Posts Tagged ‘bonus abuse’

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

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

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.

Free Casino Bonus Money – Getting Through the Red Tape: Part I

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
dog wagging tongue

Oh Boy, oh boy, oh boy! I'm drooling for Milk BONUSES!

Claiming bonuses at online casinos and actually getting your bonus cash withdrawn are two entirely different things. Needless to say, free money at the online casino is never 100% free. Sure, it’s possible to walk away with more than you started with – courtesy of a beefed up bankroll on bonus bucks. However, any seasoned online gambler – you may be one yourself – knows that online casinos like to make it very difficult to withdraw your bonus money.

Some casinos are more transparent about this than others. Yet, the bottom line is that no online casino wants to make it overtly easy for players to walk away with free bonus cash. You might think the infamous “wager requirement” aka, play-through, is all it would take to do this – but it’s not. FYI, the play-through is the amount of times a player must wager the sum of their deposit and bonus before any winnings earned from the bonus are eligible to cash out. Notice how I said “winnings earned from the bonus”. That’s because the bonus money itself can never be cashed out!

To make a long story short, there is all sorts of bonus red tape that can get between you and your winnings. And depending on the online casino and/or software provider, you could be dealing with red masking tape as opposed to red scotch tape (and no, red scotch tape doesn’t exist). Bonus abuse, whether intentional or unwittingly is the number one cause of disputes between players and online casinos, and consequently, the complaints that always follow. Sure, some casinos could do more to keep bonus abuse from happening in the first place (chalk it up to the old bait and switch routine or downright laziness), but that’s neither here nor there. If you want the bonus, take full responsibility and no matter how trustworthy the casino or solid their reputation, do your homework and get your hands sticky unwrapping the tape that is certain to come with your bonus. If you still have unanswered questions after digging through the T&C’s, ask a casino rep and get your answers (hypothetical or not) in writing.

To aid you in recognizing and understanding all this bonus jargon, OCS has decided to create a blog series dedicated just to online casino bonus red tape. If you haven’t done so already, bookmark this post and check back often. Just look for the photo of the happy dog drooling for his milk bonus. That’s supposed to be you by the way 🙂 The tags at the bottom of this post (free casino bonus money red tape) will be linked up with all future posts pertaining to the full series. Or, you could just sign up for our online casino newsletter, which we use to send out timely information, the latest and greatest bonuses (err, I mean milk bones), and tips on how to keep from drowning in the vast sea of online gambling. Dog paddling, of course.

What exactly will OCS be covering in this blog series? Here’s just a taste:

Claiming bonuses with online casino networks, bonus accounts vs. real money accounts, the play-through process including how to know when you’ve met the play-through (it can be very tricky), bonus micro-management, game restrictions, maximum winnings, time expirations, bonus claim codes, automated bonuses and how to remove them from your account, the free play bonus, and the notorious no-deposit bonus, aka, free chip.

All of this encompasses what is ultimately your responsibility as a player, for let’s just say that online casinos won’t do it for you. The only thing they will do for you is not pay up when they’ve deemed that you have violated the bonus terms – even if they could have stopped you from the get-go!

What can I say, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. That doesn’t mean you have to eat other dog’s to survive. But if you’re not looking out, they will sniff you out and eat you and your stash of milk bones up in a heartbeat. So, stay tuned!

Online Gambling Disputes Part III – When the Player is the Rogue

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Do you have the brain of a rogue online gambling criminal?

Do you have the brain of a rogue online gambling criminal?

Continuing with our series about online gambling disputes, it’s only fair to now shed some light on the ugly side of “player complaints”, not to mention criminal brains as deemed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Disorders.

I don’t know about you, but it sure does seem to me like there are a lot of crooked online casinos in business today. It sure doesn’t take any time at all to find complaints and rip-off reports and accusations and disgruntled rantings, whether it be on forums, blogs or review sites…the list goes on.When I first began working in the online gaming industry back at the turn of the new millennium (man, do I feel old), I would constantly be hearing about this and that online casino cheating this and that player, along with online casino blacklists longer than the eye could see. And considering there was hardly any good regulation back then (mainly just Kahnawake and Antigua & Barbuda), you could say that online gambling truly was something of a Wild Wild West.

Naturally, you can imagine why it was easy for sites like Online Casino Suite to evolve into “player portals”, where solid, factual information about online casinos could be found – not the standard fare of cheap car salesman talk and flashy banners. And while OCS certainly makes the player its topmost priority, the player is not always cracked up to be who he or she claims to be. In other words, a lot of those complaints you run across on the forums and such (heck, even our own online gambling forum), do not always tell the full story.

For example, there are players out there known by online casino operators as “bonus hunters”. While there is nothing wrong with tracking down the best casino bonuses and playing with as much free money as you can get, when it involves knowingly violating an online casino’s terms and conditions in order to get more bonus money, that’s another matter altogether. A trick that some players like to use for claiming a bonus more than once is to open an account under a different name or address. Some will go so far to use fake documents and stolen driver’s licenses. Then, when it comes time to cash out their winnings, only to be denied by the online casino, the player starts crying bloody murder, usually accompanied by a fabricated story justifying why the online casino was able to track their IP address to two different accounts. My favorite is the one about the long lost brother who decided to open an account and unknowingly logged into the online casino while staying with his brother, and hence the duplicate IP address.

The worst rogue player of all, however, is the one who doctors supposed screen shots of winnings, ala Photoshop. It’s happened before, only to end up with the player showing his ass. But unlike the online casino whose reputation can be damaged forever, the player usually walks away unscathed, only to try his exploits again at another online casino network.

I guess the lesson to learn from all of this is that you can’t always believe what your read. That goes for complaints, reviews, positive testimonials….everything under the sun. You can, however, begin to gauge a larger picture about an online casino after taking in several sources of information. The only problem is that there truly are not very many reliable sources out there. Not trying to trap you in a box of anything, but this is precisely why Online Casino Suite has expanded to offer a forum and will soon be offering players the ability to comment on online casino reviews and share their two cents worth. That way, you don’t have to solely take the word of OCS – you can temper it with player comments…good and bad.

I suppose the second lesson to learn from this post is that it doesn’t pay to be a rogue player. Believe me folks – Online casinos use some pretty sophisticated fraud detection platforms these days. If you think you can get by with a proxy to block your IP address, think again.  Besides the fact that what goes around, comes around, there are simply way too many good online casinos and bonus offers out there to take advantage of anyways. For instance, online casinos like Rushmore Casino and Go Casino have more reload bonus money available than you’ll know what to do with.  So do yourself a favor –  Check the chart above to make sure you don’t have a criminal brain as deemed by the Massachusetts Deparment of Mental Disorders and BEHAVE!