There are two facts that seem to be ever present in the online and mobile casino industry: one, casinos will always offer bonuses in terms of free cash, deposit bonuses or extra spins to entice new players, and two, those bonuses will always be subject to wagering requirements. Quite understandably, most players view wagering requirements as a bit of a dirty word, trying to avoid them where possible and mitigate their effects as much as possible.
Many players will even forgo bonuses when they think wagering requirements are too high. In this post we’ll run you through what wagering requirements are and the steps you can take to make sure you don’t get caught out by them.
Understand What Wagering Requirements Are & How They Work
The very first step to ensuring you don’t get burnt by too steep wagering requirements is to know exactly what we’re talking about when we say the phrase ‘wagering requirements’. When a casino credits you with bonus cash, wagering requirements are basically the catch that makes it financially viable for the casino to offer the bonus cash to all eligible players.
Wagering requirements are pretty much exactly what they say on the tin – they dictate the amount of times over you’re required to wager the value of your bonus cash before you can make a withdrawal. So say you receive a £10 bonus with a 30x wagering requirement, you’ll need to wager the equivalent of £300 before you can withdraw any money from the casino. Usually wagering is only valid on slots, where the house has a bigger edge than, say, the likes of blackjack.
Why Casinos Have Wagering Requirements
While obviously from a player’s point of view it’s less than ideal to have to wager your bonuses over so many times before you can withdraw them, from the casinos’ point of view, it’s all about minimising risk. In the wild old days of online and mobile casinos, wagering requirements were less prevalent and less strict, meaning people would sign up (often with multiple accounts), claim their bonus, and then simply walk away with the cash. Alternatively, if casinos did have wagering requirements, they’d simply play the cash through on relatively low risk games like, say, blackjack, and still leave the casino out of pocket.
It’s not just that casinos are being tight, but if they let too many people simply claim bonuses without wagering requirements then leave, they’d quickly go out of business. There’s still a decent chance you’ll have some cash left after playing through wagering requirements, and all they are doing is ensuring that the casinos that you play at, know well and love can remain open and offering you a place to play.
Research Wagering Requirements Before Accepting Bonuses & Avoid Inflated Ones
Every casino’s wagering requirements arrangements are subtly different to every other’s. Firstly, and most obviously, every different casino will have a different wagering requirement value. Some casinos will have wagering requirements as little as 5x, while some have big ones up to 100x; the industry standard is usually around 30x – 50x. Moreover, casinos will have different rules on which games will count towards your wagering requirements (usually only slots), and how quickly you have to meet the wagering requirement after claiming your bonus (usually about 7 days).
The best way to ensure you’re getting a decent deal with wagering requirements is to put in a decent amount of research. When you’re thinking about accepting some bonus cash from a casino, make sure you always read the terms and conditions to find out what requirements you’ll be beholden to. If you find the wagering requirements are too high or the terms are too strict, it might be worth not even accepting the bonus – either play on without the bonus, or simply vote with your feet and choose to play elsewhere.