There are cases in which online casinos in the United Kingdom can cancel your bonus. Our gambling experts are here to clarify these situations for you, help you navigate it if it happens to you, and guide you towards avoiding it.
Table of contents
How a casino can legally cancel your bonus?
Casinos have the right and the power to cancel your bonus. This can happen either while you are using it or after you are done using it, and you try to cash out from it, depending on the situation. Of course, this can only happen if you breach their Terms and Conditions or Bonus Rules.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission oversees casino’s activity
Its primary purpose is to protect players and ensure they are playing in a safe and fair environment and can benefit from fair promotions as well. It oversees activities for both physical and online gambling sessions.
What does the UKGC do?
This authority verifies the UK casino bonuses, how they are credited and what conditions they come with. Therefore, every gambling platform licensed by this trustworthy authority is entirely safe for you to play and claim promotions at.
This does not mean they cannot cancel your bonus if the situation requires it.
Rules imposed by the UKGC:
The promotional restrictions need to be separate from the General Terms
The below terms must be separated:
- Sanctions and prohibitions on the use of multiple accounts
- Account fraud
- Manipulation of software
- Exploitation of loopholes
- Any other type of cheating or abuse
This makes it easier for you to obtain the information and be aware of all the consequences you will suffer if you engage in any of the activities mentioned above while on that gambling platform.
The Terms and Conditions section needs to clearly specify all the play patterns
Play patterns that are prohibited by the casino and which may lead to your bonus being restricted or cancelled must be straightforward. The casino does not have the right to deem any play pattern outside of those mentioned in their Terms to be irregular.
The casino has an obligation to inform you
You have the right to be clearly informed if the casino:
- Has decided to cancel your bonus
- Block a withdrawal
- Void your casino account balance
You have to receive a full explanation on why that happened, but the casino does not have to breach the General Regulatory Obligations. Still, the staff should point out the specific Terms you have breached, which led to actions being taken against you in the form of loss of credits, bonus cancellation, or any other.
Not all casinos in the UK are licensed by the UKGC. This means that they may have different Terms and Conditions, which you agree to upon sign-up. Always read the T&C section and make sure there are no unfair terms that you agree with, putting yourself in the position of having an unpleasant experience!
Common reasons for bonus cancellation
An online casino may cancel your bonus for a variety of reasons, and our experts are here to present you with the most common ones.
Casinos should make it very clear in their Terms and Conditions what they consider irregular play.
While most platforms, especially those licensed by the UKGC, have similar definitions for it, some may have different rules.
Most times, irregular play includes but is not limited to making low-risk bets in table games, betting above a certain percentage of your bonus or deposit, as set by the casino.
You deposit 10 GBP and get a first deposit bonus that doubles your payment, then open a slot machine. If the casino considers betting more than 30% of your bonus or deposit to be irregular play, this means that a 5 GBP single bet on a spin may deem the bonus unusable, as it constitutes 50% of either the bonus or the deposit you have made. Even more, all the credits obtained through that wager will also be void.
Owning multiple accounts
You are not allowed to own more than one account per gambling platform. This is clearly stated in every online casino Terms and Conditions.
The consequences for this are not limited to bonus cancellation, but they can also extend to having your account closed or even being banned from creating an account with them again.
There are online casinos that are owned by the same company, and if you are banned, you may be banned from all the casinos owned by that company.
Engaging in fraudulent activities will lead to the casino cancelling your promotion.
Such activities are:
- Registering stolen credit cards as payment methods
- Transfer/receipt of funds to other player’s accounts
- Money laundering
- Using false information during registration or KYC
Even more, your account will be permanently closed, and all funds will be withheld, and, depending on the severity of the situation, the casino may even bring legal proceedings against you. In such case, your account balance will be used to finance the casino’s costs incurred by the fraudulent activity.
Bonus abuse and bonus hunting
Bonus abuse comes in many forms.
What is bonus abuse?
It may mean that you can claim bonuses and not use them right away. Instead, you keep them, stack them, and later use them in conjunction with other promotions. It may also mean that you can manage to claim a bonus twice.
Claiming an offer twice should be technically impossible, but such cases have been recorded.
For other casinos, bonus abuse can include making big wagers with bonus credits, which is why they often set a maximum bet for this.
On the other side, bonus hunting is when you sign up, claim and use a bonus quickly, cash out if you have credits in your balance or move on to a different casino for a new promotion. You may even come back to the first casino but only to claim a different bonus.
Online casinos pay close attention to your play patterns at all times to determine if you fall into these categories of players.
What is account collusion?
Collusion represents a form of cheating where two or more players can engage in. Whether they exchange card information or played at the same table, or participated in the same tournament, to the detriment of other players, it constitutes collusion.
