28th of July 2009 Author: Glo Wood
Many players were scratching their heads this week over an unusual T&C at an online bingo and casino gaming venue: it calls for a 15x playthrough requirement before any withdrawal is allowed - whether the player has taken a bonus or not!
In fairness to RTG-powered Saturn Bingo.com, the owners - Saturn Gaming of Berkshire in the UK - are upfront about their business model. It's all there in the T&Cs, which reinforces the the habitual advice to newbies given by experienced online punters - always read the T&Cs before handing over your cash.
The CEO of the company, who identified himself only as "James", confirmed by email this week that the playthrough measure was in force regardless of whether incentives had been taken by a player, commenting in an email to a player posting about the issue on the CM information portal:
"Wagering requirements on your cash deposit are primarily in place to protect our business from the high level of fraud directed toward online gaming sites, and from which no protection or accountability is accepted by either the issuing banks , ewallet or credit card companies.
"As a business we need to have policies in place that limit our liability in relation to processing fraud, requiring player turnover is a procedure that in a small way helps us do that."
The Saturn Bingo - it bills itself as "America's Favourite Bingo!" - executive goes on to give advice that is particularly sound regarding his operation:
"Its always best to read a site's polices before deciding to make a deposit and play, perhaps this site is not for you, but we are a long standing and respected player in online gaming and make every effort to accommodate our players, however player turnover requirements, however erroneous they may seem, is an area that we require our players to conform to."
Other helpful hints in the T&Cs show that players should be prepared to accept 2 weeks processing time for cashouts and minimum withdrawal limits of $100. As one player commented: "They dont have to worry about money laundering because there isn't going to be much to launder after wagering 15x your deposit. These have got to be some of the most predatory terms I have ever seen."
Players who click the "I accept" button on the T&Cs without reading the document, and win without taking a bonus will be confronted with these requirements.
It is not known whether this is a group-wide policy although that would seem likely, therefore it's worth noting that other websites owned by Saturn Gaming include:
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