Wagering requirements are often seen attached to bonus. They can seem confusing, complicated, and they can leave you feeling trapped or cheated, especially for those who don’t quite understand them.
That’s where OhMyBingo swoops in like your very own superhero (just without the spandex…)! We’ll explain everything you need to know about wagering requirements, and even give some helpful examples to make it clearer. You’ll be a wagering whiz in no time!
What are wagering requirements?
The big question! Put very simply, a wagering requirement is the amount you have to bet (sometimes called ‘wager’) before your bonus money turns into real cash that you can withdraw. It separates bonus money from cash, because cash can (usually) be withdrawn at any time.
When you claim a bonus, the wagering might be done one of two ways. Some sites calculate the wagering requirement on the total amount (your deposit plus your bonus), and some will just calculate it on the bonus alone. Sites will tell you in their T&Cs which way they do it.
Wagering requirements might also come attached to free spins and bingo tickets- in this case, the wagering requirement will apply to any bonus money you win from these.
Why do wagering requirements exist?
It can be easy to think of wagering requirements as scams or frustrating, but the truth is, they’re sadly necessary. There are some nasty, no-good people out there, and without wagering requirements, they’d rinse bingo sites for heaps of freebies, withdraw them all, then disappear into the sunset.
While that might sound tempting, remember that bingo and slots sites are businesses- if players are withdrawing hundreds of pounds of free money without playing it, they’re going to stop offering it, because it’s losing them money. So really, wagering requirements help protect gaming sites, and they mean that sites can offer lovely genuine players like you a nice bonus from time to time. Without them, those bonus offers would disappear from sites quicker than you can say “bingo”!
How do they affect my play?
First of all, you’re likely to get more bonuses if you play on a site with wagering requirements, because the risk to the site is less, so they’re happier to offer them. Kaching!
Before taking a bonus, consider the wagering requirements. They can be found in the T&Cs, and we’re going to explain them further in just a tick. If you decide to take the bonus, you’ll have to play a certain amount before you can turn the bonus into withdrawable cash. If you withdraw your cash balance before you meet the wagering requirement, your bonus and any related winnings will be lost.
Some sites will be set up so that you play your cash balance first, and some will be set up so that bonus balance is used first. Let’s look at a couple of examples to see how this can affect your wagering:
You deposit £10 and get £5 bonus on a site where you play your cash first.
You place a £1 bet from your cash, and you win £1.50- great! You’ve now got £10.50 cash and £5 bonus in your account.
If you want to withdraw that £10.50 cash, you can, but your £5 bonus will disappear because you haven’t bet enough yet to meet the wagering requirement and turn that bonus into cash.
You deposit £10 and get £5 bonus on a site where you play your bonus first.
You place a £1 bet from your bonus, and you win £1.50 from it. You’ve now got £10 cash and £5.50 bonus.
That £10 cash can be withdrawn, but if you do, your £5.50 bonus will be lost, because you haven’t bet enough yet to meet the wagering requirement and turn that bonus into cash.
How are wagering requirements calculated?
As we mentioned before, a wagering requirement is the amount you have to bet before your bonus money turns into real cash that you can withdraw. But how much exactly is that?
To work it out, we need to consider that wagering might be done one of two ways. Some sites calculate the wagering requirement on the total amount (your deposit plus your bonus), and some will just calculate it on the bonus alone. Let’s look at a couple of examples to make it simpler:
The wagering is done on the deposit amount plus the bonus amount. You deposit £10, you get £10 bonus, and the wagering requirement says 30x:
(£10 + £10) x 30 = £600.
In this example, you will have to bet £600 to turn that £10 bonus and any winnings from it into cash you can withdraw.
The wagering is done on the bonus amount only. You deposit £10, you get £10 bonus, and the wagering requirement says 30x:
£10 x 30 = £300.
In this example, you will have to bet £300 to turn that £10 bonus and any winnings from it into cash you can withdraw.
While these amounts sound huge, remember that this requirement is how much you will need to bet, not deposit. You could deposit £10, and due to winning here and there, you could potentially ‘bet’ a lot more than the original deposit amount.
And don’t forget, you never have to place a bet. You can always withdraw your cash without the bonus if you don’t want to play further.
Can I bet on any game to work towards the wagering requirement?
Well, not necessarily. Different games (like bingo, slots, or table games) will contribute different amounts towards the wagering requirement. This is because the sites consider some types of games ‘easier’ to win, or less risky, than others.
Often, games (particularly bingo and slots) contribute 100% towards the wagering, which is nice and simple. In this case, the calculation is straight forward, like above. If not, there’s just an extra step.
You claim a £10 bonus. The site calculates wagering on bonus-only.
You’re playing poker, and your bets only contribute 10% towards the 30x wagering requirement.
Instead of £10 bonus x 30, it’s now going to be £10 x 30 x 10 = £3000. This extra “x10” is because your poker bets are only contributing 10%.
Some games won’t count at all towards the wagering requirement, so always check on the site you play at. You’ll find the information about how much different games contribute to wagering requirements in the T&Cs of the site.
Can I avoid wagering requirements?
Of course! But you won’t be able to have it all ways, cheeky.
The easiest way to avoid wagering requirements is to play at a site which offers cash-only play. They don’t offer bonus, so there are never any wagering requirements. Many of these sites still offer free spins or bingo tickets, so you’ll still get a freebie, and the winnings will be in cash, which is great.
Just bear in mind, it’s possible you’ll get fewer promotions, because the sites are essentially giving out free money that you can withdraw straight away.
But wait- what if you’ve found a site you love, but they’re not cash-only? If you don’t want to play at a cash-only site and you don’t want wagering requirements, you can play on a site that offers bonus and just choose not to claim any. If bonuses are added automatically and you don’t want them, speak to the customer service team and ask to have bonuses removed or disabled on your account.
Take note- you can only have a bonus removed if you haven’t started playing it! You don’t wear clothes then return them to the shop, now, do you? (We hope not.)
Phew! That’s a lot to take in…
Wagering requirements aren’t the simplest things in the world. We know they can be confusing and a little scary, but remember, they exist so that sites can offer you bonus and you can get more bang for your buck. Understanding what they are and how they work can make them just a little bit easier.
We know it might be annoying to win from your bonus, then have to keep wagering it before you can withdraw it, but at the end of the day, bonus is a nice freebie, so we try to just enjoy playing it, and hey, if we do get a withdrawable win at the end of it, we’ll be celebrating OhMyBingo style!
Double check T&Cs under any promotions you might want to claim, and take a look at the site’s general terms page to see how wagering works on their site. And if you get stuck, sites’ customer support teams are usually pretty helpful at answering wagering-related questions. Go forth and bingo, lovelies!