Online betting sites such as casinos, sportsbooks and bingo sites will often offer bonuses for signing up or depositing money. These bonuses increase the sites’s traffic and, consequently, their revenue. After all, who doesn’t like free money. However, bonuses are accompanied by rollover or wagering requirements. Also called playthrough requirements, these fine-print rules keep players from defrauding the casino by accepting the bonus and immediately cashing out. In some cases they are ridiculously difficult and not worth the effort but the majority of reputable online casinos offer bonuses that can help both the casino and the player.
“Sign-up”, “Welcome”, “Re-load”, or “Deposit” bonuses exist to encourage bettors to come play at a particular casino. They are intended to give the player extra money to bet. Casinos that were offering bonuses early in the history of online betting were taken advantage of by some players. Those players set up fraudulent accounts to get bonuses and then took the money and ran. Something had to change so that the casinos would stay in business. This led to the birth of the rollover requirement. This rule requires that after accepting a bonus, a player must place bets adding up to a certain amount of money before they can withdraw the bonus or any money won from the bonus. Some stricter requirements will not allow the player to withdraw any of their money until the requirement is met.
Like gambling itself, there are varied opinions on bonuses and whether or not they are worth the requirements that come with them. With any bonus it is extremely important that you understand all of the requirements completely before you accept it. Bonuses are typically a percentage of your deposit. Sometimes there will be a minimum deposit or a maximum bonus or, perhaps, both. Sometimes the bonus maybe tiered, which means the more you bet the more bonus you will get.
The first thing that you need to know about the rollover requirements is that you can’t avoid them. If you try to withdraw the money before the requirement is met you will face a penalty. Usually, that means you will forfeit the bonus and any winnings from that bonus. Remember the requirements are there to keep the casino from losing money. They are a business and they need that protection.
You should also be aware that rollover requirements are different for each casino. They are even different for each bonus type on a particular site. Before you accept a bonus be sure that you read the requirements very carefully. The casinos are required to give you those requirements in some way. First, look at the main page for the bonus that you are interested in accepting. Next, click on the “Terms and Conditions” link and read that page. If you still cannot find the requirements or if you do not understand them, call the casino’s customer support number and ask. If you do not have a good understanding of the requirements for a bonus, the best advice would be to not accept it.
Rollover requirements are given as a multiple of the bonus or the bonus plus the deposit. Common multiples are 5X, 10X,and 20X. The requirements can often only be fulfilled by playing certain games. These are usually games where the house advantage, or likelihood that you will loose, is larger. Games like blackjack where the house advantage is small are usually excluded so before you accept a bonus make sure that you enjoy playing the games that count towards the rollover requirement. Some casinos don’t exclude a game completely but will only allow a percentage of your wager on that game to count. For example, wagers on slots may count 100% towards fulfilling the requirement but wagers on craps may only count 20% towards the requirement. The requirement may also have a time limit. You may be required to wager 5X your bonus over a week for example.
Once you understand the bonus and the requirement it is time to do a little math so that you can decide if that bonus is worth pursuing. For example, Let’s say an online casino offers a 50% welcome bonus of up to $200 with a rollover requirement of 10x the bonus plus the deposit. You should deposit enough money to get that maximum bonus of $200. That would be a $400 deposit because 200 is 50% of 400. So now with the bonus you have $600. The rollover requirement is a multiple of the deposit plus the bonus. That means that you will need to wager 10 X $600 or $6000 to get that bonus. It does not matter if you win or loose the bets you make with that $6000. It only matters that you wager $6000. In short you must bet $6000 to get $200 plus your winnings on that bonus.
Rollover requirements are intended to encourage brand loyalty to the casino. They force you to stick with a particular casino at least until you get the requirement played through. They are hoping that in that time you will like what you see and decided to stick around once you finish the requirement. It makes sense then to research the site well before you accept a bonus. Find a few casinos that offer the games you like to play and will accept wagers on those games for their rollover requirements. Then you can take a close look at the bonuses they offer and decided which site is the best for you. You don’t want to get stuck playing through a huge rollover requirement wagering on games you don’t like.
Bonuses are not for everyone because not every bettor is there ready to wager enough to cover the requirement but if you are going to be playing the games that count and you are going to be wagering quite a bit of money it can really pay off to accept bonuses. Keep in mind that reading all of the fine print is a must. You need to know exactly how much money you will need to wager to be able to cash in you money. You also need to make sure that you know the time limit and the excluded games for that particular set of requirements. Not knowing those particulars may result in the casino refusing to let you cash in part or all of your bonus funds.