UNITED STATES—We have witnessed a boom in online gambling in recent years with web-based casinos and sportsbooks being launched in the hundreds. Such websites are in fierce competition with each other and one of the most effective ways for them to stay alive is by attracting customers with appealing bonuses.
These offers give prospective customers a chance to receive free funds in exchange for depositing certain amounts into their accounts and play for free, getting to keep whatever they have won with the bonus money. What many customers skip on is reading the wagering conditions attached to the bonuses. These are referred to as wagering requirements, playthrough or turnover. It is of essential importance to gain a good understanding of how they work if you wish to spare yourself the frustrating surprises that result from bonus terms violation.
How Wagering Requirements Work
All three terms listed above refer to the same thing, namely they indicate the number of times you need to wager the bonus amount before you are permitted to cash out a bonus or withdraw the winnings associated with it. Wagering requirements are listed like this 30x, for example. It is important to check whether the casino expects you to wager the bonus amount only or requires you to wager both the bonus and the amount of the deposit you have unlocked it with.
So, if you redeem a bonus of $100 where wagering of 30x the bonus amount applies, this means you are expected to spend $3,000 of your own money at the casino before you are allowed to withdraw the bonus and/or its associated winnings. A bonus remains active into your casino account for limited periods of time only. If you do not cover the wagering attached to the bonus before it expires, the bonus and its winnings will be removed from your balance.
Here it is also important for us to make a distinction between the sticky and the cashable bonuses. If the bonus you have redeemed is of the sticky type, you will not be able to withdraw it even after you cover the wagering requirements.
To give an example, let’s assume you have claimed $100 in bonus money at www.casinogamespro.com/casino-bonus and have won another $120 with it, so that you have a total of $220 in your balance. After the playthrough has been cleared, the $100 sticky bonus will be automatically removed from your account for good. In comparison, some bonuses can be cashed out alongside the winnings you have generated with the free funds.
The Importance of the Games’ Weighting
One way to clear your bonus’ wagering requirements would be to invest your money in games that have a higher contribution (also called weighting) towards the playthrough. At the majority of online gambling providers, slots, alongside scratchcards and Keno, have the highest contribution of 100% and respectively, will help you meet the wagering conditions quickly.
This means that if you stake $50 on a slot with a 100% contribution, you will have the amount of $50 removed from your pending wagering requirements. Table games like blackjack, casino poker, and roulette have a lower contribution but the percentage differs between gambling operators. In many cases, it is either 50% or 25%. Respectively, if you play blackjack with a 50% contribution and stake $50 on the game, you will have only $25 removed from the pending wagering conditions.
Being a positive expectation game, video poker is frequently excluded from contributing to the wagering requirements. You should avoid betting on excluded games with an active bonus, because the casino may otherwise choose to confiscate both the bonus and the profits resulting from it due to terms violation.
Wagering Requirements on No Deposit Bonuses and Free Spins
While online casinos value your patronage, you should always remember you are not dealing with charity organizations when redeeming free monies. You need to give something back even when you are redeeming sign-up bonuses where no deposit is needed or are claiming free spins on the video slots.
These types of offers also have important conditions you need to adhere to. The wins from the free spins must be played over the stipulated number of times before you can cash them out. The sum you can cash out is typically restricted to a given amount.
For example, if your free spins have earned you $250 but the promotional conditions state that the free spins wins are capped at $100, you will be able to withdraw only this amount whereas the remainder of $150 will be erased from your balance. The same applies to no deposit bonuses granted to new players upon signing up. Winnings are again capped at a smaller amount which becomes withdrawable only after the playthrough is met.
At this point, you are probably scratching your head and asking yourself what is the merit of bonus redemption when there are so many conditions one is expected to cover. Some cashable bonuses indeed offer you a good value, especially if you intend to play regularly and have reasonably low wagering requirements to meet. Always read the casinos’ promotional terms and conditions and use them as guidelines when comparing different gambling operators’ promotional incentives. This way, you will redeem only bonuses whose wagering you can realistically meet.