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Why Do Gambling Sites Have Wagering Requirements?

WhyWagering requirements are the way gambling sites protect themselves financially on the back of the sign up and welcome bonuses (not sure how they work? read our beginners guide to wagering requirements) that they offer to their potential customers.

Could you imagine if a company offered a £100 bonus for all new customers that signed up? It would be a free-for-all, and imagine the carnage if a bookmaker offered £50 in free bets to new customers without a catch. They would stand to lose thousands of pounds.

And so the main reason that companies incorporate such wagering requirements into their terms & conditions is to protect themselves from financial meltdown.

Let’s think about it logically. To access a £50 bonus, we may have to stake a grand total of £300 to withdraw it. Whilst staking the £300 there’s a chance we lose money, anymore than -£50 and we’re down even including the bonus (any less and we’re up though).

Where Did They Come From?

The problems all started when the first online gambling sites offered welcome bonuses and sign up offers.

These offerings were widely exposed and abused by punters who understood what a good way this was to essentially make ‘free money’.

Many would open multiple accounts, pick up the bonuses and withdraw the funds as soon as possible (known as bonus whoring). For a time at least, it was an absolute disaster for the online gambling industry.

After that, companies got a bit shrewder and closed many of the loopholes that were there to be exploited. They still wanted to attract new players by enticing them in with alluring bonuses and exciting offers, but they wanted a safety net that ensured they wouldn’t be bankrupted by the increased customer base.

And so….wagering requirements were born.

Why Are Some Wagering Requirements So High?

Companies offer such incredibly generous welcome bonuses and offers (or so they appears to beginners) because they want to attract their custom.


They want to do all they can to minimise the risk of anyone actually accessing this pot of cash so they slap on massive play through terms making it impossible to ever really cash out the bonus.

It is, in essence, a bit of a scam on their part, yet they are perfectly entitled legally to do so as long as the details are clearly set out in their terms & conditions.

A great example is that of Sky Casino, the sister company to Sky Bet. Just take a look at their wagering requirements:

  • A no deposit welcome bonus of £20 for all new players (oooh yes please!)
  • “The £20 Completely Free bonus must be played through 50 times before it can be withdrawn.”

That’s £1000 staked before you can get your more… it’s pretty much impossible to do that starting with a £20 bank.

So it’s not a ‘bonus’ or a ‘warm welcome’ at all, as the vast majority of players will never play through £1000 in their lifetimes let alone in order to get their hands on a measly £20. For the casual player, and those without an extensive bankroll, it is almost impossible for them to actually ever get their bonus.

Do Any Bonuses Or Free Bets Have Low Requirements?

The good news here is the answer is YES and it’s often sports bonuses/free bets that have the best terms for punters.

Just take a look at our low wagering requirement free bets list.

Why are they lower? Well there are a few reasons…

– the bonuses tend to be small so it’s lets risk for the bookies.
– there’s lots of competition so all bookmakers want to appear attractive.
– traditionally bookmakers will gamble more with their punters than a casino will and that stands strong here.

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Dean Wyatt

Author: Dean Wyatt

Dean Wyatt is the founder and editor here at Acca Nation. He’s been betting sports for over 20 years and is a profitable sports trader on the exchanges.

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