Jan 15

Land-Based vs. Online Casino Loyalty Programs Compared

Comp Comparison: Land-Based vs. Online Casino Loyalty Programs

Walk into any casino, and if you aren’t already brandishing a rewards card, you’ll be urged to sign up for whatever player’s club program they have on offer. Logging into an online casino comes with the same consideration. You’ll either be signed up for the rewards plan automatically, or strongly encouraged to join.

These programs are designed with several purposes in mind, benefiting both the players and the casinos. Players receive various types of rewards base don their game play, and casinos are able to collect all sorts of marketing data to better their game selection. They are also able to design targeted promotions for individual members based on their past gaming history. Realistically, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Land-based casinos tend to deliver very similar rewards packages as their fellow land-based rivals. Likewise, online casinos mimic their internet competitors in most ways. However, there are significant differences between the way walk-in and log-in casinos reward their loyal players.

Land-Based vs. Online Casino Loyalty Programs

To answer the most obvious question – Which is more rewarding? – I’ll start by saying the land-based variety are a lot more versatile. You may be offered anything from free credits, to free food, to free hotel rooms. Online casinos are more conservative, delivering bonus credits more than anything else. Then again, the amount of bonus credits from online casinos greatly outweighs the number of free credits any land-based establishment would be willing to offer.

So which is best? It honestly depends on what you want out of your experience. Check out the comp comparisons below and decide for yourself which would benefit you the most.

Free Bonus Credits

This is where online casinos shine. They have consistent bonus promotions to take advantage of. Whether you’re high-rolling VIP or not, you’ll get regular deposit bonus offers. On top of that, you’ll earn comp points for every dollar you wager. Those comps convert back to cash at a rate of $1 per 1,000 points. Higher VIP levels usually get an accelerated points rate of up to +25%.

Land-based casinos will offer small bonuses every once in a while, but unless you’re an upper echelon VIP member, don’t expect too much. Land-based casinos prefer to deliver their comps in the form of goods and services, as opposed to free bets or cash.

Comped Goods & Services

At a land-based casino, comps are most often provided as free goods and services, such as free beverages and meal vouchers, or tickets to a live show. If you’re spending enough money, the casino might put you up in their hotel. Their biggest spenders may be offered everything from limo rides to shuttle service via the casino’s private jet.

It’s rare for an online casino to supply physical goods or services. They do not host restaurants, hotel chains or concerts. However, some have been known to promote real-life experiences, such as Caribbean cruises, Vegas getaways, etc. Some have been known to allow players to trade comps for physical merchandise, like electronics or apparel. Again, these are rare perks, but it has been done before.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Walk-in casino guests have more leverage here. You can approach the concierge desk and request pretty much anything. The more you play – and more importantly, the higher your wagers – the more likely you are to receive exceptional requests. But in general, casino hosts are paid to keep guests happy. Asking for a free meal might only get you a free drink, but that’s still a free drink. Or, you may get that meal. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Online casino loyalty programs offer their highest level VIPs a dedicated account manager. You can ask this person for anything you want, just like in a land-based casino. Again, your request may or may not be fulfilled, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. You won’t likely be given anything substantial, like plane tickets or hotel stays. More realistic requests would be a refined bonus offer or faster withdrawal times.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Dec 06

Ontario is raising the stakes w/ a PlayOLG welcome bonus package worth up to $300 in free casino credits.

PlayOLG Welcome Bonus: Ontario Raising the Stakes w/ New Player Incentives

I remember it wasn’t all that long ago that I was reporting on the lack of promotional offerings at any of Canada’s provincially regulated online casinos. The laws were defined in such a way that incentives were unlawful, making it impossible for these operator’s to compete with their internationally-regulated rivals overseas. That is clearly no longer the case.

Provincial governments soon discovered that, without a promotional package, their own citizens had no interest in partaking in the meager offerings of home-grown iGaming sites like Ontario’s PlayOLG. It wasn’t until amendments to the law gave these online casinos the option to promote welcome bonuses and other incentives that players began taking notice. Now, the promotions are so attractive, they easily rival those of offshore operations.

PlayOLG Welcome Bonus Package Worth $300

PlayOLG, the iGaming platform of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG), has a lofty newcomer bonus on its menu. First-time depositors are invited to take advantage of three consecutive deposit bonuses, each delivering a 100% match of up to $100.

