Online casinos are popular and some players have won big money over the years. However, there is a less pleasant side of the industry that players should be aware of which is that there are a few shady casinos out there that cheat and don’t like to play fair and some bigger established casinos that will use tricks to get out of paying players a big win.
- Slow Pays
- Self-Exclusion Bait & Switch
- Hiding Bonus Terms & Conditions
- Changing Terms & Conditions After A Big Win
- Inconsistent Applications Of Terms
Slow Pays or Slow Paying is a trick that is commonly used by many online casinos. The purpose of slow paying is to hope that players get the urge to gamble more rather than cashing out. This is a common complaint amongst veteran casino players where they get upset when this tactic is used on them. If a casino isn’t willing to pay out in a timely manner, it’s best not to keep playing because if you win a bigger amount, you’ll have an even bigger problem trying to get paid. When a casino does this type of activity, the bigger the cashout, the tougher it will be to get your money from the casino.
Self-Exclusion Bait & Switch
Self-Exclusion (SE) policies are a prominent part of most online casinos. That is if you tell the casino you want to be self-excluded from the casino, usually they are supposed to ban you for life from ALL operators on the same license and this is enforced by the online gambling licensing body they are part of. So the big problem is when you self-exclude yourself from a casino, how is a player supposed to know which other casinos as associated? The player signs up with a new casino, not realizing that they’re part of a group they’ve previously excluded from and if they lose no-one notices and if they win the operator refuses to pay due to the player having self-excluded on their network. This is a trick played some of the larger gaming groups that have white label casinos within their network so this term is applied to players that have played on a network but the casinos don’t disclose their network.
This particular strategy is also used by some groups in relation to welcome bonuses. If you’ve claimed a bonus at one of the operators in a group you can’t claim another. You can find an example from the 888 Group below:
All users shall be entitled only to one welcome bonus offer. Members who make their first deposit with the Company or any of its white label partners, and who have or previously had an account with any of the websites owned or operated by the Company, including both in-house brands and white label brands, shall not be entitled to an additional welcome bonus, unless the Company decides otherwise at its absolute discretion.
So how is the player supposed to know which websites are “owned or operated by the Company”? There’s no list there and no links to any resources that would inform the player. It turns out the player is simply meant to instinctively know where to find this information. There are numerous lawsuits from players suing land-based casinos for taking their money after they have asked to be banned and denying their jackpot wins.
Hiding Bonus Terms & Conditions
This one really sucks. Unfortunately, casino players should take a bit of time to review the terms and conditions set forth by a casino. The trick here is that they put some bonus terms in the bonus terms document and others in the general terms document (this is more prevalent with max bet terms), hoping that players don’t spot the max bet in the general terms, break it and don’t get paid. They justify this cheat by heading the terms ‘Irregular Play and Fraud’ so they don’t immediately look like bonus terms. So the casino isn’t exactly breaking the rules by at least publishing their bonus rules and t&cs but they are possibly not being ethical about it. They enforce it when a player catches a big win and if there was a max bet term listed anywhere in the site’s t&cs including the general terms, then the player will get stung.
Changing Terms & Conditions After A Big Win
This is one that players absolutely hate. A player has followed the terms and conditions by reading them before they played and end up winning big. However, the trick some casinos use to cheat players is they then change the terms and conditions, inform the player they had broken the terms but lie about it stating this term was there before the player played. Most players have little recourse over this
Inconsistent Applications Of Terms
Inconsistent application of terms is a situation where a rule breach is used to justify non-payment of a win but has been ignored on previous losses. So what happens here are stories where a player has broken a rule but doesn’t know about it and the casino doesn’t enforce it on the spot because the player hasn’t won a big enough amount or the player keeps depositing and losing. The problem here is when casinos know they should be enforcing a rule and only do so when it financially benefits them. This is even common in land-based casinos where players have been denied big wins even with issues like self-exclusion but allow the players back in the casino, keep playing and then say sorry when it comes to cashout time.
Some examples of well-known operators doing this can be found below:
How Can Players Protect Themselves From Casinos That Cheat
- Avoid bad casinos, play at only recommended casinos
- Read the terms & conditions
- Confirm information with the casino when in doubt about any rules or terms
- File a casino complaint
The first and easiest solution is to avoid the bad casinos that would dare to cheat gamblers in the first place. If players used a trusted site like ThePOGG and stuck to their deposit guarantee casinos, they would be more protected as their recommended casinos list is the most strict out of all casino sites out there. Also, ThePOGG lists casino welcome bonuses which rate the bonus value by taking in the terms and conditions where if the casino has bad player terms, they simply wouldn’t be recommended in the first place.
Reading the terms and conditions isn’t fun but if you stick to only a few decent online casinos, this shouldn’t take long and you might learn a thing or two.
You can always email the casino or ask live chat if you have violated any terms and conditions. Email is best where you have a copy of what the casino’s support staff have sent you. If they confirm you are not in violation of anything, then it’s on them if they have messed up. Usually, this is a quick confirmation so you can ask them do you have more wagering to complete a bonus, have you broken any terms and conditions, are you on any self-exclusion list on their site or network?
If you find yourself stuck in any of these situations where you suspect a casino is trying to cheat you out of your money, the best thing you can do is file a casino complaint at thepogg.com where they have recovered over $1 million for players. They handle many situations listed above and are able to help players when they have been wronged by an online casino.
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