How to Read Casino Terms and Conditions
A comprehensive guide from arepasandempanadasdistrict
How are casino T&Cs different from other sites?
We all know that all the sites and apps we use ask us to agree to their regulations before we use their product. But each site comes with inevitable variations according to the domain, industry, and their specific legislations. In this section, we make sure to bring to light some unique features of online casinos that you will not see otherwise.
1. Your digital wallet
Online casinos depend on the deposits players make in order to fund their gaming sessions. On the other side, players will need to make withdrawals of the cumulated casino profits. Since both these cations require financial transactions, the casino will regulate those in detail in its terms.
Main topics defined there:
- The minimum and maximum limits for your deposits and withdrawals;
- The accepted services that you can use for transactions;
- What currencies are allowed on the casino;
- If there are fees attached to any transaction.
Knowing all these facts will help you protect your funds. You will be able to recognise what options you have in terms of your payment methods, saving you time. Also, you will know what to do to avoid fees and have productive money management.
2. Your personal and financial data
A casino account is based on your identity since the KYC will be based on your personal papers that you submit (driver’s license, utility bills, property papers). Even further, your deposits and withdrawals will be based on your bank cards, e-wallets, or other financial web apps.
Casino insider tips: Out of all the banking services that are casino-friendly, the one that protects your anonymity the most is Bitcoin. Alternatives include other crypto money, like Ethereum or Litecoin.
In the casino’s terms, they have an obligation to explain in detail what happens to your data. Here are some topics that need to be tackled:
- How your data is stored;
- How is your data used and what is the motivation behind each action;
- What happens to it when you self-exclude/stop playing at the casino;
- How much time does it take before its permanently deleted?
US-licensed casinos follow the GDPR EU directives, which are amongst the strictest when it comes to vendors’ rights over the clients’ data. Get to know more about your rights as a gambler from our rights & obligations guide.
3. How to distance yourself from the casino
The United States Gambling Commission asks all casinos regulated by it to give players options when taking breaks or outright to give up gambling. Usually, the options are quite standard, and they include variations of the following:
- Setting limits on how much you play cash-wise and timewise;
- Taking time off (anywhere between a few days and a few months);
- Permanently excluding yourself.
You need to maintain a rigid schedule for your gaming sessions and be very strict with the funds you dedicate solely to gambling. These methods are the easiest ways to avoid risk and problem gambling in the long run.
Casino insider tips: When you read these respective sections of the terms and conditions, make sure to see how much time it takes for changes to take effect. For example, after choosing to self-exclude, it may take up to one full day for your access to be permanently blocked.
Please note that these limiting options are different from the normal deposit and withdrawal limits, which are motivated by USGC requirements and bank card limitations.
4. Access to fair games
Licensed casinos have a responsibility towards the fairness of their games’ outcomes, and that should be found in specific sections of the TOS (terms of service). Usually, the most notable ways to verify this are the following:
- Random Number Generators (RNG for short), software embedded in the game that projects millions of possible outcomes;
- eCOGRA seal, an approval from a top international gaming facility that checks if games are rigged or not.
From our experience, these are also found in the footer of the website, along with popular payment methods and possibly providers, but even so, they should be stated in the site’s terms as well.
Checking this aspect is necessary for you to ensure that your chances are not altered, and you get the same casino experience online, as you would at a table in a brick-and-mortar place.
5. Details about the site’s licensing
- Explicit statement that the USGC licenses the casino;
- Other licenses they have (Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao Gaming Control Board);
- The account number is given to the casino by the USGC;
- The address of their physical offices + forms of contact.
Casino insider tips:
- The licence a casino has is among the most important factors you need to consider before playing.
- The United States Gambling Commission is a scrupulous authority to grant licences, and it performs regular checks on casinos they already verified.
The importance of reading casino T&C’s
Even though we are aware of the high percentage of users who do not read the terms before clicking agree, we strongly advise reading them thoroughly. Only then can you be in the know of what the companies can do to your account, as well as what you can expect from them.
Reading the terms also means you keep your data safe from malicious sites and unwanted data shares, and it helps you avoid casinos that impose fees on many instances of play or transactions.
Casino insider tips: Fees are mostly related to withdrawals, be it that you cancel a requested cashout, or you change your currency, you change your payment method, etc. But some sites may require their clients to pay fees on different actions.
How should this process go?
As we will expand later on, accepting a site’s terms is the equivalent of signing a contract for a service in the offline world. Thus, just like you would take time and read every clause before you sign your name on the paper, you should also read the digital statements.
You need to be sure that all three points of the following list are checked before proceeding:
- The casino must link you to its terms when you create an account (the terms should always be readily available to you, no matter if you are logged on or not).
- You must agree to them in order to access any of the services that they provide.
- The terms must be balanced and fair.
To expand on number three, it may be a tad difficult to assess if the terms are fair when you are just starting to gamble online. For this reason, in our reviews, we highlight both the good and the bad aspects of what the casino promises, throughout the texts and in the conclusion segments.
What are the relevant US stats?
According to a poll that Guardian created for this purpose only, only 7% of Britons read the terms and conditions of the site/product that they frequently use. This means that a staggering 93% do not. This huge number does not stay without consequence, however.
20% of Internet users have been affected by the fact that they do not read the contract they agree to. This may mean living with the consequences of what was stated there, being fined, or losing money otherwise, or even having their account suspended.
Terms and conditions are a contract
Yes, the binding terms in there act no differently than ones written in a contract, lending casinos the opportunity to make executive decisions like:
- Adding or removing content from their site;
- Adding or removing promotional material;
- Refusing service;
- Suspending or closing accounts.
In case a punter disagrees with an online casino that cannot be resolved internally or through an ADR, the terms they have agreed on will be brought up in court as evidence.
