Online casino operators (the online casinos themselves) will soon be implementing fairer bonuses for UK customers after the UK Gambling Commission warned operators they will face regulatory action.
Big companies such as Ladbrokes and William Hill have formally committed to change the way they entice customers with bonus promotions – this will allow players to always have access to their own deposited funds. Other operators will have to follow suite as regulatory action will follow.
The UK Gambling Commission has been working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to improve the environment for online players – basically, players won’t need to play multiple times before they can cash out their own funds (i.e. no wagering requirements).
Online casino firms must also make any restrictions very clear to players and not use confusing Terms & Conditions to keep players’ funds. Finally, winning players won’t be required to be used in any publicity meaning you can keep your big win quiet if you win a life-changing progressive jackpot for example.
What the UKGC & CMA have said
Speaking of the news, the CMA’s Project Director George Lusty commented:
“Gambling always carries a risk, but players should never face unfair restrictions that prevent them from getting at their money. Firms mustn’t stack the odds against players, by putting unfair obstacles in their way, or making it difficult for them to stop gambling when they want to”.
The UK Gambling Commission’s Executive Director, Sarah Gardner, also said that “gambling firms must treat their customers fairly and not attach unreasonable terms and conditions to their promotions and offers” – she also commented that “all Gambling Commission licensed businesses to immediately review the promotions and sign up deals they offer customers and take whatever steps they need to take, to the same timescales agreed by the three operators, to ensure they comply”.
Bonuses & Deposited Funds to be separate
As I understand it, bonuses won’t be allowed to be linked to the funds you deposit at an online casino – so if you were to deposit £100 and get a £100 bonus with 30 times wagering requirements, you would need to wager 30 times the sum of the deposit plus the bonus (30 x £100 + £100 = £6,000).
The UK Gambling Commission wants players to be able to have the option to withdraw their deposit (£100) whenever they like. This will mean online casinos will change their bonus offerings – anyway, here’s a YouTube video the CMA produced highlighting the changes that are coming:
What will happen in future
I predict a lot more cashback kind of offers where you can always withdraw your cash but will get a bonus in the form of cashback once you complete a certain amount of wagering.
For example, if you were to deposit £100 and get a £100 bonus, you can cash out your deposit amount (£100) when you like. Once you’ve wagered your deposit a certain amount of times (i.e. 25) on the eligible slots, you will be issued a cash credit of the same amount. This ensures your cash deposit always remains as cash and the bonus can be withdrawn and converted into cash once you complete the wagering requirements.
This might require online casinos to update their systems so I think free spins with no wagering requirements or restrictions will be the most popular offering as it’s relatively easy to implement.
I also think many online casinos will offer free spins with no wagering requirements whatsoever – bgo Casino has already done this by offering fair spins (free spins with no restrictions). When you sign up, you will get 1 fair spin for every £1 you deposit up to £50 – i.e. deposit £50, get 50 fair spins. Any winnings derived from the fair spins are yours to keep!
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