Why You MUST Read Online Casino T&Cs!If you have ever bothered to trawl through the long and convoluted terms of any given casino, you'd correctly identify most of them as legal jargon, waffle and irrelevance to you the player. You would soon realize most of the content is pretty generic after reading the terms of 2 or 3 different sites. You'd see lines concerning 'intellectual property' (pretty obvious) and 'We are not a bank so do not pay interest on any balances' (oh! not again....zzzzz)
This unfortunately is no reason for complacency; when it comes to withdrawing winnings, ingorance is no defence! All too often a player may deposit £100, end up with several thousands and soon become bitterly disappointed and disillusioned because they will NOT be paid and most likely will have their deposit only refunded - and that's at a good casino.
So why does this happen all too-frequently? I will list in rough order of most commonly occurring the main reasons, or more to the point which terms the unpaid player falls foul of:
- 1. Overbetting while under a WR (bonus wagering requirement.) If you take a bonus there will always be a maximum stake. This may be a specified amount or percentage of the bonus for example no bet or slot spin exceeding £5, or 10% of the bonus amount. An addendum to this often will state "Including the use of double-up on table games and gamble function of slots." Imagine winning £2k on a small deposit and forfeiting it after spending hours meeting the wagering requirement. Always know these figures before commencing play!!
- 2. Advantage Play - this is a highly subjective term which many sites even have difficulty in quantifying themselves. It basically means players loading the odds in their favour by making small deposits and doing high risk gambling with the bonus funds and then winning and then playing out the remaining wagering on low-risk small bets. So, a player deposits £100 with a 100% bonus. He then places £10 roulette bets or high-value slots spins and quickly achieves a £600 balance. He then switches to a low-variance slot and leaves it on autoplay at £1 a spin. He has basically 'worked the maths' of the bonus to make it 'EV+'. This means that at 95p average return to the Pound and losing 5p per £1 spin, by the time he has completed say the remaining £2500 wagering requirement he would lose 2500x5p = £125. Take that from his £600 he would have a likely cash-out of circa £475, including the casino's £100 bonus he was given. Casinos WILL flag this, and you won't cash out!
- 3. Bonus Type - some casinos leave the bonus balance separate from your cash deposit, and you play the cash first. If you win well BEFORE touching the bonus funds, you can cash out without meeting the WR and forfeit the bonus funds. Unfortunately some casinos have a term in which your bonus plus deposit is ALL turned into bonus funds and nothing can be withdrawn until the WR is met, at which point all your balance suddenly becomes withdrawable cash funds. So, at some sites (Playtech for example) an attempt to withdraw before WR is met will void all your balance. Beware and check the bonus terms!
- 4. Duplicate Accounts - Imagine taking a bonus, winning and then withdrawing only to be told you were "not eligible for a bonus as you received one a year ago from another site in our group." The terms forbid any person from taking more than one bonus in the group. Always check the associated site list or ask Customer Service to confirm you can have a bonus if in any doubt. Don't play funds until you have!
- 5. Self-Exclusion - Same as #4 above. You win and withdraw only to be told you are SE'd from another site in the group thus ineligible to play. Just because the casino software allows you to open an account and play, don't assume it's all good to go without checking first, both your memory and the terms!
- 6. Multi-Accounting - You signed up, played and won but forgot you opened one there years back. They spotted this when you tried to withdraw. Some casinos may consider the old account 'dead' after for example a 2-year dormant period, but always check!
- 7. KYC (verification) Issues - ALL sites will require at some point proof of age, identity and address. They will state in their terms what forms these documents can take. Usually photo ID (passport/licence/ID card) and scan of the depositing card(s) plus a recent utility bill/bank statement. If using a webwallet a screenshot of the account. If you don't have all the listed documents to hand or any photo ID then beware of problems later which may delay/void payouts. I'd advise to get them before playing in all circumstances.
- 8. Same Address Accounts - If anybody else in your house/family plays at a site, check you re permitted to play there or have a bonus before depositing. Some may bar you, but some will allow it after they verify you.
- 9. Chargebacks - If you have ever charged back deliberately casino losses on cards, you are not welcome, they will identify you and in short they don't want your aggro and we don't want you either. Go away.
- 10. Providing Incorrect Information - Easily done, a typo in your sign-up form, a missing or incorrect digit in your phone number. The terms will give the casino a right to void winnings if they spot this. Simply go to the 'my account' menu after joining the site (before depositing) and check your details!
The list above might seem long to some, but it all boils down to two things: Join a reputable site, and check those vital but simple terms!