One of the biggest attractions of online casino is the plethora of bonuses and free spins which crop up all the time. One good example is the welcome or sign up bonus; say you’ve never registered with a specific casino before, you can sign up for free and get bonuses credited to your account. No deposit or commitment from you, just free spins (or similar bonuses) sitting in your account.
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It sounds a little too good to be true, and in a way it often is. What you need to be aware of is something called the “wagering requirement”, or “playthrough”. Say you win £50 from your bonus but there’s a wagering requirement of 10x, you can’t withdraw that straightaway; instead, you have to keep playing until you’ve wagered 10x£50, so £500.
It’s not a cheat or a con, and you can still make money with zero investment (or more money with some personal deposit) but it is an obstacle, and one which is occasionally a pain. We’re going to look at what the wagering requirement really is, why it’s there and how to minimise its effect on your payout.
If you want to get your profit back quickly, look out for casinos with low wagering requirements. We’ve compiled a list to get you started:
Wagering Requirement Explained
So – the wagering requirement. Basically it exists so that you can’t simply withdraw your bonus money directly without wagering it. When you accept a bonus on (almost) any online casino, you will be given the wagering requirement as a number, like 50x.
This number tells you how much you need to waver in total before you can make a withdrawal. Say you get a no-deposit bonus of £25 – you’ll need to wager (i.e. bet) 50x£25, so £1,250.
This doesn’t mean you need to make £1,250 profit. You just have to use the slots with your £25 until the total number of bets placed is £1,250. This is totally feasible, but even when the wagering requirement is lower than 50x it can still be a pain.
Once you have redeemed your bonus, you basically want to meet the wagering requirements as quickly as possible. However, be aware that many casinos will look out for playing adopting “low risk” betting strategies (such as betting on red or black) and will forfeit both your bonus and any profit. Continuing to play the slots, given its random nature, is not considered low risk.
There may also be a limitation on maximum winnings. For example, for a £10 bonus, the maximum winnings will usually be around £100 – if you have any profit higher than this, it will be removed upon withdrawing your £100. It’s worth checking this number in advance so you don’t waste time building up a huge profit only to have it slashed!
Not all games will actually contribute to your wagering requirement. As a general rule, poker and Bingo games will be exempt (have an invalid game contribution) and any bets placed here will come off your actual actual balance, not your bonus balance. Since the bonus is made on slots, most players will keep using that to try and overcome the playthrough.
Enjoyable as it would be to sit and lazily spin the reels now and then when you have a spare 20 minutes, there are often time restrictions in place. Commonly you need to reach the wagering requirement within one week of redeeming your bonus – if you don’t make it, the amount will be wiped from your account.
Games/Casinos With Low Wagering Requirement
If you want to take advantage of great offers without betting the bonus fifty times, check out some of these casinos with low wagering requirements and start taking your profits home in a more timely fashion:
- Casumo – As low as 25x for some bonus, or 30x for others.
- 32Red – 30x as standard, 40% less than most casinos.
- Leo Vegas and Mr Green – A bit higher at 35x, but still a great reduction!
At the end of the day, if you want to capitalise on the insane number of generous bonuses out there with different casinos, you’re going to have to struggle through a few prolonged playthroughs. If you can find casinos with particularly low (or zero) wagering requirement and there aren’t nasty catches waiting in the small print, then make the most of them!
Otherwise you just have to remember that it’s part of the game. Wagering requirements might be a bore, but you’re still earning money for free and you can’t beat that.