Bonus redemption offers you the opportunity to extend your gambling session and possibly build up a small starting bankroll. Unfortunately, many players get stung by the terms of such offers which often require them to cover ludicrous wagering conditions before they are permitted to cash out the winnings they have accumulated during free play. These requirements are often frustrating and rather costly to comply with, so much so that certain online players are forced to abstain from participating in promotional incentives altogether.
Yet, if you browse the internet long enough, you will inevitably come across the select few gambling operators that have stripped most of their offers from wagering requirements in an attempt to attract more action on their websites and provide their clientele with fairer promotional conditions.
This gives players an additional incentive to register at a casino and opt in for an offer without the fear of having their bonuses forfeited due to terms violation. Then again, this is a competitive industry and lifting bonus wagering poses as a great way for young casino operators to build up a player base.
But what is bonus wagering and why is its absence considered beneficial to casino players? We provide the answers to these questions in this article along with brief overviews of five acclaimed online casinos that have lifted the wagering requirements from some or all of their bonus offers.
What is Bonus Wagering?
So what are these dreaded wagering requirements that inspire fear in some online casino players? The concept of bonus wagering is not the easiest one to grasp, especially if one is new to gambling on the web.
Wagers are the money you spend, or bet in this context, on casino games like online slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, video poker, or bingo. When you deposit the minimum required to obtain a given bonus, it is released in the form of free credits that are added to your bonus balance. Simply put, bonus wagering covers the amount you need to bet using your own money to release your winnings from your bonus balance so that they can be added to your real-money balance for you to withdraw.
We can make a distinction between two types of bonuses, the first one being the so-called “sticky” or “phantom” bonus where the free credits are removed from your account after wagering has been met. The other category consists of bonuses which are transferred from your bonus to your real-money balance after you clear their wagering. In other words, you can cash out both the bonus and its related profits from your balance, which is not the case with the “phantom” free credits.
Wagering requirements sometimes cover both the deposit and the bonus amount. So if the terms state “30x wagering of the deposit plus the bonus”, you practically need to meet wagering conditions of 60x. For example, suppose you have deposited $50 to receive the extra $50 in free credits but need to wager both amounts 30x. You will have to risk $3,000 instead of half the amount of $1,500.
Every now and then, you will be presented with the seemingly wonderful opportunity to opt in for a no-deposit bonus consisting of free spins. But before you start rubbing your hands with keen satisfaction at this appetizing offer, beware! Wagering usually applies to no-deposit free spins bonuses as well, only this time you will have to wager the amount you have won a predetermined number of times. Otherwise, the winnings will be removed from your balance as soon as you send a withdrawal request.
Reasons for Bonus Wagering
It is essential to stress these conditions are not in place as part of some evil scheme that aims to cheat you out of your money. In fact, there are very valid reasons why bonus wagering exists. Let’s consider it from the casinos’ perspective for a moment.
If no wagering requirements were in place, what is to prevent you from cashing out your bonuses and their related winnings immediately after you redeem them? This would render it possible for you to skip from one casino to the next, cashing in on the operators’ generosity.
So, wagering requirements enable gambling operators to financially protect themselves against bonus abuse, which was a prevalent practice after the first online casinos hit the internet. Back then, many smart players understood that these offers presented them with an opportunity to turn a nice profit without risking anything. They would register at a casino with multiple accounts, opt in for the welcome bonuses, and cash them out as soon as they could.
The results of such practices were disastrous for online casinos from a financial perspective. They soon realized they needed to tackle the loopholes that allowed players to exploit promotional offers while still being able to incentivize new customers with appetizing bonuses.
So they came up with the idea to attach wagering to their offers to act as a safety cushion against bankruptcy and bonus hunting. Additionally, players were prohibited from opening multiple accounts at one and the same casino, with each new customer being permitted to opt in for the same welcome offer a single time only.
How Is Bonus Wagering Detrimental to Players?
There are several reasons why bonus wagering is detrimental to players, starting with the time restrictions imposed on the bonuses. Customers usually are given a specific timeframe in which they need to clear their wagering. If they fail, their bonuses will expire and the free funds will be automatically forfeited from their balance. The timeframe for bonus validity usually ranges from one week to a month.
Wagering often restricts you in terms of the games you are permitted to play. There is one such thing as game weighting where different types of games have a different contribution toward your bonus wagering. Slots and keno, for example, usually have the highest contribution of 100%. This means each time you bet say $100, the same amount will be cleared from your bonus wagering.
