During lockdown, more people have been signing up to casinos and online gambling sites. With bookmakers and bricks and mortar casinos closed due to the coronavirus crisis, the internet has been the natural place to go for anyone who wants to place a bet.
However, these gambling sites can prey on new customers in a number of ways. Players signing up to an online casino should therefore be wary. Here are a few things to look out for when joining a new online casino or gambling site.
Unclear offers or promotions
Gambling sites including online casinos use attractive offers and promotions in a bid to convince people to sign up with them rather than a rival operator in the industry. With the sector so competitive, these bonuses can seem as though they are too good to be true. In some cases, this is because they actually are. Always check the terms and conditions of an offer before committing to a new online casino. This might only take a few minutes, but it is well worthwhile. Do not ever blindly tick that box! Sometimes the offers and promotions are unclear. New players who are unused to how these
bonuses work can easily get confused, allowing the gambling site to take advantage of them.
High wagering requirements
One of the key things to look out for when reading the terms and conditions are wagering requirements as there are often unrealistic bonus terms to be aware of. Any online gambling site offering promotions like free spins or a deposit bonus will have a wagering requirement built into the terms and conditions. For the benefit of newcomers, wagering requirements means bonus funds must be bet a certain number of times before it will be unlocked and be made available to be withdrawn as cash.
It stands to reason that to protect their profits, gambling sites like online casinos will set the wagering requirements high enough that they are going to be hard to meet. But players who are inexperienced can inadvertently often spend some of their own money trying to meet the wagering requirements of a particular online casino promotion. Wagering requirements can vary hugely, with some sites having offers at around 20x and others going all the way up to as high as 100x in the terms and conditions of some of their promotions.
Maximum win limits from sign-up offers
Customers signing up at a new online casino should also look out for details about maximum win limits if they are planning to use a new user bonus. Often, gambling sites bury this detail in the small print even though if customers knew about it, they might well make the decision not to bother signing up. In some cases, sign-up offers that look at first glance to be extremely generous are virtually worthless. This is due to the fact that they have a very low maximum win limit attached. It is hard enough to come out on top with a bonus offer due to high wagering requirements. But when the maximum win limit can be as low as just £10, these promotions can be exploitative.
Cashout blocks and issues with withdrawing funds
A classic way that gambling sites exploit new users is by making it extremely hard to actually withdraw money that they have won playing online games. Many sites will demand proof of ID to be provided, leaving people scrambling to find where they have left their passport or another form of identification that can be used.
Often, the process is rather byzantine with gambling sites requiring various steps to be gone through before it is possible to make a simple withdrawal. It is strange that these ID documents do not need to be provided when signing up for an account and depositing money into a gambling site, but they are suddenly needed after a player has won. Cashout blocks are another way that unscrupulous sites can exploit their new customers.
Targeting vulnerable people to chase new customers
Research has found some gambling sites resort to dirty tricks in a bid to sign up new users. This might be through a variety of means, such as using advertisements that are surreptitiously aimed at children or teenagers, or by aiming their marketing at lapsed gamblers. These people may have made a conscious decision to step away from using sites such as online casinos, but operators can access data on players who might be tempted to return. Advertising is one of the big ways gambling sites sign up new customers. So when you see an ad for an online casino, question whether or not the site seems like it is a genuine operator.