When looking for your ideal gambling site, there are many factors to consider. The size of the welcome bonus, the markets they have on offer or the quality of their mobile app, for example. One that may not seem so obvious, however, is the terms and conditions. These are hugely important, as they cover every aspect of your gambling experience, from the way you deposit to what you have to do to withdraw your bonus winnings. Much like terms and conditions anywhere else, they can be pretty lengthy and dense, but they’re still vitally important to be aware of. Let us break down the casino jargon and point out the most important things to look out for so that finding the right casino is a breeze.
What are Terms and Conditions?
In layman’s terms, the terms and conditions are a legal agreement you make with the casino when you sign up. They are also a common feature in many of the other services we sign up to, from your credit card to the latest app you downloaded onto your phone. A gambling site’s terms and conditions will address a number of things, from information on how your personal data is used to their deposit and withdrawal limits, to prohibited activity. You will be required to sign up to the terms and conditions when you join a new site, so it’s important to know what their rules are before you go ahead with it.
Why do Gambling Sites Have Terms and Conditions?
A gambling site will operate under terms and conditions and require you to sign up to them for two reasons. Firstly, they are there to ensure the protection of both the player and the gambling site. The gambling site will want confirmation that you are who you say you are and that you’re not going to be conducting any illegal activity on their site. And you will want to make sure that the gambling site is fair and that you will be safe when playing with them.
Secondly, the terms and conditions are also there to highlight that the gambling site is a business run for profit and that there will always be a slight advantage on their side. Features like the house edge and wagering requirements are there to make sure that the gambling site is always able to make a profit and not make a loss through a winning streak or their bonus programme. If you’re looking for a site that will give you the best value for your money, then the terms and conditions of a site is the place to go. It’s there that you’ll be able to understand just how much you can realistically make from a particular site.
Where can I find the Terms and Conditions?
When you sign up to a new gambling site, you should be able to access the terms and conditions via the welcome email that was sent out to you once you’d registered your account. They can also be accessed by getting in touch with the customer support team, who will be happy to help. But if you want to get to grips with the ins and outs of a site before you sign up, then a simple google search should bring up the relevant terms and conditions that you can look through at your leisure.
Common Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions of a particular site will detail how your information is stored and used by the gambling site, but will also impact how you use the site. From proving your identity to conforming your commitment to playing within their rules, there’s a lot to wrap your head around. Luckily, we’ve outlined the key features to look out for below.
Know Your Customer (KYC)
A gambling site is required by law to carry out a Know Your Customer check on all their players in order for them to confirm that you are who you say you are. UKGC requires its licensees to do this to prevent any forms of underage gambling, but also fraud against the gambling site. All this means that you have to complete all these checks before you make a deposit, play a free or demo version of a game, or play with either your money or a free bet from the site.
While you know that you’re above the age of 18, the gambling site on their side can’t be sure. That’s why they ask for certain pieces of documentation and information to confirm your age. These will often be a utility bill or old bank statement, a scan of your passport or photo ID, or the front and back of your card.
Most gambling sites will only ask for these pieces of information when you first sign up, but there are others that will make a point of requesting this information every time you request a withdrawal. The sites that do that will clearly state as such in their terms and conditions.
Deposit and Withdrawals
Depositing and withdrawing funds are central principles of online gambling. You’re going to want to know how this is done at your online gambling site and the gambling site is going to want to know that your funds are available and not coming from any fraudulent sources. In fact, in order to actually place a bet, you will need to have a funded account. Deposit free bonuses are of course an option, as are demo games, but if you want to play for and win real money, then a fully funded account is what you’re going to need.
Gambling sites ban certain activities or practices from their site that reduce any element of chance. This is the core factor to gambling, and so any tool or act that limits its impact cannot be allowed to continue. External aides like robots and software programmes that can give players an extra edge over the casino are, therefore, banned.
Bonus Terms and Conditions
It’s not just the betting site’s terms and conditions you have to be aware of when you sign up, but also the terms and conditions of their bonuses and promotions. A great welcome bonus can often make it or break it for players looking for a new site, and the range of promotions you’re open to once you’ve signed can also be a crucial factor. But these offers will often come with certain requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for you to collect any of your funds and it’s these that will affect how you play.
Wagering requirements are one of the most common terms and conditions attached to bonuses and they require you to wager a certain amount a set number of times before you get hold of any of your funds. A common wagering requirement for a matched deposit, for example, would be around 40x the value of your first deposit. So if you deposited £10, then you would need to wager £400 before you can access any of either your bonus funds or winnings.
Another common condition to keep an eye out for when signing up to a welcome bonus or promotion is time limits. They limit the amount of time a particular bonus or promotion stays valid for once it has been signed up to. If you haven’t met the wagering requirements of an offer when the time limit runs out, then any of your bonus will be lost. Some sites will be generous, offering you up to a week to wager through their requirements, while others are far stricter, limiting the validity of an offer to just a few days.
Caps on Maximum Winnings
At the end of the day, a casino is a business. As such, they will have to take certain precautions when giving out free bets and promotions. One example just such as measure are maximum winning caps which limit the amount it is possible for you to win from an offer. Once you’ve hit this limit, any further winnings will not be credited to your account.
Game Weighting Restrictions
Another thing to be aware of when you sign up to a welcome bonus or promotion is game weighting restrictions. These will typically only apply to online casinos, although some sportsbooks will limit which markets their bonuses can be used on. Nonetheless, when you claim a casino bonus, certain games will count more towards the fulfilment of that offer’s wagering requirements. Slot games can be worth up to 90%, whereas others, such as table games, can be as low as 10%. It’s therefore important to check which games count the most in your bonus, just in case your favourite title isn’t worth the investment.
What Happens if I Don’t Follow the Terms and Conditions?
There is a lot that a gambling site can do to punish their players for breaking their rules. Some can choose to suspend your account, or even permanently close it, and claim any funds you may have invested in your account. Others, however, can go a step further, holding individuals whose fraudulent actions have incurred losses, liabilities or damages upon the site.
It is, therefore, in your best interest to understand the terms and conditions of your chosen gambling site and follow them. Gambling is meant to be a form of entertainment and so it should be treated as such. What’s more, the rules that gambling sites put in place are there not just to protect themselves, but also you. After all, if you’re investing your own money into a site, you don’t want to do anything that would risk it unnecessarily.