Can Online Casinos in the Us Cancel Your Bonuses?
Can Online Casinos in the Us Cancel Your Bonuses?
Everyone loves casino bonuses, both the casinos and the players. In fact, one of the reasons why online casinos have increased in popularity recently is bonuses. From free spins to free money, bonuses are the main way that online casinos attract and retain loyal customers.
But, with more players claiming generous bonuses, there have been a few reported problems. For example, some bonuses didn't work, or worse, were canceled. That's not only disappointing, it can make you downright angry.
You may wonder if it's legal to cancel a bonus. You may also wonder why your bonus was canceled.
So, let's look into the legality, why it can happen, and how to avoid it.
Is it legal to cancel a bonus?
The unfortunate answer is yes. Under certain circumstances, casinos can legally cancel your bonus. It doesn't sound fair, but, according to most state gambling authorities, it is legal, as long as the casino follows these guidelines:
- It must be clearly stated in the Terms and Conditions, under which circumstances a bonus can be canceled. For example, some play patterns may be prohibited. However, the casino should not use sole discretion to determine if a play pattern is prohibited. Also, a casino can not arbitrarily decide that other types of play can cause a bonus cancellation.
- The casino must ensure that the rules concerning bonus cancellation relate to prohibitions and sanctions related to account fraud. This can include opening multiple accounts, cheating, collusion with other players, exploiting loopholes, manipulating software, or other forms of abuse. Also, account abuse terms should be in a separate section from bonus rules.
- Once the casino has decided that the player will lose a bonus or winnings as a consequence of violating the bonus rules, they must fully inform the player about the action. The casino must give the player a full explanation, including the specific terms which were violated, causing the bonus cancellation.
These are the rules that casinos in most states must comply with. However, these rules may not apply in some states, or, if you choose to play at an unlicensed, offshore casino.
Thoroughly read and understand the Terms and Conditions and Bonus Rules for every casino you join. Within those pages, you should find clearly stated rules about what you are prohibited from doing on the platform.
You cannot complete the sign-up process without checking the box that says you accept the Terms and Conditions. While with most sign-ups, people skip over reading them, but with a casino, you should. Your money will be on the line.
If you simply check the box and later find that the online casino has unfair terms, you're stuck, because you agreed to those terms. Legally, they can cancel a bonus even if it seems unfair, as long as it's described in their Terms.
As you can see, it is legal for a casino to cancel your bonus.
Diving into the reasons why a casino might cancel a bonus
There are quite a few reasons why an online casino could cancel a player's bonus. However, it's not in their interest to do this, it simply sows ill-will among their players. It is in their interest to project an image of fairness and generosity. This is why canceled bonuses are not very common, and only happen when there is a good reason.
Promotions and bonuses are a great way to attract new customers and retain them. This is why casinos are very eager to give them away. However, bonuses and promotions often come with big betting requirements which must be met. This means that, ultimately, the casino is not really losing, but winning over a loyal customer. Players also love free spins and bonus cash, because they have more to play with.
Because of this, casinos won't arbitrarily cancel bonuses, since that could make their players leave. But there are a few situations in which a casino is forced to cancel a bonus:
Opening more than one account at the same casino: It's against the rules to open more than one account at the same casino for a couple of reasons. First, it's a way to abuse new player promotions. Second, it's a way to cheat, by playing against yourself. If you open more than one account, every bonus on every account will be canceled, and every account will be closed.
Signs of irregular play: The terms and conditions will clearly state what is considered irregular play. However, irregular play is pretty much the same on most platforms. Irregular play generally involves forms of cheating.
Suspicious behavior: This will also be outlined in the Terms and Conditions. However, often it refers to using a VPN to log in and play, logging in from multiple devices or IP addresses, and withdrawing funds you've deposited but have not used.
Taking advantage of a bug: Casino websites can have bugs and technical errors. In turn, these may cause a game to freeze or some other glitch. Taking advantage of these while playing can cause your bonuses to be canceled.
