Wagering requirements unwrapped
Wagering requirements are “guarantees” for online casinos that they will not end up cashless after giving away bonuses and other forms of cash prizes.
Essentially, wagering requirements impose a set of rules on players whereby they must play through the bonus several times before withdrawing their winnings. The majority of gambling sites hold the onus money in an individual account in the players’ cashier. Players may cash out their winnings if the wagering terms have been fulfilled and there is a positive balance.
According to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission guidelines, online casino players must have the possibility to “withdraw winnings made with their own funds, no matter how much or how little they have played,” irrespective of the wagering terms.
Most importantly, wagering requirements must be overtly displayed on the casino’s website or portal advertising its offering. On the other hand, casino clients should also allow themselves enough time to read and understand the fine print before starting to spin the wheel at one casino or another. Reading the wagering terms carefully can benefit players tremendously, especially in choosing a gambling site over another.
The math behind a bonus wagering requirements
Typically, wagering requirements are expressed as follows: 10x, 25x, 50x, 100x, etc. Essentially, a wagering requirement of 10x entails that the bonus money offered by the casino must be used up 10 times in a row before any funds can leave the player’s casino account.
Suppose a casino offers a $50 bonus matching every $50 deposit. This bonus is subject to a set of rules requiring that you gamble that amount a number of times to reach $500 to be able to cash out your winnings plus the bonus.
Taking this hypothesis up a notch, if the wagering requirement were greater than x50, you would need to raise your wager (remember the bonus also counts in this wager and towards the wagering requirement) to $2,500.
The math behind it is pretty easy to comprehend. You will obtain the wagering requirement by multiplying the cash bonus amount by the number of times set under the wagering requirement. Supposing your wagering requirement is x50, and your bonus amount is $50. In that case, you will need to wager 50 x $50 = $2,500 before you can withdraw funds from your casino account.
The higher the wagering requirement is, the harder it is for players to cash out. Therefore, as a player, you may opt out of certain promotions that the casino offers.
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Why do casinos set wagering requirements?
Even some of the most experienced gamblers who know what wagering requirements are and how they work may sometimes overlook that the casino operators have established them for a reason.
The purpose of wagering requirements is primarily to ensure that players don’t just gamble with the bonus cash and withdraw their winnings without actually making any deposit. Promotions are designed to attract new players to an online casino site. However, if players do not deposit real money and gamble, there’s hardly any benefit to the casino operator.
From a casino’s standpoint, real-cash bonuses have the value of an investment and are treated as such. Although giving away bonuses is risky on the casino’s part, the majority of players may find it hard, if not impossible, to reach the wagering volume required to withdraw their winnings plus the bonus money.
The general principle is that new players sign in, take the bonus, exhaust it while trying to reach the wagering level required to cash out and eventually deposit real money out of their own pocket to continue playing.
Online casinos, just like any other organisation handling high transaction volumes on a daily basis, have to observe strict anti-money laundering rules. These rules are precisely why online casinos have wagering requirements to protect them against criminal activities. Without this “shield”, it would be extremely easy for criminals to deposit “black” money, wager a few times and then withdraw.
How do you know wagering requirements are fair for the bonus type?
Players must carefully consider the casino’s wagering requirements before getting started. It’s also important to know that wagering requirements work similarly, regardless of the bonus type.
Whether players opt for a free-spin bonus, a no-deposit bonus, or a deposit match one, they are all subject to a specific wagering requirement.
No-deposit bonuses are hugely popular among casino players. The major benefit for players is that they do not need to deposit real money upfront. Yet, wagering requirements can be rather hefty.
Rarely do online casinos offer a no-deposit bonus without a wagering requirement.
No-deposit Bonus Wagering Requirement Example:
At Betfair Casino, a UK-based casino site, players receive 30 free spins on online slot games upon sign-up. Winnings are awarded in real cash, and no wagering requirement applies.
Typically, the wagering requirement for this kind of promotion would be x50. Online casinos with low or no wagering requirements on no-deposit bonuses are worth exploring. In contrast, those with wagering requirements of more than 50x might as well be bypassed.
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No-deposit Free Spins
Free-spin bonuses with no deposit may be worth delving deeper into. Here is a quick example.
