Almost all bonuses come with Wagering Requirements (WR). This means that you are required to wager a certain amount of money before being able to withdraw your winnings.
Most bonuses at Microgaming casinos have a WR of Bonus x (a certain multiplier, usually 30x). As you wager, the bonus credits are moved into your cash balance, but you must complete the full WR before you can withdraw.
Most bonuses at Playtech and RTG casinos have a WR of Deposit + Bonus x (a certain multiplier, usually 20-30x). I don’t really like this WR system as it throws the deposit in to the equation.
For a comparison between the two systems, we’ll use an example of depositing $100 with a 100% bonus at both 32 Red Casino and Aladdin’s Gold Casino. At 32 Red Casino, the WR would be $100×30 = $3000. At Aladdin’s Gold, the WR would be $100+$100 x 20 = $4000. That’s quite a difference, and consider that 20% at Aladdin’s Gold is almost the lowest offered at RTG casinos, it is usually 25x or even 30x.
The wagering comes from placing bets on casino games. Different types of games are weighted differently when it comes to wagering, that is if you are even allowed to play other types of games with the bonus you took.
If you can play all games on the bonus, blackjack and roulette for example are usually weighted the lowest, and some games don’t count at all. Slots are almost always weighted at 100%, meaning every dollar spent counts as a dollar towards the WR. The WR may seem like a large amount of money to wager, but when playing slots, you win often enough that you don’t really realize how much you have wagered.
Make sure you read the Terms and Conditions for any bonus you decide to take before you start playing. Some bonuses don’t allow you to play certain games, and if you do, they have the right to remove the bonus and any winnings, leaving you with just the deposit that you made.