Read the Fine Print: Tips for Navigating Terms & ConditionsPublished July 12, 2014 by Vienne C
We've done the dirty work reading through the terms and conditions of online casinos. Read our recommendations of the sections to pay attention to.
Who wants to read terms and conditions? That long, boring document when you sign up for something new. Terms and conditions are often glossed over or ignored entirely when signing up for something new.
Sometimes, it's to your benefit to understand what information is in the terms and conditions. This is especially true when you are signing up for an online casino, where these terms dictate your money.
Therefore, we've done the dirty work for you and compiled a guide of the important information in the terms and conditions you should look out for before you start playing at any online casino.
Location, Location, Location
Online gambling is illegal in some countries. Just because you can sign up and play at a casino, doesn’t mean it’s legal in your country. And if you are playing illegally, the casino can close your account at any point and void all your winnings. Fortunately, most casinos will state on their home page if they don’t accept players from certain countries. Most casinos will also detect your IP and know which country you are from, and block you from registering.
Beyond legality, some casinos will let players play, but they might be ineligible for bonuses. At EU Casino, for example, players from China and Poland cannot receive bonuses.
Tip 1: Always read through the "Legality/Legal Requirements" section before signing up.
Rollover Requirements - It Pays to Play in Your Language
Rollover, play-thru, wagering requirements - what are they? These terms all refer to the minimum amount you need to bet before you can withdraw your money. The industry average is around 30x, meaning that if you received a $100 bonus, you need to wager $100 x 30 (i.e., $3,000), before you can withdraw your money.
However, depending on your location, wagering requirement can go up. For example, at Bet365’s English site, the standard bonus requirement goes from 20x to 200x for players from China, Finland, Latvia and Romania. When a requirement goes above 100x, you will go broke just trying to meet the requirements. Players from these four countries are better off not taking this bonus; instead, they should visit Bet365’s site in their country’s language, and they will find a different set of bonuses catered for them. For example, the Bet365 Chinese site has a welcome bonus with a 25x wagering requirement for its players – which will go up to 200x for players from Poland, Kazakhstan and Russia!
Tip 2: When it’s available, select your country’s language on the casino’s website to find the best deals.
You need to fulfill your rollover requirement before you withdraw your money. At many casinos, if you try to withdraw before you’ve fulfilled the requirement, the bonus and your winnings will become void, or you can incur processing fees that can significantly reduce your withdrawal amount.
The payment method you used to make the deposit may not be able to accept your withdrawal. Most notably, many casinos will accept Mastercard for deposits, but due to UIGEA legislation, Mastercard often cannot accept the money you withdraw from the casino - US financial institutions are not allowed to process online gambling-related transactions. It’s often easier to use an e-wallet such as Skrill or Neteller, and fund these accounts with a credit card instead.
Tip 3: Choose a deposit method that also allows you to withdraw your winnings. A popular e-wallet such as Skrill and Neteller is your best bet.
Not all casino games are equal when it comes to wagering requirements! Table games like Blackjack and Baccarat often count less towards the requirement than slot games. This is because these games have a lower house-edge, meaning that you are more likely to win. At All Slots Casino, slots and roulette count 100% towards the rollover requirement, while Classic Blackjack and All Aces Video / Power Poker only count for 2%. You’ll notice that these games that contribute less to the requirement are skill games, rather than luck games. With some practice, you can increase your chances of winning – and that’s why casinos make them count less towards rollover requirements, so you can’t walk in and abuse their bonus system so easily.
Tip 4: Check the Wagering Requirements in the T&C. Slots contribute the most to wagering requirements and skill games count least.
So to re-cap, while terms and conditions may look intimidating at first, you really should understand them. The main things you need to pay attention to are location-specific limitations, as well as wagering requirements. It’s mostly a bit of common sense – casinos are not out there to cheat anyone (they will always make money with the minor house edge they have), but they don’t want anyone abusing the bonus system, so they’ve set up some limitations to protect themselves. It’s a lot of words, but now you should be able to go into any casino and understand what all the fine print is really about.