Each offer may be redeemed by entering the corresponding bonus code:

  • First Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: first
  • Second Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: second
  • Third Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: third

Promotional Terms To Be Considered

As always there are certain conditions attached to the redemption of a bonus, and the fulfillment of wagering requirements before any winnings can be cashed out. In this case, PlayOLG has attached the following terms:

  • Minimum qualifying deposit to receive a bonus is $15.
  • Minimum deposit to receive the full $100 bonus is $100.
  • Only residents of Ontario who are 19 or older are eligible to redeem a welcome bonus at PlayOLG.
  • The player’s cash deposit will be credited to their “cash balance” account.
  • The player’s bonus will be credited to their “bonus balance” account.
  • The combined total of the “cash” and “bonus” balances shall be displayed as the “total balance” while playing eligible games (see Eligible Games and Wagering Requirements below).
  • The welcome package promotion detailed above expires on January 31, 2020.

Eligible Games and Wagering Requirements

PlayOLG’s new player bonuses come with some of the most generous wagering requirements (WR) the industry has ever seen. Players are only required to complete WR of 10x the bonus amount. If the full $100 bonus is claimed, 10x WR would require play through of $1,000 in bets.

That’s far more attractive than the average 40x play through of a deposit and bonus combined. However, there is a 30 day expiration period. WR must be completed within the 30 days or the entire bonus will be forfeit. The same forfeiture applies if the player attempts to request a cashout before completing WR.

Long story short, these are the easiest wagering requirements you’ll come across – don’t mess it up!

Eligible games, and their percentage-based contribution towards WR, are as follows:

PlayOLG Games WR %
Slot Machines 100%
Instant Win Games (Casino) 100%
Fast Poker 50%
Blackjack Games 10%
Texas Hold’em Games                           10%         
Let It Ride 10%
Sic Bo 10%
Three Card Poker 10%
War 10%
Baccarat Games* 0%
Roulette Games* 0%
Video Poker Games* 0%
Lottery Games* 0%

*Only funds available in the player’s “cash balance” will appear as their “total balance” when playing any game that counts 0% towards WR contribution.

For the complete PlayOLG welcome bonus rules, please visit the website directly.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Nov 05

Upgrade to free mobile casino games app tells real-money casinos all about the behaviors of social gamers.

Upgrade to Free Mobile Casino Games App Tells All about Players

If you haven’t heard of PLAYSTUDIOS, odds are you’ve heard of some of their mobile gaming apps. PLAYSTUDIOS is the proud creator of social casino games like myVEGAS Slots, myVEGAS Blackjack, myKONAMI Slots, and POP! Slots. These Android and iOS apps took the free-play gaming world by storm a few years back, and continue to attract more and more players with each passing day. The company boasts over 90 million downloads, with 5 million active daily players.

These are free to play casino games, mind you. The slot machines, the table games, and everything in between, cost nothing to play. Users can collect free chips every day, if not every hour, and are never obligated to purchase anything. It is an option, of course, but not required. What sets PLAYSTUDIOS’ free slots apps apart from the hundreds of other mobile gaming labs that create them is the unique rewards system.

Building the Most Popular Free Mobile Casino App

Prior to launch, PLAYSTUDIOS pitched a wild idea to major casino corporations like MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment; the respective owners of major gambling destinations like The Bellagio, Luxor, MGM Grand, Bally’s, Harrah’s, The Rio, and so many more. The company partnered with these brand, giving them the opportunity to attract players by offering real-life rewards to their players.

It was an instant success. When the first free casino app, myVEGAS, launched in 2013, it skyrocketed onto the 100k+ downloads list, soon hitting the 1+ million mark. Players loved the idea of earning free rewards points, known as V-coins, that could be redeemed for real rewards, such as hotel stays, meals, show tickets and other perks from Las Vegas resorts. However, according to the latest news reports, the company may be collecting a bit too much information about their players.

