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What Are Wagering Requirements?

Terms & ConditionsIn today’s super competitive world of online betting, you’d be hard pressed to find an online sportsbook which doesn’t offer a range of bonuses and promotions to both new and existing customers.

When choosing which online betting site to use, therefore, it’s important to compare those offers and decide which are best for you. The overall value provided by the bonuses is one important thing to compare but the most important factor are the wagering requirements which may be applied to the bonuses.

What Exactly Are They?

Wagering requirements are the conditions you must meet to be able to withdraw any winnings which have been associated with a bonus deal.

All bonuses have terms and conditions and it’s these that stipulate what a punter must bet or wager to be able to withdraw bonus cash or winnings associated with that cash. Basically to benefit from any promotion you must meet these terms or requirements.

The good news here is that when it comes to sports betting bonuses any requirements are usually small and much more favorable for the punter than any other type of online gambing (bingo, poker, casino).

How Do Wagering Requirements Work?

In the case of sportsbook promotions, wagering requirements typically come in two diverse varieties depending on if the bonus is a deposit bonus or a free bet style deal.

Free Bets:

The first type of wagering requirement is most often applied to simple, free bet bonuses and will generally stipulate that a customer must place a certain bet in order to trigger the free bet or bets related to the promotion.

There will be a minimum amount needed as a first bet to trigger the free bet (bet £5 to get £20 for example) and also a minimum odds that first bet needs to be to release the bonus (usually 1.50 or 2.0).

Example:

William Hill Free BetWilliam Hill are currently running a bet £10 get £30 in free bets new customer offer. The terms and conditions stipulate the following (which in our opinion makes at a low wagering requirement bonus):

New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.

If you meet the initial wagering requirements the bonus is awarded. Any winnings from the free bet stakes can be accessed instantly but the free bet stake is not returned.

Free Bets With Low Wagering Requirements:

Bookmaker Offer Grade Offer Min Odds Claim
Betvictor
Bet £5 get £30 bonus 2.0
New customers only, 18+, T&C’s apply
Betfred
Bet £10 get £30 + 30 free spins 2.0
New customers only, 18+, T&C’s apply
Coral
Bet £5 get £20 1.50
New customers only, 18+, T&C’s apply
888Sport
Bet £10 get £30 1.50
New customers only, 18+, T&C’s apply
William Hill
Bet £10 get £30 1.50
New customers only, 18+, T&C’s apply

Deposit Bonuses:

The second main variety of wagering requirements are those attached to matched deposit style bonuses. Such bonuses provide punters with free bet funds matched to a certain percentage of their (usually initial) deposit with the company in question.

The wagering requirements of these promotions, tend to dictate that punters must bet a specific total amount through their account before any winnings earned from use of their bonus funds become withdrawable.

The total amount required in order to make those winnings withdrawable will differ from one bonus to another, as will the types of bet that contribute to the requirements.

Example:

A popular UK bookmaker used to run a 100% deposit bonus up to £200 for all new players. So if you deposit £100 you’ll be eligible for a £100 bonus.

To release your bonus funds you must bet your deposit amount with the company once (1x) meaning you must place £100 in bets to release the bonus £100.

To withdraw these bonus funds and any winnings associated with them you must meet their 3x deposit + bonus amount requirements. So in this example you’d have to place another £600 worth of bets with the bookmaker to withdraw from the promotion.

NOTE: currently no online bookmakers we recommend are offering deposit bonus deals.

Why are Wagering Requirements Used?

Now that we understand exactly what wagering requirements are and how they generally work in practice, the only question left to ask is why online sports betting companies apply them to their offers. In the simplest possible terms, the answer to that question is that they prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking unfair advantage of offers and promotions.

As much as bookmakers want their promotions to benefit customers, after all, they also want the offers to secure the actual custom of those punters. Terms and Conditions ensure that anyone who benefits from a bonus run by the company in question do need to actually bet with the company – even if only once. No one, therefore, can sign up for an account with a bookmaker, claim a bonus and then simply walk away with those funds without ever placing a bet.

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the Cheeky Punter
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.