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Wagering / Playtrhough Requirements

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It has become traditional for online casinos to offer their players bonuses for joining the casino as a member, or for depositing money for playing with into a casino account. The most common kinds of bonuses are the Match Bonus, where the online casino rewards the player by doubling whatever they deposit, and the No Deposit Bonus, where the online casino simply gives the player free money to play with.

Both of these bonus schemes are intended to encourage the player to gamble and indulge in all of the games that are on offer.

But during the early days of online casinos, the industry saw widespread abuse of the bonus system that ended up costing them a large amount of money. Players would fraudulently open multiple accounts to reap the benefit of signup bonuses, and would cash them out as soon as possible.

To offset the huge financial risk that the online casinos were taking by offering their players bonuses, they introduced a set of rules known as the Wagering or Playthrough Requirements. These requirements are not particularly popular, but they are necessary to protect the casinos from fraud, and largely do not affect genuine players who visit the casinos to have fun.

How it works

The most common structure of Wagering / Playthrough Requirements associated with bonuses is that a multiple of the initial deposit amount be wagered or played through before a player may cash out their winnings.

The actual multiple being used varies from casino to casino, and players should read them carefully to understand how a given online casino works, particularly if they are hunting for the best bonuses. An online casino's Wagering / Playthrough Requirements are usually contained within their standard terms and conditions, so they aren't that hard to find.

An Example

Suppose an online casino's Playthrough Requirement is 15x. This means a player must place bets and play games to the value of 15 times their initial deposit amount before they may cash out.

They deposit $100 into their casino account, and receive a bonus of 100% of their initial deposit, giving them a bankroll of $200, and they start to play. Under the requirements, they will need to have placed bets to the value of $1,500 before they are allowed to cash out their winnings.

This may sound harsh, but isn't. Having Playthrough Requirements simply offsets the online casinos' risk and protects them from the kind of players who haven't signed on simply to enjoy themselves. It is an incentive system designed to encourage play.


To complicate matters a bit, some online casinos assign percentages to certain of there games that make them count more or less towards a player meeting the Playthrough Requirements. For example, it's common for slots to be worth 100% - every bet the player makes takes them closer to meeting the target.

But other games such as Poker typically have a much lower percentages. For example, if the Poker percentage was 40%, then every bet of $100 would only count $40 towards the target.

This is why it's particularly important for players to find out what the Playthrough Requirements are for a given casino before signing up. Lower requirements are better for the player, but some less reputable casinos have been known to set the requirements as high as 40-50x.

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