Using VPN software: Casinos in the United States are regulated state-by-state and must make sure players are within the state's borders. Each casino will have a way to detect the use of a VPN, and if they detect you, not only can bonuses be canceled, your account could be blocked.
The promotion is over: This is the most reason why a bonus might be lost. Every bonus and promotion has a time limit, as well as minimum betting requirements. If the specified amount of money isn't played within the specified time, the bonus promotion simply times out.
These are the most common reasons a bonus promotion can be canceled, but there could be more, depending on the casino.
What you can do to avoid having your bonus canceled
The first thing you can do to avoid having your bonus promotions canceled is to read and follow the Terms and Conditions, as well as the Bonus Terms. This will tell you what you are prohibited from doing and the consequences if you still engage in those activities.
However, there are a few simple things you can do while playing at any casino that will keep your bonuses and account safe from cancellation:
Play the required amount in the time specified for the bonus.
- Play through your funds before cashing out.
- Don't switch games too often while playing, it could look like irregular play.
- Play only from your own computer or device. Logging in from different devices and IP addresses could look like you're sharing your account with others, which is against the rules.
- Do not use any website bugs or glitches to your advantage. Rather, report the bug immediately to technical support. If the casino detects that you have exploited a bug, your account could be closed.
- Fully use your bonuses. Stacking bonuses or only using them halfway could be seen as bonus abuse or irregular play.
The good thing is, it's easy to avoid having your promotional bonuses canceled if you follow the rules. Having a bonus canceled is rare, and only done as a last resort measure if the rules are broken by the player. Enjoy playing with your bonuses, follow the rules, you should have no problems.
Types of Casino Bonuses
The two things that online casinos have over land-based casinos are convenience and thousands of different games. However, the appeal of internet casinos it’s not just convenience and games, but also the extremely generous bonuses.
The first bonus a player will encounter is the welcome bonus. However, the welcome bonus is just the beginning. Online casinos offer bonuses and promotions on a regular basis, with the goal of boosting your bankroll and earning your loyalty.
But, all the different types of bonuses can be confusing for beginners. We present the most popular casino bonuses you can earn to boost your bankroll and play like a winner.
The first bonus you’ll get when you join a casino is a welcome bonus. Usually, this is a combined deposit bonus and free spins. However, the welcome bonus can be any combination of generous bonuses.
Welcome bonuses are only available to new players registering for the first time. Like other bonuses, it needs to be used a certain number of times before the player makes their first withdrawal.
Players earn deposit bonuses when they deposit money in their casino account. A player can earn this type of bonus at any time, as part of a promotion.
This type of bonus matches a portion of the deposit, such as a percentage. Deposit bonuses can even match 100% of a player's deposit. Be sure to read the terms and conditions, and play it before making a withdrawal.
No deposit bonuses
This is simply a free bonus. Players do not need to make a deposit, it's just free. Once again, there will be terms and conditions, so be sure to read the fine print and play accordingly.
This is a slot player’s favorite type of bonus. Online casinos frequently gift players free spins, usually in lots of 20, 30, 50, or even 100. Free spins are often won while playing slot games. However, free spins usually need to be used within a few days, before they expire.
VIP or loyalty bonuses
When you regularly play at an online casino, you'll likely have a chance to become a VIP member. Loyalty or VIP bonuses are the biggest and the best type of bonus, only offered to the best players. This type of bonus could also come with a lower betting requirement, which means you can cash out sooner. VIP memberships also come with other advantages, besides just generous bonuses.
High roller bonuses
Players who gamble a lot of money in a single bet are known as high rollers. Big-spending, high rollers often get their own, preferential, VIP programs. High-rolling players are likely to be offered promotions and bonuses ideally suited to their big-spending lifestyle. For example, they may have a private account manager, who crafts bonuses and gifts just for them.
