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Top Dog’s Guide to Wagering Requirements

The sight of the term wagering requirements does not need to be feared. Basically, this is a system in place to ensure bonuses are not subjected to fraudulent activity. And you have nothing to worry about if you know how to work within the structure.

What Are Wagering Requirements?

This is where you can find wagering requirements explained, so please bear with us while we slowly work through an example of the system in action:

  • You deposit £25 with a casino and claim a 100% match bonus.
  • The casino then applies 40x wagering requirements on your deposit plus bonus.
  • This will result playing through £50 x 40. In total, you will have to complete £2,000 worth of wagering to convert the bonus into cash.

A tip for figuring out wagering requirements is to see whether the casino also applies them against your deposit. You might find that a deal is better than you realise, so it’s always worth figuring out how much you have to wager.

Why Are Wagering Requirements Needed?

Businesses cannot exist by giving out streams of free cash. That would be fantastic, but it just isn’t realistic. Nevertheless, there are lots of casino sites with low wagering requirements where you can play smartly and eventually clear the bonus funds to become cash for your pocket – that sounds like a more than fair deal.

There is another important reason for such a system to be used, and that is to do with fraudulent criminal activity. Across the world, there have been criminal enterprises attempting to launder their money through legitimate online casino brands. In defence, those brands use play-through requirements to avoid this risk.

Are Wagering Requirements Equal Across Bonuses?

Casinos can broadly share terms when delivering bonuses, but there is also a high degree of variance. What this means is that wagering requirements can be expected to play out differently on bonus offers.

Deposits vs. Bonuses

If you deposit without claiming a bonus, then you will have no requirements to worry about, and that is because you are playing entirely with your own funds. However, there are a couple of ways that requirements can come into play on bonuses:

  • Bonus only: A casino can elect to only apply requirements on your bonus and any winnings earned from the funds.
  • Deposit + bonus: Alternatively, the casino can pool your deposit and bonus before leveraging requirements against the total value.

Bonus-only requirements can be higher as a means of balancing out the offers against sites offering low requirements because they combine deposits and bonuses. You should always check out the structure to ensure you are claiming a deal that appeals to you.

Bonus Types

Thanks for bearing with us so far. Then again, it does pay to read this helpful advice! Now, Top Dog will explain the main bonus types and how they relate to play-through requirements.

Non-sticky (Cashable)

A sticky bonus is one that gives you the ability to clear the funds in full and withdraw the funds. Considering the high potential for earnings, you can find that cashable bonuses come with reasonably high requirements to deal with.

Sticky (Non-cashable)

The sticky bonus is the polar opposite in that the funds are non-cashable. This lower potential for earnings does mean that casinos can be willing to low the wager requirements. These are the two types of sticky casino bonuses:

  • Sticky Type I: This type can be known as a phantom bonus because the funds disappear entirely when you elect to withdraw your cleared winnings.
  • Sticky Type II: These funds cannot be cleared or withdrawn, but they shall remain even after winnings are removed. Sticky type II are less common than type I.

Are There Time Limits on Wagering Requirements?

There are time limits in the sense that bonus funds or free spins will expire if you have not cleared them in time. Casinos assign expiry dates based on what they deem fair, so you should never assume to know a site’s policy without checking. In many cases, these are the most common expiry thresholds:

  • Daily: Free spins are the most likely to receive a 24-hour expiry, so you need to make a move and start using them. After all, you can spend more time clearing the winnings if you have used up the spins.
  • Weekly: You can find casinos that will only give you one week or perhaps two in which to try and remove the requirements.
  • Monthly: Casinos can give you in the region of four weeks to handle requirements, but some might increase the expiry period up to three months. Basically, it all depends on what they are willing to offer.

Do Casinos Treat All Games Equally?

Casino sites do not operate a policy of treating all games equally for clearing requirements. Generally, they create a table in which the gaming categories are broadly weighted with percentages that they contribute towards wagering requirements.

Slot Machines

Slots often receive the best treatment, which is to contribute 100% towards play-through guidelines. This being said, there can be progressive slots where they are not eligible at all, seeing as bonus funds cannot be used to play them.

Instant Games

There are select instant games, such as keno and arcade machines, that will also be treated classified in the 100% bracket. However, you might see video poker machines being downgraded to 50% or lower.

Table Games

Table games have the greatest disparity in that some casino operators will entirely remove blackjack tables or roulette wheels from clearing requirements. Alternatively, there are sites that will assign contributions of 5% to 25% on select tables, which can also include casino poker tables and live dealers.

In the very first example, you would need to complete £8,000 worth of wagering on a 25% table. That is because the 40x requirements now require four times more wagering (100%/25% = 4x).

There you have it – an in-depth intro to wagering requirements. We suggest saving this Top Dog Slots guide for the next time you need it.