Most bonuses offered by online casinos feature something called wagering requirements which you’re forced to complete before having the chance to withdraw winnings and bonus money.
However, wagering requirements are often hidden in the terms and conditions and most players don’t find out about them until after they’ve claimed a bonus.
Even after flicking through the terms and conditions to read them, many players are left confused and frustrated about wagering requirements, which is why we’ve decided to help you by explaining what wagering requirements are and why online casinos have them.
What Are Wagering Requirements?
Wagering requirements are restrictions online casinos place to protect the bonuses they give away to players. Essentially, a wagering requirement is the number of times you must bet your deposit, bonus or deposit and bonus combined.
Wagering requirements apply as soon as you deposit money and claim a bonus. While some casinos allow you to withdraw your winnings at any time and forfeit your bonus money, some casinos ban you from withdrawing winnings until the bonus money has either expired or the wagering requirement are completed. For example, 32Red have a Fair Play bonus system which allows users to withdraw winnings despite not completing wagering requirements.
Casino Wagering Requirements
If you still find that confusing, we’ve researched several casinos and their welcome bonuses to show you how to work out wagering requirements and see whether accepting a welcome bonus is worth it or not.
Betway Casino offers you a 100% match bonus of up to £250. However, the bonus money must be wagered 50x before a player can withdraw the money and any associated winnings. So, if players deposit £100, they’ll receive £100 from the casino and must wager £5,000.
Also, the bonus is only valid for seven days and you must complete the wagering requirements during this timeframe or you’ll lose your bonus money. Like 32Red, Betway Casino allows users to withdraw winnings despite not completing the wagering requirements. However, doing this forfeits bonus money.
PlayFrank offers you a 100% bonus of up to £100 plus 50 bonus spins. The bonus money has a wagering requirement of 35x combined with your initial deposit. So, if you deposit £100, you’ll receive £100 from PlayFrank. However, you’ll need to wager £200 (Deposit plus bonus) 35x for a total of £7,000 before you can withdraw anything.
In addition, PlayFrank’s 50 bonus spins have a wagering requirement of 40x, meaning they need to be bet 40 times before they’re converted into real cash. Meanwhile, you only have seven days to complete the wagering requirement otherwise the bonus money expires. Bonus spins are only valid for 24 hours.
Casimba Casino offers a 200% bonus of up to £500 with a wagering requirement 35x your deposit plus the bonus money. So, if you deposit £200, you’ll receive a bonus of £400 and you’ll have to bet £600 35x for a total of £21,000. The bonus money is only valid for 30 days.
Casimba also rewards you with 50 bonus spins as part of its welcome bonus, which you must wager 35x within 72 hours. The casino’s bonus spins also have a maximum payout of £100, anything above the limit will be forfeited.
It doesn’t stop there, however, as games contribute to the wagering requirement differently depending on the casino you’re playing at. Each type of game, such as slots or table games, contribute different percentages towards the wagering requirement which means it may take longer to complete the requirements.
So, if you wager £1 on a slot machine that contributes 100% towards your wagering requirement, £1 will be removed from your requirement total. However, if you wager £1 on a table game that contributes 50% towards your wagering requirement, only 50p will be removed from your wagering total.
For example, Casimba Casino states in its terms and conditions that most slots and its scratchcards and keno game contribute 100% to the wagering requirement. However, table games and video poker contribute nothing towards the wagering requirement. Meanwhile, certain slot games such as Blood Suckers, Mega Joker, Big Bad Wolf and more only contribute 20%.
PlayFrank’s terms and conditions reveal that most slots, apart from a select few, contribute 100% to the wagering requirements. Games under the “classic slots” section of the site contribute 50% while table games, video poker and live games contribute nothing towards the wagering requirement.
Betway states that slot games contribute 100% to the wagering requirement. Table poker, roulette games and video poker only contribute 8% towards the requirement while sports bets, blackjack, baccarat, craps and other games contribute nothing.
If you are looking to complete your wagering requirement, we suggest you stick to the slot machines. However, it’s important that you check whether the slot game you’re playing, or any other game for that matter, actually contributes towards the wagering requirement. After all, you wouldn’t want to have wagered £100 only to find out it hasn’t contributed anything!
Why Do Casinos Have Wagering Requirements?
Wagering requirements are the way online casinos protect themselves from customers looking to abuse them by registering multiple accounts, claiming the bonus money and then withdrawing it as soon as they can. While this normally doesn’t happen, casinos need to ensure they’re protected from anyone with bad intentions as it could easily impact the online gambling industry.
Sadly, it was a common practice when online casinos first emerged and offered bonus money with no catches. Punters abused the casino by opening multiple accounts and withdrawing the funds to make free money. It damaged the industry temporarily, leading online casinos to implement their wagering requirements.
Also, think about it logically, if an online casino offers players £20 for free without any wagering requirements, they would lose thousands.
We at Smartphone Casinos view wagering requirements as a valid mechanism to provide an incentive to players. However, if online casinos request you wager your money more than 50 times, we generally wouldn’t recommend them.
‘Free Spins’ Wagering
We’ve mentioned above that the ‘free spins’ offered alongside some welcome bonuses aren’t free. In fact, the UK Gambling Commission denounced the term ‘free spins’ because it’s actually misleading, leading many online casinos to adopt the term ‘bonus spins’.
Just like bonus funds, players are required to wager the offered spins a certain amount of times before the winnings are converted into cash for the player to withdraw. The exact wagering requirements for spins depends on the casino, but you can find several examples above.
How to Spot Wagering Requirements
Due to recent changes made by the UK Gambling Commission, it’s never been easier to spot wagering requirements. Under new laws, the basic terms and conditions, such as wagering requirements and how long they’re valid for, should be listed directly under the promotion.
However, to find exact numbers, details of game contributions and more, you’ll still need to read through a large chunk of the full terms and conditions, which we know can be quite daunting. However, it’s important you read through the terms and conditions to understand how your claimed bonus works.
The Fine Print
There are also some extra small things you should understand and remember next time you claim a bonus. All of this will help you determine whether it’s worth claiming a bonus or not.
Wagering and Deposits
When playing at online casinos, you begin wagering by using your deposited money before playing with the bonus funds. However, most casinos have placed rules in which only the bonus funds contribute to the wagering requirement so players can wager all of their deposit without having contributed towards the requirement, even if they’re playing a slot game that contributes 100%. At some casinos, contributions towards wagering requirements only begin when you start playing with your bonus money.
Many casinos have a limit on the maximum bet you can wager while contributing to the wagering requirement. For example, many slots contributing 100% towards your requirement have a max betting limit of £5 per spin. Wagering any more than that per spin will NOT contribute towards your wagering requirement.
We’ve mentioned them above, but we think it’s important you remember that all bonus funds and spins have an expiry date, whether that’s 25 hours, several days, weeks or even months. Before claiming a bonus or attempting to complete wagering requirements, you should take a step back and consider whether you have enough time and money to do so.
Bonuses: Are They Worth It?
We’re not going to tell you whether or not it’s worth claiming a bonus, that’s for you to decide. Many regular players refuse to claim welcome bonuses so they aren’t restricted, can play how they like and withdraw whenever they want. Other players, however, enjoy the challenge of completing the wagering requirements.
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s essential that you read through the terms and conditions of an online casino before registering or accepting their welcome bonus. After reading through this page, we hope you now understand enough to be able to calculate the wagering requirements yourself. Is it worth spending large amounts of money to win that extra £100?
It’s completely up to you.