The biggest benefit of joining an online casino is the convenience of playing any time of the day or night from home. It completely eliminates driving costs, offers more time to enjoy the massive range of entertaining games, and the bonuses are phenomenal, to say the least. If you’re thinking of joining an online casino, which obviously also include claiming a welcome or sign-up bonus, you need to know all the ins and outs about wagering requirements. At first bonus terms and conditions could seem a bit finicky or even perhaps a bit unfair, but playthrough requirements are part of the casino bonus parcel. The wagering requirement is not something you’ll be able to sidestep or avoid, so it is best to familiarise yourself with all the detail and to get used to the idea.
Clearing Bonus Wagering Requirements at Online Casinos
If you’re fairly new to online gambling and not familiar yet with how bonus clearing works, it is best to find out all about it. Failing to clear the wagering requirements of any casino bonus successfully, leads to massive misunderstanding and if you’re planning to cash out your winnings, it could lead to a nasty surprise as winnings are only available once all the pre-requisites have been met.
Wagering Requirements Explained
To adhere to the wagering requirements, your first step is to find out exactly what they are and how it they work. All online casino bonuses come with bonus-clearing requirements also referred to as playthrough rates. These indicate what those claiming a bonus should wager to be able to withdraw the winnings occurred via the bonus funds.
Why Do Online Casinos Have Wagering Requirements in Place?
Online casinos offer bonuses in good faith, and most are in place to either provide new members with sufficient funds to explore the massive gaming selection, or to reward existing members for their continued return or reoccurring business.
While it is a great suggestion from the operator, without wagering requirements, players would join, grab bonus funds and do a virtual walk from one casino to the next.
Just like any other business, there are terms and conditions to be met, even fast foods offer bonuses or discount, usable once you place an order for a specific amount. The amount the order needs to adhere to is basically part of the terms of the bonus, and often the bonus/discount only applies when specific items are ordered. Online casinos offer a bonus/discount that is much larger than the amount spend or deposited, which changes the terms and conditions. In general, welcome bonuses match the deposited amount via a 100% or 200% bonus, which instantly doubles or triples the amount invested.
The casino actually invests a larger amount into the new player, than the player spends or invests into the casino. At the same time the casino is prepared to offer the bonus upfront once the initial deposit is made and to then wait for the bonus requirements to be met only after the player already spend and enjoyed the bonus. The member or player only really adheres to the bonus requirements in full once the bonus is spent and he/she is ready to withdraw winnings occurred via the bonus.
Wagering Requirement Structures
Online casinos offer high percentage bonuses to players registering a new account to ensure they would spend their deposit and the bonus on games offered on site. The bonus is then subject to wagering before withdrawals are allowed, these requirements hugely differ and therefore has to be read way before you accept the bonus. At some online operators only, the bonus funds become subject to a wagering requirement, whereas in others the bonus and deposited amount remain subject to the rollover/wagering requirement. Either way, it could be quite challenging if you are not familiar with how it works, so in order to understand it in full, you need to know how to calculate the playthrough requirements.
Online Casino Wagering Requirement Calculations
It all starts with first visiting the bonus terms and conditions section to find out what the requirements are and whether the bonus or bonus & deposit are subject to wagering. According to industry standards welcome match bonuses are subject to wagering of 30x to 40x, although at some operators it could even reach 60x. In general, anything above 40x is normally a bad investment on your side, while highly appealing offers would need wagering lower than 30x.
Wagering on Bonus Only
In our example, we are using a bonus worth $100 subject to wagering requirements of 40 times. The bonus of $100 must then be wagered 40 times before withdrawals of the winnings are allowed. $100 x 40 = $4,000 that needs to be wagered on games.
Wagering on Bonus & Deposit
It gets a little more complicated when the playthrough requirements include both the amount that activated the bonus as well as the bonus amount. So, if you invested $100 via the initial deposit and the casino adds a $200 bonus the value of your bankroll or your balance is $300. If we again use the 40x wagering requirement, it would mean the amount of $300 needs to be wagered 40 times, equalling the total wager before withdrawal = $12,000.
Track Your Wagering Results
Before you even start keeping track of your wagering results you need to be familiar with any games excluded from counting towards the playthrough requirements. Again, this part of the T&C differs, at most online operator’s progressive jackpots as well as high volatility slots are excluded, while others also stipulate that table games contribute a much lower percentage towards wagering.
Once you have a clear understanding of the contribution, each gaming type makes towards the wagering requirements it is easier to track your progress. If slots count 100% towards it for every $1 spend it knocks off $1 from the play-through rate, if table games contribute 10% then every $1 played counts $0.10 in the calculation.
Free Spins Bonus Wagering
While most online players do understand the basics of bonus wagering, it might sound complicated to work out how it is calculated when it comes to free spins bonuses. Free spins or free rounds subject to wagering offers players the opportunity to have a great time enjoying the spins on a pre-determined slot and once all the spins have been used the amount achieved in winnings are subject to playthrough requirements. This means that the winnings need to be wagered 30x or 40x for example before the casino will grant cashouts. Again, the terms and conditions indicate all the bonus rules, and apart from the winnings being subject to wagering instead of the deposit amount or bonus amount, it works basically the same as other bonus clearing requirements.
All Winnings via Bonus Funds Are Void until Playthrough Requirements are 100% Completed
One thing that is the same at all online casinos is that you will never be able to withdraw your winnings until you have completely fulfilled the bonus requirements. Once you successfully clear the playthrough requirements in the allowed time-period, you are free to withdrawal your winnings.
Where to Find the Requirements of an Online Casino Bonus
At first, it was almost impossible to find the bonus requirements, and some casinos actually failed to display it at all. Thankfully a number of laws and regulations demanded that the requirements must be visible to players. Major online operators add the bonus terms as part of the bonus description, while others add a link to the general bonus section, which could require more reading. Either way, the most important part of considering a bonus is to first familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions.
It is advisable to read all the fine print, although the details relating to wagering requirements, whether both the deposit and bonus or only the bonus, are subject to wagering and the time-period in which these should be completed as well as the contributions towards wagering via different types of games.
Determining the True Value of Online Casino Bonuses
Once punters have an understanding of how bonus terms and conditions work, it is then possible to determine the true value of a casino bonus. The bonus amount is the attractive part of the bonus, while the value is determined via the wagering requirements as well as other conditions part of the bonus.