When you sign up at an online casino, you agree to the terms and conditions at the end of the registration process. This typically requires nothing more than you clicking a check box. Anyone who has registered on any online service has certainly seen this kind of agreement before. It's even a common joke that no one actually reads the terms at the final phase of any online registration.
With online casinos though, it is different. These terms and conditions are often not intuitive. The rules established by each online casino are individual, and it is impossible to imply what the terms of service are without reading them. This, of course, seems like a daunting task. Let's see if we can make reading and understanding the terms and conditions of an online casino easier for you.
1. Find them
The first step to reading the terms and conditions is finding them. Reputable online casinos will allow you to access the terms easily and at any time you would like to read them. The link for the terms and conditions page will almost certainly be made available on the registration page. If you would like to read them before or after registering, you should be able to find a link on the website. This is usually located in the bottom of the site, with a link title of "Terms and Conditions", "Terms of Service", or "Rules".
If a website does not make its terms and conditions readily accessible, ask support. If they are not helpful, you may want to consider playing elsewhere. Any online casino that expects its players to abide by a set of rules without giving them the ability to read them is certainly rogue.
2. Check for restricted countries and age restrictions
The first order of business when reading terms and conditions is determining if you are eligible. Begin by looking for the list of restricted countries and the minimum age restriction. A handy function when looking for these things is the Find feature in your browser. This is usually enabled by pressing CTRL + F on a Windows computer, or COMMAND + F on a computer using Mac OS X. Try searching "jurisdiction," "countries," or your country in your browser's Find feature to find a list of excluded countries. Some online casinos will not explicitly ban any country. Search "age" to read the age restriction. If you meet both of these requirements, read on. Otherwise, find another place to play.
3. Look for special exclusions
No one likes to be surprised to find out that they are not permitted to play at an online casino. Commonly, an online casino will void your winnings, refund your deposits, and ask that you close your account if you are found to be ineligible to play. Avoid the disappointment of having this happen beforehand. Some online casinos have special requirements that you must meet in addition to country and age restrictions. Common miscellaneous restrictions include banning students from playing or banning certain towns within countries that are otherwise permitted to play. These special restrictions will be found nearby the general restrictions if they exist in a casino's terms.
4. Look for bogus play terms
If you deposit at an online casino and don't take a bonus, the money should always be yours to gamble how you see fit. Any fair online casino will not place restrictions on play if you do not take a promotional offer. Be sure to check for any unfair terms regarding play not in the promotional section of the rules. If a casino states that it will void winnings if they find you aren't playing "recreationally," steer clear.
5. Thoroughly examine the general promotional terms
If there's one section of the terms and conditions that is essential to understanding completely, it's the promotional section. If you intend on taking a casino's bonuses, you need to have a firm grasp of the rules surrounding these promotions. Before taking a specific bonus, you should also see if the bonus has its own specific terms. While this isn't all you should look for, be sure to have a solid understanding of the following elements of the online casino's bonuses:
- Playthrough requirements
- Excluded games
- How bonus funds are disbursed
- Whether the bonuses are cashable
In addition, ensure that the casino does not have an unfair term giving them the right to void your winnings even if you abide by the rest of the rules.
While it may seem like a daunting task, just taking a few minutes to get all of these key points will ensure that your online gambling experience is filled with much less trouble. Always read the terms and conditions before signing up, and occasionally check them for updates. By doing so, you guarantee that your time spent at an online casino won't be fraught with refunds, delays, or confiscations.