Low Wagering Bingo Sites
Some bingo sites have reduced their wagering requirements without getting rid of them altogether and here are some of the best such offers for 2023.
Bingo Sites With No Wagering Requirements
No Wagering bingo sites are the latest thing in online bingo and a great many of the new bingo sites launched in the last couple of years are No Wagering. But what exactly does No Wagering mean?
- Wagering Requirement Gripes
- The CMA Investigation
- Welcome Offer Changes
- What About Existing Players?
- No Wagering Bingo – The Future
Wagering Requirement Gripes
If there’s one thing that bingo players – and slots players for that matter – unanimously hate, it’s wagering requirements. It’s a toss up as to whether these are more annoying when attached to bonuses which expire, or when attached to bonuses that don’t. An expiry time puts pressure on the player to play through the bonus and complete the wagering requirement in the allotted time – but if there is no expiry time, the wagering requirement can hang around for quite literally years, especially if it is the kind that can only be filled by bonus play and bonus comes last in the play order.
Normally as long as there is a wagering requirement in effect, making a cash withdrawal causes any remaining bonus and its associated winnings to disappear, even if the cash represents winnings from a subsequent deposit or different type of bonus where the wagering requirement has been completed. For example, if you have only bingo bonus in your account and deposit again to get a slot bonus or free spins offer, win on slots and play through any slots related wagering requirement, you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings without losing the pending bingo bonus and you won’t be able to use the remaining bingo bonus as long as there is cash in your account – a most unsatisfactory state of affairs! At online bingo sites with no wagering requirements there is no need to worry about any of that stuff.
The CMA Investigation
It’s not only players that dislike wagering requirements. The Gambling Commission and the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) carried out a three year investigation – with attendant enforcement action – into whether online gambling firms were treating their customers fairly.
The CMA took the view that wagering requirements must relate to the bonus only and that there must be no obstacle to withdrawing any remaining deposit or any winnings from the deposit. Many of the CMA changes had to be made by 1st March 2018, others took effect that summer and others are still being worked through. They weren’t all about wagering requirements either – another thing that came out of the investigation was the removal of withdrawal limits for UK players.
Welcome Offer Changes
Operators responded to the CMA investigation in many different ways. Some changed the wagering requirement so as not to include the deposit amount – e g 4 x bonus rather than 4 x (deposit + bonus) – but did little else, retaining the stipulation that any remaining bonus is lost when a withdrawal is made. Other operators made more radical changes and changed their welcome offer to one of the following:
- Bingo bonus that is non withdrawable, but the winnings are withdrawable (essentially, the 1 x playthrough requirement that is needed to comply with anti money laundering regulations). Clearly this is better than having a higher multiple wagering requirement, but it does make a difference
- What the play order is – cash first, bonus first or proportionally split (e.g with a £10 cash balance and £30 bonus, the stake and any winnings would be split 25% cash and 75% bonus
- Whether cash play counts towards the wagering requirement
- One to avoid is where the play order is cash first and only bonus play counts towards the wagering requirement – as then, the bonus will sit at the far end of the play order until all the cash is gone and only after that will the wagering requirement start to be filled
- The Dragonfish No Wagering Bingo approach as first seen at Blighty Bingo – free bingo tickets for specific bingo rooms or specific bingo games, with any winnings paid in withdrawable cash – less flexible than a bingo bonus, but no worries about play order.
- “Free” slot spins as well as or instead of a bingo offer. We use the quotation marks because many “free” spins offers come with so much objectionable small print.
- A “free spins” offer instead of a bingo bonus offer is of little benefit if the winnings from the spins are paid as a slot bonus with a huge wagering requirement – all that it has going for it is that the player only incurs the wagering requirement if they actually win anything.
- On the other hand, the sort of free spins offer where the winnings are paid in cash is much more attractive. Even amongst these, there is variation as many of these offers (at Dragonfish, for instance) apply a cap to what can be won from free spins and there are only a few – Heart Bingo for instance – that don’t.
Arguably the best of the new style welcome offers are those which consist entirely of no-strings free slot machine spins or bingo tickets with winnings paid as withdrawable cash. It should be noted though, that these offers are not entirely free of wagering requirements because in order to qualify in the first place, players first have to deposit and spend the required amount (usually £10+).