Gambling means winning, but mostly losing. A cashback bonus gives you a little free money to play, to help cover your losses. Online casinos usually issue cashback bonuses on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Be aware, cashback bonuses won't cover all of your losses, they're generally issued at 20-30%. Also, the bonus will need to be used, so read the terms.
Reload bonuses are similar to deposit bonuses. But, they rarely cover 100% of a deposit, they're more like 30-40% for a deposit, made on a particular day.
However, casinos only offer reload bonuses to players who have already made a deposit. It's not a bonus for new players, but rather, it’s for loyal patrons. Since they usually cover smaller portions of a deposit, the wagering requirements tend to be lower too.
There are a lot of other types of bonuses and gifts given away at online casinos. For example, players can earn a refer-a-friend bonus for getting their friends to sign up.
Online casinos can be very generous with free money and that keeps players coming back. It makes them feel like a winner. Essentially, bonuses keep players on the site, making deposits and gambling.
Bonuses are a win-win for both the players and the casinos. However, make sure to read the terms and requirements before claiming a bonus. If you don't understand and follow the terms, you might miss out on the advantages of bonus cash.
Land-based casinos sometimes cross over with online casinos
If you're a player at an online casino connected to one of the big, casino giants, like BetMGM or the Golden Nugget NJ, your player points could translate into hotel stays, spa treatments, free meals, and more. Likewise, your casino player card could earn you bonuses for online play. The fact is, getting comped isn't just for high rollers. Earning player points can get you free hotel accommodations, and a whole lot more.
BetMGM has tied their online player points into MGM Resort International's M-Life Rewards program. That means players can earn Tier Credits, both online and in-person. The more points a player earns, the more benefits they can enjoy. For example, the highest level Tier members can earn a complimentary cruise ship vacation, and every level earns special hotel discounts. MGM Resorts International has luxury hotels not only in Las Vegas but in eight other cities across the country.
Likewise, the Golden Nugget NJ has a 3-tiered points program, which can be earned in-person or online. Once a player reaches the second tier, the VIP Rewards Club, they automatically earn complimentary perks at the Golden Nugget Resort in Atlantic City. However, the cross-over points only apply in New Jersey, and not at the Golden Nugget's Nevada resorts. In fact, each Golden Nugget Resort across the country has its own unique programs.
Of course, most land-based casinos have their own bonus point programs, redeemable at the casino. Also, just like an online casino, new player card members get free money to play the slots. And similar to online membership, you can fund your account through the player card, which keeps track of your play. If you're at a brick-and-mortar casino, it's worth picking up a player's card.
Online casino bonuses are great, but don't get carried away
While earning bonuses at either an online or land-based casino is part of the thrill, it shouldn't become a goal. Remember, casinos give players bonuses to encourage them to play more, and playing more means spending more.
Some players could fall into the trap of “chasing bonuses” just like a gambling addict chases losses. That happened to a woman named Katie, who lost £125,000 playing at online casinos in the UK. In just one night of obsessive gambling, Katie lost an astounding £54,000. On another evening of binge gambling, she dropped more than £380,000.
Katie had hundreds of failed deposits, due to a lack of funds at her bank. Yet, the online casinos kept showering her with special VIP and high roller bonuses, encouraging her to gamble more.
“They use algorithms to know when you’re spending a lot. Then they make you a VIP and send you bonuses. They use that to their advantage”, said Katie. “They could also use algorithms to stop problem gambling, which is what the UK Gambling Commission says they should be doing”.
Fortunately, Katie eventually sought help, and one of the online casinos gave her £34,000 towards overcoming her gambling disorder. However, Katie's story should serve as a warning. Chasing bonuses can be just as damaging as chasing losses.
However, if used wisely, casino promotions and bonuses can be a good way to keep playing responsibly. With so many ways to win, it would be foolish not to take advantage of the offers as they arise. But, stay within your budget, and don't neglect your financial or personal responsibilities in order to gamble.
One email, once a week
Get new bonus codes, player tips & alerts about hot new online casinos.