If you've played at an online casino for any amount of time, at some point, you will have seen wagering requirements. The bane of many a budding player, all online casinos will have wagering requirements attached to their bonuses, or at least some part of their bonus options. Many a time, new players get caught out by this unseen requirement and forfeit their carefully earned bonus money before they even know what has happened. On this wagering requirements page, we will cover all you need to know about how these requirements work.
For new players, wagering requirements are an alien concept so that we will enlighten you. Wagering requirements are a series of conditions set in place by the casino. They prevent players from grabbing bonus cash and simply leaving the casino with that money without ever having made a deposit or possibly even played. As you can imagine, if this were the norm, these casinos would simply lose money, which isn’t a very strong business plan! Because of this, wagering requirements came into being, protecting the casino from being exploited.
How do wagering requirements work?
Wagering requirements are the number of times players will need to play through any bonus cash or winnings gained by using that bonus cash before they can withdraw this money from their account. For the most part, failing to meet any of the wagering requirement stipulations will result in the bonus money, and winnings are coming from the bonus, being removed from the player’s account. Each casino will have different rules, so it is always important to check out the terms and conditions before signing up to what may seem like a very lucrative bonus.
So let’s look at an example to illustrate further how these work. Wagering requirements are always represented as the number of times playthrough is required, and it looks like this – 20x, 30x, 35x, etc. This simply means that if the bonus cash was £5, and the wagering requirement is 20x, the player must play that £5, 20 times through before they can retrieve any money. This means that £100 must be wagered in total. This is also the same if the requirements are on any winnings earned from the bonus.
Can they be beaten?
Many players are put off by what can seem like an impossible challenge to meet these requirements. Especially when they’re on a budget and were taking what appeared to be some free bets, however, players forget that they will make winnings along the way, and these winnings can then be recycled back in and will count towards the wagering requirement. It can take time, but with a little patience, and the right game, these requirements can be met, and you could still walk away with a decent bit of cash.
What games to play
If you are planning on beating these wagering requirements, then it is important that you do so in the best way. The first thing to look at is which games will count towards the wagering requirements. Top tip here – not all games will count towards these requirements and even if they do, not always to equal amounts or percentages. For the most part, slot games always count as 100% of what you bet towards the wagering requirement, so this is the fastest and safest way of fulfilling the wagering stipulations.
Other games, such as virtual table games, often do count, but not to the same extent. Frequently, they can count for as little as 5-20%, which can be very disheartening if you’re trying to play through a large amount. Poker games are sometimes not included at all, and the same is often true for live dealer games. It’s very important that players check each casino carefully about these games as there’s nothing worse than playing through the wagering requirements only to find they have not been met and the withdrawal cannot be made.
Choosing the best bonus
Due to most bonuses having wagering requirements attached, it is important to look at this aspect of a bonus when choosing to sign up to a new casino. The lower the wagering requirement, the better chance you stand of meeting that requirement – it’s not all about the biggest bonus. Think about what you can realistically reach so that you will walk away with some money. For example, a deposit bonus offers a 100% match to £50 with a 40x wagering requirement. You’ll have to play through £50, 40 times, which is a whopping, £2000.
Alternatively, you could choose what seems like a lower bonus – 50% match on £100, but this has a 20x wagering requirement. Here you’ll have £150 to play with after the bonus has been awarded but will only have to play through this up to the value of £1000. It may not seem so much of a difference, but it really is. As a rule, we do suggest avoiding requirements that are 50x. Generally, though, casinos are around 20-25x, although if you’re lucky, you can find them as low as 2x.
No wagering requirements
Some casinos don’t have wagering requirements in place on their bonuses. However, these bonuses are often small amounts; it may be a free £5 simply for signing up. These are still one of the favoured bonuses by players and, let’s face it, you have hit the jackpot when getting one of these. Any money that has been won from this bonus cash can be withdrawn at any time, so essentially you can walk away with some extra cash, which cost you absolutely nothing.
However, casinos will still do something to thwart you from completely walking away. Usually, there are still withdrawal limits in place, so if your winnings don’t reach the minimum requirement, the money will still be stuck in your account. Sometimes casinos will also prevent a withdrawal taking place until money has been deposited using that transaction method. In this way, you normally end up having to make a deposit of some kind anyway, just to retrieve your cash and the casino has managed to achieve what it wanted – a deposit.
Why are wagering requirements in place?
The bane of many players’ lives, wagering requirements are a necessary evil. As we touched upon, these are in place to protect the casino rather than to thwart players. Often players will attempt to take a free bet or free cash without depositing any money. With no wagering requirements in place, they would be free to withdraw their bonus money, close the account and walk away. It could be easy! What’s more, in the past, casinos have been venues for money laundering, and this is something that casinos now try to prevent.
Wagering requirements are also simply in place because the casino is a business. As businesses are there to make money, it makes no sense to hand it out simply. Don’t forget that the ultimate goal for these bonuses is to bring in players, with their money, and get them to stay at the casino. That’s hardly going to happen if they can walk away freely when they win. However, casinos are required to be transparent so you should not ever get caught out by these requirements – especially not after reading this article!
We may hate wagering requirements, but they are here to stay. If you pay attention to what they are, how to fulfil them and are careful when selecting the casino and bonus you play with, then there should be no problems. Keep your eyes peeled for those rarely seen no wagering requirement bonuses and snap them up the second you do. Let’s not forget, though, that even with wagering requirements, these bonuses tend to get you much further ahead than you would get without them. Remember those requirements and have fun!