Understanding online casino terms and conditions in depth
Online casino terms and conditions are a lot to take in. A long document filled with legalese doesn't really qualify as a page-turner, especially if the concepts are somewhat unfamiliar.
However, it's important to know what you're agreeing to before depositing and playing with real money in casinos online. The worst-case scenario is that you accidentally break the rules and the casino confiscates your winnings. Avoid these unpleasant situations where you lose your money and your sanity with our guide to decoding online casino terms and conditions.
In this guide you'll learn about:
- What terms and conditions are
- Why online casinos have terms and conditions
- Where to find online casino terms and conditions
- Know Your Customer (KYC) practices
- Bonus terms and conditions
- Banking terms and conditions
- Offer terms and conditions
- What happens when you break the rules
What are online casino terms and conditions?
All the online platforms and services you use daily are bound by terms and conditions. Remember that long document full of disclaimers that you didn't read and just accepted before starting to use your social media account, computer, smartphone or any app? Those are terms and conditions.
Online casino terms and conditions usually detail:
- Casino processes (the ways in which the casino conducts its affairs on the website)
- Player account procedures
- KYC ("know your customer") procedures
- Deposit and withdrawal procedures
- Gaming rules
- Contribution percentages of the different casino games
- Prohibited activity
- IT notices
- Intellectual property rights
- Personal data processes and privacy information
- Responsible gaming information
- Company information
- Other legal information
While comprehensive and lengthy to absorb, the terms and conditions document should give you a full picture of how the online casino operates and what is and isn't allowed.
This list isn't exhaustive and some casinos might include more or less information than we listed above.
Why do online casinos have terms and conditions?
Terms and conditions are a contract between the user and the service provider – in this case, the player and the online casino. This contract protects both the online casino and the players, while ensuring that obligations are met by both parties.
T&Cs should be a two-way street: guaranteeing the rights and interests of the online casino and those of the player. You should be aware, however, that online casinos are businesses, with the end goal of making a profit. This means that the T&Cs are often slightly skewed in favour of the casino: the standard house edge is a good example.
Since you're depositing and playing with real money, being aware of the details of that contract is vital. You'll also need to ascertain that you're comfortable entering into multi-component transactions with the casino on its own terms. If you're not cool with some of the limitations imposed on player withdrawals by one casino, for instance, looking for another casino with looser T&Cs might be a good idea.
Where can you find the terms and conditions?
You'll usually find the terms and conditions listed on a separate web page. In most cases, you can access this from a link in the online casino website's footer. Other casinos might place this information in your player account dashboard or another navigational menu on the site.
If you don't manage to locate the T&Cs, contact the casino's customer support to ask for directions or a copy of the whole document.
Bojoko resolves the need to roam for T&Cs by providing handy links to each online casino's terms and conditions across the site. You can quickly skim through each casino's terms and conditions here:
- Casino review
- Casino lists all over the site
Your only job is to read the terms and conditions thoroughly and understand the terms of the contract before you play in a new casino.
"Know your customer" (KYC) explained
Licensed online casinos are bound by regulation to verify that their players are who they claim to be. The players' contact and payment information also needs to be verified. This process is called "know your customer" (KYC), and there are several reasons why it's important:
- To prevent underage gambling
- To limit player accounts to one per person
- To fight money laundering and organised crime
- To rule out casino fraud
- To meet the obligations of licensing bodies and adhere to gambling regulation
For the player, KYC involves account verification emails and SMSs when signing up to an online casino for the first time. You'll also need to submit some documentation when making withdrawals. The required documents might include scans or photos of your:
- Bank statement
- Credit card front and back
- Passport or another photo ID
- Proof of address (e.g., a recent utility bill)
- Yourself in physical possession of one of these documents
Some casinos require documents from every player who makes the first withdrawal request. Others only bother when the total withdrawal amount is substantial, like C$2,000 or over.
You only need to submit the documents once for each casino. That's a great reason to pick the single best casino for you and stick to it.
For more information about the benefits of becoming a loyal patron of one online casino, check out our guide to online casino loyalty & VIP programs.
Bonus terms and conditions
Online casinos don't want players abusing their bonuses (which happens more often than you think), so almost all of them come with strings attached. In fact, there are usually so many bonus-related rules that many casinos have a separate terms and conditions document for bonuses.
The link to the document can usually be found in the casino website's footer, but many casinos link to the bonus T&Cs from their promotions pages too.
Bonus T&Cs explain in full detail what you can and cannot do with an active bonus. Here is a brief overview of the terms and conditions you'd normally expect for any online casino bonus:
- Wagering requirements that must be met before you can withdraw your winnings.
- Wagering requirements based on your bonus amount, your deposit amount or the sum of both, depending on the casino. This is how much you need to bet in total to clear the wagering requirements.
- Wagering usually begins when you start playing with bonus money and must be completed within a set period of time, ranging from one day to several weeks.
- There's a maximum bet, usually $5 per spin or 50¢ per payline.
- Only certain games (usually slots) can be played with bonus money.
- If you're allowed to play table games or live dealer games with a bonus, they only contribute 0% to 10% towards the wagering requirements.
- There's usually a list of ineligible games that cannot be played with bonus money at all.
We've also got you covered for all you need to kƒnow about wagering requirements.
Banking terms and conditions
Online casinos accept several deposit and withdrawal methods. Although banking T&Cs vary considerably between casinos, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- Casinos have minimum deposit and withdrawal limits that might differ for each payment method.
- All deposits need to be wagered at least once (sometimes more) before making a withdrawal.
- Winnings from no deposit bonuses cannot be withdrawn until you've verified a payment method by making a deposit and wagering it once.
- Some methods only allow you to make deposits. For withdrawals you must verify another method by depositing and wagering.
- Some banking methods may include fees that are either charged directly to your account or invoiced later (mostly if you're paying by phone).
- Casinos have monthly maximum withdrawal limits. If you win tens of thousands, you might not be able to get all your winnings in one go.
Offer and promotion terms and conditions
Online casinos frequently present offers, deals and promotions to players. Like bonuses, these "goodies" are not without pitfalls. You should be extra careful when accepting or comparing offers, as the T&Cs determine how good it actually is.
Here are some common terms and conditions for offers:
- All offers have an active time window during which they can be redeemed.
- There are usually specific parameters about entering competitions and raffles, or participating in a giveaway. You might need to deposit a certain amount within a given timeframe or perform a particular action.
- There might be a limit to how many times you're eligible for the offer.
- Deposit bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, free spins and cash prizes often have wagering requirements.
- If you're the winner, casinos might get full rights to use your personal details for PR purposes.
- After winning, you'll have to claim your prize within a set time period or risk forfeiting your winnings.
Enforcing the terms and conditions
With so many terms and conditions to digest and observe, it's easy to overlook some rules. Sometimes, accidents happen; in other cases, people flout the rules intentionally. Each casino has a different approach to dealing with these situations, and they do judge them on a case-by-case basis.
Online casinos can always fall back on the option of a strict interpretation of their T&Cs: if you break the rules even slightly, you lose your bonus money, deposit money and any winnings. It's a scenario you definitely want to avoid!
That said, casinos might overlook minor infractions clearly made in error. You might get away with a couple of slightly larger bets than the specified maximum. Also, accidentally playing a few rounds of a wrong game might not result in you losing everything. However, casinos won't let anybody gain an advantage from their kindness and will at least deduct the ill-gotten gains from your winnings.
It's better not to try your luck with breaking the rules intentionally or unintentionally. Breaking the casino's terms and conditions is a gamble with nothing to win!