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A Call for Industry Reformation: Making Online Casino Bonus Terms Unbreakable

23 March 2010 by Devon Chappell

Here at Online Casino Suite, we have seen our fair share of complaints from players regarding non-payment of winnings. Now, you might be wondering how an online casino could possibly get away with not paying players. The simple answer is that they simply do not pay – that’s how. Needless to say, online casinos like that have a place on the OCS Online Casino Blacklist.

But what if the casino has a right not to pay? This is where things get messy. And yes, the bulk of non-payment complaints we receive are when the casino has a right not to pay. In other words, the player is shit out of luck.

What ends up happening most of the time is that the player claims a bonus, does not read the fine print for cashing out winnings derived from bonus play, then, inadvertently breaks one of these very terms. Come cashout time, the casino says it’s a no-go, and the player responds by crying bloody murder and usually goes on a rant to defame the online casino.

Certainly, the casino does have a right to deny a player winnings when those winnings were incurred while breaking the rules. However, the casino does not have the right to be an irresponsible online gambling operator and bait the player into claiming a bonus, while making it nigh impossible to find the bonus T&C’s. Nor should they allow players to wager on the exempted games, knowing all to well, they will be denied a withdrawal sooner or later…more likely, later. But here, my friends, is where we enter the territory of “industry reformation”.

You see, there are no industry regulations requiring that an online casino must ensure a player has read the T&C’s before claiming a bonus, i.e., a check box that must be clicked at the bottom of the posted terms before the bonus can be issued. Furthermore, there are no safety mechanisms in the software platform that automatically blocks certain games from being played while a bonus play-through requirement is still being met.

And I don’t want to hear the excuse “it’s too complicated”. If online casinos can impose wagering limits and blocks on player accounts, the technology is certainly available to place blocks on certain games. FYI, the number one reason why players are denied winnings from bonus play are because exempted games were wagered on with bonus money before the play-through was met.

In the meantime, yes, it’s the player’s responsibility to read the bonus T&C’s. Those players who have been burned – usually for the first time claiming a bonus – you can bet your bankroll they won’t make the same mistake again. However, what the online gambling industry as a whole fails to realize is that many of these newbie players don’t even give online gambling a second chance. Rather, they go around talking trash about the online casino and online gambling in general, and the industry’s credibility suffers as a result.

What it comes down to is fostering a higher standard of operator responsibility. Online Casino Suite is devoted to this cause. Are you? If so, leave us your comments with ideas. In the meantime, OCS will be starting a lobbying campaign to get regulators and software developers to address what has a become a major issue – one if left unchecked will continue to give the online gambling industry a bad name.

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