In contrast, other games like video poker, blackjack, and roulette often have a much smaller contribution, sometimes as low as 20% or even 10%, so if you wager $100 on these, only $20 or $10 will be cleared from your wagering requirements. In other words, you will have to risk tons of money when playing these low-weighting games before you manage to cover the wagering of your bonuses.
Some gambling operators go as far as altogether prohibiting players to bet on table games and video poker with an active bonus in their balance. Violators have their bonuses removed from their accounts along with any resulting winnings.
On top of it all, some casinos have rather high wagering requirements (up to 100x!) that are next to impossible to meet within the stipulated timeframe. The purpose is to reduce players’ chances of actually cashing out their bonuses. Imagine a gambling newbie redeeming a bonus of $100 with 50x wagering that remains valid for a 7-day period after redemption. A casual player can hardly afford to pour $5,000 into an online casino within a week. Chances are they will lose both their bonus and the triggering deposit before they succeed in clearing the playthrough.
Last but not least, some online casinos are in the habit of enforcing higher bonus wagering for players from specific countries due to the high levels of bonus hunting from these jurisdictions in the past. This is the case with players based in Denmark, Poland, and Israel who are forced to adhere to separate wagering requirements on certain gambling websites. Naturally, these precautions work to the detriment of such players as they make it all the more difficult to release the cash from their accounts.
Types of No Wagering Casino Bonuses
There is a variety of bonus types without wagering you can claim. Some are offered exclusively to new registrants while others can be claimed repeatedly by existing customers. Some allow you to bet on any type of casino game you deem fit, others can be used exclusively on slots. We outline the differences between the separate types of wager-free bonuses below.
All acclaimed casinos offer attractive welcome bonuses in an attempt to incentivize new players to sign up, play the games, and possibly continue wagering real money on the websites. When stripped of wagering requirements, these welcome bonuses are quite valuable to players.
Players are required to register at the casino, make a first deposit, and opt in for the welcome bonus on offer. Entering a valid promo code is sometimes necessary. The deposit is then matched with a specific percentage in free credits, usually 100%, although some operators would offer you 150% or 200% welcome bonuses.
Some casinos would extend this generosity to players’ subsequent payments, granting them bonuses on their second, third, fourth, and even fifth deposits. Sometimes, the welcome bonus may be a combination of free spins and a deposit match. Of course, there is a minimum deposit amount (usually between $10 and $20) to comply with when opting for a deposit-related welcome offer.
To protect themselves against bonus hunting on behalf of unscrupulous players, casinos without bonus wagering implement fair-play policies, which prevent customers from using low-risk betting patterns like hedge betting, making zero-risk wagers, and low-margin betting.
Some new players register and deposit solely for the purpose of welcome bonus redemption without intending to wager the real money loaded into the accounts. Such actions are also not tolerated at casinos that are free of wagering requirements. And it goes without saying that each new customer is entitled to a single welcome bonus only.
No-deposit bonuses free of wagering requirements are the best offers you can possibly come across at an online casino. However, they are still a rarity, with only a select few operators offering them to players. Such bonuses are available to new customers immediately after registration and, as the name suggests, there is no need to load real money into your account to become eligible.
They are usually granted in the form of free spins or free credits, which players can use to try out the newest or the hottest games on the casinos’ portfolios. There are no strings attached to such offers where wagering is concerned but sooner or later, you will have to deposit into your casino account to release your winnings.
This way, you can get a good feel of what the casino is all about in advance and potentially earn yourself some real cash. Of course, to hinder bonus hunters from abusing these generous offers, the online casinos would sometimes restrict the maximum amount you can cash out in winnings. If you have earned $135 but the cap is $100, the remainder of $35 will be removed from your balance after you cash out. This is hardly an amount to drool over but hey, it is still free money.
Reload bonuses work roughly in the same manner as welcome bonuses, the only difference being they are granted to existing customers of the casino upon their subsequent deposits. Sometimes these bonuses are offered exclusively via email to the most loyal players at a given casino.
Some gambling websites would offer one reload bonus per month while others would do it more frequently. There are even smaller payment-method bonuses of around 10% to 20% for players depositing vie specific banking solutions.
Cashbacks are easily among the most valuable bonuses you can redeem at no-wagering casinos. These are practically reimbursements on the deposits you have lost entirely during a bad run. This tactic enables the casinos to keep their customers happy so that they regularly return for more betting action. Cashbacks are commonly granted as a percentage match of the deposited amount.