What About Existing Players?
Wagering requirements don’t just apply to welcome offers, of course – they can also apply in loyalty programs and other promotions for existing players and in some ways this can be even more annoying. If the prize in a free bingo, prize draw or bonus game promotion is a bonus with a time limit, and the play order means that cash is played first, the prize will be worthless to some players as it can’t be accessed without playing though all the cash in the account first (unfortunately this has been a problem at quite a few well known bingo sites including Sun Bingo).
We expected this sort of promotion to be affected by the CMA enforcement action and become fairer for players, either by changing the play order so the bonus is used first or by removing the time limit, the wagering requirement or both and indeed, there are some indications that this is already happening. Best of all, of course, is for prizes to be cash.
The best No Wagering bingo sites have no wagering requirements on anything ever as well as none on the welcome offer – you always win cash and can withdraw what you win.
No Wagering Bingo – The Future
During 2019 a number of Dragonfish slot sites which had previously been No Wagering reverted to a conventional bonus offer, and in the autumn Dragonfish bingo site launches reverted to an old fashioned bingo bonus offer rather than the No Wagering free bingo tickets offer. BGO also switched several of their sites back to a welcome offer with wagering requirements. Does this mean that No Wagering Bingo is on the way out?
Not only was it looking like there wouldn’t be any more no wagering bingo sites on the Dragonfish platfom, the existing ones hit a further snag in Spring 2020. Until then the free bingo ticket offers had been advertised with a face value; for instance, “£40 free bingo tickets” for 4 tickets to the Big Bang £10K monthly game with each ticket having a face value of £10. The problem was:
- You couldn’t actually buy tickets to any of these games; the only way to get them was to be given free tickets in the welcome offer, via player promotions or as a loyalty program reward.
- Even if you could buy tickets, would anyone – at a massive £10 a ticket?
The most egregious example of the bingo ticket face value issue at Dragonfish has to be the Kaching room where 2000+ players every day play for a prize pool of just £35.
The face value of the tickets is 50p and well….you do the maths, they’re having a laugh, right?
It seems the relevant authorities were also unimpressed and now, a free bingo ticket offer can only be advertised with a monetary value if tickets for the game are also on sale for cash – so instead of £40 of tickets to the Kaching room, they now have to say 80 tickets to the Kaching room without mentioning anything about the 50p.
Some of these Dragonfish offers are still worth having, though, especially the ones at Lovehearts Bingo and sister sites where they hand out a substantial number of tickets for their own exclusive Royal Room offering bags of entertainment value.
Indeed, instead of being the death knell of No Wagering Bingo at Dragonfish, quite the reverse was the case and some new Dragonfish sites with No Wagering offers opened during 2021.
As for the future of no wagering bingo, our view is that it’s no longer enough for players for an offer just to be without wagering requirements. It has to be an otherwise attractive offer as well, and the problem with the Dragonfish offers as compared to the offers at say Double Bubble Bingo or Heart Bingo is that they give players no choice as to where to use their free tickets and the slot spins have a win cap of just a few pounds.
For operators, it’s not enough to have an attractive no-strings welcome offer either, if it’s not coupled with an entertaining and engaging ongoing player promotions schedule (step forward again, Double Bubble Bingo and Heart Bingo). After all, with no wagering requirements to tie them down, what else is there to keep players at a particular site? Without wagering requirements, operators really have to go the extra mile and that’s why we don’t expect there to be many (if any) new No Wagering bingo sites launched in 2023, and why many of the existing bingo sites with no wagering requirements are also the best bingo sites, full stop.
Most bingo bonus offers have a wagering requirement, meaning that anything you win will have to be played through multiple times before you can withdraw your winnings. At a No Wagering bingo site, anything you win from the welcome offer is yours to keep in cash.
No Wagering bingo offers don’t really have a downside. However, they are usually but not always less generous than bonus offers with a wagering requirement and in some cases there is a limit on what you can win with free spins. You will also normally have to complete some kind of play requirement in order to claim the offer in the first place.
The best bingo site to win on with no wagering, in terms of the size of prizes you can win, is Heart Bingo. Double Bubble Bingo and other Gamesys bingo sites also have big prizes with no limits on what you can win.