Everybody loves getting stuff for free, and that’s why online casinos offer casino bonuses! While land-based casinos offer free drinks, meal vouchers and casino credits, online casinos only have one option: to give players welcome bonuses and offer ongoing casino promotions. Online casino bonuses can be so lucrative that players will specifically sign up with a casino based solely on their bonus structure. But, what most people don’t think about is the playthrough requirements attached to the bonus and deposit amounts.
What are Playthroughs?
If you take the time to read the fine print, you will realise that each and every casino bonus comes with a wagering requirement of some sort. It doesn’t matter how big or small the bonus may be, the fact is that you cannot just spend the cash without any consequences. The most popular type of casino bonus offered in Canada is the cash-match welcome bonus. This is usually a 100% cash match up to a certain cash limit, say $200. In this case, if a player deposits $200, the casino will match the amount and their casino account will reflect a full $400.
In an ideal world, players would simply be able to log in, play a few rounds of slots and cash out their bonus. Online casinos would not be able to profit from this and would quickly stop offering casino bonuses altogether. The way online casinos ensure that they get their money back is to link specific wagering requirements to the bonus and sometimes the deposit. These are known as playthrough requirements as they require players to wager a certain amount before they can cash out their bonus or any subsequent winnings.
Understanding the Multiplication Symbol
Playthrough requirements are not difficult to understand. In fact, once you get used to how they work, you can quickly determine if a casino bonus is worth taking up or not. In most cases, a playthrough requirement will be expressed as a multiple, for example 4x or 5x. This simply means 4 times or 5 times. What it is referring to is the multiplication number attached to the bonus amount, and in some cases the bonus and deposit amount combined. For now, let’s assume that it is just the bonus amount.
If you are looking at a casino bonus with a playthrough requirement of 20x and you make a deposit of $100 with a 100% cash match, this means that your “bonus” amount is also $100, as this is the amount the casino is giving you for free. The wagering requirements state that you will have to wager 20x your bonus amount before you can even think about cashing out your winnings or any part of your bonus. In monetary terms, it means that you will have to wager a full $2000 at the casino before you can cash out your deposit.
Lower is Better
If you decided to deposit the maximum of $200, your bonus amount is also $200 and the amount you would have to wager at the casino jumps to $4000. This puts things in perspective. A different casino might offer the same bonus with a 12x wagering requirement. For the same deposit, players would only be required to wager $2400 instead of $4000. As you can see, it pays to look for the lowest playthrough requirements possible.
Check the Playthrough Percentages on Casino Games
One other thing to keep a lookout for is the wagering percentage of each individual casino game. Not all casino games count 100% towards wagering requirements. Games like slots and those with a high house edge will count 100%, but games like blackjack or video poker might only count 20% or 30%. This means that you would have to play even more games and make more wagers to get through your wagering requirements and claim your bonus cash.