You'll find bonuses and promotions at every online casino, and every one of those will come with terms and conditions (T&Cs) that a player will have to follow if they want to make a withdrawal. While the T&Cs can differ a bit depending on where you play, one that remains consistent in definition and commonality is the wagering requirement.
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A wagering requirement, also known as a rollover requirement, lets players know the amount of money they have to bet before they can withdraw their money. It's important to note that a wagering requirement only applies if you take advantage of a bonus the online casino is offering, not if you simply deposit your money without getting free money from the casino for doing so. All of our recommended online casinos will not put any restrictions beyond withdrawal maximums if you just make a deposit and win money.
The wagering requirement is also called the rollover requirement because players are required to literally rollover the amount they start with a certain number of times before they can deposit. The number of times is normally around 35x, and that applies to both your deposit and the amount of money the casino matches it by. So, to figure out how much you'll have to bet (it doesn't matter how much you win), you add your original deposit to their matching amount and multiply that by the rollover (or wagering) requirement. However, if you lose all the money that you're required to rollover, you're not expected to still reach it if you make an additional deposit. While not ideal, losing it all is another way to meet the requirement no matter how much you bet.
One of the most important T&Cs that's related to the wagering requirement that you'll want to look for is what games the requirement applies to. For example, games with low house edges like Roulette and Blackjack might not even count towards the rollover requirement, while only 25% of others might apply. Without exception, however, 100% of bets placed on Slots and Speciality games like Keno apply to the rollover. In fact, some online casinos will have those bets could over 100% as part of the promotion.
Let's say the online casino is offering a 100% deposit-matching Welcome Bonus up to $250. If you take advantage and go for the maximum bonus, you would personally deposit $250, the casino would match it with $250, and your total bankroll would be $500. If the wagering requirement is 35x, then you would need to bet $17,500. That's a lot of money, but they're also giving you a lot of money.
If you play Slots and are playing at the online casino fairly often, yes. It's free money, and it really doesn't take that long to reach the wagering requirement if you're playing actively over the course of some time. If you reach the requirement and are able to deposit and won more money than you would have if you hadn't started out with more money, you'll be glad you did it. With that being said, if you don't play Slots, make sure you look at those additional T&Cs. There's a good chance the table or card game you enjoy playing don't apply.