Upgrade to Free Vegas Apps Divulges “Real-Time Behaviors”

According to a press release from PLAYSTUDIOS, the latest upgrade to their free mobile gaming suite is loaded with perks – not necessarily for their players, but for their casino corporation partners. The missive reads:

The award-winning game developer’s newly-redesigned playAWARDS platform introduces a groundbreaking suite of B2B tools that connect partners and players while providing unprecedented insight into today’s mobile and social casino gamers.

playAWARDS offers partners improved data security, workflow, and monitoring of their rewards portfolios, with advanced performance metrics that capture the real-time behaviors of PLAYSTUDIOS’ global gaming audience.”

PLAYSTUDIOS goes on to boast its partnership with “more than 70 iconic brands”, including Canada’s largest gaming group, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment. For these companies, the new playAWARDS platform is said to be an “essential tool” for reaching “mass audiences of potential customers worldwide.”

What the company neglects to state is exactly what “real-time behaviors” their app intends to monitor and share with all those casino corporations. That could be a huge issue for players, who are already disappointed in the upgraded rewards system. They already seem to be losing interest as it is.

Players Say Awards Have “Gone Downhill”

The most recent reviews on Google Play aren’t good. In the last week, numerous long-time users say their opinion of the games has diminished greatly. Just this week, a reviewer of the POP! Slots app said she’s played the game for more than a year, but that “echoing other reviews, it has gone downhill”. She was particularly disappointed by the new rewards system, complaining that it now offers just 10 points per V-coin balloon pop.

I haven’t played this game in a few months, but it’s still on my mobile phone, so I launched it and decided to see for myself. I do remember that the V-coins were previously doled out in higher increments, and that – like others have complained about – the wins come so infrequently that you run out of chips long before another bonus is paid (i.e. if you don’t pay for chips, you cant play much). What I found was even more disappointing…

It used to be that the balloons popped in cycles – or it least they seemed to. You’d get free casino chips, XP, and V-coins, on a rotating cycle. If you missed a balloon, you missed what was in it. Sadly, after playing for more than half an hour, popping every balloon that came up, I was never once given V-coins. Almost all of them were XP, with a few casino chip bonuses in the mix.

If there’s one thing I can say, it’s that PLAYSTUDIOS founder, chairman and chief, Andrew Pascal, wasn’t lying when he said, “We’ve taken a very different, approach to promoting all that our partners have to offer.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jul 08

Live Gaming + Twitch Casino Streams = Future of Mobile Gambling

Live Gaming + Twitch Casino Streams = Future of Mobile Gambling

Prognosticators of the iGaming industry have made their predictions, and they all agree. Twitch iGaming channels are all looking to live casinos to attract viewers, while internet gambling operators are looking to those Twitch channels to produce more players. Put it all into one big melting pot, and you get the future of mobile casino gambling.

Back in the day, online casino games were all 2D affairs with RNG-based results, promoted by affiliate websites who touted the perks and promos of their favorite brands to drive traffic. Today, it’s a whole new ballgame. Now, 3D casino action is all the rage. Random computer algorithms are being replaced by live table games with real dealers, broadcast via high-tech webcams. Affiliates have become real-time vloggers who stream their action live over the web.

Live Gaming Overtaking Twitch Casino Streams

Twitch is a live-streaming video service that allows gamers to record their activities and stream them live over the web for others to watch. In the beginning, it was PC and console video games that ruled the streaming roost. But forward-thinking casino affiliates saw it as something more. Tired of reviewing, blogging and regurgitating news, they decided to play the games, stream the action live, and provide links for others to follow in their footsteps.

As viewership grew dramatically, it didn’t take long for online casinos to start sponsoring the most popular Twitch slots streamers, making it one of the most successful affiliate ventures of all time. Reading about some random person who won a big jackpot is inspiring, but not nearly so much as watching it happen, live via webcam. But that only works on players who love slot machines, and while there are many of them, it does no good for attracting table games fans.

Dream Catcher Monopoly Live

This is where Twitch iGaming channels have found ultimate success with live casino action. Live casino streams are able to deliver a whole different type of experience, wherein the viewer learns just how far iGaming technology has come in recent years.

Blackjack isn’t the only form of live casino gaming. If it were, there wouldn’t be much entertainment value in watching others play it.

It’s other games with big potential payouts, like Evolution Gaming‘s groundbreaking Dream Catcher Lucky Wheel and
Dream Catcher Monopoly Live that are attracting the masses, and convincing others that these games are fun, rewarding, and well worth paying to play.

