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Wagering & Playthrough Requirements

By: CasinoAdvisor.com, Wednesday June 4th 2008
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Due to the generosity of online casinos who offer players essentially free money in exchange for their signing up and playing and or patronage to an online casino it is necessary for casinos online to apply what's know as wagering or playthough requirements. These requirements are structured and in place to offset the risk that a casino takes by offering bonuses to it's players.

Wagering / Playthough requirements often times are not the most obvious as it's not one of the more attractive parts of the offering provided by casinos but none the less required. It's because of this that they are often times tucked away and not so obvious to find. The most important thing to keep in mind if you're evaluating a bonus at a casino you'd like to play at are the terms and conditions for that bonus which will include details on the wagering / playthough requirement for the particular bonus. Usually the link to the section that within a casino site that will provide the conditions of the bonus will be in either the promotions / bonus page of the casino site or alternatively somewhere below where there is mention of the bonus.

So what exactly is a wagering requirement?

A wagering requirement is a number that represents the number of times you have to playthough either the bonus or the bonus + the deposit at an online casino before you are eligible to cash out. The number that represents the amount of playthough required for a bonus is typically assigned by the risk management team representing the casino. Generally the more generous the bonus, or if it's too good to be true it's likely that they will have imposed a larger wagering requirement for the bonus. Playthrough requirements can range between 15x for the less strict bonuses and up to 40x for the more strict bonuses.

Example:

Let's say the wagering requirement is 20x and the bonus being offered is a 100% match bonus up to $100 free at an online casino and let's say that for the sake of this example you take advantage of the full $100 bonus and so you've deposited $200. Also let's say that the playthrough is 20x your deposit + your bonus.

  • Calculation: $200 x 20 = $4000

So in the above example you will have to playthough $4000 worth of bets before you'd meet the wagering requirements for the bonus and be eligible to cash out.

Are there different wagering / playthough requirements for different games?

This is where things get a bit more complicated. Often times casinos will place different percentages on specific games that account for the contribution to meet the wagering requirements. Typically slots wagers will count for 100% of their bet value towards the play through requirement but other games like blackjack & roulette may not count at all or count for very little towards meeting the requirement. The percentages of the contributions for various games at casinos for their bonuses will often times vary and it not overly consistent in the industry. It is however believed that casinos powered by Microgaming software that utilize the "Clear Play Bonus System" do have standards that are consistent across all casinos powered by their software.

Example:

Let's say the player receives a bonus of $100 with a 20x wagering / playthough requirement at the casino.

He/She then proceeds to bet the following amounts on the following games $30 on Slots, $20 on Video Poker, $20 on Blackjack and $20 on Roulette.

The total amount of the contribution for the wagering requirement would be as follows (note: that this is just an example and that before playing be sure to review the casinos terms and conditions for the bonus so as to know exactly how much each game contributes to your meeting the wagering requirement):

  • 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.

 

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Comments

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Comment by: chris1004 On: May 04, 2010
Too much work is often time needed to figure this stuff out it should all realistically be very straight forward.
Comment by: bbqboyhere On: March 01, 2010
Good article guys and way to explain wagering requirements to players I like seeing this kind of thing and knowing that people have an easy way to research this information. I know that for me personally that I've found a lot of value in the information that's presented here on the site.
Comment by: Nathan Black On: February 19, 2010
As a general rule of thumb it's worth avoiding online casinos that have wagering requirements that are in excess of say 50x the deposit and bonus amount combined of course it also depending on the percentage match of the bonus for a 100% bonus this would be the case but for other bonuses such as those where they say offer 200%+ then it's not so bad.
Comment by: Bennet Jones On: February 17, 2010
I've always found that wagering requirements are kind of silly and a waste of time to try to interpret as you're playing at online casinos. It's my belief that casinos that do it best are those out there that separate cash and bonus balances so that you essentially always know what you're doing.
Comment by: Channy On: January 20, 2010
I've always thought wagering requirements to be dumb and not necessary but I do truly believe that they server a purpose and more then that have an immense amount of value for protecting the casinos. It's not always good for us players but in the end they're manageable.
Comment by: Sara D. On: January 19, 2010
Wagering requirements although kind of stupid so make more sense to me know that they're fully understood. When I first started playing at online casinos I really didn't understand what it was all about and why they were needed. I do understand now though and although I think that they're still kinda stupid and all in favor of the casino that they are put into place to protect the casino from bonus abusers.
Comment by: nychopper On: December 11, 2009
Sometimes that wagering requirements that are set out by online casinos are ridiculous and really hard to ever even meet. Be sure you fully read the terms and conditions of the bonuses that you take before you do even if it requires a bit of time to read though all their legal gibberish.
Comment by: Jordan On: November 27, 2009
Wagering requirements make sense and are OK with me as I know they're designed to protect the casino from fraud but make it easy for players for the love of god. I think that some online casinos need to ease up on their wagering requirements as sometimes they're virtually impossible to reach and this totally isn't something that I agree with!
Comment by: Ponto Rio On: November 03, 2009
I really hate having to follow wagering requirements so I always prefer it when online casinos simply do the math for you and separate the two balances. This method of doing thing's just makes it far more clear to players like ourselves.
Comment by: Joshua On: October 14, 2009
I fully understand why online casinos have wagering requirements but the way that most of them deal with it is pretty primitive if you ask me. I beleive that if they were to implement a more simple means of dealing with bonuses and withdrawals / cashouts after bonuses have been claimed by players would be beneficial and help keep players around for longer rather then having them flippy floppy between different online casinos!
Comment by: James Ballthasar On: September 23, 2009
Make sure that wherever you play that you fully understand the casinos terms. If you're playing at a casino that offers something similar to Microgaming's clear play bonus system where they transfer funds from your bonus balance to your cash balance as you play it's not nearly as important but still at the same time you should have a good clear picture of how wagering requirements work. Also if you are playing at a casino that supports the kind of bonus system that I mentioned you should know that there is different contributions for different games for the transference of the balance.
Comment by: Jane Parker On: September 14, 2009
If there's one thing I've learned about playing at online casinos it's that it's always key to know the wagering requirements of the casino that you're playing at well. Lucky thing is that now a days most of the online casinos make it rather clear by separating out your bonus balance and cash balance into two separate values. It's a much better system and way of dealing with it and it sort of eliminates a lot of the ambiguity in wagering requirements in general.
Comment by: casinowizard On: July 09, 2009
Wagering requirements are a pain in the but especially when online casinos don't really separate their bonus balance and cash balance. The way that Wizard, Microgaming, and Vegas Technology do this is much better IMHO.
Comment by: Elizabeth On: June 29, 2009
If there's one piece of advice that every player who indulges in playing at online casinos it's that knowing and understanding the wagering requirements of any bonuses that you take advantage of before playing will save you a ton of hassles and headaches. Just as an FYI be sure that you go though them and if you have questions post a question on a message board or alternatively contact the online casinos customer support team for assistance.

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