Wagering Requirements and the True Value of Casino Bonus Offers

September 12, 2014


When it comes to online casino bonuses, you almost always have to deal with wagering requirements. Also known as play-through requirements, the whole idea is that you need to put forward enough bets to prove that you were wanting to play for real instead of just abusing and exploiting bonus offers. While these requirements are in place, they don't mean that you'll always have to deal with unprofitable situations when it comes to casino specials. We want to show you how to figure out how much value you're really get once all of the wagering requirements are over with.

There are a few pieces of information you're going to need. You'll need to know the size of the bonus, the wagering requirement for the game you want to play and the house advantage for the game you want to play. Let's walk through this with an example from European roulette which has a 2.7 percent house advantage on all bets. Suppose that we have a 75 percent match bonus with a 20x wagering requirement. If we deposit $100, we'll get a $75 bonus, and that means we'll need to play through 20 x $175 = $3,500 before we can cash out.

So here's where this calculation gets interesting. We'll lose, on average, 2.7 percent of that $3,500 while we clear the requirements. That comes out to a total of $94.50. We're only getting a bonus of $75, so we will actually end up with an average loss of $19.50 during that time period. This is obviously a raw deal. So what happens if we increase the percent match? Will things get better? Let's find out.

Instead of getting a 75 percent deal, let's make it a 125 percent match. Now we make a $100 deposit to get a $125 bonus with wagering requirements of 20 x $225 = $4,500. The house advantage of 2.7 percent of that amount means we'll lose an average of $121.50 during that play, so we'll actually be averaging a profit with these changes of about $3.50. As you can see, raising the percent match increases our profitability as long as everything else stays the same. We could also increase our profitability by playing a game with a lower house advantage, but we will have to work around the general game restrictions for the offer we are looking into.