with a time frame that you have to meet the requirements within, or you risk losing your bonus funds.

It’s also worth noting that some casino games will count towards the wagering requirements more than others. For example, slots usually count for 100% of the bet value. On the other hand, table games and video poker offer greater odds of winning, though you might only get 10%-20% on those. So if you’re hoping to use your bonus money, do check the list of eligible games to see whether it’s worth playing at that casino at all.

Fair Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements can vary greatly from one site to another, so it’s always important to read the fine print before claiming any casino bonuses. In general, the higher the bonus amount, the higher the requirements will be, thus making beating wagering requirements at that casino tougher.

While there are no universal rules for either casino sites or betting sites for their wagering requirements, we’ve seen plenty of them discern between what could be considered fair and unfair requirements.

Generally speaking, it’s best when you’re required to only wager a casino bonus amount. And yet, some sites combine your deposit and welcome bonus money, meaning you’ll need to wager even more to unlock the funds.

Furthermore, wagering requirements that are too high, or have a short execution time, are often considered unfair. A good rule of thumb is to look for requirements that are less than 35x the bonus amount, with a 30-day timeframe to meet them. That should give casino customers enough time and opportunity to comfortably meet the wagering conditions within the time limit.

For sports betting, ideal wagering conditions are slightly different compared to online casino wagering. Since you’re usually getting just one free bet for a certain amount wagered, instead of a cash bonus, fair requirements should allow for at least seven days to make that bet. Additionally, you should be able to withdraw any winnings without having to wager them more than once.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some bonuses are simply too good to pass up, even if the wagering requirements are higher.

Calculating Wagering Requirements

Once you’ve chosen a bonus and met the qualifying criteria, it’s important to know how to calculate wagering requirements. This will help you keep track of how much you need to bet.

As we mentioned, wagering requirements are represented as a multiplier. This is the number of times you’ll need to bet the bonus amount before you can withdraw it.

For example, if a site offers a 100% match bonus up to $100, and the bonus wagering requirements are 5x, that means you need to wager $500 in total before you can withdraw any of the original $100 first deposit bonus.

For free spins, wagering in a casino looks a little bit different. Since you’re not getting a fixed amount of money, you first need to wager the free spins you won from the casino promotion and tally up the winnings from the slot machines.

If you win $20 from your free spins and the casino has a 10x wagering requirement, you’d need to wager $200 to unlock the initial winnings. The same goes for free bets on sportsbooks.

Key Bonus Terminology

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what wagering requirements are and how they work, it’s time to take a look at some of the other key terms. These will help you understand the fine print so that there are no surprises later on.

First up, we have the bonus amount. This is the money you’ll receive from the casino or sportsbook as part of the promotion. It doesn’t include your deposit amount, only the casino bonus funds.

Then there are the wagering requirements, or playthrough requirements. These are the terms that dictate how many times you need to bet the bonus amount before you can withdraw it. Wagering requirements are usually represented as a multiplier.

The qualifying deposit is the minimum amount of money that you need to deposit in order to qualify for the bonus. This is separate from the bonus amount, and you’ll need to meet the criteria in order to get the bonus in the first place.

The qualifying bet is the first bet you need to place after meeting the qualifying deposit requirements. It’s a common requirement for wagering in betting on sports, esports, or other events.

But what does “no wagering requirements” mean, then? It’s what happens when you’re not required to wager the bonus cash at all. You simply collect the promotion and can immediately cash out the amount. It’s most common on bingo sites.

And finally, we have the expiry date. This is the date by which you need to have met all the wagering requirements in order to withdraw the bonus money. If you don’t meet the requirements by this date, you forfeit the bonus and any winnings that you’ve accrued.


We’ve answered “what does wagering mean?” and explained common requirements you’re likely to encounter at casinos and betting sites.

Wagering requirements are a necessary part of claiming bonuses at online casinos and sportsbooks. While they can be frustrating, they’re also a way for sites to protect themselves from bonus abuse.

As long as you understand how they work and what to look for, you can find plenty of great bonuses with fair wagering. Just remember to read the fine print before claiming any offers!


What does “wagering in bets” mean?

Wagering, by definition, is the same as placing bets. But, on betting sites, it’s often short for wagering requirements, meaning the number of times you need to play through the bonus offer to collect it.

What is an example of wagering?

Say you’re looking at a bonus offer of 100% after placing a minimum deposit of $10. The site will then give you an extra $10 in bonus credits. But, to unlock them, you first need to do some wagering, meaning you’ll need to place enough bets so the value matches the requirements the casino has put up.

How does bonus wagering work?

Casinos and bookkeepers frequently give out cash bonuses to their customers. Betting establishments will put restrictions on wagering requirements before the customer can access that money. So what does wagering mean in this case? It’s the number of times the bonus amount needs to be re-deposited or played through to unlock the remaining bonus money and turn it into cash.

What Does Wagering Mean? (Gambling Bonuses Explained) (2024)
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