Online casinos can be heaps of fun. Playing the games, getting caught up in the excitement of a win, and upping the stakes. But do you know what’s not fun? Reading all their terms and conditions, or the terms and conditions of anything! All that fine print can be enough to do anyone’s head in, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important for companies to have them – especially online casinos.
The terms and conditions of the casino that you’re playing at are often long and complex, full of legal jargon and words that you need a dictionary to look up. Either that, or they are short and sweet, and seem like they’re lacking something – or hiding something.
When it comes to online casino T&Cs you’re wanting the former rather than the latter. Even though you might not want to read those T&Cs in full, they must be all out in the open; ready for you, the reader, to examine in a bit more detail, should you wish to dive in.
So, why do you want reams of pages of T&Cs? Isn’t that information overload? Nope – and here’s why.
Aren’t T&Cs for operators to protect themselves from players trying to rip them off?
Every online casino that you play at has some great welcome bonuses for players, and people like to shop around for the best deals. No deposit and free spin bonuses are wildly popular, thanks to not having to drop any coin to sign up and play.
Casinos put some pretty strict terms and conditions around these bonuses so that players cannot have more than one account. This includes terms like not being able to play from the same IP and not being able to have the same address on different accounts. If they weren’t so strict around these rules, everyone would be able to get almost unlimited free money – and what kind of business would they be able to run then?
It’s not simply a service for providing fun and money to people, they need to turn a profit or they will be out of business in a flash.
But that’s not the only reason that these bonus terms and conditions are laid out with so many rules. Let’s not forget that T&Cs are there not only to safeguard the operator from players who may be tempted to use and abuse no deposit bonus offers or other deals.
They’re also there to protect the player. When a casino has clearly structured and well-defined terms, the player is equipped with all the necessary information and can thus make an educated decision.
Imagine if you were playing for 12 hours before you realize that the free money bonus that you’re playing with is pretty much near impossible to be able to get a cash out on. What a waste! Instead, with clear T&Cs, before playing, customers can gauge whether accepting a bonus will be worth their time and effort.
It’s the law – for consumer protection
Many online casinos have fallen foul of the authorities, thanks to not putting the right details in their terms and conditions.
For instance, in March 2018, BGO Entertainment Limited had to make agreements with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK to be quite clear in their promotional terms and conditions for their bonuses.
They were also required to remove terms where people needed to play more than once before they could withdraw their own money, terms where players could not withdraw the full amount of their own money because of minimum withdrawal limits, plus terms which mean players were automatically included in publicity activities for the casino.
The most important term that they needed to change, decreed by the CMA, was what that terms themselves couldn’t change on a player after they’d already signed in; if terms were to change, then the players would still be operating under grandfather terms that they sign onto.
This was to come in line with consumer protection law that deemed certain terms to be unfair and potentially also misleading. Another three companies, PT Entertainment, Ladbrokes, and William Hill were required to make the same changes.
It’s there for you, the player, to consult at any time
Terms and conditions are like a digital paper trail. That means if something goes wrong – either from your end or the casino’s end – both you and the casino have a reference to draw from to see who is right.
Imagine if you won $500 on a slot, after getting a free bonus of $100 to play with. You have met the terms and conditions, by playing through that $100 15 times over on the right games, as per the casino’s 15X wagering requirement, but they say you haven’t met the conditions. Now, because those terms and conditions are available to you, you have proof that you deserve to be able to cash out that money.
And if they refuse to pay up, claiming you’re wrong? Well, now you have the proof that you are right and you can take them to court, given you’re playing within the right jurisdiction and within the rest of their terms.
Having T&Cs out in the open is also handy for eagle-eyed players to spot something amiss, and to seek assistance on the matter with consumer protection bodies. Some of the dodgier casinos out there will have some fairly ridiculous T&Cs, which you can happily report to the authorities if you’re feeling like helping keep the casino landscape fairer for all players.
Comprehensive T&Cs help everyone
T&Cs are there for everyone: players, online casino operators, overseeing bodies, and even lawyers. While they may be long and annoying it’s better than the opposite, a wild west where people can get screwed over. So any time you have to scroll a zillion pages just to get to the fun stuff? Remember that it’s for a good reason.