Suppose you deposit $200 and opt in for a 20% cashback on the losses you incur. You lose your $200 but the casino then credits you with $40 in free monies or even cash. There is often a cap on the amount you can be reimbursed with. Some online casinos are generous enough to offer cashbacks on the overall amount you have wagered, regardless of whether you have lost it all or have registered some wins.
The majority of no-wagering casinos treat their players to free spins on popular slots from their libraries. These are usually available to both new and existing players and, when stripped of wagering requirements, are referred to as “fair” spins. There is no need to worry about the playthrough here as you get to keep whatever you have won with your free spins without wagering.
Some no-wagering casinos do not impose restrictions on the winnings you can cash out from your free spins, either. However, there may be a limit on the amount you are allowed to wager per free spin. For example, one of the casinos we have suggested below restricts players to $0.10 per free round. Those who fail to comply with the restriction will have their free spins and any resulting winnings annulled.
The Merits of Claiming No Wagering Bonuses
Luckily for players, the competition in this industry is so fierce that an increasing number of gambling operators are willing to drop bonus wagering altogether just to attract new customers and retain the action of existing ones. It makes sense gambling on such websites is rather advantageous for players.
To begin with, there are often no restrictions on the winnings you can withdraw from deposit-related bonuses – you get to keep everything without having to pour huge amounts of money on wagering your bonuses. This protects your bankroll and helps you exercise a better control over your gaming budget. Some casinos pay the winnings directly in cash so there is no need to worry you will fail to clear your wagering before your bonus expires.
Respectively, you do not have to comply with any restrictions related to game weightings. You can play any type of game you wish with your free credits, be it craps, roulette or baccarat, without the fear of bonus violation ruining your betting sessions. But of course, if you redeem no-wagering free spins, you will have no other option but to use them on slots.
Overall, the absence of wagering on the bonuses you claim gives you extra value, enables you to play more aggressively, and extends the duration of your betting sessions.
Online Casinos with No Wagering Bonuses
To prevent you from wasting your time and efforts, we have cherry-picked five of the best online casinos where you can benefit from attractive bonuses without having to combat the dreaded wagering requirements.
Some of the websites, like PlayOJO for example, have removed the wagering on all of their promotional offers. Others, like BGO, offer no wagering only on specific types of bonuses you may be interested in.
Playing in these casinos translates into more value for you, not to mention they all feature great gaming libraries with hundreds of original titles for you to enjoy. We have also taken the time to outline the most important conditions associated with the five casinos’ no-wagering offers.
- Qualifying Games – Book of Dead by Play'n GO
- Maximum Cashout – No maximum cashout cap
- Bet-size Restrictions - $0.10 per free spin
- Expiry – Not specified
- Excluded Customers – Players from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Brazil, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, Hungary, and China
- Minimum Deposit – No deposit is needed to obtain the bonus but you must confirm your mobile phone number after registration
- Qualifying Games – Fishing Frenzy, Eye of Horus, Diamond Jackpots, and Slots O' Gold
- Maximum Cashout – No maximum cashout (withdrawal fees may apply)
- Bet-size Restrictions - $0.10 per spin
- Expiry – 3 days after redemption
- Excluded Customers – Players from Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the USA, China, Australia, and other restricted territories
- 200% welcome bonus up to $100 (30x wagering) + 100 free spins without wagering
- Qualifying Games - Book of Dead by Play'n GO
- Maximum Cashout – No maximum cap
- Bet-size Restrictions - $5 per spin or currency equivalent
- Expiry – Wager-free spins expire after 24 hours
- Excluded Customers – Unavailable to Neteller, Skrill and Paysafecard depositors and players from Belarus, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Thailand, Albania, Lithuania,Slovakia, and Georgia
- 100% up to 200 + 11 free spins for new players
- Qualifying Games – Starburst by NetEnt
- Maximum Cashout – No maximum cap on cashouts
- Bet-size Restrictions - No restrictions apply to these free spins
- Expiry – Free spins expire 24 hours after activation
- Excluded Customers – Players from restricted locations such as Poland, Belgium, Ukraine, Greece, the USA, Portugal, France, Denmark, Australia, Romania, and Italy, among other countries
- Minimum Deposit – No deposit is required for this bonus, only text message verification
- Qualifying Games – Stars Ablaze, Zhao Cai Jin Bao, Berry Berry Bonanza, The Great Reveal, Gem Heat, and Vampire Princess of Darkness
- Maximum Cashout – No winnings cap
- Bet-size Restrictions – Not specified
- Expiry – 7 days after redemption
- Excluded Customers – The offer is valid for customers from Ireland and the UK