What are wagering requirements?
Every game has rules and casino games are no exception. Games like poker and sic bo have rather complex rules while slots and bingo are simpler to grasp. If you have ever accepted a casino bonus or even just read about one, you will likely have come across the term ‘wagering requirements’. Simply put, these are the rules that determine how a player can use a casino bonus.
Wagering requirements can seem daunting at first. They are usually displayed as multiples and often associated with other bonus rules like expiry time, game weightings and restrictions. For new players, it can sound like a totally foreign language.
Luckily, RightCasino is here to help. In this guide, we will be talking you through the ins and outs of wagering requirements and the terms associated with them. You will learn about where you can find and read these requirements, what the jargon means and how they impact your play. Let’s get started!
Everything you need to know about wagering requirements
As we mentioned earlier, wagering requirements are associated with a casino bonus awarded to a player. Bonus cash can be subject to wagering requirements and so can any winnings that result from bonus free spins.
Wagering requirements are never linked to any real cash a player deposits. Nor are they applied to winnings earned through real cash play. Any real money you deposit into a casino account can be withdrawn at any time and is not subject to any wagering requirements, only the rules that prohibit illegal activity like fraud or money laundering.
How do wagering requirements work?
Wagering requirements only apply to bonuses i.e. ‘freebies’ awarded by a casino, which then has the right to impose rules to determine how they can be used.
They are usually displayed as a number, followed or preceded by an ‘x’, which stands for ‘multiplied by’. The following is a practical example that will be familiar to players who have ever seen what a casino bonus looks like.
“Deposit match of 100% up to £100, with x35 wagering requirements”
The first part is quite self-explanatory. Any deposit made by the player up to £100 will be doubled by the casino. Assuming the player took full advantage of the deposit match and did deposit the full amount of £100, that means that the player now has £100 in real cash (the initial deposit) as well as £100 in bonus cash, awarded by the casino. So far, nothing out of the ordinary.
Let’s take a look at the second part now – x35 wagering requirements – within the context of this example. The player must wager thirty-five times the bonus amount before they can make a withdrawal. Assuming the player starts off with £100, that means that they must wager £100 multiplied by 35 before a withdrawal is allowed – that adds up to £3500.
Wagering requirements can also be applied to the winnings that result from free spins. An example would be:
“50 free spins on Starburst with x35 wagering requirements”
Let’s say that our lucky fictitious player won £50 when using those free spins. As per the terms of the bonus rules, the player must wager that £50 thirty-five times before any winnings can be withdrawn.
In bonuses that comprise both bonus cash and free spins, the casino may choose to apply the same wagering requirements for both components or set different ones for each part.
What happens if requirements are not met?
Some casinos impose an expiry date on bonuses, which determine how much time a player has to meet wagering requirements. In other cases, players may simply be unaware of what wagering requirements mean and attempt a withdrawal before they are met.
If a player does not meet requirements before time’s up or withdraws before requirements are completed, a casino will usually confiscate any bonus cash or free spins remaining in the player’s account, thus cutting short the benefits of claiming the bonus in the first place.
How do I meet wagering requirements?
Fulfilling wagering requirements is simply a matter of playing! The casino will automatically keep track of your progress and will release your winnings once requirements have been met. Some casinos have gone the extra mile and will display bonus cash as separate from real cash deposits, so the player can keep an eye on their individual balances.
What are game weightings?
Not all games are created equal when it comes to fulfilling wagering requirements. Casinos will weight games differently, which means that wagering on one category of game could contribute more to your wagering requirements than another.
Casinos will each determine how to weight games, so percentages vary across the industry but the following is an example of what an average game weighting table will look like.
- Slots – 100%
- Table games – 15%
- Jackpots – 0%
Slots will contribute the most at this casino, so betting £50 on a slot game will be counted as £50 towards meeting requirements. Table games contribute significantly less. Betting £50 on a blackjack game in this case would only contribute £7.50 – 15% of your initial wager – towards wagering requirements. In the majority of casinos, wagers on jackpot games are not counted at all.
It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of online casinos offer bonuses that are created specifically for players who enjoy slot games primarily. Indeed, your average blackjack player would not be as interested in a bonus that locks them in to this kind of game weighting.
However, some casinos have noticed this disparity and offer promotions and bonuses that cater specifically to players who prefer table or live games. If these games are more to your liking, keep an eye out for casinos that specialise in these kinds of bonuses.
Where can I find the wagering requirements?
All casinos will make it easy for players to read any rules associated with a promotion or bonus. Look out for a link or small print on the promotional material itself.
Another place to look is the terms and conditions document. Sometimes casinos include everything in one page while others separate the standard T&Cs and the bonus ones. Any such document/s will be readily available, often accessible from a link in the footer of any page in the casino site.
The T&Cs is also where you will find information on game weightings associated with wagering requirements, as well as any time limits or other restrictions you should know about.
Are there wager-free casino bonuses?
A number of casinos offer casino bonuses that have no wagering requirements. This is becoming more commonplace, particularly as some casinos are eager to increase the transparency of the bonuses they offer. It’s usually free spins bonuses that are wager-free.
That said, always assume that a bonus has wagering requirements unless it specifically indicates otherwise. Just because you didn’t notice any wagering requirements or didn’t bother to look very hard does not mean that the bonus is wager free. Always read the terms and conditions and consult the casino’s customer support team if you require clarification.
Having read all that, you should feel pretty confident navigating the world of casino bonuses and their associated restrictions. To sum up, these are a few points to keep in mind when accepting a casino bonus.
- Wagering requirements and game weightings can vary between casinos
- Some bonuses expire – fulfil the wagering requirements within the time limit set
- Always read the terms and conditions
- Never assume a bonus is wager-free; always double-check to make sure