Live Casino Twitch Streams Destined to Grow

The experts agree that this avenue of live gaming distribution has only one way to go, and that’s straight up. Live casino games are by far the the most immersive way to gamble on a desktop computer or mobile device, and for our younger generations who grew up with these devices, watching videos of other people doing fun stuff has become just as popular as watching television or a movie.

When it you put it all together, it just makes sense. Casino operators are well aware of it, too. They are spending big bucks to showcase their wares in highly visible forums, and right now, Twitch casino streams are capturing quite an audience. Thus these companies are prepared to make huge investments into the area of promotional campaigns.

Also causing quite a stir are 3D/VR table games. More recently, we’ve seen this concept combined with live casino technology as well. Players put on a headset, then enter a VR world where they traverse a graphically stunning casino floor and approach the table of a real, live dealer.

The capabilities are fantastic. All casinos and their game engineers need is a forum to showcase these possibilities and promote them as the next big thing. And that, my friends, is how Twitch casino streams are helping to mold the future of mobile gambling.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

May 02

How to understand online casino bonus rules & requisites.

How to Understand Online Casino Bonus Rules & Requisites

I’ve visited this topic before, but it’s been a few years. Times have changed a lot since then, and immensely since the birth of the online gambling industry. Most of those changes have been for the better, but not all.

The most positive change has been a legal shift in which transparency of online casino bonus terms I now mandated by reputable regulators. Ambiguous, misleading or otherwise convoluted rules are no longer permissible, and could get an operator in hot water with licensing authorities.

Conversely, some of the more alluring casino bonuses of yesteryear are just that – a thing of the past. Gone are the free play time bonuses that gave players a huge chunk of chips and an hour to spend them, keeping the profits if the right conditions were met. You can hardly even find a small no-deposit bonus anymore, thanks to rules surrounding pre-authorization through ID verification.

Nevertheless, the bonuses that are available are certainly worth taking advantage of. The key is to understand what you’re getting into, and to know what to look for when reading the fine print.

Understanding Online Casino Bonus Rules & Requisites

Bonus terms can be very long-winded, even in today’s age of obligatory transparency. Somewhere within all that confusing text are four key elements to look for. They include:

Wagering Requirements (WR, aka Play Through)

Eligible Games



Wagering Requirement / Play Through

Online Casino Wagering Requirements

Every bonus comes with wagering requirements (WR), which relate to the amount of play through you must conduct before you get to keep any of that money for yourself. It only makes sense that WR would be required. Without it, any new player could claim a bonus, withdraw it as cash and walk away. Online casinos will go to great lengths to compete for players, but they are not in the business of throwing away money.

To find the wagering requirements in the terms, search within the text (Find in Page) for the terms “wager”, “require” or , “WR”. One of these, if not all, will hit the right section of the fine print, wherein you’ll discover a number associated with WR. It’s probably going to be listed as 30x, 35x, 40x, etc. This number denotes the number of times you’ll have to play through the bonus., or the deposit + bonus combined.

So you’re looking for two elements; the WR number and its multiple of the bonus, or deposit + bonus.

Here’s an example of how to calculate play through requirements when the WR is 35x and it applies to deposit + bonus. Click here for a more detailed explanation.

Deposit of $100 grants a bonus of $100. Therefore deposit + bonus = $200. At 35x WR, the total play through is 35*200 = $7,000 in wagers.

Eligible Games

Some online casino bonus terms will limit game eligibility, such as “Slots Only” bonuses. These are very common. Some will even limit you to one or a few slot machines the operator is trying to promote. Others will cater to game play on all sorts of gambling.

When all (or most) games are eligible, not all will count 100% towards WR. Those that do count 100% are slot machines, and sometimes specialty games like keno, bingo, and scratch cards. Table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat usually generate a smaller percentage, ranging anywhere from 10-50%. Games with the absolute lowest house edge, such as favorable blackjack rules (classic blackjack, single deck blackjack, etc) and video poker, may not contribute to WR at all. If they do, it will only be 1-10% at most.

Search for the terms “games”, “eligible” or “eligibility” within the online casino bonus fine print to discover what games you can play, and what contribution rate they accumulate towards WR.

