So, you’ve found an esports betting site you want to sign up with, and are delighted to discover the vendor offers a welcome bonus for new punters who register an account. Sign-up bonuses can provide an excellent way to kick start your esports betting experience, but you need to be aware that certain wagering requirements are usually specified within the terms and conditions of any bonus offer. We explain what wagering requirements are, how they work and how you can clear wagering requirements to claim your esports betting bonuses.
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What is a wagering requirement?
A wagering requirement is a condition attached to any bonus or promotion offered at an online betting site. It refers to the amount of money you must deposit and wager at a betting site before you can actually get access to the bonus money.
These annoying stipulations are also known as play-through requirements or roll-over rates, and are usually hidden deep in the fine print of a promotions terms and conditions, so many bettors don’t know they exist until it comes time to withdraw their winnings and they are met with disappointment.
Understanding how wagering requirements work and what you need to do to meet these requirements can save you a lot of frustration, and will also help you identify the good esports betting bonus offers from the bad.
Wagering requirement example
When we talk about wagering requirements, we’re not talking about measly amounts here. Wagering requirements attached to matched deposit bonuses typically fall anywhere between 10X and 40X the size of the deposit, depending on the betting site and the bonus being offered.
Let’s take the esports betting bonus offered at Betsson.com at the time of writing, for example.
Betsson offers new depositors double the amount of their first deposit, capped at €75. This means if you deposit €75, Betsson will match your deposit by an additional €75, giving you €150 all up to bet with.
But it’s not as simple as that – Betsson’s new player bonus comes with a 10X wagering requirement attached, which means to withdraw that €75 bonus, you would actually need to deposit and wager €750 before you can get access to those bonus funds. To add insult to injury, this wagering requirement must be cleared within 30 days of opening your account.
Or put simply: A €75 bonus with a 10X wagering requirement = €750 in deposits required before the bonus money is yours, with one month to meet the €750 deposit requirements before your bonus money is forfeited entirely.
This is all well and good for high-stake bettors who intend to place large wagers, but for those recreational esports bettors who just want to lay down a few small bets here and there on their favourite teams, chances are you may never meet the wagering requirements.
What is the deal with wagering requirements?
Now that you know how wagering requirements work, you must be thinking what the hell is the point, right?
While it’s inarguable that wagering requirements suck, there is a pretty good reason why they exist. Basically, wagering requirements allow online sports bookies to offer sign-up bonuses and other matched deposit promotions without the fear of their business going under.
In the early days of online gambling, wagering requirements did not exist, so bettors would just sign up with as many gambling sites as possible, withdraw the bonus money and then bail, never to spend a cent at the site ever again. Obviously, this is a very poor model for any business, so bookies were forced to apply wagering requirements to avoid being exploited by dodgy bonus-hunters.
Are bonus offers still worth it?
Wagering requirements are a necessary evil to protect online betting sites from staying in business, and although they are beyond irritating, it doesn’t mean bonus offers are without any value. If you’re a hi-stake bettor or someone who frequently places decent mid-size deposits and bets, clearing wagering requirements may be simple for you and you’ll get access to the bonus funds with no sweat.
It’s the more casual esports gamblers that will really be impacted by the wagering requirements, with low-stake punters likely having to come to terms with the fact they may not bet enough within the required time frame to benefit from the bonus offer or free bets advertised.
Other terms and conditions in esports bonuses
We cannot stress enough how important it is to read the terms and conditions of any promotional offer at an online betting site, as there can be all kinds of terms attached in addition to the wagering requirements.
Following on with the Betsson bonus offer example used above, here are some of the other conditions attached, which are typical of bonus terms offered at major betting sites:
- The welcome bonus is not available to punters who deposit using Neteller or Skrill
- The bonus offer is only available to players from specified countries (just because a betting site accepts sign-ups from your region, it doesn’t mean the advertised bonus offer will be available to you)
- Bonus offers are available once per customer, IP address or household
- If wagering requirements are attempted to be met by betting on both sides of an outcome across any affiliated brands, the bonus will be forfeited.
Wagering requirements, terms and conditions vary hugely from betting site to betting site, so always read the fine print before handing over your money.