Anybody who plays online will know that most casinos offer a multitude of bonuses to both new and regular players. They are used to both attract and retain players, reward loyalty and enhance the site’s reputation. These bonuses typically give you the chance to play some slots ‘on the house’ using either free cash or a specified number of free spins on a designated game.
The casinos aren’t stupid though. They know that it would be catastrophic if every new player who registered with the site won a pocketful of cash using a free bonus only to disappear for good. For that reason, they tend to attach some terms and conditions to the bonuses – and wagering requirements are the most common. There are signs, however, that some casinos are turning their back on the concept of wagering requirements for good. Could this become a trend?
What Are Wagering Requirements?
Before we establish whether wagering requirements may soon become yesterday’s news, let’s establish what they are, and what they do. You can think of them as an insurance policy of sorts. Rather than giving you, for example, 50 free spins on a game and let you withdraw any associated winnings immediately, casinos insist that you wager or ‘play through’ the winnings a designated number of times first. The size of the wagering requirements varies from casino to casino, but can range from x25 to x80.
Perhaps it’s best explained using an example. Let’s say you win £20 from a bundle of 50 free spins. If x30 wagering requirements apply to the bonus, you will have to play through the £20 thirty times over before you can access you loot. In others words, you’ll need to place £600 worth of bets (30 x £20) before making your withdrawal. Naturally, this reduces your chance of profiting from the bonus. Most of the time, you’ll lose you winnings before you’ve fulfilled the wagering requirements.
Why Do Online Casinos Use Wagering Requirements?
Wagering Requirements are predictably unpopular with players. It’s tempting to think of them as an underhand tactic on behalf of the online casinos, but let’s not be too harsh. Casinos are businesses, and they wouldn’t last long if every player who took a bonus on registration won oodles of cash using them. Unfortunately, bonus abusers are also rife in the industry, and casinos have to protect themselves. Wagering requirements reduce their risk to exposure, and most are up front about their existence.
Bonuses With No Wagering Requirements?
Player dislike of wagering requirements has, however, encouraged online casinos to rethink their strategy. This has led some to abandon the concept altogether, resulting in wager-free bonuses, from which you can pocket the winnings straight away. These casinos are no mean in the majority, and many of them have only binned wagering requirements for free spins, rather than cash bonuses. But it’s a positive movement all the same, and perhaps it’s a predictable one.
A Growing Trend?
The fact that so few online casinos have been willing to abandon wagering requirements for all bonuses, rather than just free spins, suggests that there is still some uneasiness, even amongst those that want to innovate. It’s an undisputable ‘halfway house’ that provides the online casino with a great marketing tool, while maintaining some aversion to risk.
However, as more casinos adopted this concept, so others began to go further. Now, online casinos are beginning to abandon wagering requirements across all bonuses, not just free spins. If they prove it can be done, then the trend could ignite. It’s a popular move with players, and sites that maintain traditional bonus structures won’t want to be left behind.
Are Bonuses With No Wagering Requirements the Future?
The question is, will this trend continue or gather pace? It’s hard to say, really. The number of casinos offering bonuses without wagering requirements remains low. That said, big names like Guts. Thrills and Kaboo have all abandoned these terms for all free spins. It’s less known brands like Happy Hugo and 7Red Casino that have binned them for all bonuses though. Other sites like PlayOjo and No Bonus Casino are experimenting with cash back schemes that usurp traditional bonuses altogether.
There’s no doubt there’s a long way to go. However, it’s player thirst that could drive the change. Google search stats suggest that they haven’t cottoned on yet. Searches for Bonuses With No Wagering Requirements are still dwarfed by attempts to find no deposit bonuses and straightforward free spins. As more players realise that bonuses with no wagering requirements exist, this should begin to change. That would encourage more online casinos to take note and seek alternative ways of structuring their bonus offers.