Don’t you just love a bonus in an online casino? They’re great, but they usually have conditions. If you play slot games, blackjack, or other games online, you will have encountered something called a wagering requirement. This is a crucial element that you need to understand before engaging in online games because it will impact the way you can cash in your winnings when you play with bonuses. Indeed, many online casinos will have very attractive bonuses, but you should know that these are usually tied to a wagering requirement. They can’t be immediately converted into cash.
What Exactly is a Wagering Requirement?
Before we get to the wagering requirements, let us define what a wager is. Simply put, a wager is the amount of money you bet in a casino. It could come in the form of money spent on online slots, bingo, casino games, table games, poker games, whichever…
A wagering requirement comes in the form of a multiplier (for example: 5x, 10x, 20x) and works in tandem with a bonus (either free spins or bonus money). It stands for the amount of times you have to play with the bonus before being able to withdraw winnings. In practice, if you are given a $50 Casino bonus with a 5x wagering requirement, you will need to spend $250 on eligible games before being able to make a cash withdrawal.
Each casino defines the terms according to which you can use a bonus. Some of these conditions could include a limit on withdrawals, betting on a specific game, the number of times the wagering is required, etc. Usually, the bonus and the wagering requirements are attached to particular slot games in the online casino. They rarely apply to table games like blackjack, roulette, or baccarat. In most cases, this practically means that your bets on the blackjack table are not counted towards your wagering requirement.
If you play online, chances are you will be offered a bonus that catches your eye. You should always pay attention to the wagering requirement, as it might be not stated very explicitly. Some online casinos will have a fixed wagering requirement that they will not display in bold letters, and you will have to check the terms and conditions in order to know how much money you will have to spend before being able to cash in your winnings.
In the majority of casinos, the wagering requirement only applies to the bonus offered to the player. However, in some cases, a casino could apply a wagering requirement both to the bonus and to the amount deposited. This means that if you bet $50 and receive a 100% bonus with a 5x wagering requirement, you will have to bet the combination of the bonus and the deposit multiplied by the wager ($100). So, in our example, you would need to bet $100×5 = $500 before turning your winnings into cash. In consequence, you want to be really careful regarding the way the wager applies in the terms and conditions of your preferred casino site.
Why Are Wagering Requirements Used?
Casinos, especially online, need competitive offers in order to stand out. These come in the form of lucrative bonuses offered to players. However, casinos do not aim to lose money with bonuses, and in consequence they need to be guaranteed some amount of cash flow. The wagering requirement is that guarantee and therefore allows for more attractive bonuses.
Another, lesser known, reason is related to the law: wager requirements are a way to comply with anti-money laundering laws, which the casino needs to abide by. Not having a wagering requirement on any size of deposit and bonus would make it very easy for criminals to clean their dirty money. They could easily deposit it in the casino and withdraw it instantly, thereby making it untraceable. The criminal would walk out with clean money. Because of the wagering requirement, criminals depositing their money at an online casino have to take a gamble on it.
You don’t like the “strings attached” feeling of a wagering requirement but you would still enjoy some free spins? Fear not! Some casinos offer wager-free bonuses, which you can cash in with no delay. Of course, these usually regard bets that are on the smaller side, but it means you can spin for free or play bonuses without a deposit! Whatever you win there can be withdrawn right away.
Bonuses are great. They can feel like free money, but you should always look for the nitty-gritty in the terms and conditions of the casino. Bonuses usually come not only with wagering requirements to fulfil, but also with withdrawal limits. They are also usually part of limited time offer.
So you should only choose your casino after in-depth research, and pick a suitable casino with the right bonus offer at the right time for you! Make sure you read the fine print and that the casino adheres to the conditions set by gaming authorities. After that, you can sign up and have a test run!