What A Fair Casino Shouldn’t be Doing
An online casino already holds an advantage over players in terms of odds so should it be too much to ask for an online casino to provide a gambling experience that is fair?
As an online casino player, you can categorise most casinos into three groups.
The first of these groups speak for the majority of online casinos. These casinos are fair as well as trustworthy, and as a result, they are the most reputable online casinos out there. These are the casinos that use the correct licencing, and most importantly they know that by giving their members a fair casino gaming experience, word of mouth will spread ultimately leading to their well-deserved trustworthy reputation.
Others may be licensed and work within the boundaries of the law, but they offer the bare minimum that they can. This is the second type of casino. If you have heard of the term ‘sell sand in the desert’ that is what these casinos do. The bonuses look great, but they have high wagering requirements, there are awkward bonus terms and conditions, and payouts on big bets are limited. Generally, the casino’s marketing is great but member satisfaction is low.
There is a third group of online casinos that go into operation with a mindset that centres around ripping people off in order to get as much as they can before they are found out. Why any casino would do this is beyond us, and very shortsighted. These casinos can have predatory rules, no license even though the casino claims to have one, and they rarely payout when you win big and instead they suspend your account using a poor excuse.
The trick is to identify as early as possible whether the online casino you are a member of is deemed fair. Now some people have varying opinions on what a fair online casino should offer, however, a fair casino in our book is one that does not do any of the following:
Use Predatory Rules
Predatory rules are rules that are designed to trick and exploit players unfairly. These rules are sometimes hidden or not even shown in the terms and conditions at all. These rules could be related to only qualifying for a full win if a player had deposited a certain amount at the online casino or cancelling any winnings that might exceed their daily/weekly/monthly withdrawal limits.
Both of those examples are highly unethical and extremely unfair to players that might not have been aware of them. We do advise that players always read the terms and conditions at all online casinos but these rules have been put in to be of benefit to the casino at the expense of players.
Unfair Win Limits
Some online casinos will place win limits within their terms and conditions which cannot be deemed fair to players. This could be anything from a maximum amount allowed to be won from a single spin/turn or an amount won in a specific amount of time.
A fair win limit is around €250,000 for a single bet. This tends to be the industry standard and most of these casinos will not provide any games that give you the chance to win more than this amount in a single bet.
These t&c’s will usually state than any money won over the limit is null and void and will not be added to a player's account. If this amount win amount is below €250,000, and the casino offers slots, then the terms and conditions are unfair because there are numerous non-progressive jackpot slots with wins up to €250,000.
In our opinion, there should not be a win limit at all because it can affect the RTP of the games. As you can imagine, there can be nothing worse than hitting a big win at an online casino before discovering that you will only be allowed to claim a fraction of it.
What about progressive jackpot wins?
The terms and conditions attached to maximum win limits should exclude progressive jackpot games. Progressive jackpot games should NEVER have a win limit attached, so the casino should apy any win in full within 30 days. The T&cs above apply to single bets.
Maximum Bonus Betting Rules
Maximum betting limits when using bonus cash is fairly standard in the online casino industry. These limits are understandably designed to help prevent bonus abuse. Online casinos usually hand out this bonus cash as part of a promotion and do not want people to abuse their generosity.
What we do not like is that casinos do not implement software that prevents players from betting over the maximum while using their bonus. Many new casino players are unaware that there is a limit and unwittingly break the rules resulting in the seizure of their bonus.
Online casinos should put in place preventative measures to avoid this scenario. It could be implemented at the software-level quite easily or failing that, it should be made very clear to a player when receiving the bonus or playing any qualifying games that there is a max betting limit that must be adhered to.
Withdrawal limits are another aspect that is common in online casinos and in many cases, is understandable. These are limits on how much money a player can withdraw from the casino in a set period of time. These limits are in place to protect the cashflow of an online casino so we have no problem with them as long as they are not too low.
These are usually set on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and it just means that players may have to make a number of withdrawal requests over time to withdraw all of their money. As long as the online casino does not set the withdrawal limits too low and is at least 10,000 per month, we think that this is fair enough. Anything below that and we feel that players should consider playing elsewhere.
Online casinos are licensed and regulated and therefore are not always legally allowed to accept players from certain countries. Online gambling could be illegal in a certain country for example. This is all perfectly fine and understandable as the online casinos are technically adhering to the regulations and laws.
The problem is that some online casinos will still allow these players to register and deposit money at their online casinos. They will only notify a player that they are from a restricted country once they try to withdraw. They refuse the withdrawal and keep the money.
This behaviour is extremely unethical as it is quite clear that they are happy to take the money from players knowing that they are from a restricted country. They can spend as much money in their online casino as they like but will never be able to withdraw.
Online casinos that we consider not to be fair will make use of a number of tricks to get out of paying out when they do not want to. One of the most common is to accuse the player of using betting patterns to gain an advantage. While there may be some players that are showing fraudulent behaviour via betting patterns, we feel that in most cases, some online casinos just use this rule as an excuse to refuse a withdrawal request.
It would not be so bad if the online casino was to be more specific about the betting patterns that are not permitted. Often though, the terms and conditions are very vague about this and thus a player never really knows whether his bets are legal.
Most online casinos will have to do their bit when it comes to promoting responsible gambling. Regulatory authorities demand this and so, online casinos have no choice but to give problem gamblers the ability to stop playing.
Players will have the ability to self-exclude themselves at an online casino for a set period of time or indefinitely. When this is done, the player is not meant to be able to reverse the decision for a set period of time. The problem is that some online casinos will let a player cancel their self-exclusion whenever they wish.
Also, many online casinos are owned by the same company. Once a player self-excludes from one online casino in that group, they should not be able to bet on another in the group. Again, this is not always enforced until it benefits the casino. They will allow the player to bet but then refuse to pay out if they win using the self-exclusion as the reason.
Player Verification and Duplicate Accounts
Experienced players will know that most online casinos do not allow players to have more than one account. There are of course players out there that will try and abuse bonuses by creating additional accounts but not everybody that has duplicate accounts is trying to do this. Some may have forgotten that they already have an account at a particular online casino while others might have forgotten their log in details and just make a new account instead.
A player could then win some money just to be told that they have not won anything as they have duplicate accounts. Our argument is why was the duplicate account not spotted during the registration period. IP addresses, the name and date of birth of the player and even the banking information used should have told the online casino straight away when there is a duplicate account.
By taking the players money and then refusing that player from withdrawing any winnings is again, purely in the interest of the casino making money.
Sometimes online casinos do not even tell players why their account has been closed and the funds forfeited. They will be very vague and just say that the player has broken a rule or two found in the T&C’s and not elaborate further.
This is extremely poor behaviour and usually points to the online casino being very untrustworthy. If they cannot even be specific about the rules that were broken, there is a good chance that none were and that the casino just does not want to payout.
The final thing that a fair casino would not do is show a lack of transparency. All casino games have an RTP (return-to-player percentage) attached to them which will tell the player the house edge of the game and how much of a chance they have at winning some money.
Some online casinos refuse to show the RTP of their games. This means that a player has no idea whether the game is fair or whether their mathematical chances are any good.