What makes a good online casino Welcome Bonus? In most cases, the ultimate value comes not from what you receive as part of your signup bonus in terms of deposit matches, free spins, etc., but rather the wagering requirements that come as part of the deal.
We feature a number of online casinos that have lower-than-average wagering requirements, which means you get better value from any signup offer. Check out the UK online casinos with the lowest playthrough listed below:
The wagering requirement (also known as the playthrough) attached to any Welcome Bonus is the amount of money you have to wager before you can cash out any of the bonus you receive (although it should be noted that most bonus sums are non-cashable), or before you can cash out any winnings you make from your bonus cash or free spins. The playthrough is generally expressed as a multiple, and the industry average wagering requirement today is 40x.
All of the online mobile casinos that we feature here have wagering requirements attached to any bonus they offer you, whether it’s a welcome bonus or a bonus you receive later once you’ve signed up for an account and started playing. It’s important when you’re considering any casino signup bonus that you always make sure that you read the T&Cs and get all the information you can on the playthrough, as in the end this will be the deciding factor as to whether you’re getting value or not.
For instance, make sure that you take note whether the playthrough applies only to the bonus sum you receive, or whether it applies to both your deposit plus the bonus. If you see what appears to be an exceptionally low wagering requirement, look more closely as it may be the case that it is applied to both, rather than just the bonus sum alone.
The wagering requirement at the UK online casinos that we recommend will usually be expressed as a multiple e.g., 40x.
What this means is that either the bonus amount you receive, or the bonus plus your deposit combined, needs to be wagered this many times before any winnings from your bonus can be cashed out, or before you can withdraw any of the free bonus cash you received if that amount is cashable.
To explain more fully: you sign up for a Welcome Bonus at one of our recommended online casinos, and the deal gives you a 100% match on your first deposit (up to £100) and comes with a 40x wagering requirement, which is applied to the bonus sum only. You decide to claim the full bonus amount and so deposit £100; this means you’re automatically awarded a £100 bonus as well, so you now have a bankroll of £200.
Before you can cash out any winnings that you make when playing with your £100 free bonus cash, you have to wager this amount 40x i.e., you’re required to wager £4,000 (40 x £100) before you can withdraw any bonus winnings. If it was the case that the playthrough applied to your deposit + bonus, then you would have to wager £8,000 (40 x £200) before you’re in a position to cash out.
However, it’s important to remember that this refers to how much you have wager, not how much you have to lose, as some newcomers to online casinos think!
Another factor that has to be considered when you’re looking at the wagering requirement applied to a Welcome Bonus is the rate at which games contribute towards helping you to clear the bonus. Not all games are equal in this respect, and some will help you to meet the playthrough quicker than others
For instance, at the online casinos we feature here, when you wager £1 on most slots games, this counts as £1 towards clearing the bonus. However, you need to note the T&Cs at any site you play at, because at some casinos progressive jackpot slots count towards the playthrough, while at others they don’t. Also, some of our online casinos have restricted slots lists, where particular games contribute to meeting the wagering requirements less than 100%.
You’ll also find that at most of the casinos we feature, table games and live casino games make a much smaller contribution to clearing the bonus than slots (and at some, no contribution at all), so if you’re a slots player who also likes to play a little blackjack or craps as well, it pays to be clear as to which games are helping you to clear the bonus and which aren’t.
Other points to be aware of are that at most online casinos, until you’ve met the wagering requirements and cleared the bonus, there will be maximum bet limits in play on all games, usually in the region of £5 or £10. Also, check that you know how long you have to clear the bonus — at most casinos, you’ll have around 30 days in which to meet the playthrough, after which time if you have any bonus cash left, it will be lost, as will any winnings made from playing with the bonus, so ensure you’re aware of this at the time you sign up.
We feature a range of UK online casinos with low wagering requirements, and these offer great value as well as different types of Welcome Bonus offers, designed to suit all types of players. Check out the best low playthrough UK online casinos below.
The best way to get the full value from an online casino Welcome Bonus and to clear the bonus quickly is to be fully informed before you sign up. Make sure you understand what the wagering requirements are and whether they apply just to your bonus or to your bonus plus deposit, know which games contribute to meeting the playthrough 100% and which games don’t help you to clear the bonus at all, as well as how long you