What should be done when a player abuses bonuses

If a casino identifies a bonus abuser, it is their right to exclude them from any future promotional offers or to ban them from playing in the casino altogether going forward. However, it is not acceptable to cancel the winnings they have already accumulated.

Lets take a look at few examples of unfair rules and how related issues should be handled instead, in order to provide a fair, user-friendly gambling experience.

  • Example 1

“If it appears that you are participating or attempting to participate in promotional abuse irregular play strategies, we have the right to freeze your account until the matter is resolved. If it is found that you are engaging in any of these activities, we reserve the right to block your account and cut all funds in the account.”

It is not fair to cancel winnings of a player who has not done anything illegal. Of course, it is acceptable to close the player’s account, but only after all winnings have been paid out. Therefore, this situation should be handled by paying out the player’s winnings, which can be followed either by blocking the player from receiving any further promotional offers and bonuses, or by closing the player’s account.

  • Example 2

“It is strictly prohibited to engage in any promotion abuse. This includes, but is not limited to: moving from high risk betting to low risk betting after a big win, for the purpose of clearing wagering requirements.”

The fact that the casino is prohibiting promotion abuse is unfair in and of itself, but we will focus on the second part of the clause here. To start off, players should be able to play in whatever way they wish, as long as they follow other bonus rules, such as maximum bet. Additionally, this rule is meant to deter bonus hunters, but it actually influences recreational players the most. These are the ones that are worried that they might lose their winnings, so they often decrease their bets after a win. True bonus hunters do not mind an increased variance. They focus mostly on their expected value, which is not affected by this betting pattern.

Instead of rules like these, casinos should focus on setting the wagering requirements, maximum bet, game contribution and other bonus rules in a way that makes it more difficult or even impossible for players to abuse their bonuses.


  • Example 3

“If it appears that you are participating in strategies that we in our sole discretion deem to be promotional abuse or irregular playing we reserve the right to deny, withold, revoke or withdraw your entitlement to any promotion, winnigs or bonus or terminate your access to the website and block your account. In such circumstances we shall be under no obligation to refund any funds that may be in your account other than your original deposit amounts.”

There are many things to point out in this example, but we will focus on the fact that there are no exact definitions here. The casino does not even forbid specific activities or betting patterns, so this rule can be used to cancel the winnings of anyone that has used a bonus.

Instead, forbidden activities and betting patterns should be defined in more detail, so that players know what they can and cannot do when playing with a bonus. However, even when these are defined in detail, the casino should still pay out the winnings and proceed the same way as described above, after the first example.

  • Example 4

“A user who makes many different bets, each of which has minimum expectation to win, in order to receive an increased bet volume with minimal loss of balance, will be suspected of abuse a bonuses and will be instatntly excluded from current and subsequent bonuses.”

Again, it is not acceptable to cancel the player’s winnings from the current bonus. Additionally, all casino games have a house edge, so the casino is profitable even when players place low-risk bets. In fact, this rule will not stop bonus abusers. It will actually limit recreational players the most.

Casinos should focus on adjusting other bonus rules to make bonus abuse more difficult or not profitable, as well as improving the mechanisms used to identify bonus abusers, so that recreational players are not mistakenly flagged as bonus hunters.

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