A few days ago I wrote a bit about wagering requirements and online casino bonuses. I was prompted to write about this topic, after fielding complaints from a player who had registered for a no deposit casino offer, made a minimum deposit for the matching deposit bonus, and then attempted to withdraw his entire balance without wagering a dime. Most readers know that this sort of bonus abuse is not going to fly, but at the same time, the various terms and conditions are worth discussing, so as to keep honest players from running afoul of the rules and without intending to, trip some of the various red flags that will result in banned casino accounts.
Today, I will look at another important feature of online casino bonuses and our own niche of ‘no deposit’ bonuses; specifically, country restrictions.
Country Restrictions for Bonuses and No Deposit Bonuses
There are very few no deposit offers out there that do not at least have a small ‘blacklist’ of countries. We recently launched a no deposit offer for Casino.Com and their only restricted countries were China and the USA. These are very rare! Most online gaming sites will have restrictions in place for any or all of the following parts of the world:
Online gambling is still a ‘gray area’ for USA residents. While the UIGEA of 2006 restricted online gambling sites from accepting ‘unlawful wagers’ from USA residents, it did not define what an unlawful wager was. Horse racing and fantasy sports were specifically considered legal, but the other types of wagering, from casino tables games to poker and sports wagers were not defined one way or the other. The law that was most referenced when discussing ‘illegal wagers’ was the Wire Act, which passed way back in 1961 before Al Gore had a chance to invent the Internet! In 2011, the USA dept. of justice declared that the Wire Act only covered sports betting.
So where does that leave USA residents? Still yearning for a legal and regulated online gambling market! However, there are a large number of casinos and poker sites that will accept USA players now, while the laws are still murky. USA players should use good judgement in selecting online casinos that have a good track record of customer service and timely payouts, etc. A good way to get a feel for an online casino is to use the no deposit offers. (We have a list of USA friendly no deposit bonuses).
Unfortunately for the good folks of Eastern Euro countries, the levels of fraud and bonus abuse are exceptionally high from this part of the world. The online casinos do a ton of tracking for ‘player value’ and countries like Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, and even Russia have traditionally low player values, high fraud and bonus abuse. Most of these countries are blocked from no deposit offers, and many of them are held to high standards or blocked entirely from deposit bonuses as well.
This is obviously unfair to honest residents of these countries who are just looking for a fair shake from the online casino or poker room. If you are one of those types of players who like to deposit, especially for the loyal high depositing players, then be encouraged by the fact that the gaming sites are happy to make exceptions and welcome you into their VIP system! Contact your favorite casino’s support channels, and you might be surprised at the bonuses and benefits, even if you are from a country that finds itself on the ‘bonus banned’ list.
Players from China will very often be blocked from accessing online casinos because of anti-online gaming laws in place there. Even though gambling is a popular pastime in China, until the government sees fit to loosen some of the online gambling controls, the Chinese residents will be left out in the cold on most bonuses and no deposit offers.
Other areas of East Asia that get stuck with ‘no bonuses’ very often, include Vietnam and North Korea. Player value is low, fraudulent activity is high. As noted in the section above for Eastern European residents, if you are a high volume (deep pocketed) casino player, then many exceptions will be made. Contact your online casino support to make sure you get the best service, bonuses and benefits.
So let’s wrap this up with a quick summary. Residents of the USA, Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia will find that their country of residence often limits their ability to play at many online casinos and take advantage of no deposit offers. There is hope, however, especially for USA residents, since there are still lots of online casinos and poker sites that will be happy to accept their wagers! If you are a high rolling gambler, rest assured that there is an online casino out there just itching to make you a VIP, so don’t give up on your search.
In Part 3 of our Bonus T&C’s discussion, we’ll go over max cashout rules, and how to go about the cashout process at your typical online gambling site.