Wagering requirements have been a part of the online casino industry for nearly 20 years, but it seems that one casino is stepping up to take this somewhat controversial “condition” out of the equation. BGO Casino – one of Europe’s most notable gambling brands – recently made the call to scrap all wagering requirements attached to bonuses. This meant that from the middle of October this year, players receiving a bonus would no longer be required to jump through hoops in order to make a withdrawal.
Under this new approach, players who grabbed a bonus at BGO Casino could effectively withdraw the figure immediately as real cash. These new terms – which are sure to send tremors through the entire gambling domain – will also apply to powerspins.com, BGO Casino’s sister site. The actual reason behind this decision shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as BGO has been pretty vocal on how they feel that the industry has been “over-bonusing” in recent years, to the point where it has actually harmed casino-customer relations. Speaking on the matter, Hannah Westley (BGO Entertainment CFO) said:
“For a while now we have felt that the online gaming market is over bonusing. We’ve been involved in the space since 2001 and remember when a 100% match bonus with a 20x turn requirement was the standard casino sign-up offer, even generous. Now we are seeing, 200%, 400%, no deposit bonuses, ‘free’ spins, higher wagering requirements, max, bets and less/non contributing games”.
The outcome of these industry shifts is evident, as while players receive bigger bonuses in size these days, the actual value of available promotions has decreased due to underlying terms and conditions.
After an in-house review at BGO Casino, the call was made and wagering requirements were pulled, with a new welcome bonus ushering in what could be deemed as a new era in online casino bonus play. Applicable for new customers only, 1 ‘free’ spin will be awarded for every pound initially deposited. There is a £10 minimum deposit in effect to claim the deal, with the ‘free’ spins issued for exclusive use on Starburst, Hansel & Gretel, Aloha Cluster Pays, and Shangri-La: Cluster Pays only. As you can see, with a deal like this BGO Casino has gone to great lengths to streamline the terms and conditions of its sign-up incentive – and all bonuses moving forward – even if this does present a risk for the company.
With the brand new welcome bonus mentioned above now being widely promoted, many are wondering what impact this will have on the industry overall. This is because BGO Casino decided to make the shift after receiving a hefty fine from the UKGC back in May. At the time the company was hit with a £300,000 fine, as the UKGC deemed that BGO was using misleading adverts on its own websites and via three affiliate platforms to mislead customers. In-house reviews then followed, with bonus terms and conditions being revealed as a main point of contention amongst players.
Fines within the online casino industry are hardly uncommon, as the ASA hasn’t been afraid to step in and punish companies that have operated outside of the lines. The difference between this fine and the usual punishments is that it addresses a practice that many online casinos have either fallen foul of or being impacted by over the years. Furthering that, it’s rare to see such a fine trigger immediate and possibly industry changing action as it has in this case.
While no other online casino has spoken about BGO Casino’s decision publically, murmurings have begun to generate, with some supposedly feeling that it represents a bold yet risky move for the brand. However, if players flood to the site because of this new, easy-going nature it could be a gamble that pays major dividends. Speaking on the potential impact this move may have on the industry, Allan Turner (BGO Chief Marketing Officer), said:
“Hopefully BGO can demonstrate to the industry that restrictive bonus wagering conditions are not the way to go and we can make them a thing of the past”.
This statement is certainly telling, as BGO has clear intentions on influencing other online casino brands on how they deal with wagering requirements moving forward.