But that’s because they often are, thanks to an often poorly-understood part of the small print – wagering requirements. That means any bonus money has to be ‘played through’ a multiple of times.
So for example a $100 bonus with a 40x wagering requirement, would see the player having to make a rather steep $4,000 in wagers before they can withdraw any winnings from the bonus money.
But a new breed of casinos are doing away with all that. You get your bonus, usually a free spin, which you can play and win with no limits, and withdraw any winnings straight away. It really is that simple.
These are the so-called ‘wagerless casinos‘ and they’re the new big force in the industry.
How to wagerless casinos work?
Only a very small number of online casinos have gone against the grain to offer what is a coveted item for players – bonuses with no wagering requirements.
These simply allow any player to withdraw any winnings from the bonus instantly as real cash – avoiding the lengthy grind and potential loss required to make the most of normal offers.
These free spins are truly free. Not only that, but the other glorious thing is that they are simple. Many players get disgruntled with what seem like attractive sign up offers only to find the bonus soured in their eyes by lumpen and complex terms and conditions.
With wagerless casinos, if you spin and hit the $10,000 jackpot on a slot, you can withdraw it.
The same goes for any win a player makes. It really is as simple as that, and that’s the beauty of it. And it may surprise people to learn that it hasn’t always been like this with online casinos.
So while they’re not guaranteed money, players are guaranteed a free chance to win money, without having to risk it tens of times over to actually get their hands on their winnings, as with traditional wagering requirements.
Since these offers are so good, only a small handful of casinos offer them at present.
But that makes them well worth seeking out, since it often gives you an effective small edge over the casino with your first deposit.
Good for new players
The other advantage of wagerless casinos is for new players.
Players who are unsure about the online casino experience can simply sign up for one of these bonuses without feeling tied in by wagering requirements. It means that they can test out a casino’s features in a non-committal way, while still enjoying the perks of some free chances to win.
What are wagering requirements?
So here’s the problem with wagering requirements…
Suppose a casino offered a 100% deposit bonus up to $100.
To people who haven’t read the terms and conditions, this might seem like free money. Simply sign up, deposit $100, get your bonus, head to the roulette table, and stick your $100 deposit and $100 bonus on an even money bet like ‘red’ on roulette which has a 50% chance of winning – walk away with $400, withdraw it and spend your winnings on the family.
Printing money, right?
Unfortunately, things aren’t quite that simple.
Casino bonuses come with wagering requirements. And that’s a key detail.
That is, the bonus and the money won from it must be placed on a certain number of bets before they can be withdrawn as real cash. You’ll need to bet your £100 several times before you can see any of the winnings – meaning players can’t just exploit the bonus with methods such as the roulette example above.
How many times you’ll need to wager it varies wildly between casino to casino and bonus to bonus. Sometimes it’s as low as ten times, but sometimes it can be as high as eighty or even above that. If you like to start accounts at a lot of casinos to take advantage of the bonuses, it’s crucial to do your research about wagering requirements to find out if the bonus is actually worth taking.
To make matters even more complicated, often some games will only count as a small percentage of a bet rather than a full one. Often, games with a very low house edge such as blackjack may not even count towards the wagering requirements at all.
Which wagerless casinos are best?
Among this new breed are the pioneering bgo Casino, which removed all wagering requirements in 2017, as well as their sister site Powerspins. Powerspins is dedicated to slot fans, while bgo offers the full online casino experience, including high roller, live casino games.
bgo has even rebranded its free spins, as ‘Fair Spins‘.
PlayOjo also offer similar deals without the restrictions. Their whole brand was launched in 2017 on the premise of offering players simple, straightforward bonuses.
All of these casinos have been a hit with players thanks to this new wagerless offering.
On the other hand
But wagering requirements are not the bogeyman. They are a legitimate and obvious way for a casino to protect itself from ‘bonus hunters’ and other exploitative tactics used by players.
Wagering requirements can allow for match bonuses worth four-figure sums. What these bonuses do is extend the gameplay for players, because their bankroll is often doubled or even tripled thanks to the bonus.
Wagering requirements are not bad. As long as they are not too high – you better be getting a super-high bonus for anything more than 50x – and offered straightforwardly and with no hidden smallprint, they can still offer the player a good deal.
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