Alternatively, the client can save a copy of the site’s terms from proving that the casino did not deliver the service at all or at a lower quality than initially promised, in one of the ways of dispute settling. If you find yourself in this type of situation, please check our dispute guide and be prepared for all the steps it requires.
Casino insider tips: If a casino changes its terms significantly when you are an active user, they have to announce these changes to you before they take effect.
An odd experiment
In June 2014, security experts set up an experiment. To access a Wi-Fi hotspot in London’s financial district, users had to agree to a page of terms that had a bizarre clause: the user connected to the public Wi-Fi had to give away their first-born child in return, forever.
Six people skimmed through the terms and did not read what they said. They agreed right away. This is an extreme example but imagine how much information from the terms will affect your casino play and options. Always read what you agree to attentively.
Explaining capitalised paragraphs
Specific legislation worldwide requires that parts of the terms and conditions be clearly visible and easy to follow and understand. This way, you will see, on occasion, pieces of the text that are written in caps. Most often than not, you will see them on these sections:
- Legally binding statements;
- Limitation of liability;
- Attention messages.
Casino insider tips: Even though theoretically, the all-caps parts should be of interest and should take priority, that does not mean that you can just read those and be done with it. The entire document needs to be read through for an efficient play.
Limitation of liability clarified
If a contract is signed between two parties, in our case the casino and the punter, limitation of liability limits the amount of cash one party has to pay if they hurt the other. In the case of online services, of course, the options are much more limited in regards to physical damage.
What are the situations covered by such a clause?
- One or more than one obligation was not completed by one party;
- A duty was not completed, ending in some sort of harm on one side;
- One party purposefully or accidentally misinterpreted the contract’s clause and acted upon it, ending in harm done to someone.
- Infringement on intellectual property rights.
There might be more cases that casinos include in this section; this depends on each casino and its way of conducting their business. For example, many US-accepted online casinos write in that they are not liable for natural disasters or major events that may disrupt your sessions.
Even if the casino enters such clauses in its contract, the law cannot permit it to stand in a court to any extent. In particular, businesses that depend on consumers, like online casinos, have to have their best interest in mind when conducting their business.
For example, liability is limited only if the rest of the text is fair and not detrimental to the punters. Thus, abusive casino terms and their weakness will not stand a chance in an ADR resolution or something further. To prove or disprove this, the prosecution will most likely conduct a test on how reasonable the rules are. If failed, the provisions of those paragraphs are annulled.
Features that are usually set up in those clauses by businesses are:
- What losses are accepted and covered by the binding contract;
- What damages are covered by the casinos and which are not;
- What events are entirely excluded.
What parts require your special attention
It is time to take each part of terms that needs extra verification on your part, so you know what a good decision is like. We always analyse these things in our reviews, so we know every nook and cranny of what is important.
How your data is collected and stored
Your identity, financial data, gaming history, and history of transactions need to remain anonymous. It should only be stored in the casino and be accessed under certain circumstances. The same goes for your cookies and other traces that you leave on the Internet.
What situations get your account deleted
These facts, also sometimes named termination clauses, are the ones that explain what you are not allowed to do and the consequence for each specific action.
The casino also has to specify how many ‘strikes’ you get on your record before they suspend your profile and if a suspension on one website also translates to one on its sister sites.
Casino insider tips: Never try to avoid, cheat, or hack any statement of your online casino. A disruptive behaviour may get you banned from multiple platforms. If you do not agree with the rules, move on to the next casino.
Does the casino follow US laws?
As we said, the sites you will be able to access with a US IP address are licensed by the USGC. This automatically means that the website has undergone a series of tests over the course of multiple months. Even so, a website should apply the rules of the country it operates in. This goes beyond the gambling factor and relates to your status as a customer.
Casino insider tips: Usually, governing laws are written on top of the terms page, or on the bottom part of the front page.
Know Your Customer procedure
To be sure that nobody is illegally using your identity when playing at an online casino and to make sure that all users are adults, Know Your Customer (or KYC for short) has to be completed either prior to accessing the games or prior to accessing the withdrawals.
When you send copies of your IDs and bank cards to the customer support lines or through a submission box on the website, this is done by you when you send copies of your IDs and bank cards to prove your name, age, and funds. Because this involves sensitive issues, you have to be informed over how these verifications are performed and how is this data stored.
Casino insider tips: KYC is a method of protecting under-age children from the temptation of gambling, as well as an option employed by businesses to make sure that customers do not use the bonuses abusively or for reasons related to money laundering.
As we know, bonuses are in their wide majority tied to wagering requirements, meaning you have to play some sums a certain amount. But wagering may be required even outside bonuses. For example, let us say that you desire to deposit $25 in your gaming account. If you want to take it out because you have changed your mind, you might need to wager them at least once or twice, if not more times.
Such info will be situated near the bonuses or the wallet sections of the terms page.
Time and win limits
Casinos also are used to impose limits on how much you can play a bonus or a tournament timewise. There are cash-out limits at the same capacity that you can’t go over, even if you have won fair and square. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you will never be able to get hold of the cash; it just means that you will receive in instalments that respect those limits.
Casino insider tips: If you cannot find any of the things we presented, you should ask about them via the available support methods you have available. Live chat messenger is the ideal one.
We hope that we have provided answers to all your questions and tackled all the important issues in our terms and conditions casino guide. Again, before we part ways, we need to once again reinforce with strength the importance of reading the terms and conditions.
Even though we create our own expert analysis when we create the reviews, it is your contract to accept. Nobody will make the decision better than yourself, knowing your needs and preferences and following our guidance. Make sure to visit out our list of priority topics when it comes to a casino’s terms and conditions and then start your play!