Online casino operator BGO has grasped the nettle firmly in its new policy on bonuses, eschewing the traditional “wager-through” requirement despised by many players, with rewards that include either a cash payment or free spins.
It's a bold move away from the historical bonus system, which has caused major headaches and disputes for operators and players for many years. Casino management say that the decision to change was motivated by player feedback and tightening regulatory requirements in the United Kingdom jurisdiction.
From Octoiber 15 BGO and sister operation Powerspins will do away with minimum wager-through, distancing itself from some operator requirements that can go as high as 50 or 60 times the bonus amount.
Online operators in the UK are coming increasingly under pressure from the Gambling Commission, the Advertising Standards Authority and the consumer enforcement division of the Competition and Markets Authority as they seek more equitable, fair and transparent playing conditions and promotional activity targeting online punters.
Fines and other sanctions have been levied on defaulting companies, and the enforcement trend is likely to continue, according to officials.
Allan Turner, chief marketing officer at BGO, commented this week that the bonus issue has arrived at a cross-roads, and there was a need to find a solution that worked for both operators and players.
“If we have evidence players find wagering conditions confusing or unfair, then that’s enough for us to take a decision,” he said. “We have always run a safe, trusted and fair online casino and player enjoyment is and always will be our number one priority.
“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.”
The group's CFO Hannah Westley outlined the development of bonuses from the 100x deposit and 20x wager-through usual requirement in 2001 to today's market, where operators are routinely offering 200 and 400 percent ‘no deposit bonuses' with hefty wager-throughs.
She opined that player lifetime is not as long as it once was, suggesting that the root cause may lie with player dissatisfaction with traditional bonus and wager-through T&Cs, which can be convoluted, confusing and frustrating for players, and a source of conflict.
“In our opinion real players aren’t interested in bonuses laced with restrictive terms in any case, and rather than spend our time helping people understand wagering, it is our aim to turn the model on its head and win loyal customers over by offering a fair and simple environment in which to play,” she concluded.