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Online Gambling Disputes Part II – How to Avoid Getting into an Illegitimate Dispute

10 January 2010 by Devon Chappell
prevention01

Do Yourself a Favor - Read the Online Casino Terms & Conditions

I know what you’re thinking…Why the “Preventable Causes of Death” graphic? No, online gambling is not a preventable cause of death (thank God…although, the opposition will probably tell you otherwise). I use it as an extreme analogy. Obviously, if you quit smoking you are drastically increasing your chances of preventing death (for the time being, of course). That said, this blog post will teach you how to prevent getting into a dispute with an online casino, which if we’re talking thousands of dollar’s, could be like dying for some of you.

Continuing with our blog series covering online gambling disputes, let’s go back one step, shall we? In the last post, I dished out my two cents worth about how to behave yourself while attempting to resolve a dispute with an online casino. How about not getting into a dispute to begin with? Now, I’ve never been a huge proponent of holistic living (I drink way too much beer for that); However, it’s obvious to me that if you want to avoid getting sick, one of the best things you can do is to incorporate some preventive measures.

In the world of online gambling, the best preventive measure you can take, so as to avoid getting into a dispute come withdrawal time, is to get yourself educated. Of course, part of that includes sorting out the rogue online casinos from the good guys, and the mediocre from the best online casinos – by the way, only settle for the best :). But it shouldn’t end there, although it unfortunately often does with many gamblers.

After picking out a place to wager online, whether it be the bonus offering or customer service that becomes the deciding factor, the next best thing you can do to educate yourself is to read the general terms and conditions imposed by the online casino. Now, I know it can be one of the most boring activities ever to do online. Then again, I’m reminded of the painful experience of filing my taxes online and that driver’s correction course….So ya, it could be worse. And if you happen to break one of the T&C’s, it most definitely will be “worse” come withdrawal time.

Like most anybody out there, I hate to see when a player is denied their withdrawal, simply because the player unknowingly violated one of the casino’s terms and conditions. It is definitely heartbreaking when we’re talking about a huge jackpot win. And as much as I want to cry out “injustice”, the whole debacle could have been avoided if the player had simply read the T &C’s when signing up AND before making a wager or claiming a bonus. Speaking of bonuses, in addition to reading the regular T&C’s, which generally covers withdrawal policies and account activity, players need to always read the full terms and conditions governing a bonus BEFORE claiming any bonus money.

T&C’s are usually posted on separate pages of an online casino’s website, and will take a little digging around in order to find them. See, online casinos, like most businesses in high-volatile industries, don’t like to be up front with everything. They just want to get you in the door. However, they also know that keeping any information from you as required by law is…well…against the law. So, everything you need to know so as to avoid any disputes come withdrawal time, is available for you to read. You just have to know where to look for it.

Now, the general Terms & Conditions are the easiest to find – usually at the very bottom of the casino’s webpage. Like I said before, they mainly cover the terms for opening and maintaining an account, as well as financial matters. Although I know you are going to be a good little newbie online gambler and read the T&C’s even after reading this, here’s the main points covered in the general T&C’s you need to know about:

1) Don’t open two accounts per household. Yes, that means if you have a companion who likes to gamble online, they need to do it at another online casino. And, for that matter, an online casino that is NOT part of the same network at the casino you are playing at. Do some research and ask some questions if you’re not sure.

2) Don’t open another account under a different name. And don’t try to register it at another address (like that of a friend). First off, you know it’s wrong. Secondly, online casinos use very high tech IP address tracking solutions that not even a proxy is going to block.

3) Know your withdrawal limits. Yes, all online casinos impose weekly withdrawal limits, unless we’re talking about a progressive jackpot win, in which the whole thing is eligible for withdrawal at once. If you don’t like the fact that you can’t withdrawal more than $2,000 per week, look for another online casino to open an account with. Don’t worry, the better casinos do indeed offer higher weekly maximums. For example, Go Casino is $8,000/week.

4) Don’t make a single wager until verifying if a bonus is in your account or not. Even if you don’t claim a bonus, some online casinos like to trick you by automatically putting the bonus there. Isn’t that nice of them? They like to call it free money, but we know it’s not. Granted, there are some good bonuses out there. But if you don’t want to be subjugated by bonus T&C’s, don’t make a wager before verifying that your account is clear of any bonuses. It is best to send an email to customer support, who can remove the bonus for you. After making you first wager, however, it’s usually too late, and you will likely have to play out the bonus. If in doubt, ask.

5) Check to see if there are any maximum withdrawal limits on bonus money. This is another trick online casinos like to use. Rather than stating this in the bonus terms and conditions, which are generally posted somewhere else, casinos often will stick this clause in the general T&C’s. The reason they do it is because if most people read it, they won’t claim the bonus. For example, there’s a casino out there (I won’t say who….just know they will never be listed at OCS), that gives away a $25 no-deposit bonus, but in the general T&C’s says the maximum amount of money that can be cashed out from bonus money is only half the amount of the bonus. In other words, if you are working on meeting the 60x play-through on this $25 bonus (see the bonus terms below, if you don’t know what play-through means), and happen to hit a $10,000 jackpot, you will still only be able to cash out $12.50. After doing so, your remaining balance will be set to zero. Ya, I know it sucks. And you know what else? It’s happened to players before – players who did not read the full T&C’s. So, if you do decide to claim a bonus, make sure you also read the general T&C’s.

BONUS TERMS

As for bonuses, their terms and conditions are generally split up on three different screens. One is the aforementioned general casino T&C’s. Another is the main promotions page. The third is generally linked to the main promotions page. In fact, if the full bonus T&C’s are not published on the main promotions page, the online casino is required by law to have the remaining terms accessible from this page. Look for something along the lines of “Click Here for Bonus Terms” or “Further Conditions”. It’s generally in small writing. Go figure, right? Now, here are the bonus terms to be aware of (generally posted on this secondary page).

1) Don’t request a deposit before meeting the play-through. The play-through is the amount of money you must wager before becoming eligible to make a withdrawal. It is a number multiplied by the amount of the bonus and corresponding deposit. For example, a 100% match bonus with a $100 deposit equated to $200. A 20x play-through on this bonus would be $200 x 20 = $4,000. Here’s the catch. If you request a withdrawal before the entire play-through is met, all of your winnings will be deemed null and void. So don’t get excited after making a big win and instantly requesting a deposit. You’ll be in for a big surprise when all you see is your original deposit amount.

2) Don’t wager at online casino games that are not eligible for meeting the play-through. Most bonuses only permit wagers at specific games – slots mostly. Even if you know that a wager won’t go toward the play-through, but simply want to make a bet on a non-eligible game anyways, don’t do it. Not only will the wager not go toward the play-through, it will turn all bonus winnings null and void. Ya, another little term online casinos like to use to slip you up with.

Other than these, there’s not really any more tricks in the bag online casino terms – at least that I know about. If so, please do tell us about it. Above all else, if you want to avoid getting yourself into an illegitimate dispute (meaning one in which you didn’t know you violated a T&C, and consequently, one in which you won’t win), ALWAYS read the full terms and conditions (general AND bonus terms) BEFORE opening an account and/or depositing money with an online casino.

In our next post, we’ll be discussing how not to be a cheating player. As if that will dissuade. Well, let’s hope so.

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