Bookmakers Wagering Requirements explained
If you’ve patronized the online bookmakers for any length of time, you have certainly taken advantage of the great welcome offers, free bets and other incentives the bookies offer these days to persuade your business to their side vs one of their many competitors. And when you start enjoying those free bets and money the words “wagering requirements” and “bonus rollover” begin to creep up on you. The truth is that many new customers of the online sports betting websites rarely bother to read the fine print, which sometimes may result in some bad experiences when it’s time to cash out your winnings. Here we will take a deeper look at the dreaded wagering requirements all bookmakers attach to their welcome bonuses and other promotions involving either free bets or free money of some form.
First, let’s start with the very basics – what are wagering requirements, when it comes to the sports betting side of the bookmakers (their casinos also have them, but they are a topic for a different discussion). Simply put, the wagering requirements, or bonus rollover, as called by some bookmakers, is an amount the punter must wager when they get free bets from the online bookies, before they can cash out that bonus.
There is nothing sinister in this, it’s simply part of the means and ways the sports betting websites protect themselves from the many scammers and thieves on the internet. Imagine for a second that the online bookmakers didn’t attach the wagering requirements to their welcome bonus offers. If the average welcome bonus is £20, anyone can open a betting account with 10 bookies, get the welcome bonus, withdraw the money and in a matter of a couple of hours they’d be £200 richer and each bookie would’ve just given this random person £20 for nothing. Clearly this is no way to run a business – giving away money and whatnot. At the same time, the online bookmakers certainly want to be able to use the bonus and free bet for new customers as a tool to compete not only with each other, but with the High Street bookie shops, as well. So in order the strike a middle ground, the wagering requirements were introduced, giving both the punter and the bookie a chance of winning money.
So how do the wagering requirements work? Rather simple, really. The betting site will post the wagering requirements of a free money offer and more often then not, it will be expressed as how many times you have to wager the bonus amount before it becomes eligible for a withdrawal. Let’s use an example: a bookmaker could offer a £20 welcome bonus to new customers of the betting website with 4x (four times) wagering requirement. Simply put, this means that the bonus amount must be wagered 4 times its value, before you can cash it out. Thus in our example, the punter must place bets worth at least £80, before he or she can withdraw the free £20. Now, you can place 4 winning £5 bets or one winning £20 bet, then do it over again until you reach the £80 worth of wagers, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you place a total of £80 or more worth of wagers.
|Tip: You can visit our free bets section to compare the current bonus offers from the top bookmakers.|
Keep in mind that you should still read the bonus terms and conditions, because, depending on the bookmaker and the particular free bet offer, in some cases you need to meet the wagering requirements to withdraw the bonus amount, while in other cases you must meet the wagering requirements to cash out not only the bonus, but all winnings resulting from that bonus. In other situations, the bonus may be tied to a deposit, for example “deposit £20 and get £20 free”, and in addition, the wagering requirements could include the bonus+deposit amount; or to use our previous example, the wagering amount would be 4x(bonus+deposit)=4x(£20+£20)=£160, instead of just £80.
Bottom line is that once you’ve understood what are the wagering requirements and how the work, you should still peruse the full terms and conditions of the particular bonus offer at the bookmaker, in order to spot these little intricacies that may creep up. But on the whole, the free bets and the free bonus money offered by the online bookmakers are a great way to try your luck with some free money from the bookies. Just don’t expect to be handed free bets without any strings attached, as they say – there is no such thing as free lunch.