Casino Wagering Requirements Explained


Casino Bonus Wagering Requirements Explained



When selecting a new casino site, one of the first things many players look for is an eye-catching new player offer – and there are plenty out there. A quick scan of those available to UK players will reveal a selection of casino offers such as “100% Deposit Bonus up to £100”, “Deposit £20, Play with £50”, “Deposit £10, Get £20 + 10 Free Spins” and so on.

The allure of Free Cash is difficult to resist, but this Free Money is often deceptively tricky to acquire. Attached to almost every offer, be that a Deposit Bonus or Free Spins, will be a Wagering Requirements stipulation – also known as Playthrough Requirements or Turnover Requirements.

What is a Wagering Requirement?

Simply put, the wagering requirement attached to an offer is the amount you must stake before the Bonus Funds become withdrawable as real cash. This will be quoted as a multiple of the Bonus Funds, and range from 1x up to 70x or occasionally even more.

Let’s take the “100% Deposit Bonus up to £100” as an example. Say you aim to take maximum advantage and deposit £100 into the site: your £100 deposit will appear in your main wallet, but the £100 Bonus Funds will be kept in a separate Bonus Wallet. You may use these Bonus Funds to place bets on the site, but they will only become withdrawable once the specified Wagering Requirements are satisfied.

This offer comes with a 30x wagering requirement (one of the most common amongst casino promotions), meaning you must stake 30x the value of the Bonus Amount, before the Bonus Fund AND any winnings they generate become withdrawable. 30 x £100 = £3000. Meaning you must place £3000 worth of bets. To calculate the wagering requirements for any Bonus, use the following simple formula:

Bonus Amount x Wagering Requirement Multiplier = Total Stakes Required

What About Free Spins?

Many online operators attempt to attract new business with Free Spins deals – either as an added extra to a Deposit Bonus style deal or a seemingly no-strings-attached and sometimes no deposit required promotion. These deals will almost always come with a Wagering Requirement, with the specified multiplier applied to the amount you win whilst using your Free Spins.

For example, say you take advantage of a 20 Free Spins Deal and are lucky enough to win £20 from these spins. If the offer comes with a 25x Multiplier, you must stake £20 x 25 = £500 before your winnings move from your Bonus Balance to your real money balance.

The Effect of Wagering Requirements

The simple rule here is that the higher the wagering requirement, the lower the amount you can expect to make from the Bonus. Two examples help to illustrate why this is the case and how significant the difference can be.

Example 1: £100 Bonus with 10x Wagering Requirement

For our examples, we will have players use the same strategy of playing £1 spins on a slot title with a Return to Player Percentage (RTP) of 96%. RTP represents the average amount you can expect to receive in return as a percentage of your stake, i.e. a £1 spin on a 96% RTP slot will return 96p on average, equating to an average loss of 4p per spin.

To meet the 10x Wagering requirement, you will need to spin those reels 1000 times at £1 a spin. On average, you will expect to lose 4p per spin, equating to a total loss of £40. That's not too bad, considering the value of the Bonus is £100, meaning, on average, you can expect to make £60 from a deal such as this – although, in reality, results will vary widely from player to player.

Example 2: £100 Bonus with a 30x Wagering Requirement

In this instance, we must stake a total of £3000 before we clear the bonus – meaning 3000 £1 spins if using the same strategy as Example 1. Keeping the RTP the same at 96% will result in a loss of - 3000 x 4p = £120 – more than the amount of the total Bonus cash. Under these conditions, the average player will see the entire Bonus amount disappear before the wagering requirements are met.

Using the method outlined in our examples is a solid way to decide whether a seemingly attractive sign-up deal is worth your time.

Other Factors to be Aware Of

  • Not all games count equally - You might think that a £1 stake will count as £1 towards your wagering requirement, no matter what type of game you place it on. You would, however, be wrong in most instances. Contained within the terms and conditions of the Wagering Requirements will be a list of games and the percentage of stake which will count towards your Wagering Requirement. This will vary from casino to casino, but as a general guide, slot games will usually count as 100%, but for certain table games, this can fall to as low as 5% - turning that 10x Wagering Requirement into a 200x requirement
  • Some sites include the Deposit Amount in the Wagering Requirement - This makes a significant difference. Again, using the “100% Deposit Bonus up to £100” with a 10x Wagering Requirement as an example, this would now require you to stake 10x (£100 Bonus Funds + £100 Initial Deposit), coming to a total of £2000. The effect of this is to reduce the expected value of the promotion (using the 96% RTP slot method) from £60 to £20.
  • Winnings May Be Capped - With many slots offering maximum wins running into many thousands times the total stake, some players may see these promotions as a free hit to land a big prize. However, most deals of this type will come with a Max Win cap, usually in the low 100s rather than many 1000s of pounds.
  • Time Limit - Always check the terms and conditions, as many deals contain a stipulation that the wagering requirement must be met within a specified period, usually ranging from 7 to 90 days. If you fail to meet the requirement in this period, all Bonus Funds and any related winnings will simply disappear.

A Chance at Free Cash - But Don’t Expect Too Much

Offers with attached wagering requirements do still offer a chance at Free money but, in many cases, the amount you can realistically expect will be significantly smaller than the sum listed in the offer. That’s not to say you should never take advantage of these deals, but always read through the terms and conditions and favour those offers with lower Wagering Requirements.

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