What are wagering requirements?

What are wagering requirements?

Wagering requirements are something you will no-doubt com across when matched betting. They can apply to both sports and casino offers where a bonus or free spins are offered. 

In this article, we'll take a look at what wagering requirements are and how to handle them when matched betting.

What are wagering requirements?

Wagering requirements apply to bonuses. Bonuses are different from free bets as they are generally credited upon deposit rather than having to place a bet in order to receive them. As bonuses are generally credited immediately after deposit, to ensure that you can't simply withdraw your bonus right away without placing any bets, wagering requirements are placed on the bonus.

Wagering requirements require you to wager a certain amount before your bonus and/or winnings become withdrawable. The terms of the wagering requirement can vary with some requiring you to wager your deposit and bonus a certain amount of times and others requiring you to just wager the bonus. the amount of wagering can vary also. Wagering requirements for sports bonuses are generally lower than for casino bonuses. Sports bonuses usually have to be wagered anything from 1 to 10 times whereas casino bonus wagering requirements can be anything up to 99 times.

For example, if you received a £10 sports bonus with x 3 wagering, this means that you must place £30 (£10 x 3) worth of bets in order for you to withdraw your winnings.

If you received a £5 casino bonus with x 20 wagering, you would have to wager £100 (£5 x 20) before you could withdraw any winnings.

how to complete wagering requirements

Strategies for wagering bonuses differ between sports bonuses and casino bonuses but below we will be focusing on just sports bonuses. Please visit our casino section for information on wagering casino bonuses.

wagering sports bonuses

Let's use an example sports bonus offer:

  • Deposit £10 and get a £10 bonus (bonus must be wagered 3 times)

If we deposit £10 into our account, we will receive a £10 bonus instantly which would mean that our balance is £20. Remember, we can't withdraw the bonus yet. In order to do so, we must place £30 (£10 x 3) worth of bets.

We now need to place a series of back and lay bets in order to meet the wagering requirements.

With sports bonuses, the bonus as well as the winnings is usually withdrawable after wagering is complete. Therefore, when calculating our lay stakes using a matched betting calculator, we need to select the 'normal' option rather than 'free bet' as we can consider this bonus money cash as it eventually will be.

Let's say that we placed a £20 bet on a selection with back odds of 2.0 and lay odds of 2.05. 

Based on an exchange commission of 5%, our lay stake would be £20 with a liability of £21. We've included the calculator below if you'd like to try it.

You Could Lay £0.00
(Liability £0.00)
Back Wins
Profit £0.00
Lay Wins
Profit £0.00

Now, with sports bonuses, we don't always have to complete the wagering. Should our first bet win with the betting exchange, then we will have made a profit of £19 on the exchange but only lost £10 with the bookmaker as the other £10 of our back bet was the free bonus. This would give us an overall profit of £9.

If our initial bet wins with the bookmaker then we will have to complete wagering in order to withdraw our winnings. We would have incurred a £1 qualifying loss on this first bet.

Let's take a look at how our funds stand currently after this first bet.

  • Initial Deposit: -£10
  • Exchange: - £21
  • Bookmaker: £40
  • Total: +£9

Even though we have a positive balance of £9, we haven't completed wagering yet and so can't withdraw. We have place £20 worth of bets so need to place another £10 for our bonus to turn into cash.

We now place a £10 bet on a selection with back odds of 2.7 and lay odds of 2.75. 

Using the matched betting calculator, it tells us that we need to lay £10 and our lay bet has a liability of £17.50.

Below are the totals should our final bet win with the bookmaker or the exchange.

Wins with bookmaker:

  • We make an additional £17 profit which gives us a bookmaker balance of £57
  • We make an additional £17.50 loss which gives us an exchange balance of -£38.50 
  • We make an initial deposit of £10
  • Total profit = (£57 - £38.50 - £10) = £8.50

Wins with exchange:

  • We make a £10 loss which gives us a bookmaker balance of £30
  • We make £9.50 profit which gives us an exchange balance of -£11.50 
  • We make an initial deposit of £10
  • Total profit = (£30 - £11.50 - £10) = £8.50

As we have completed the wagering of the bonus, it will now be converted into cash in our account and can be withdrawn and we will have made a profit of £8.50 regardless of whether our bets win or lose.

You will make slightly more should your first bet lose with the bookmaker but a profit is still achievable even with high wagering requirements on sports bets.