Wagering requirements are one of the most important aspects that sets a good casino bonus apart from a bad casino bonus. Unfortunately, too few players have a handle on how wagering requirements work and what constitutes a rollover multiplier that’s almost impossible to turn into real, withdrawable money.
The iGaming industry is increasingly competitive. No matter which regulated marketplace, there are multiple operators vying for your custom. To entice you in their direction, the leading online casinos typically offer a host of matched deposit and free spins bonuses, all of which usually have wagering requirements attached in the small print of their terms and conditions.
Why do wagering requirements exist?
In short, it wouldn’t be sound business sense from the online casino operators if they didn’t insist upon wagering requirements. Although punters increasingly view gambling as a social activity, it’s all about the bottom line for the operators.
Winnings derived from free spins or bonus funds usually have wagering requirements attached before they can be considered real money. If wagering requirements weren’t a thing, you’d simply be able to withdraw your bonus funds risk-free – iGaming brands would be burning through money as if it was going out of fashion.
How do wagering requirements work?
Wagering requirements state how many times you must rollover any subsequent winnings linked to the free spins or bonus funds received. Let’s look at a couple of examples across both types of the common casino bonuses for new customers:
Wagering requirements for free spins
In this scenario, you sign up to an online casino and receive 50 free spins with 20x wagering requirements attached. After completing all 50 spins, you have accrued £20 in winnings which are sat in your ‘bonus balance’.
To convert this £20 win into withdrawable cash, you must roll this amount over 20 times first. £20 x 20 = £400.
Naturally, the lower the wagering requirements the better the chance you have of turning those free spins winnings into real money. It is highly likely that a 20x wagering requirement will result in you running out of cash to roll over, simply due to the return to player (RTP) percentage of slot games. Of course, you may get lucky and hit a big jackpot which gives you enough money to roll it over with ease, but these instances are few and far between.
Wagering requirements for matched deposits
In this scenario, you sign up to an online casino offering a 100% matched deposit up to £100, with wagering requirements of 10x attached. Unlike a free spins bonus, which sees wagering requirements apply solely to the winnings from the free spins, matched deposit wagering requirements cover the size of the bonus itself.
The £100 bonus funds need to be wagered 10x to be converted into withdrawable cash – £100 x 10 = £1,000.
It’s important to note that different games will contribute different weightings towards the wagering requirements of your bonus. Most slot games will have a 100% weighting on bonus cash, while some table games with higher RTP percentages will have a much lower weighting – between 10%-20% – considering the higher likelihood of winning.
It’s a tricky balancing act, deciding between playing slot games to meet your wagering requirements faster and playing table games that provide more winning opportunities while meeting the rollover more slowly. If your wagering requirements are time-limited e.g. seven days after activating your free spins or matched deposit bonus, it may be better to take the slots route.
Hopefully this article helps you to make better sense of wagering requirements. If you can find an online casino offering a no-wagering bonus, snap them up first before you have to battle the rollover.