Bonuses play an important role in attracting and retaining players for gambling brands. As one of the main strands of marketing for new players, operators have developed a series of different bonus formats and structures, including welcome bonuses, reload bonuses and free spins offers, to make their casinos as enticing to new players as possible. However, not everything is always as it seems with casino bonuses, and players can often end up feeling like they might have been better off not accepting a bonus at all.
Problems often arise from clauses buried in the bonus terms and conditions. What might sound like a generous welcome bonus on the surface can actually end up being a nightmare, verging on the impossible for players to meet wagering requirements and withdraw successfully. Wagering requirements are given as a multiple of the deposit amount (or a multiple of the deposit + bonus) that players must bet before they can initiate a valid withdrawal from the account.
These types of terms – which can run as high as 50x deposit + bonus or more, often with many other awkward terms attached too – can seem borderline unfair, not to mention incredibly frustrating for players trying to withdraw from their bonuses.
However, there is a new movement coming from no wagering casinos – casinos that choose to have no wagering requirements on their bonus offers, giving players a much better chance of walking away with some winnings in their pocket from taking advantage of welcome bonuses and other offers. With a focus on transparency and fairness, and ultimately improving the player experience, no wagering casinos are redefining the bonus landscape for casino players.
The Scourge: Wagering Requirements Explained
Wagering requirements give rise to often complex and challenging sets of rules, which players are expected to understand and follow to the letter to be eligible to withdraw any winnings from their bonus.
This is expressed as a multiple of the bonus – for example, a 30x wager on a £10 bonus would require 30x£10 betting, or £300 in playthrough bets before you can withdraw anything you win from the bonus. These numbers can get pretty crazy the larger the bonus amount, and can even at times be a multiple of the deposit plus the bonus, effectively two times as high with a 100% deposit match offer.
Players are often required to meet this threshold within 7 days, or some other short period of time, to be eligible for withdrawal. So your standard wagering offer could see new players forced to bet £300-£500 in their first week at a new casino to cash out from £10 worth of a deposit bonus.
Alongside wagering multiples and time restrictions, there are also more abstract concepts like wagering contribution, where some bet types contribute at less than 100% – i.e. less than pound for pound towards the total wagering multiple required by the terms and conditions.
As well as the attention, focus and general levels of understanding required to work within these terms, there’s just the sheer practicality of meeting these requirements – something the majority of players will find difficult with any bonus offer. This makes these offers less valuable than lower value no wagering bonuses, which present a much simpler prospect.
Why No Wagering is Better
By contrast, no wagering casino offers allow players the chance to enjoy a bonus without having to play through their winnings before withdrawal – dispensing with all the challenging terms and conditions, and making it much easier to cash out from the bonus. It’s a simpler structure that players prefer, delivering a straightforward, fair gaming experience, while also building trust and giving the excitement of instant rewards.
No wagering casinos appear to be lower risk, because there’s no need to gamble large amounts quickly to withdraw from the bonus. Players who feel fairly treated tend to stick around for longer, and casinos are increasingly realising that the value is in playing the long game – rather than harsh, restrictive wagering requirements leaving a sour taste in the mouth, no wagering bonuses actually feel more welcoming and generous, helping casinos retain players over the longer term.
Redefining the Bonus Landscape
Regulatory bodies are increasingly taking note of the rise in no wagering bonuses, and the fairer, more straightforward offer they present to players. In relation to transparency, fairness, consumer protection, advertising standards and responsible gambling, the Gambling Commission is already indicating an apparent preference for more reasonable wagering terms on bonuses and promotions.
It remains to be seen whether ultimately this will lead to changes in legislation around wagering requirements. But with regulators, players and even the casinos themselves preferring no wagering bonuses, it’s clear no wagering casinos are redefining the bonus landscape for the future of online casinos, and for the betterment of the wider iGaming industry.