Also note that offsetting wagers will not be permitted! You can’t wager on Red and Black in Roulette to clear a bonus. If you do, and the casino catches you (and they will because it’s all electronic), at best you’ll forfeit the bonus and winnings you may have derived from it. At worst, your account may be closed and your deposit returned – or not. This is why reading the fine print matters!


This section is pretty simple. The terms will identify who will and won’t qualify for a casino bonus. Many bonuses are designated for “new players only” making a “first deposit”. If you’re not new and/or have already deposited, you can’t claim that bonus. Others may restrict players from certain countries where such bonuses are illegal. Look for the terms “qualify” or “eligible” to find any such stipulations.


This is pretty self-explanatory. Browse through the rules to see if there are any time restrictions on the bonus. Look for the terms “expire”, “expiration” or “days” (i.e. you have 90 days to complete WR) within the text.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 15

Exploit your swag to fleece extra casino comps in Las Vegas.

Exploit Your Swag to Fleece Extra Casino Comps in Las Vegas

Earning casino comps doesn’t have to be a long, tedious or costly process. Sometimes, playing the part of a high-roller is all it takes to generate VIP treatment. You won’t have to rob a bank to pull it off either.

Flashing just enough cash can do the trick, but only if you bring the entire package. A full high-roller ensemble includes fancy attire and a trendy hair do to match. Keep reading to learn how a sharp dressed man, or woman, can have the casinos eating out of the palm of their hand!

Fleece Your Swag to Earn Extra Casino Comps

There’s an age-old adage that says, “The clothes make the man”. If you want to get a good job, you don’t walk into an interview in jeans and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. If you want to impress a girl on your first date, you don’t wear socks with sandals. And if you want to attract the attention of the VIP managers in Las Vegas, you never, ever show up in a polo.

If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of the usual Las Vegas tourist scene, it’s surprising how many people think quarter-button down shirts and khakis are “cool”. Maybe if you’re heading to the miniature golf course, but the Bellagio? Not even close.

The better dressed you are, the more heads you’re going to turn. You don’t even have to be a good actor. As it turns out, simply dressing in formal attire has the ability to provide you with all the swag you’ll ever need.

Don’t believe me? It’s a scientific fact!

The Science of Formal Attire

In 2015, research was conducted by Columbia University Professor of Psychology Michael Slepian. The study revolved around the impact of dressing sharply, both on the mental and physical prowess of the wearer, and his impression upon those he interacts with. The study culminated into a research paper titled The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing, published in SAGE Journal’s Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Dr. Slepian found that “wearing formal clothing enhances abstract cognitive processing.” He conducted five separate studies, concluding the donning of fancy, formal attire could be associated with…

Study 1: …higher action identification level.

Study 2: …greater category inclusiveness.

Study 3: …greater category inclusiveness.

Study 4: …global processing advantage.

Study 5: association between clothing formality and abstract processing was mediated by felt power.

According to Slepian:

The findings demonstrate that the nature of an everyday and ecologically valid experience, the clothing worn, influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed.”

Clothing, Confidence, Cognition & Coinage

Once you’ve got the clothing, all you need is the confidence of a high roller, the cognition of a strategic gambler, and the coinage to back it up. Two of these should come naturally, as Dr. Slepian points out. The right attire gives a person confidence, and that confidence equates to higher mental capacity. The thing it won’t give you – quite the opposite if you have to pay an arm and a leg for the clothes – is money.

As I said, you won’t need to rob a bank, but you should save up a decent size bankroll before attempting to exploit the casino. You can’t possibly pull off the persona buying in for anything less than $1,000. This doesn’t mean you have to wager the whole 4-figures. You just have to look like you’re ready to do so.

Take a leisurely stroll across the casino floor. Check out the tables. Spend a few moments observing the action at various mid- to high-stakes tables, but steer clear of the VIP room. Let them feel like you’re thinking about playing, but shrug it off as something a bit too boring for you taste and keep on walking. Before long, someone should take notice and approach you. They may ask if you’re looking for something in particular, or if you’ve considered partaking in their VIP games. This is your moment!

Act interested, but disconnected. Tell them you were about to play one game or another, but you haven’t eaten yet and your throat is parched! If you can pull off the debonair of James Bond or one of his seductive lady friends, you’ll be dining free of charge before you can say “Hit me!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 13

Creative Candor: How to have hours of casino fun with no money to gamble.

