How to Read Casino Bonus Terms & Conditions

If you're looking to play with a casino bonus, you'll need to read the terms and conditions first — And there's a lot of important information hidden in there. Make sure you get the promotion that's right for you and discover five things to check before you claim a promotion.


It’s no secret that we love casino bonuses. Bonuses are how online casinos attract new customers to play on their site and reward existing patrons for their loyalty.  From free spins and refer-a-friend bonuses to no deposit and welcome promotions, if you’re looking to gamble online you should be rewarded for it!  

Casino bonuses come with strict terms and conditions which protect both players and the house. At safe online casinos, you’ll be able to find these terms and conditions easily through the bonus section on site.

Today, we’ll cover the top five things in the T&Cs you should check prior to accepting any promotion. Ready to dive in? Here’s what you’ll need to know before you claim a bonus:

1) Deposit Minimums and Banking Methods

Unless you’ve opted for a no deposit casino, most sites have a minimum deposit in place to claim a promotion. While this is typically not a significant amount of money (usually between $20-30), it’s worth checking. Be aware that casinos sometimes restrict their bonuses to those who deposit in certain ways too. For example, Skrill and other e-wallet depositors are often excluded from claiming bonuses. 

2) Expiry Dates

The very best casino bonuses never expire, but the vast majority of them do. Expiry dates can be as short as two days, though expiries of 30 or 90 days from the date of the claim are more common. If you have chosen a mixed bonus – for example cash and free spins – note that the two elements may have different expiry times.

To keep your bonus and any winnings from it, you’ll have to fully clear the wagering requirements before the date of expiration. Otherwise, the remaining bonus and/or any earnings will be forfeited. 

3) Wagering Requirements

The wagering or playthrough requirement is a common feature of casino bonuses and is designed to protect the casino from those looking to abuse the system. In simple terms, the wagering requirement means that before you can withdraw any bonus funds, you’ll have to wager them a certain number of times first.

Here’s an example. A 30x playthrough requirement that applies to the bonus only means that you’ll have to wager 30x the amount of the bonus received. Let’s say you deposited $200 and received a 150% match bonus. You’ll have received $300 in bonus funds, so will have to wager $9,000 ($300 x 30 wagering requirement) in total before you can withdraw any of the bonus money. 

It’s important to read the bonus terms and conditions not just to find out the wagering requirement, but to discern whether the wagering requirement is bonus-only or bonus + deposit. If the above example was a bonus + deposit wagering requirement, you’d have to bet $15,000 to meet the conditions. Bonus + deposit wagering requirements are often harder to clear than bonus-only ones.  

4) Game Contribution Rates

Another key factor you’ll need to consider before claiming a casino bonus is the game contribution rate. Not all casino games contribute equally towards clearing the playthrough requirements. Traditionally slots contribute 100%, while table and card games contribute significantly less. Live dealer games rarely count towards clearing the requirements at all, but the game contribution rates vary from casino to casino so be sure to check at your chosen site. 

You might notice that specific slot titles are excluded from contributing to clearing the wagering requirements altogether. Progressive jackpot, high volatility, and high RTP slots are often exempt. This is just one reason why you should choose a casino with a large and exciting variety of games for you to choose from. 

5) Maximum Bets

As well as restricting what games you can use bonus funds on, online casinos also stipulate strict bet limits to ensure that bonuses are being used fairly. These are usually very reasonable, but be sure to know exactly what the maximum bet limit is. If you bet over the maximum, the bonus funds and any winnings you have accumulated from them are often void.

Now that you know how to read the terms and conditions, it’s time to find a casino bonus that suits you! Head over to our guide to online casino bonuses and choose the perfect promotion now.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience writing online casino reviews and game guides. His betting strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004.

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