What are casino wagering requirements?

If you have ever read anything, anywhere about playing online casino, you will have come across the phrase ‘wagering requirements’.

You will often see it alongside descriptions of casino bonuses and any casino news website worth its salt (like this one) will make sure that it presents a casino’s wagering requirements clearly and concisely.

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But what exactly are casino wagering requirements? What do they have to do with bonuses and where can an interested player read more about them? These are the questions we will be answering today!

What are wagering requirements?

Firstly, it is important to give a bit of context to this phrase. Wagering requirements apply only to a bonus or perk that a casino offers players. They do not apply to, say, the player’s own cash that they have deposited to a casino account.

Similarly, they do not apply to winnings a player earns when they play their own real money. Wagering requirements can be applied to bonus cash, free spins winnings or both, and are applied on desktop and mobile versions of any casino.

It’s always best to have an example when trying to learn about a new concept. An imaginary casino is offering players a 100% deposit bonus match on their first deposit, up to £100. On this first deposit, the casino is also awarding the player 50 free spins on a particular slot game. So far, so familiar. Most players have seen a deposit package like this more than once before.

In our example, the casino also applies a x35 wagering requirement, to both the bonus cash and the free spins winnings.

Let’s start with the bonus cash. Our imaginary player has deposited £100, taking full advantage of the deposit-doubling bonus match. The player now has £100 in bonus cash and £100 in real cash, the initial deposit that they transferred into their casino account from their own money.

As the wagering requirement is set to x35, this means that that £100 bonus cash must be wagered at least 35 times before a withdrawal is allowed. That works out to £3500 in wagers.

On to the free spins. 50 were awarded by our imaginary casino and these too were subject to x35 wagering requirements. This means that any money you win through those free spins must be wagered at least 35 times before a withdrawal is possible.

Are wagering requirements universal?

Wagering requirements vary between casinos and some sites will also set different wagering requirements for their different bonuses. In general, wagering requirements hover somewhere between x25 and x50, though there really is no limit in either direction. This factor is determined entirely at the casino’s discretion.

How do I meet wagering requirements?

This is the fun part! You simply play casino games, wagering as usual. Most casinos will helpfully separate your bonus cash from your real money, making it easier to keep an eye on your progress.

It is important to note that not all casino games contribute to meeting wagering requirements in the same proportion. A game’s weighting is determined by the casino. Slots, for example, as often weighted at 100% so wagering £50 on a slot game will contribute £50 to the sum you need to wager.

Table and live games are often weighted differently. Blackjack, for instance, can be weighted as low as 15%, which means that every £50 you wager on blackjack, only contributes £7.50 to your wagering requirement.

What will happen if I attempt a withdrawal before meeting wagering requirements?

Casinos are keen to offer players attractive promotions and bonuses but they won’t be in business long if they do not apply wagering requirements to those bonuses.

More often than not, attempting a withdrawal before you have met all of the wagering requirements associated with a bonus will mean that you forfeit both your bonus cash and/or spins, as well as any winnings you may have earned through them. Probably not worth the risk.

Where can I find a casino’s wagering requirements?

As a rule, casinos will display their wagering requirements in their Terms and Conditions. Be aware that many also have T&Cs related to bonuses specifically.

New promotions and the welcome bonus will often be displayed alongside a link to the T&Cs information, usually through a ‘Read more’ link or similar. If you can’t seem to find information on the wagering requirements, keep looking – do not assume that a bonus is wager-free!

The terms and conditions is also where you will find the relevant weighting information about different types of games.

Remember that it is your responsibility to be cognisant of an online casino’s wagering requirements, as well as the rest of the Terms and Conditions. It is in your interest to stay up to date on the rules and we strongly recommend you do so before you sign up to any offer or bonus.

Are there wager-free UK casinos?

Yes! And there are also casinos that offer wager-free elements in their bonuses, like wager-free spins. Remember that just because a casino might not display the wagering requirements clearly, it does not mean that you are not bound to any wagering requirements. Always read the T&Cs, just to be on the safe side.

Do I have to accept wagering requirements?

Unfortunately, if you enjoy bonuses the chances are that you will encounter (and have to abide by) wagering requirements 9 times out of ten. It’s just the way it works.

Trying to circumvent wagering requirements is also an extremely bad idea. Casinos are constantly on the lookout for players who try to abuse bonuses by skirting the wagering requirements and you will get caught. Punishments can range from having your bonus forfeited and your account shut down to some serious trouble with the law.

However, there’s no need to get tied in to something you are not going to enjoy. If you are not particularly keen on bonuses or don’t fancy a promotion, it is always an option to opt out or simply refrain from opting in. Bonuses and promos can be fun but they certainly aren’t for everyone.

Figure out what your favourite way to play is and act accordingly. Don’t be afraid to go your own way.

Casinos with low wagering requirements

You may not be able to avoid wagering requirements entirely but there are casinos out there that offer some pretty reasonable requirements to begin with. That makes it easier to meet those requirements and cash out your winnings! Check out our comprehensive casino reviews to discover your next favourite wager-free UK casino!

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Nigel Frith