Whenever you claim a bonus at an online casino, you will notice that it comes with certain terms and conditions attached. One section of those terms and conditions will discuss something called wagering requirements. These are in place to prevent players from simply claiming bonuses and withdrawing them without playing any games with them. In this article, we'll explain how wagering requirements work, how to calculate the requirements in any given situation, and how you can sometimes skip them altogether by claiming no wagering bonuses.
No Wagering Casinos
What are Wagering Requirements?
Wagering requirements are requirements that bonus funds or winnings from free spins must be wagered a specified number of times before they can be withdrawn. For example, if a casino offers a 100% bonus on a first deposit of $100, the wagering requirements might state that the bonus has to be wagered 20 times. In that case, you as the player won't be able to withdraw the bonus or any winnings derived from it until you have wagered the $100 bonus 20 times.
It's important to note that a wagering requirement isn't a loss requirement. You don't have to lose your bonus a certain number of times but simply wager it. You could therefore wager your initial bonus, win, wager it again, win again, and so on. The key thing is that you must wager the bonus so that the casino has the chance - and often quite a few chances - to win it back from you.
Why Do Online Casinos Have Wagering Requirements?
Online casinos have wagering requirements in place in order to protect themselves from something called bonus abuse. This is when a player claims a bonus and then withdraws that bonus straight away without playing. As you can imagine, if this was allowed to happen on a regular basis, it would bankrupt gaming venues very quickly. That being the case, casinos have two options - stop offering bonuses or attach wagering requirements so that bonuses can't be withdrawn until the player has first used them to play games, as intended.
The most basic type of wagering requirement asks you to wager your bonus funds a specified number of times, as described earlier. The bonus will be credited to your online casino account and then the casino will automatically keep track of your betting activity from that point on. When you have made sufficient wagers to meet the requirement, the bonus will be "unlocked" and you will be able to withdraw it as cash.
A slightly more demanding wagering requirement asks you to wager both your deposit plus the bonus a certain number of times before withdrawing. The concept here is exactly the same, but the requirement is obviously much bigger. For example, if you deposit $100 and get a 100% bonus, and you are required to wager both the deposit and bonus 20 times, you would effectively need to wager a total of $200 x 20.
As you've just seen in the previous section, it's quite easy to calculate wagering requirements. All you have to do is take the sum that needs to be wagered and multiply that by the number of times it needs to be wagered according to the published requirements. For example:
Wagering Requirement Restrictions and Limits
Wagering requirements always come with certain restrictions and limitations. The main ones to be aware of are as follows:
Some online casinos will allow you to bet on any game you want for wagering requirement purposes, but the majority will try to steer you towards games that give them the best chance of getting their money back. That means you can usually play all the online pokies that you want, but more player-friendly games such as blackjack and roulette will either be excluded altogether or only partially contribute to the overall requirement.
For example, a $10 bet on a pokie might contribute the full $10 to the wagering requirement, while a $10 bet on roulette might contribute just $1 to the requirement, and possibly even less.
Another thing to be aware of is that you won't have an infinite amount of time to meet the wagering requirement. Some casinos will give you just a few days in which to wager the required sum, and others will give you a month or possibly even longer. Whatever length of time you're allowed, if you haven't met the requirement by the end of it, your bonus will be declared void.
A third limitation that will often be imposed on you concerns the amount of money that you can bet at once. Because the longer you play the more likely you are to lose, casinos will rarely allow you to bet your entire bonus in one go, such as on a single hand of blackjack. Instead, they'll impose a modest maximum stake size, such as $5. This means you'll have to place lots of smaller bets in order to reach the requirement.
While most casinos do their best to be fair to players, there are some that set down unfair and unreasonable wagering requirements. We would advise you to check the terms before claiming any bonus and to avoid claiming a bonus with unfair requirements. Here are some examples of what to look out for:
Such wagering requirements are completely unnecessary, and any casino that imposes them is telling you a lot about how they view their players. Fortunately, there are many more casinos with fair bonus requirements than there are with unfair ones, so shop around and avoid the jokers like the plague.
No Wagering Casinos and Bonuses NZ
Having explained how wagering requirements are necessary to help casinos protect themselves from exploitation, you might be surprised to hear that some casinos like to give bonuses without any such requirements. These venues are often referred to as no wagering casinos because they like to shout about making no wagering bonus offers and giving away no wagering free spins.
While no wagering casinos are well worth visiting, it is worth bearing in mind that the typical no wagering bonus tends to be of far less value than one with average wagering requirements. In the majority of cases, if you want a substantial bonus you will need to accept that it will come with wagering requirements of some kind.
Wagering Requirements Pros and Cons
Wagering Requirements: Our Verdict
Wagering requirements are a fact of life when you play at online casinos that offer bonuses. When used properly they can be perfectly fair to all and will protect the casino as well as allow players to enjoy some gaming on the house. Of course, when they aren't used properly they can be quite unfair to players and put a whole new spin on the "generous bonus offer" that's being shouted about from the rooftops. The good news is that nobody forces any player to claim a bonus, so before you do so, always check that the wagering requirements are fair and acceptable to you. If they aren't, you shouldn't hesitate to take your gaming business elsewhere.