Understanding Online Casino Wagering Requirements
Before you start playing at an online casino it is important to understand what wagering requirements are and how they work.
Wagering requirements, also referred to as "playthrough" are part and parcel of any online casino bonus offer and always mentioned in the terms and conditions of these types of offers but if you don't know that they existed, you may just miss them and this can cause great confusion when it comes to trying to cashout if you haven't met the predetermined requirements.
Basically a wagering or playthrough requirement is a multiple of the value of the bonus and sometimes the bonus plus deposit. These requirements generally range between 20 and 30x that amount, which means that in order for you to be able to withdraw any winnings you made when using a bonus, you will have to wager 20 to 30 times first. For example, if the wagering requirement is 30 and the bonus is $200, you must wager deposits of your own to the value of 30 times $200 ($6000) of your own money before you can withdraw the $200.
Now that puts bonuses into a whole new light doesn't it?
While this is quite straight forward and makes sense to most people, confusion often arises because online casinos weight casino games differently and as such, apply different wagering requirement values to different games. If you take a look at the tables detailing this information in the bonus terms and conditions you'll generally find that wagering requirement counts more on easy to bet on games like slots than for more complicated games like video poker. This in a way, forces you to bet on the online slots which have a greater house edge (like slots), than any of the other games.
In addition, some games like Roulette and Blackjack are excluded from the wagering requirements as the bonuses cannot be used when playing them. When examining the wagering requirements for certain games you'll find that the value of the wager is often expressed as a percentage. For example when playing on the slot machines, 100% of the bets you make contribute towards the wagering requirement, but other games may only count 50% or 10% towards it. This effectively means that you would need to wager way more on these types of games than on slots to fulfil the wagering requirement before the casino will allow you to cashout your bonus.
After this discussion wagering requirements and bonuses for that matter may seem a lot less attractive. So why do online casino have these in place? The answer is simple – to prevent players from signing up, taking advantage of the bonus offer and then not playing again. The idea behind bonuses is to attract new players and encourage them to play on an on-going basis while giving them a reward for doing so. Wagering requirements have to be put into place to discourage people from abusing the casinos generosity.
So go ahead and enjoy the bonuses for what they are, but always ensure that you know what is required before accepting them.