Guide to The terms and conditions (or T&Cs) applied by the casino operators, dedicated to the small print attached to casino bonus and promotional offers.
When online casinos first started offering bonuses - around 15-20 years ago - the terms and conditions were a minefield of unclear information.
Fortunately, since those early days, things have improved dramatically. This is mainly thanks to governing authorities insisting that operators provide concise terms that use easy to understand language.
However, words and phrases can, and do, vary from casino to casino. Therefore, this can still confuse total beginners who are trying to compare different casino sign up bonuses and other offers to find the best value for money.
The purpose of this guide is to wipe away those small grey areas that still exist, so you can easily spot the top promotions.
Small doesn’t mean irrelevant
It could be something major like a life insurance policy or minor, such as downloading a new mobile app. The fact is, many things in everyday life come with terms and conditions - which are often referred to as the small print or fine print. Another fact is that less than half of the people take the time to read through all of the terms and conditions.
In regards to casino bonuses, the small print is of the utmost importance. However, this information is split into two parts:
- the main terms
- the full terms and conditions
The former provides a snapshot of the key points. They will always include the wagering requirements and a few other pieces of need-to-know information. Below, we examine both segments for you.
The basic main terms
In highly-regulated European and Scandinavian markets, operators are required to provide a snippet of the main terms. This gives an ‘at-a-glance’ look at the key details. We have taken three welcome offers from Betfair, LeoVegas and William Hill Casino respectively, and we’ve included the main terms as provided by the casino.
Although each offer is a match deposit bonus, the small print does vary quite a bit. Let’s break down the main points to see what we can find out.
Betfair: Up to £100 Bonus
"New Customers Only. Deposits made with e-wallets (Neteller, Moneybookers, etc) are not valid. Wagering requirements (x45) apply. Some games contribute less to the wagering requirement, some games contribute nothing. Please see terms & conditions for further details."
CasinoAward option: Betfair covers the basics well. Instantly, you know what payment methods are restricted, and then it covers the all-important wagering requirements (this is the amount you need to wager/bet to convert the bonus money to real money). Furthermore, it encourages players to read the full terms - something which you feel compelled to do as some games don’t contribute to the wagering.
LeoVegas - Up to £400 plus 100 Bonus Spins
"New UK players only. Select Casino bonus offer on sign-up and deposits. Deposits of £10, £20, £50, £100 matched with a bonus offer of the same value (14 day expiry). Total of four (4) Deposit bonuses + bonus spins offers available. 35x real money cash wagering of bonus offer amount must be met (30 days from deposit) before bonus is credited in cash. Spins credited upon deposits; under £50 - 10 Spins; £50 or over - 25 Spins. Spins on Book of Dead only, 3-day expiry, winnings paid in cash. Eligibility requirements apply. See full T&Cs."
CasinoAward option: The main terms for LeoVegas’ bonus are more complex, and for a new player, they could be a little confusing. To start with, there are different deposit amounts matched with a bonus of the same value, so we know this is 100%. The 14-day expiry is how long you have to claim the bonus. Then, it says there are four deposits. This means the £400 is not available in one lump. Lastly, it explains (reasonably clearly) how the size of your deposit affects the number of spins you get. When players read the full terms, all this information makes sense; however, at-a-glance, parts of it are baffling.
William Hill Casino - 100% Buy in Bonus up to £300
"New customers only. Opt in required. 1 x per customer. Min buy in £10. Casino tab only. Max £300 bonus. 40x wagering requirement. Max redeemable amount £2,000. Bonus expires 7 days from issue. Eligibility rules, game, location and currency restrictions, stake contributions and terms and conditions apply."
CasinoAward option: We like the approach William Hill has taken. All the essentials are covered, and there is no use of unnecessary words. It’s clear and to the point. Also, the last section regarding eligibility will lead players to discover the full terms.
What is evident from all of these summaries is that there is more information still hidden behind the curtain (in the full T&Cs), and without that, it’s difficult to know which offer represents the best value. For this reason, we strongly advise all players to take five minutes in reading them before choosing a specific offer.
Uncovering the full Terms and Conditions
The full terms and conditions reveal the whole picture. In relation to eligibility and restrictions, the information you must look for is:
- Location: is the offer only available in certain countries?
- Payment methods: often, e-wallets are excluded. However, sometimes PayPal is preferred. This is why you need this intel.
- Currency: is the bonus only open if you deposit using a certain currency?
- Games: what games can/can’t you play with bonus funds.
- Expiry dates: how long do you have to claim the bonus and then clear the wagering?
BSsome games contribute less to the wagering requirement, some games contribute nothing. The table below illustrates the game contribution percentages for each operator. Please note that certain casinos call this ‘game weighting’.
Therefore, if you have a £/€100 with 35x wagering, the total wagering requirement is £/€3,500. As the table shows:
- if you play slots, you need to wager £/€3,500 (100%);
- if you play roulette at Betfair or William Hill, you need to wager £/€7,000 (50%). However, if you play at LeoVegas, you won’t clear the wagering at all.
Maximum bets and Fair Play
New players may wonder if you are allowed to wager the whole of your bonus on one spin of a video slot or one blackjack hand. The short answer is no. Operators impose limitations on the amount you can bet, for instance:
Betfair - Players cannot place single bets equal to or in excess of 30% of the value of the bonus.
Leovegas - Players are not permitted to place bets of 25% or more of the deposited amount in a single round.
For bonuses that allow you to play roulette, there are also limits on table coverage, so players cannot cover the board trying to break even just to clear the wagering. Furthermore, jumping from even money table games where you were playing at the maximum bet level over to slots and minimum betting is deemed to be anti fair play, too.
Final Thoughts on Casino Bonuses’ T&Cs
Ultimately, the casino is a business, and it wouldn’t be profitable to make it too easy for players to win from all the promotions it offers. However, once you have a full understanding of the T&Cs, you can apply a strategy that will give you the best chance of winning. Of course, you still need a little luck on the day.
What’s essential is that you read the small print. See what stipulations and restrictions accompany the bonus. You can then assess your gaming and betting options accordingly.Last update: 26-06-2020