Online casinos in New Zealand are very popular, as they offer a convenient and safe way to play and win money from the comfort of your own home. If you are getting started with online casinos, you have probably seen the term 'wagering requirements' come up when it comes to bonuses. What exactly is a wager, and how does it affect your experience at an online casino in NZ?

As it’s a term you will come across often, it’s important that you understand what it means. We'll explain everything you need to know in a simple manner in this article.

Definition of a Wager

In general terms, a wager is a contract between two or more parties that agree a sum of money or other reward shall be paid to one of them depending on the occurrence or non-occurrence of a specific unpredictable event. In the context of online casinos, it refers to the cash you stake on a game, otherwise known as a bet. 

While a wager is part of the fun in gambling, it has at its core the element of chance and risk. The wager is the money you risk losing when anticipating that the outcome of a game will be in line with your prediction. You win or lose your money depending on which way the game goes. Legitimate wagers are designed to ensure equality and good faith between all parties involved.

Wagers are what distinguish casual or demo play from gambling gameplay with a tangible financial element. 

Importance of Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements are the terms and conditions applied to gambling promotions and bonuses, dictating how the player can spend any winnings obtained from that promotion. They are sometimes referred to as rollover requirements or playthrough requirements. Wagering requirements are usually depicted as a multiplier such as 10x, 20x, 50x etc.

For example, an online casino could require that a $100 sign up bonus have a 20x (20 times) wagering requirement. That means the wagering requirement would be $100 multiplied by 20 ($2,000). Let's say that you place $1 bets each spin on a pokies game. You have to make 2,000 spins (of $1 each) to fulfil the $2,000 wagering requirements. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean that you need to lose $2,000; it just means you need to bet a total of $2,000. Sometimes when you play, you win, so you are not losing a total of $2,000 in order to convert your $100 bonus to withdrawable cash.

Without completing the wagering requirements, casinos will typically place your winnings under held funds. This implies the money is eligible for gameplay but not available for withdrawal. Only when you meet the wagering requirement will the money automatically become accessible to withdraw.

Wagering requirements are designed to protect online casino bonuses and promotions from abuse. In the absence of these conditions, players could sign up, play using the welcome bonus and immediately withdraw any associated winnings. This would jeopardise the casino’s financial viability. Wagering requirements also serve to encourage continuous player engagement.

Common Misconceptions about Wagers

There are misconceptions and misinterpretations around the wager. 

Differences between wagering and depositing

Some people use wagering and depositing interchangeably but the two do not refer to the same thing. Depositing is the act of adding money to your online casino account. Wagering is the act of using the money to place a bet.

The myth of "sure bets"

The Internet may be replete with people who promise guaranteed outcomes on wagers. It’s a scam — ‘sure bets’ do not exist. While there are strategies you can use to increase your chances of winning, there are no techniques or hacks that can determine a sure win. 

As mentioned, there is value in legitimate strategies in some games such as blackjack. or roulette. Remember that no technique can completely eliminate the risk of losing. Overall, each online casino bet has an element of risk and chance. The rate at which you can win depends on the type of game, as well as the casino.

Misunderstanding of odds and payouts

In online gambling, odds refer to the chances that a positive outcome will occur. The higher the odds, the greater the likelihood of winning. On the other hand, payouts indicate the potential winnings when you place a wager. In other words, it is the amount of money you will get if you do win.


Understanding wagers and wagering requirements is central to a fun and sustainable online gaming experience. It allows you to maximise promotional opportunities, better plan your gameplay and make efficient use of your bankroll. 

While all of these are desirable goals, they will not matter much if you do not conform to the principles of responsible gambling. Define a strict monthly, quarterly and/or annual budget. Set aside time to play, but stop as soon as you exceed it. Keep tabs on your overall wellbeing. If the thought of playing online casinos starts to be accompanied by feelings of dread and stress, it’s time to take a break and, where necessary, seek help.

About the author 

Peter Clayton

Peter is one of Indivisible Gaming's developers and has been working with us since 2015. When he isn't busy working on an upcoming game, he loves writing about all the games that he has played and tested. His experience in the industry is second to none, and we are grateful to have him on our team.