Danish Gaming Regulators Issue Warning on Free Bonus Offers
The Danish Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, issued a warning to gambling sites about their welcome bonuses. Danish regulators warned sites not to use the word “free” if a bonus has a wagering requirement.
Officials referred to the 2016 Consumer Ombudsman, a legal statement which discussed free casino bonuses.
The 2016 statement said, “The Consumer Ombudsman found that the chance of winning a win was impaired because consumers could not raise their winnings if they stopped the game before the wagering requirement was met.”
“The total sum of consumer deposits and winnings was higher than the consumer’s initially deposited amount.”
Danish Gambling Authority on Free Bonuses
The Danish Gambling Authority argues that ads which discuss free bonuses are similar to “free spin” and “free bet” offers. Normally, these would be fine, but attaching a playthrough requirement to the offer means they aren’t free at all.
Denmark’s gaming overseer stated, “The use of these terms can create an expectation on the part of the consumer that the offer is actually free without any limitations and will therefore be contrary to the law if this is not the case.”
Bonus Bans in Other Countries
The Danish leaders’ warning about free bonuses mirrors the concerns of those countries. They believe bonus adverts which promise free cash are bogus and the wagering rules make the offers deceptive, if not predatory.
Why Bonus Terms Matter
Sites that offer welcome bonuses with rollover requirements (and most do) argue their terms are stated clearly. Currently, most online players who’ve accepted bonuses know they must clear a wagering requirement before cashing out. They might not like the terms, but players understand the terms exist.
Of course, new players who’ve never gambled online might not know the truth. Mobile players with smaller game screens might brush over the terms and conditions page, overlooking the playthrough requirements. Since mobile players grow as a percentage of the interactive gaming public, regulators might decide fair warning is required.
Full Information in Ads and Reviews
Legit online review sites include the bonus terms in their guides. For instance, they’ll list the rollover amount (example: 30x) and other key factors. Often these days, online sites require the bonus plus deposit amount be wagered, which increases the amount required to clear the requirement.
As long as gaming sites and the reviewers who point players to those sites make the terms clear, it is ethical to have wagering requirements for deposit and no-deposit bonuses. Terms are required to protect the gaming operator, or else bonus offers couldn’t exist as they now do.
About Denmarks’ Gaming Industry
The primary set of laws which government Denmark’s gambling industry is the Danish Act on Gambling (the “Gambling Act”). The Danish parliament passed the Danish Act on Gambling in 2012, while they’ve updated the law a couple of times since.
The Gambling Act covers casino gaming (slots, table games), poker, bingo, sports betting, racebook betting, fantasy sports, lotteries, social casino games, and skill gaming.
The Danish Gambling Authority oversees all the aforementioned forms of gambling. The Danish Consumer Ombudsman shares oversight duties with the Danish Gambling Authority over social gaming and skill game competitions.