Free-spin Wagering Requirement:
Spin Casino rewards its players with 100 free spins on its “Mystical Zodiac” slot without requiring any deposit. It may be worth mentioning that US and UK players cannot participate in this offer. The bonus comes with a wagering requirement of x50 and a $20 maximum reward.
This means that you can keep the cash bonus once the free spins have been exhausted and your remaining balance is positive. However, note that this has a few strings attached in the sense that it must be regarded as a bonus. Essentially, you must wager this bonus credit 50 times before withdrawing any funds from your casino account.
Any cash winnings made from no-deposit free spins are subject to the same rules as cash bonuses, and, therefore, wagering requirements will apply.
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Deposit Match Bonus
Usually, deposit-match bonuses carry a much lower wagering requirement compared with that of a no-deposit bonus. That’s because the casino’s risk is also considerably lower with this type of bonus because the player will have already deposited real cash into their casino account.
Deposit Match Wagering Requirement Example:
Slots Empire, a US online casino, offers deposit-match bonuses. With this casino, new players get a deposit match bonus of 220%, or up to $1,000. The wagering requirement of this bonus is x70, which is at the very high end for this kind of promotion.
Generally, no-deposit match bonuses carry a wagering requirement of anywhere between 20x or 50x. Although, this may vary from casino to casino. As a rule, the higher the bonus, the heftier the wagering requirement. Casinos may offer smaller bonuses with lower wagering requirements to attract players.
Can you beat or bypass wagering requirements?
Unfortunately, there is no way you can beat or “cheat” wagering requirements. However, they must not be regarded as a negative thing.
On the upside, many casino bonuses and promotions would have been less appealing if wagering requirements had not been in place. Players should therefore treat it as a given.
Generally, wagering requirements must be regarded as a benefit despite the challenges they sometimes raise for players.
Remember that wagering requirements enable online casinos to offer you prizes twice or three times your deposit.
The road ahead for wagering requirements
Predicting the future of wagering requirements is difficult, if not impossible, given that online casinos are engaged in a constant battle for market share, with each trying to outrank the other with better, shinier and heftier bonus offerings.
Most likely, wagering requirements will continue to accompany bonus offers. However, it is not unlikely that they may be presented differently in the years to come. Online casinos will want to remain at the top of their players’ preference. Therefore, they will want to keep their offerings as attractive as possible.
In turn, this might make the competition in the online gambling space even harsher.
Whether there will or will not be significant changes regarding wagering requirements in the future remains an open question. Nevertheless, online casinos will have to enforce similar rules to protect themselves against money laundering or bonus overplay.
Wagering Requirements FAQ
Our guide will have hopefully given you a clear idea about what wagering requirements are, what they involve and how to get the most out of casino promotions. However, should you still have any unclarified queries, we have also compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers for your convenience.
This is the most attractive online casino offering. It basically means that players can withdraw their winnings at any time without having to meet any wagering terms beforehand. Any winnings made from bonuses, free spins, or no-deposit promos are theirs for the taking. These types of offerings are generally scarce and are snatched away quite fast.
Generally, online casinos hold bonus funds in separate client accounts, distinct from current casino accounts. This makes it easier to distinguish how much was spent from the real-cash account and how much was spent from the bonus account. Held funds are part of the untouched bonus exhausted and can only be accessed if the wagering requirements are met.
If players do not meet the wagering requirements specified by the casino, they will have to make a real-cash deposit to continue playing at the casino. Otherwise, the bonus will never be redeemed into cash.
Often, wagering requirements carry staking contributions. The amount of these staking contributions may vary from one operator to another and is usually specified in the casino’s Terms and Conditions. Not all the games available at a casino will count 100% toward the wagering requirements’ volume. In general, slots do contribute 100%, while casino classics like roulette or blackjack weigh less. As a player, you should weigh wagering requirements and staking contributions carefully before placing high bets.
If you have made a real-money deposit and played from it, you should be able to withdraw any winnings, regardless of their stake in the wagering requirements. However, you should know that the casino may invalidate any active promotion you are participating in should you place a withdrawal request while the wagering requirement process is ongoing. Make sure to check the bonus terms and conditions carefully before you sign up.