The online domain of casinos and slots are awash with new, exciting and irresistible offers. A player entering the realm of slots would be easily wooed by numerous lucratively-sounding bonuses. From a ‘£50 Welcome Bonus’ to a ‘400% deposit bonus’, the list goes on. The challenge is finding out what lies behind the flashy facade.
It is only natural to get excited at the idea of a huge free bonus. But it would be wise to take a step back and consider why they might sound too good to be true. After all, they are vouching to give you free money. And as you know, nothing in life is free. Your villain here is the ‘wagering requirements’, hiding silently in the fine print of the bonus terms and conditions. Broadly speaking, these are conditions that you will need to fulfil before you can make a withdrawal.
If you are venturing into the world of online slot bonuses, now would be a good time as ever to know how exactly the wagering requirement works.
What Are Wagering Requirements?
A ‘wager’, simply put, is the amount of money you bet on a game. Slot games are no different from this concept. To win any amount, you have to first place a wager. So since you are betting your own money, why would there be any requirements?
As we mentioned above, online casinos have a reputation of offering their new players generous perks. As these offers have become popular, players have come to expect a variety of extras, such as welcome bonuses, free spins, cashback and more.
However, there is a catch.
There is often a ‘wagering requirement’ attached to these bonuses. It means that will need you to bet the bonus a certain number of times before you can withdraw the winnings. These wagering requirements are not always the same, and vary in its conditions depending on the welcome offer as well as the casino.
If you do not meet these requirements, the chances are that you will never be able to withdraw your winnings.
How does it Work?
Let’s say you have received an offer for a £10 no deposit bonus. The wagering requirement here is 50x. You simply have to multiply £10 by 50, and that gets you the amount of the money you need to wager before you can actually withdraw the winnings. In this case, £500.
This, however, does not mean you have to deposit £500. That would rather be counter-productive. Instead, the site will let you play right away. The key point is that you need to ‘bet’ £500 in total to be able to make a withdrawal, and ‘not ‘deposit’ £500.
If, for example, you won £200 from your no deposit bonus and you try to make a withdrawal, you will find that you still need to bet an additional £450 to meet your wagering requirements.
In effect, when you consider the wagering requirements, your bonus winnings might not seem so lucrative. A few casinos will add more to this requirement by counting in the deposit amounts as well. This would depend on the type of bonus they offer and the conditions.
At this point, it is important to note that the wagering requirements are not always exclusive for new players. At times, casinos could also impose these rules on bonuses for existing players.
If you are playing for entertainment without minding whether you lose, then these wagering requirements might not be an issue. On the other hand, if you are looking to bulk up your bankroll, your first step should be to zoom into the fine print.
Match Deposit Bonuses
Wagering requirements and slots often lead to a lethal combination, so it is essential to know what type of terms you are dealing with. In some cases, you will also have to match the bonus money with your deposit.
Take the example above. In matched deposit bonuses, if you deposit £10 and get £10 as a bonus amount, then your wagering requirement will be £20 x 50 = £1,000. That is double the amount that you have to bet.
What About Wager-Free Bonuses?
While it is common for casinos to implement wagering requirements, the internet is no stranger to generous slot sites either. For this reason, no-wager casinos are becoming increasingly popular. The beauty of it lies in being able to take out your winnings immediately without having to meet any conditions.
Although they offer fewer stipulations, the size of the bonus might not be as lucrative. You might still receive a small amount of bonus money that could curb your curiosity to try out the game. And with luck by your side, the game could be just as profitable.
As opposed to the extremes of high and zero wagers, games with low wagering requirements sometimes offer players better value.
Free-spins are yet another common welcome bonus featured on slot sites. These do not come with any monetary reward per-say, but you can still win real money nonetheless. But, the wagering requirement applies to any winnings obtained from the free spins. As an example, if you have free spins with a 50x wagering requirement, you would have to bet your winnings 50 times over before you could withdraw them.
Hence, free slot spins are debatably one of the toughest bonuses in the space, as the wagering requirement tends to run into the 30x range and more. Crucially, although this makes it somewhat challenging to turn your bonus into real-world cash, free spins are effectively risk-free!
Going Through the Fine Print of Wagering Requirements
Every slot site will apply a set of unique requirements on to its bonuses and promotions. However, the majority of them follow the same structure as we have explained above.
Apart from deposits, these wagering requirements could also be time or player bound. For instance, the offer might be limited to one per player or a household if applicable. Also, you might have to use them within a specific date, beyond which the offer would no longer be valid. This deadline could vary drastically, from 24 hours to 30 days.
Here we have a few more common wagering requirements that you might come across at slot sites.
Forfeitable Bonuses: If there is both bonus money and real money in your account, then which one should you use? In some games, you are allowed to play with your real money first. When you do and record a win with that, you are allowed to withdraw your winnings without meeting the wagering requirements. You will simply have to cancel or forfeit the bonus before you collect the cash.
Gamble Bonuses: Some games also allow a gamble feature, wherein you engage with a ‘double or nothing’ scenario. However, this is only permissible with real money and not bonuses.
Maximum Bonuses: Many bonuses come with a specified maximum bet that shouldn’t be exceeded. Betting more than this amount could revoke your bonus or change the requirement for the rest of your balance. On the positive side, this could let you play longer with small bet amounts.
Of course, all casinos have their own conditions that will differ to these. That is why it is imperative to go through the terms before you start wagering.
Choosing your Slot Game
Bonuses are an appealing factor to try out a new game without risking your own funds. Each game contributes differently to the wager. Before you begin, find out which games are eligible with bonus funds and what their contribution percentage is.
This tells you how much a bet placed in the game counts towards clearing your wagering requirements. Most online slot games contribute a full 100% of your bet to the requirements, which is better than other gambling games such as blackjack or roulette.
Look Beyond Wagering Requirements
It is not uncommon for players to look for welcome offers when choosing a game. Bearing in mind these terms and conditions, now you know that bonuses are not the only factor that contributes to your win potential.
For example, it is important to pay attention to the variance as well as the RTP of the game. Lower RTP not only means higher contribution percentage, but it also means a higher variance. This means the payout is less frequent, but when they do, it comes in larger amounts.
If your priority is to meet the wagering requirements, then these conditions could help you choose the best game from the offset. You will need to have significant payroll to protect yourself against potential losses that could occur during wagering.
When you are near to approaching a bankroll wipeout, you might want to switch to lower-variance games. Though the contributions might be less, you are likely to receive consistent payouts. They are also safer for those with a tight budget.
Shop Around for Best Offers
There is no shortage of online slot titles to choose from and thus – welcome bonuses and sign up packages should play a significant role in which game you play. The only way to beat these wagering requirements is to compile an ample amount of research and make the best choices. There are always great offers if you are willing to look around.