Deciding on specific actions to take during the game, chip dumping, or stack balancing are also included. There are more actions that are considered collusion, and the best way to know what is off-limits is to read the Terms and Conditions.
If a casino finds evidence of collusion, your account will be suspended, and the staff will cancel any active bonuses. Also, you may be permanently banned from playing there again.
Using VPN software
Some gambling platforms are available for different countries, or one can be active in many countries but offer different promotions.
If you use Virtual Private Network software to be able to benefit from no deposit bonuses or other promotions meant for players from another country, all bonuses obtained this way will be cancelled.
UK casinos have advanced systems that can detect the use of VPN software, even if it may work at first.
It is only a matter of time before the casino detects that, and it can come with other consequences for you, such as having your account closed or even banned.
Exploiting technical errors
While casinos invest plenty of time and resources into maintaining their website, games and other features may sometimes have temporary technical errors. If you exploit such an error, you risk having your active promotions cancelled and funds void from your account balance.
Using inappropriate language
Using inappropriate language towards other players via game chat or towards the casino’s staff via email, phone, or Live Chat is unacceptable on any gambling platform in the UK.
You are not allowed to use offensive words, racial slurs, or any other type of inappropriate language and ignoring this rule may attract harsh consequences, including but not limited to the cancellation of your current promotions.
There are many player’s rights and obligations that you should be aware of when gambling online. Knowing and respecting these is beneficial to you and allows you to play in a fun and safe environment.
How to avoid having your bonus cancelled?
The best way to avoid having your bonus cancelled by a casino is to read the Terms and Conditions and be fully informed. Knowing what is off-limits on that platform is very important if you want to avoid this unpleasant situation.
Here are some valuable tips from our gambling specialists:
- Provide the casino with accurate information – You must provide accurate information when signing up. Also, you will have to provide more information and even documents during the KYC process.
- Use your own payment methods – In order to avoid any fraud suspicions, you have to use your own payment methods when playing at an online casino. Using someone else’s card, for example, may cause problems with the casino.
- Respect the Bonus Terms – Every promotion comes with its own Bonus Terms. This tells you exactly how to use the bonus not to risk having it cancelled. It informs you about any requirements, conditions, and limitations you have regarding the promotion. Breaching these will lead to having that bonus taken away from you along with any funds obtained through it.
- Report technical errors – If you encounter any issue or error in the games you play or the casino’s features, you simply have to reach out to customer support and inform them about it. Not exploiting these keeps your promotions safe and allows you to keep on playing and enjoying them.
- Play on your own devices only – You have the option to play either on desktop devices or mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. You may log in and play on any or both. You should be the only one to have access to your account, and the casino staff constantly checks your logs to make sure your account is safe.
We advise you to not log in on different computers from different places, as switching your IP address often may seem like your account is used by more than one person. This is not allowed.
What to do if your bonus is wrongfully cancelled
You can take actions if you have your bonus cancelled and you feel like it is not a fair decision. The first thing you need to do in such a situation is to check the Terms and Conditions and look for any breach of terms. You may not be aware of a mistake you have made, and rereading these terms might shine some light on it.
If you do reread this and you still cannot figure out what the problem was, here are the steps you can take.
Step 1. Contact customer support
If your bonus was cancelled and it is not clear why that happened, the customer support team should clarify that for you.
Get in touch with them via any communication channel they offer and ask for an explanation. Then, if the explanation is satisfactory, proceed to ask for advice on how you can fix the problem.
If you get an incomplete or unsatisfactory explanation, you can move on to step 2.
Step 2. Go to websites that can mediate the situation
Some websites and forums can mediate issues and disputes between players and casinos. You can explain your situation and provide any proof you have, and, most of the time, someone from the casino's team will attend to your problem.
These websites are essential for any casino because many players visit them to check out others' experiences on that platform. Therefore, they do their best to fix or clarify any issues so that their image as a trustworthy casino will not be affected.
Step 3. Reach out to the UKGC
If step 1 and 2 do not bring the desired results, you can ask the UKGC for help.
They will analyze the situation from an objective point of view, and if the casino has indeed wrongfully cancelled your promotion, there will be repercussions depending on the severity of the case.
The actions above do NOT guarantee you will get back your bonus, any funds from it, or even regain access to your account if it has been closed.
The experts’ conclusions
After analyzing the Terms and Conditions of many online casinos in the UK and coming across many player-casino disputes, our experts concluded that having your casino bonus cancelled is not something that happens often, but it can be an upsetting situation if it does.
Our best advice
Never skip reading both the Bonus Terms and the Terms and Conditions for any gambling platform you join and any offer you claim. Then, all you have to do is not breach any of those terms and fairly use the website and its games.
By doing this, you make sure that you will have a pleasant experience and will enjoy the fun without any worries or risks.