How to have Hours of Casino Fun with No Money to GambleIf you’re even a moderately regular casino goer, you’ve surely experienced this before. You get all dressed up, grab your stash of cash and head for the big casino. Whether it’s a Las Vegas vay-cay or the locals gambling joint, we have high expectations for these trips. And when our bankroll goes bust long before the night is over, it can ruin an otherwise fantastic evening.

Now what? Here you are, standing in a frothy sea of entertainment, with no cash to partake in any of it. You certainly can’t do any gambling. You probably can’t even afford a cold beverage to drown your sorrows in. Must be time to pack it in and head home. Or is it? With a little creative candor, you can have…

Hours of Casino Fun with No Money to Gamble

Don’t get me wrong. These major casinos were built to collect your money in as many ways as possible, from the negative expectation games to the overpriced (unless comped) drinks. Most people assume that without cash, there’s no fun to be had at a casino. But keep on reading, because there are four easy ways to keep the fun going, even when you’re broke at the casino.

#1 Like sports? Kick back and watch the game!

If your typical evening at home involves lounging around in front of the TV and watching sports, you’re in luck. Most casinos host a sports book, or at least a sports bar. They have wall-to-wall big screen TVs showing every major sporting event available. Boxing, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, football – if it’s happening, it’s probably broadcasting live at the casino.

Grab a seat, kick back and enjoy! If it’s a sports book, no one will say a word. If it’s a bar, you might be asked if you want to order a drink. If you have enough change to do so, go head, then sip at it nice and slow until you’re ready to go. If not, say you’re just waiting for you friends. Stick to your story as long as they let you.

#2 Is poker more your style? Rail a poker game!

Most casinos host a live poker room where cash games are played around the clock. If you’ve ever watched poker from home, you’ll find it a lot more interesting in person. There’s no harm or foul for rail-birding the games, so you can waste all the time you want here.

#3 Any points on your club card? Smoke if you got ’em!

Assuming you’re a smart gambler, you should have a rewards card for the casino. You know, that card that you slipped into all the electronic gaming machines or showed to the dealer at a live table just before that stroke of bad luck cost you all your money? That card has a purpose – to earn you points. See how many points you have on that card, because it may be enough to extend your casino fun with no money; worthy of free play credits, a free drink, a free meal, even a free room for the night.

#4 Ain’t to proud to beg? Ask for a comp!

I’ve always lived by the philosophy of, ‘Ask, and you might receive. Don’t ask, and you’re guaranteed to get nothing.‘ If you’re a regular, why not ask for a comp? What are they going to do, say no? Then you’re right where you started – broke at the casino. It can’t hurt to ask for a little free casino fun, especially right after you lost all your cash to them. A lot of establishments will be generous if you just ask nicely. You just might get a free buffet voucher out of it!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

Feb 25

$46k jackpot winner duped by unconscionable online casino terms.

$46k Jackpot Winner Duped by Unconscionable Online Casino TermsIt’s a real shame what some of today’s unconscionable online casino operators are able to get away with. Every day, players are getting duped out of deposits and/or winnings for one absurd reason or another. Most often, it’s either because the website operator goes rogue, or the player failed to read the fine print. Sometimes, it’s a little bit of both.

A recently alleged case of jackpot thievery took place at Grand Eagle Casino. It’s one of 14 iGaming operations under the long-standing wing of Genesys Technologies. The fact that it is licensed in Curacao—a jurisdiction that puts very little restrictions on their operators, and fails to invoke any semblance of ameliorating player protections—should be an instant red flag for any player. However, the proprietor has spent more than 10 years building a reputation as being one of the ‘good guys’ operating from this circumspect jurisdiction.

If what we’re hearing this week is true—and based on emerging evidence, it certainly appears to be—that reputation could soon come crashing down. Here’s the story, as it’s being told from a reliable source that’s been operating as an online casino watchdog for many years.

$46k Jackpot Winner Duped by Unconscionable Online Casino Terms

The incident dates back to January 12, 2019, when a member of Grand Eagle Casino turned to the watchdog’s forums to complain about being denied a massive amount of winnings. She said she won a jackpot worth over $46,000, and provided screenshots to prove it. The next day when she attempted to login, she found the account locked. Customer support said she’d breached the terms and conditions.

