Hidden and Predatory Rules in an Online Casino (2)

When it comes to deciding whether some clauses are predatory or not, we should rely on our judgement and experience, as well online gambling best practices.

The Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) should be written clearly so that they are easily and exactly understood by players. The entire system should be set up in a way that doesn’t allow players to break the T&Cs unknowingly. All rules should be listed in one place (in the T&Cs), and they should not be unfair and/or predatory

Every single rule that players are required to follow should be stated in the casino’s general T&Cs or in the Bonus T&Cs of each bonus. The casino should never try to apply rules that are not stated publicly, as players have no way of knowing about them.

What’s more, all rules should be in line with fair play. Most players don’t read the T&Cs before creating an account, so they will not notice a predatory rule by themselves. Casinos should help them gamble safely by only implementing fair rules, and should make sure the T&Cs are simple and easy to follow. Casinos should also avoid making up rules that can be misused against players who haven’t done anything wrong.

A fair environment is good for casino business too. It is in the casino’s interests to retain players and keep them active. If players experience an unfair approach towards them, they will no longer play on the casino website. And if the word about bad player experience spreads, players could register in other casinos instead.

To better illustrate hidden and predatory rules and to help you understand them, you can find some examples of these unfair practices below.

  • Max win based on deposited amount

“If a player’s accumulated deposit amount does not exceed 200€, player will be entitled only up to X10 last deposit. This maximum payout will be enforced also in cases where the player made additional deposits which were deemed at the sole discretion of the Casino to have been made in order to exceed the 200€ accumulated deposit amount.”

or

“In case where the Withdrawal exceeds 10 x the amount of the initial Deposit, the rest of the amount will be canceled and the balance will drop to 0.”

These two examples are clearly unfair towards players. It doesn’t make sense to limit the amount that players can withdraw if they aren’t playing with a bonus. We accept bonus Terms and Conditions (T&Cs )that restrict the maximum cash out from a bonus play, but because the examples above are not related to bonuses, they are clearly unfair and predatory.

  • Hiding rules in FAQs or other places

“By using and/or visiting any section of the website (casino hidden); or by opening an account on the website You agree to be bound by: Terms and Conditions; Privacy Policy; Responsible Gaming, FAQ, Any game rules; Bonus Terms and Conditions, special campaigns and tournaments ran on the website.”

As already mentioned, all rules that players need to follow should be grouped together in the T&Cs. Some exceptions are understandable, such as bonus T&Cs, the privacy policy, etc., but hiding rules in FAQs where nobody expects to find them is clearly unfair and deceptive.

  • Canceling winnings exceeding the withdrawal limit

“Maximum Withdrawal Approved per Month: 3000€
In the event that the withdrawal exceeds this amount, the rest of the amount will be canceled, and the balance will drop to 0.”

Ignoring the fact that the withdrawal limit in this example is too low, the second statement is much more outraging. It’s one thing to only pay out a certain amount to the player per month, but it’s something completely different (and extremely predatory) to withhold all money over this limit if a player asks for a higher withdrawal.

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