The world of online casino gaming is chock-full of bonuses. Virtually any online casino today will have at least one, if not multiple, bonus offers. In a market where all casinos have bonuses for their players, any casino that doesn’t feature bonuses will simply not survive. Why do casinos offer bonuses? Well, they are great for two reasons – 1) they get new players to sign up as members 2) they keep existing players happy and active.
However, bonuses are not always a source of excitement and profitability for the player. In fact, most inexperienced players have a frustrating and disappointing experience with casino bonuses. Why is this, you ask? Well, the number one culprit is usually something called “wagering requirements”. One of the aspects where licensed online casinos are required to be transparent is wagering requirements.
When a new online casino player reads about a bonus offer at a casino through an online marketing ad or on the casino website itself, he or she usually takes it for face value. Unbeknownst to newbie players, casino bonuses have terms and conditions. These terms and conditions dictate when and how you can claim the bonus, withdraw the bonus, use the bonus, and in many cases, even how much you can withdraw. News flash – the terms and conditions are usually restrictive in nature.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating features of virtually any casino bonus is the wagering requirements that are attached to it. It kind of sucks out all the fun from fantastic offers like no deposit bonuses, where if used well, can offer real money winnings. Unfortunately, without these pesky conditions, the reality is, there probably wouldn’t be any kind of casino bonuses available to players. But, are wagering requirements really the enemy?
Today, we’re going to first explain what wagering requirements are and then take a look at how you can work with these requirements or work around these requirements to beat them and actually gain some value from your next online casino bonus.
<H2>What are Wagering Requirements and How to Calculate Them?</H2>
Simply put, wagering requirements tell a player who has claimed a bonus how much money they need to deposit and wager before they can actually withdraw the bonus funds or bonus winnings.
Wagering requirements are a way to thwart bonus exploitation and make sure players don’t simply rip off a casino by withdrawing the bonus only to never be seen at the website again.
Let’s look at a simple example to breakdown how you can calculate wagering requirements. Let’s consider this scenario – you signed up with an online casino for the first time and you received 5 free spins thanks to the casino’s no deposit bonus (or sign-up bonus). The wagering requirements for this bonus, as per the terms and conditions, are 35x the bonus amount. So, what does that mean?
Now, let’s assume you went ahead and played with your 5 free spins. The first three spins were losses, but on the last two spins, you got winning combinations and you won a total of $28.
Basically, you’ve not spent a single penny at the casino but you’ve already won $28, you could just withdraw this money and walk away, right? May be you can even do the same thing at another online casino? Hold your horses! This is where the wagering requirements come into play. Since the $28 is added to ‘bonus balance’ and not ‘real money balance’, you cannot withdraw it. In order to withdraw it, you first need to complete or fulfill the wagering requirements (sometimes also referred to as play-through requirements). Once you complete the wagering requirements – the $28 is moved from your bonus balance to your real money balance and then it is available for withdrawal.
Now, how much should you wager to complete the wagering requirements? The wagering requirement is 35x the bonus amount. In this case, the bonus amount is $28, so the wagering requirement is $28 * 35 = $980.
Once you deposit and wager through $980 of your money, you can then withdraw the $28.
<H2>How to Beat Wagering Requirements and Withdraw Your Bonus Funds? </H2>
There are a few things you can do to make the burden of wagering requirements a little lighter for yourself.
- Find a bonus with low or zero wagering requirements: The best way to beat wagering requirements is to find a bonus where you don’t have to worry about wagering at all. These are called no wagering bonuses or zero wagering bonuses and they certainly do exist, albeit a little rare to come across. Can’t get your hands on a zero-wagering bonus? Well, the next best thing would be to claim a bonus where the wagering requirements are low. Generally wagering requirements in the range of 10x – 25x are considered low, 25x-40x are considered average and anything above 40x is high and better avoided.
- Find a bonus that gives you enough time to complete wagering requirements: When dealing with wagering requirements, you should also know that casinos set a time limit within which you must finish the wagering requirements. Failing this, your bonus money is simply forfeited. So, make sure to check this beforehand and choose a bonus where you have ample time to complete the wagering requirements.
- Make sure to understand wagering game contribution: Wagers made on different types of casino games can contribute at different rates towards the completion of wagering requirements. For example, only 50% of a bet made on Blackjack could be considered towards wagering whereas 100% of bets made on slots are counted towards completion of wagering. So, obviously, you would complete the requirements 2 times faster by playing slots than by playing blackjack.