She said she had claimed a free spins bonus upon sign-up. She met the playthrough requirements, but did not win anything from it. She collected 10 more credits from loyalty points and made a deposit to the account. The player also provided emails to the watchdog showing that she was being strung along and told various stories over the ensuing weeks. The operator finally settled on the reasoning that she had accepted two no deposit bonuses prior to making a deposit.

The casino watchdog investigated the matter and found that she had, indeed, broken this rule. Section 8 of the terms state:

8.4.1 A player is only permitted to claim one free bonus offer on their casino account, where no deposit is required. This includes free money offers and free spins offers. Should a player claim more than one free bonus offer (in succession without making a purchase at the specific casino in question), any winnings generated from this bonus will be null and void.

By these definitions, players automatically forfeit any winnings if they are derived from redeeming two or more no deposit promotions in a row. So that much was settled – the player did breach the online casino’s T&C, denying access to the winnings. But according to the watchdog, it’s a baited trap. And the rabbit hole goes deeper yet…

First of all, were this online casino regulated in a jurisdiction where the importance player protections supersede the value of licensing fees and other revenue, such terms would not exist. Curacao takes no responsibility. So long as the operator abides by its own terms—something players instantly agree to by using the website—no wrong has been done.

Jurisdictions like Malta and the UK would go ape-shit over such unconscionable online casino terms and policies. In these jurisdictions, if accepting two no-deposit bonuses in succession breaks the rules, then the operator cannot make it possible for a player to accept back to back no deposit bonuses. The simple fact that it’s possible is a disgrace to the iGaming industry, trapping players into forfeiture should they happen to get so lucky as this woman did.

To make matters even worse, the watchdog reports that, after denying the player the winnings, Grand Eagle Casino did not put the $46k jackpot back into the prize pool. The operator pocketed the cash, reseeding the jackpot at its starter amount, as if it had been won and paid out.

It all boils down to one thing, and I’ve said this countless times. The online casino community can be a fantastic, entertaining and rewarding place for those who are educated in the ways of this global industry, and a monster to those who are not. Do your research, stick to reputable licensing jurisdictions and please, always read the fine print!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 13

Report for 2018 reveals significant market growth at LeoVegas Canada, Denmark, Finland and Germany.

2018 Market Growth at LeoVegas Canada, Denmark, Finland and GermanyThe past few weeks have seen a number of especially proud moments for the LeoVegas Group. The Swedish brand is coming off the heels of its most challenging year in company history, ending with a record setting December, and in January, the 7th anniversary celebration of LeoVegas Mobile Casinos.

On Tuesday, the Stockholm-listed iGaming operator issued a press release disclosing its Q4 and 2018 performance figures. Despite a year of regulatory transmogrification in the UK, LeoVegas not only recovered from a drastically low revenue yield in October, it set all new record highs just two months later.

Record December Kicks Off Outstanding 2019

After suffering a remarkably weak October, December’s strong figures delivered a fantastic overall report in Q418. Highlights include a 25% increase in revenue, an EBITDA margin of 9.6%, and 7% organic growth in local currencies (14% excluding UK).

LeoVegas CEO Gustaf Hagman called 2018 “an educational year” for the young company.

2018 was the most challenging year in LeoVegas’ history. We bumped into challenges that we have not previously encountered and saw a slowdown in growth as a result… We have learned a lot, and our position for achieving our long-term vision – to be the global market leader in mobile casino – is good.”

Hagman goes on to praise the group’s perseverance. “We ended the year with all-time high revenues in December, and with record-high customer activity,” he said, eluding to the brand’s significant market growth in four other operating jurisdictions.

Market Growth at LeoVegas Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany

Customer activity logs were especially impressive in Canada, Denmark and Finland, but none more so than they were in Germany. As usual, Germany was a source of substantial customer growth, representing the largest regional up-tick of more than 200% in Q418.

The CEO was especially proud to share new and returning customer activity figures with investors. The number of loyal, returning depositors was up an impressive 46% from 124k to 181k. The total number of all depositing customers was up 29% from 253k to 327k.

Do the math, and that’s approximately 146,000 new depositing customers on the quarter.

