With so many different online casinos, gambling providers often resort to attracting new customers with "generous" sign-up bonus offers. These bonuses range from free spins for slot machines to 100% first deposit match up to 150 GBP.
Unfortunately, these incentives are often linked with wagering requirements that are far from simple. Even though these are normally described in detail in the Terms and Conditions of the online casino, it is usually quite difficult to understand them, making their fulfilment
almost impossible. In some cases, newcomers never see their first deposit again. Such unfair bonus practices are regularly exposed on scams.info.
However, they are not the only ones who have become aware of the dubious tactics of online casinos. Gaming authorities are starting to take a closer look at those bonus offers as well.
Warning issued by the UK Gambling Commission
At the Raising Standards Conference in Birmingham on 21 st November, online gambling operators were warned that the general public was becoming increasingly discontent because consumers feel they are not being treated fairly with regards to terms and conditions. If no noticeable change is observed, governmental authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will continue cracking down on them. According to Bill Moyes, UKRG Chairman, top gambling operators have been penalised with fines amounting to more than £10m over the last few months.
The UKGC is working in cooperation with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is the UK's primary competition and consumer agency, to establish a new set of terms regarding bonus advertising for online casino sites that are regularly used by UK gamers. If online casinos fail to respect those new terms and make their offers more transparent, then gambling businesses might be shut down completely.
Shortcomings that often mislead customers include ambiguous or unfair terms and conditions, limits on the winnings that can be withdrawn, no free access to unspent funds, terms that constantly change for free spins or bets, etc.
The most recent recommendations of the UKGC and CMA state that promotions and bonus offers should be clearer for end-users since even their own experts were still unsure after having them explained by online operators. In addition, casino users should be able to withdraw their money without facing a large number of restrictions. Consumers must be able to distinguish between bonus balance, deposit balance, as well as playing with restricted and unrestricted funds.
Another negative aspect of present online casino T&Cs is that they incite, or technically force players to keep on gambling for extended periods of time before having the possibility to withdraw winnings. This goes directly against the "Responsible Gambling"
recommendations that most online casinos say they adhere to.
If you are uncertain about the terms and conditions of online casino bonus offers, then check out a good source for gambling news for the UK or do hesitate to consult informative websites on scams in order to obtain specific information before signing up.