Even if you're new to the online casino industry, all you have to do is look at one or two casinos and you'll realise that most, if not all, offer players a great deal of free money in exchange for their sign-up, play and patronage at their casino. But as with all free deals, there are strings attached and these are known as wagering or play-through requirements, which have been implemented in order to offset the casinos risk in laying out cash for players.
These requirements are often missed or misunderstood by new players, usually due to the fact that they are not explicitly evident but are rather tucked away in the Terms & Conditions documents which most people accept without reading. So before you click "accept" on any offer or to the terms and conditions of a casino, always make sure that you have read these types of things as you may not want to take up offerings if the terms are not reasonable.
Here are a few questions which we find our visitors asking most about this subject, and we've done our best to answer them in the simplest way possible:
Question 1: What exactly is a wagering requirement?
A wagering requirement is a number that represents the number of times you have to play though either the bonus or the bonus + the deposit amounts at an online casino before you are eligible to withdraw or "cash out" your money.
The play-through figure required for a bonus is typically assigned by the casino's risk management department and this can differ quite considerably from casino to casino, and can range between 15x to 40x for the more so it's really worth looking into. In general though, the more generous the bonus, the more likely it is that the casino will impose a larger wagering requirement. So if it seems "Too good to be true", it probably is!
Play-through requirements explained:
Let's say for example that the wagering requirement associated with a match bonus being offered of 100% up to $100 at an online casino is 15x and that you take advantage of the full $100 bonus and so you've deposited $200. The terms and conditions of the offer state that the play through is 15x your deposit + your bonus. Therefore:
Calculation: $200 x 15 = $3000
So in the above example you will have to play though or "spend" $3000 worth of bets before you meet the wagering requirements for the bonus and be eligible to cash out.
Question 2: Do the wagering / play though requirements differ across the various casino games?
The short answer is yes, they do! And this is where things get a bit more complicated.
Casinos often weight games by placing different percentage values on specific games that account for the contribution to meeting the wagering requirement. Typically a slots wagers will count for 100% of the bet value towards the play through requirement, (this is largely due to the fact that slots has the highest house edge) but other games like blackjack & roulette may count very little or not at all when trying to meet the wagering requirement.
Again, the percentage of contributions for various games differ from casino to casino and are not always consistent throughout the industry. However, Microgaming powered casinos like Betway Casino utilising the "Clear Play Bonus System" do have standards that are consistent across all groups using the software.
Example of how games are weighted and count towards meeting wagering requirements:
For the purpose of this example, let's suppose that the player receives a bonus of $100 with a 20x wagering / play though requirement at the casino.
The player then proceeds to wager the following amounts on the following games: $30 on Slots, $20 on Video Poker, $20 on Blackjack and $20 on Roulette. The total contribution towards the wagering requirement would be as follows:
Contributions: 100% of $30 (Slots) + 80% of $20 (Video Poker) + 10% of $20 (Blackjack) + 25% of $20 (Roulette)
So $30 + $16 + $2 + $5 = $53 has been wagered towards meeting the $2000 wagering requirement.
Again, it is very important that you read the casino's terms and conditions to find out whether the game/s you'd like to play will count towards the wagering requirement or not. If you can't find this information make sure you discuss it with a casino support member who will be able to help you with any questions you may have.