You have spent countless hours reading reviews of online casinos and think you are ready to take the plunge and create an account when you realize you forgot to consider the welcome bonuses. All of the top rated online sportsbooks in the US offer new customers a sizeable welcome bonus, so which should you claim? The answer is that it depends.

It is important to familiarize yourself with why online casinos and sportsbooks offer customers bonuses and the various terms and conditions usually attached to such offers. Only then can you find the best online casino bonus for yourself. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so what is an excellent offer for one person may be total trash for another.

Why Do Online Casinos Offer Bonuses?

Casinos are in the business of making money and making as much as they possibly can. They need customers, and plenty of them, for this to happen. Iconic Las Vegas casinos such as the Bellagio, The Venetian, and Caesars Palace do not need to work too hard to attract customers, but there is massive competition between online casinos, so offering an eye-catching welcome bonus is one way to stand out from the crowd.

Bonuses entice new customers to an online casino, but the various terms, conditions, and restrictions of these bonuses help keep the customer playing. You are about to learn all about those conditions, so pay attention because they separate an excellent casino bonus from a poor one.

Playthrough or Wagering Requirements

Remember when we said casinos are in the money-making business? Giving away $1,000 to everyone who created an account would mean they would not be in business for long. Online casinos place playthrough or wagering requirements on their bonuses to stop people from claiming a free $500 or $1,000 and then leaving with what was essentially free money.

Playthrough requirements are the number one thing to consider when claiming a bonus. You will see stuff like 30x or 30-times the bonus amount in the terms and conditions. A bonus with a 30x playthrough requirement means you have to wager 30 times the amount you receive as a bonus before you can withdraw the bonus funds. For example, claiming a $1,000 welcome bonus with 30 times wagering requirements means you must place $30,000 worth of bets before that bonus money is yours to do with as you, please.

Some casinos have wagering requirements as low as 10x or as high as 100x, so check those T&Cs with a fine-toothed comb.

Restrictions While Releasing a Bonus

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It is not only the playthrough requirements to pay attention to but also any restrictions on the bet size or game type while releasing that bonus into your account. It is common to restrict the bet size to $5 or $10 while you have an active bonus.

In addition, it is a common practice for some casino games not to count as much toward wagering requirements as others. For example, slots may count 100%, but roulette may only count 20%, meaning for every $10 you wager at the roulette wheel, you only knock $2 off your playthrough requirements. Some games and titles are often entirely off-limits while you have a bonus active.

Casinos also put time limits on the wagering requirements for bonus-claiming customers. These can be as short as ten days or as long as a few months.

These restrictions and playthrough rules often mean that the biggest bonus is not the best for you. Helping yourself to a $5,000 bonus seems like a great idea until you realize you can only bet $5 per spin on the slots and only have 15 days to wager the bonus 50 times! In that exact scenario, you’d need to wager $250,000, or 50,000 spins at $5 in a little over a fortnight. That would be some going!


Always study the terms and conditions of any casino bonus offered to you, and make an educated decision about whether you can realistically release the total bonus amount in the timeframe allowed. It is far better to get your hands on 100% of a $300 bonus than to be unable to clear a $5,000 reward.

The best casino bonus depends on your circumstances. Think smart, and play the casinos at their own game.