Bingo sites need a way to safeguard their promotional offers and ultimately their finances! Most sites offer some form of free bingo to players in the way of a deposit bonus, this is used to entice new players to wager at their site. But of course, minimum wager requirements do come into play and to be honest it's not always clearly displayed. You may have to hunt around to find out what they are at the site you are playing at.
The general idea works like this. If a player deposits X amount of money on the site, the bingo site will in return double, treble or perhaps multiply their deposit by even more than that, with plenty of free bonus money offered to their player to boost their balance. This is where the minimum wagering requirements come in.
Minimum wagering requirements are a way of ensuring that this cannot happen. The bingo sites (and all other gambling sites that offer bonuses) have come up with a system that means that a player must accomplish a series of wagers up to a predetermined amount before they are allowed to withdraw their winnings. It is perfectly fair and usually completely transparent, and all details regarding the minimum wagering requirements are available for all to see under the terms and conditions part of the bingo site.
Because the bonuses in online bingo vary so greatly, it is common sense then that there is no such thing as one almighty minimum wagering requirement across all the bingo sites on the internet. Instead, there are many different wagering requirements and just which one you will be required to fulfil before you can withdraw your winnings, depends greatly on what bonus it is that you are receiving and of course, what bingo site you are currently playing at.
One of the most common minimum wagering requirements is one which stipulates that you must wager a given amount before you can withdraw. In most cases, this means that at least the bonus you have received when you joined the site and made your first deposit, must be wagered and spent in its entirety before you can withdraw your funds. This way the bingo site ensures that you cannot walk away with bonus money having not wagered a penny. It works as follows. If you were to deposit £10 into your online bingo account, and were given an additional £20 free; then you must wager the £20 bonus at least in order to be able to withdraw your original £10, plus any winnings you may have acquired with your bonus money wagered. However, most bingo sites think that this is too simple (for it still permits you to wager free in essence), so many will demand that you wager the bonus amount at least twice, perhaps thrice, thereby cutting into your deposited money. This is perfectly fair, because you are at the online bingo site to gamble and play bingo after all, are you not?
Another way bingo sites might use their minimum wagering requirement method is to divide your bonus and your deposit up into two separate funds. This way it is impossible for you to withdraw your bonus, or even to use it for side-games that the bingo site offers. Instead your bonus is accessible only for what it was intended; to purchase bingo games with. This method is more popular amongst bingo players it seems, because they no longer have to read the terms and conditions of the bonus as thoroughly because anything they win on the side games will be by using their own deposited funds, and will therefore be eligible for withdrawal. The bonus money will still need to spent however if they are to withdraw any of their winnings acquired through the use of their bonus, in much the same minimum wagering requirement as mentioned above.
Minimum wagering requirements do not just apply to withdrawals however. They can also be applied to bonuses that you want to claim. For instance, there are plenty of bingo bonuses out there that stipulate that in order to claim such a bonus, you must wager at least X amount of pounds on bingo tickets. This is just one more way that online bingo sites can insure themselves against any player seeking to take them and their bonuses for a ride, to claim a free meal. Minimum wagering requirements are not really there to frustrate the player, instead they are there to ensure fair play between the bingo site and the player, and to ensure that the player does wager at least a little bit, on bingo games.