3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Read the T&Cs When Playing at an Online Casino

Gone are the days when you had to book tickets to Vegas or Reno to have some fun gambling action. Thanks to online casinos, you can play and win cash sitting in front of your PC. Better still, if you own a half-decent smartphone, you can play slots and card games anywhere! And with the coronavirus, online businesses are on a roll since 2020. The casino business is no different – the online gambling software market hit a valuation of $66 billion in 2020. With thousands of popular online casinos catering to millions of happy customers around the globe, that number is rising, and fast!

Finding an online casino is not hard in 2022. With so many competing websites, it is a player’s paradise out there. You can easily find web-based casinos with thousands of colorful video slots, realistic cards, roulette games, and even live casino rooms where you bet against a real human dealer!

The Devil is in the Details

Before getting reeled in (pun intended) to the undeniably exciting world of online slots, be sure to read the fine print. And by fine print, we mean the T&Cs that explain the nitty-gritty details of what to expect should you be so lucky to win.

Because it’s all fun and games when seeing those 3 or 5 reel symbols spinning and how close you may be to a win, but you need to keep in mind a few important things when playing. Of course, this includes casinos offering free spins with no deposit bonuses, of which there are many!

Ultimately, casinos are businesses that worry about their bottom line. They are not there to shower you with cash – gambling is about having fun. It is an entertainment service, just like the movies or stage shows. You are paying for a service – not guaranteed wins or a source of income.

And casinos have rules in place that are designed to protect their profits. Some of these rules may directly affect your ability to win or withdraw money, especially when it comes to bonuses or promotional offers.

We can shift the casino fine print into two broad categories – general rules and bonus rules. You will find separate pages for these at all online gambling sites. Here is how they influence your casino experience:

General Online Casino Terms

In the online gambling or “iGaming” business, the broad rules are set by respected regulatory bodies. These are usually government agencies from markets where online gambling is regulated by law. The UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority are both examples of the top regulators in the iGaming market.

The laws are in place to do these things:

  • Protect players from fraud and sub-par service
    Prevent gambling addiction
    Prevent misuse of casino services for money laundering and terrorism financing

For you, the player, this broadly translates into the following rules:

One Account Per Person/IP Address/Household

You can only start and maintain one single account for gaming purposes at a particular casino. Registration is usually free – so there is technically nothing stopping you from creating alternate accounts with different emails, phone numbers, and maybe even fake names. But the fun times will stop with these accounts as soon as you win cash and try to make a withdrawal of your money. If you gave fake details you will get found out – because casinos require you to provide legitimate ID proof before making a cash out request.

This process is called Know Your Customer or KYC. All casinos strictly enforce KYC rules – failure to do so will result in the revocation of their gambling licenses. If you are unable to provide copies of IDs that match the details given in your profile, the casino will void your winnings and cancel your account!

Restricted Jurisdictions and Age Limits

Online gambling is a sensitive issue, prohibited in many countries or provinces. For instance, in the US, only a handful of states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania have legal online gambling. If you are a resident of such states, you can join, as long as you are above the legal age. However, if you are from any of the regions included in the casino blacklist, or if you have anti-gambling laws in your country, you play with cash at your own risk. The casino may be legally required to block your cash in the future.

Casino Bonus Terms

Most casinos provide free bonuses and boosters to encourage players to join and make further cash deposits. These promotional terms come with huge caveats in the fine print. The reason is simple – giving bonuses is an operational expense for the casino – if too many players win real money with these bonuses, it turns into a cash loss.

To prevent that, and also prevent players from taking advantage of free gifts, online casinos use the following strict bonus terms:

Wagering Requirements

If a casino gives you a $100 free bonus, you cannot withdraw it into your pocket. You have to use it to place wagers several times over at the casino. If you have any cash left over after that, you may request a cash out. This rule is called the wagering or playthrough requirement. If you make a premature cash out request, the casino can and will void your winnings!

Max Cash Out Limit

Read this rule carefully before picking any promo offer, because it tells you how much of your winnings you can withdraw. Casinos use this simple rule to ensure that they don’t lose thousands of dollars to lucky players.

Imagine you won $1000 with bonus money – if the max withdrawal limit was $300 for that offer, it means you will never see the remaining $700. The casino will legally withhold that and give you the $300 as promised.

Minimum Required Deposits

Some casino bonuses are advertised as “100% free” or “no deposit required.” But that only tells part of the story. Sure, you can claim the bonus without making a cash deposit. However, if you win money and you want to cash out, the casino will always ask you for a deposit.

You see, withdrawal facilities at online casinos cost money – and they are reserved for paying customers. You have to deposit a token amount like $10-$25 and perform KYC to unlock the ability to withdraw to your bank account.

Bet Restrictions

When playing with bonus funds or free spins, you cannot change the size of your bets as you please. Some game categories with better player odds will also be out of bounds to you. These restrictions don’t apply if you bet with your own money.

Another thing to watch out for is wagering contributions. Game categories like slots, poker, and blackjack games are weighted differently by the casino. Bets on slots will contribute 100% towards your bonus wagering requirement.

Others like blackjack and roulette will contribute less than a quarter of your bet size. If you want to quickly finish the wagering requirement and make a cash out request, you should place all your bets on video slots!

Conclusion

We get it – rules and boring and nobody wants to read through pages and pages of text. But when it comes to online gambling, you have to take these rules seriously. They have a huge impact on how much money you win, especially when playing with bonuses. To reduce the chances of disputes and disappointment, always read the full casino and bonus terms before playing.

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