Wagering requirements and 5 other bonus traps to avoid
We’re all incredibly lucky to be afforded the luxury of hundreds, if not thousands of unique casino welcome bonuses nowadays, and that’s great news for players. However, what isn’t such great news is that we’re still lumbered with a number of pitfalls that can potentially stop us from enjoying these offers to the fullest.
In this article we’re going to take a dive into wagering requirements and other difficult terms and conditions that players often completely miss due to the fact they’re buried deep amongst small print out of plain sight.
Hopefully, by the end of this read we’ve given you a good idea of what to look out for and be aware of before claiming your next casino welcome bonus.
If you’re a regular bonus hunter then you’ll already be well aware of wagering requirements and how they work, as the vast majority of welcome offers available have some form of wagering requirements attached to them.
For the uninitiated, wagering requirements are a set of restrictive conditions that state how many times over you’ll need to play through your bonus in order to withdraw any winnings won from the use of the bonus.
On average you’ll find that wagering requirements sit around the x30 mark, so if a casino is offering you a £50 bonus with x30 wagering requirements then you’re going to need to place £1500 worth of bets before you can withdraw anything.
Whilst these restrictions are never ideal, x30 is certainly on the fairer end of the scale, but unfortunately not all casinos are quite as fair as they should be, implementing requirements as high as x100 in extreme cases. When they sit this high the opportunity to actually withdraw any winnings from these bonuses is near impossible without a great deal of luck and patience.
It has come to a point in which wagering requirements have become such a sore subject amongst players over the last few years that a number of websites have popped up that specialise in pushing promotions with no wagering requirements. These sites highlight fair bonuses that allow players to keep 100% of their winnings from the outset.
There are a number of perks that come with opting for a casino that has no wagering requirements, these usually include a generous amount of free spins, the opportunity to claw a percentage of your losses back through wager-free cashback and most importantly the knowledge that you’re being treated fairly by your casino of choice.
Whilst wagering requirements are of course the number one trap players have to avoid when signing up to a new site, there are plenty of other key terms and conditions players should familiarise themselves with as well, these are:
If you do find yourself signing up to an online casino that enforces wagering requirements it’s important to be well aware of game weightings and contributions, as not all games are weighted the same and ultimately this will have a huge bearing on how you’ll play.
Game weightings mean a bet made on one specific game-type might not be worth the same as a bet on another whilst you’re working your way through the wagering requirements. Usually, playing online slot games are a player’s best move, as slots almost always count 100% towards wagering requirements.
Unfortunately if you’re not a big fan of slots you’re going to find yourself in a bit more of a pickle, as popular card and table games like blackjack and roulette are excluded from bonuses or assigned a much harsher weight value in that only 10% or 20% of your wagers on those games will contribute towards fulfilling the wagering conditions. However, some live casino games such as Monopoly Live and Dreamcatcher may still be eligible.
It’s important to remember that not every casino will have the same game weightings, so whenever you sign up to a new site please head over to their terms and conditions and give them a thorough read through as it could help negate some heartache further down the line.
Odds are you’ll come across some fantastic welcome offers that give players a huge number of free spins, brilliant right? Well, before you sign up and jump in to redeem your spins on your favourite games, again, please do read the terms and conditions. There are usually a series of restrictions in place that dictate exactly how you must use your free spins.
Most free spin offers are tied to one single game or a small collection of games. These games are chosen by the casino for several reasons, with the main factor being their RTP, variance and of course popularity.
Whilst casinos do want to showcase the very best they have to offer, they also have to be wary of offering games that aren’t too heavily weighted in the players favour, otherwise they’d end up losing more than they can afford to in the long-term.
Naturally, having been given a healthy number of free spins you’re going to want to play the maximum bet at your disposal in order to get the best returns from them, who wouldn’t?!
Understandably your maximum bet per spin will almost always be limited to a lower stake.
Most casino offers that give players free spins, with or without wagering requirements, will freeze stakes at either £0.10 or £0.20 per spin, usually the lowest stake possible for any given game. Whilst this isn’t amazing news, we really shouldn’t turn our noses up at this considering we’re being given free spins in the first place. Remember, receiving something is always better than nothing at all, especially if the free spins are wager-free!
Some online casinos have no such restrictions on their bonuses or free spin offers, however others may choose to impose limitations on how much a player can win from their free spins.
Maximum win limitations do make for an incredibly frustrating experience, especially when the casino you’re playing at has kept their win limits buried deep amongst the terms and conditions rather than being up-front and transparent from the outset.
Casinos that do set the strictest limitations will limit wins to around £5 per player, so despite potentially being offered a good number of spins the winning potential just isn’t there. Fortunately though a £5 win limit isn’t the norm with every operator as some will offer much higher limits.
Many operators do not allow new players to claim bonuses using eWallets such as Skrill and Neteller, despite the fact they are one of the most popular methods of deposit with players today. Unfortunately, this is because these online payment methods are most commonly used by unscrupulous players to abuse bonuses.
As there’s no bank account linked to these eWallets players have the opportunity to potentially create multiple casino accounts using multiple eWallets in order to take advantage of the welcome offer, racking up more free spins then they’re rightfully entitled to.
Whilst this isn’t something that will put most players at a direct disadvantage, if you plan on using an eWallet as your primary deposit method then you should check with the operator that they’ll allow you to use this method to claim a bonus beforehand.
Ultimately, there are always going to be a huge number of bonuses available for players to take advantage of, and rightly so! Bonuses are fantastic for players as they’re giving them more gameplay for their money, equally they’re fantastic for operators because they’re incentivising players to bet with them.
There are a number of different types of bonuses to choose from, whether that be no wagering casino bonuses that offer players a modest number of free spins but the best value for their time, low wagering casino bonuses, that are a good middle ground for those that don’t mind putting a degree of effort or casino bonuses with high wagering requirements that offer players the most but require much more time, patience and luck to play through.
There’s no one way to go about picking a bonus, it’s very much trial and error and all depends on your style-of-play and how comfortable you are with working your way through funds.
One thing is for sure though, there are such an abundance of casino offers out there that you won’t struggle to find one that best suits you.