An Idiots Guide to Understanding Wagering Requirements

I’m awfully sorry for calling you an idiot. It was a typo. I meant to tell you that I think you’re great! No, it’s just an attention-grabbing headline that I thought might lure you in to read this article. Understanding wagering requirements can be so complex that it’s surprising there isn’t a GCSE in them!

Don’t worry, though. By the time you reach the end of this article, you should have a much better idea about how they work, if they’re worth it, and whether you should opt-out (if you can).

What Is a Wagering Requirement?

When a casino offers you bonuses, free spins, and other types of “free money”, they come with terms and conditions about how you place bets.

We call these terms and conditions, “Wagering Requirements”.

Where Do You Find the Wagering Requirements?

By law, all UK casinos must display clearly the wagering requirements in their terms and conditions. They should be relatively easy to find – usually, the casino will have a link that you can follow. Personally, I’d avoid using a casino that makes it hard for you to find the terms and conditions; it makes them seem untrustworthy to me.

How Do You Work Out the Wagering Requirements?

To understand wagering requirements you need to realise that there are different types of requirement. Most casinos include the following as part of the wagering requirements:

  1. How much you have to spend (wager) before you can withdraw any money (expressed as a multiplication, e.g. 10x the bonus value, so if the bonus is £10 and the multiplication is 10x, you have to wager £100 before you can withdraw winnings).
  2. The percentage of the bonus that you’re allowed to place on any single bet, e.g., they may require that you place single bets of no more than 10% the bonus amount. So, if you have a £10 bonus with a 10% maximum single bet, none of your bets can be over £1 for the winnings to qualify. Be careful because the casinos will let you place higher bets, but you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings until you have met the wagering requirements.
  3. The games you can play and how you can play them. For example, many casinos will prevent you from placing a single large bet on one game and then switching to another game to meet the wagering requirements.

Here’s an example using the wagering requirements above:

  • You sign up to a casino, and they give you a £10 bonus.
  • The bonus has a maximum single bet of 10% and a wagering requirement of 10x the bonus amount. You can meet the requirements in different ways. For example, you can make 100 bets at £1 or 200 bets at £0.50.
  • You cannot place a £10 bet on a game like roulette (e.g., with high odds where you have a 50/50 chance of winning) and then proceed to play the slot machines to meet the requirements (i.e., play the slots to make 100 bets at £1, etc.,)

Here’s a FORMULA to help you work out WAGER AMOUNT before you can withdraw money:

The Value (£) of the Bonus X The Multiplication Number Given In The Terms & ConditionsThe Amount You Have to Wager Before Withdrawing Money

E.g., If the Ts&Cs say you must wager 10x the bonus: £10 bonus 10£100

Here’s a Formula to help you work out the HIGHEST BET amount you can place to qualify for the wagering requirements:

The Value (£) of the Bonus / 100 The Percentage Given for the Max Bet = Max Bet to Meet Requirements

E.g., If the Ts&Cs say the max bet is 10% of the bonus £10 Bonus / 100 10 = £1

Tip: Casinos sometimes call wagering requirements “Playthrough Requirements”.

Remember: Any time a casino gives you “free money” it will have attached terms and conditions that usually include wagering requirements.

Why Do Casinos Have Wagering Requirements?

Casinos use wagering requirements so that they don’t accidentally bankrupt themselves. They would lose too much money to be a viable business if they gave all their customers bonuses and allowed them to cash out as soon as they win.

Instead, players have to play for enough time/with enough money for the odds of the game to favour the house overall.

Important Things to Understand about Wagering Requirements:

  1. The higher the bonus value, the higher the wagering requirement is likely to be.
  2. Many different types of bonus will have wagering requirements, including welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, and free spins.
  3. Some wagering requirements require you to play a specific game to qualify.
  4. Some casinos allow you to opt-out of bonuses and their wagering requirements.
  5. ALWAYS READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Look at the online reviews for any casino, and you’ll discover that a huge number of negative reviews relate to people’s misunderstanding of the wagering requirements. If you don’t know what they are before you play, you’re likely to end up disappointed.
  6. To make the above examples easier to follow, I used 10x and 10%, but these are low. It’s common to see wagering requirements as high as 50x the bonus. That’s a lot of play!

I hope you’ve found this article useful and easy to follow. Like I said at the start, it feels like you need a GCSE to understand wagering requirements!

A picture of money (British Pounds)