Great Things to Come at LeoVegas Mobile Casino in 2019

The new year has already started off with a bang in 2019, and shows no signs of slowing down. Already, the company has experienced a 42% rise in its depositing customer base in January. Revenue grew to €28.7 million, up 16% from €24.8m year over year.

That has a lot to do with LeoVegas being among the first licensees to enter its home market of Sweden on January 1. Revenues weren’t quite as high as the company hopes from new Swedish customers, but Hagman attributes that to a high rate of new players wagering with welcome bonuses.

Another growth catalyst for the firm was secured in Q4 when LeoVegas applied for an operational license to participate in Spain’s online gambling market. The company projects a Spanish-facing launch to occur sometime in 2019.

“LeoVegas has just celebrated seven years as a company,” comments Hagman, exuding immeasurable enthusiasm for the future. “We have achieved a lot in a short period of time, but we are still just at the start of our growth journey.”

With its focus now shifting to technology innovation, the company may be looking at another record year when 2019 comes to a close. If things keep going the way they have been, customer activity is sure to increase further across LeoVegas Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Spain and Sweden, among others.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 11

New online gambling rules for the UK licensees in Spring 2019.

New Online Gambling Rules coming the UK iGaming Licensees this SpringIs your favorite online casino licensed in the UK? If you’re a Canadian iGamer who doesn’t conform to the less-favorable offerings of provincially-run gambling websites, the answer is probably yes. And if that’s the case, you can expect a few changes in the coming months.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has set forth new rules to take effect this Spring. Don’t worry, the changes that are coming will all be positive ones. The UKGC’s primary target is updating its consumer protection policies. Verifying customer identities and protecting minors have become the most critical components of all.

New Online Gambling Rules for UK Operators

Existing iGaming policies allow operators to take up to 72 hours to confirm the identity of a new player. This means that when a new member registers an account, they provide their name, address and date of birth. They are then obliged to provide proof of that identity (drivers license, passport, utility bill, etc) within 72 hours. In the meantime, they can deposit and gamble all they like.

No withdraws will receive approval, of course, until the verification process is complete. If the player’s info doesn’t match up, their wagers are void with a refund of deposits. The biggest problem here is that minors can gamble for three straight days unheeded. The UKGC’s new rules will ensure that doesn’t happen anymore.

Come March, operators will have to conduct identity verification before any gaming takes place. Deposits will be restricted. Players cannot wager with free bonus money prior to validation. Even the free play-money demo games will be off limits without proof of eligibility. Clearly, the UKGC is taking a zero-tolerance approach to protecting today’s youth.

Increasing Fairness for Eligible Players

It’s not just minors that the Commission is targeting with greater protections. Last year, 15% of all consumer complaints had to do with operators delaying cashouts. Players were being required to provide additional verification documents before a withdraw request could be approved. Customers will no longer have to put up with this.

According to the announcement from the UKGC…

The new rules require remote licensees to:

  • Verify, as a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble.
  • ask for any additional verification information promptly.
  • Inform customers, before they can deposit funds, of the types of identity documents or other information that might be required, the circumstances in which the information might be required, and how it should be supplied to the licensee.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that information on their customers’ identities remains accurate.

How Canadians Might Feel the Impact

New Year, New Rules in iGaming in UK and CanadaIf you’re an Ontarian who conducts all your iGaming at PlayOLG.com, you won’t feel the effects of this. Nor will BC or Manitoba residents who utilize PlayNow, or Quebecois who wager with EspaceJeux. But most Canadians who enjoy internet casino games, poker games and sports wagering do so with offshore, internationally regulated websites. Not just because they can, but because these sites have so much more to offer.

The majority of today’s most reputable iGaming operators are licensees of the UKGC. True, the UKGC only requires its licensees to follow their rules in acceptance of UK-resident players. However, these highly reputable operators tend to hold licenses elsewhere, too. And those respected jurisdictions tend to follow in the UK’s footsteps, sooner or later.

What I’m getting at is that if an operator is going to change its ways, why only do it with UK customers? It would benefit the operator to conduct static policies across the boards. It’s easier to manage, raises their reputation with customers, and prepares them to adjust to similar new online gambling rules in other jurisdictions, should need arise.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,