Wagering Requirements / Play Through
Of course it’s natural to want the biggest bonus, but is the biggest bonus always the best? Very often not, but it depends on your situation.
Most sites are willing to give bonuses, especially to new members, but naturally they also want you to stick around and keep using their site after you receive the bonus. That’s why most bonuses have a ‘playthrough requirement’ or ‘wagering requirement’ which you must satisfy before you can cash out the bonus. Usually you’ll have the bonus in your account immediately after fulfilling the initial requirements (eg. make a 1st deposit), but you can’t actually withdraw the bonus cash until you’ve met the playthrough requirement. The requirements are different for each site so players must read the conditions to find the exact rules.
Here’s an example : let’s say you join a site with a 100% matching bonus up to £100, with a 2x playthrough requirement. You deposit £100 and your account balance will immediately show the 100% bonus so you’ll have a total of £200 to play. In this 2x playthrough example, you must play through £300 before cashing out the bonus – that is 2x the £100 bonus, plus your £100 deposit. So in this example you have a £300 play through requirement, and a £200 starting balance. If you win a lot while you’re playing with your starting balance then you may ‘play through’ £300 without making another deposit, and then you can withdraw your winnings including the bonus. On the other hand, if luck is not on your side and your balance reaches zero then the bonus is gone and playthrough is cancelled (except at some sites where you can deposit again and continue the bonus playthrough).
Since the wager requirement is based on the size of the bonus you receive, that means the bigger the bonus the more you’ll need to ‘play through’ before receiving the bonus. Some bonus offers may require a 4x, 8x or even higher ‘play through’, especially for larger bonuses. Often there will also be a limit on the length of time you have to reach the required wagering requirements and claim your bonus. Also some specific types of games may contribute more or less to the playthrough requirements (this will be explained in the site’s bonus rules). Note that slots and side games generally don’t count towards bingo bonus requirements, in fact bonuses on casino sites often have 20x-40x playthrough, so bingo bonuses in comparison are a lot easier to meet.
It may not be realistically possible for you to reach the required wagering conditions within your budget and within the time that you have available to play. Of course this is very dependent on your own situation so if you wish to claim a bonus you will first need to check the conditions carefully to decide if it seems reasonable for your time and budget.
Here is our recommendation : Join sites based on the enjoyment value, not just for the bonus. Then you will be more likely to meet the playthrough requirements since you enjoy playing there and so will play on the site more often. If you haven’t met the bonus requirements by the end of the allowed time period then at least you’ve enjoyed yourself.
One more tip : A smaller bonus will often be easier to claim due to the lower requirements. So don’t worry about big bonuses, it’s better to try for a small bonus and actually receive it, than try for a big bonus and not meet the requirements.