Casino bonuses are changing. With so much talk about problem gambling and irresponsible advertising, the nature of bonuses and how they are advertised has come into question.
Some of those with gambling problems have pointed to consistent bonus advertising as the cause for slipping back into their addictions, whilst also suggesting that operators are ignoring their signs of addiction.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is undertaking a series of measures to crack down on irresponsible casino bonus advertising and have warned operators that they risk heavy fines if they don’t engage in responsible advertising. This has already led to a change in casino bonuses and the content of them.
It seems quite obvious that casino bonuses as we know them are going to change. In fact, there are already signs of that happening.
In this blog post, we will consider what casino bonuses might look like in the future and how they are likely to change.
UKGC Bonus Advertising Crackdown
The UKGC is engaged in a number of investigations and studies into how to make casino gambling safer.
The approach is a wide-ranging one, covering many different avenues. Most recently, the UKGC published a new framework to understand gambling harm experienced by children and young people.
The CEO of the Commission, Neil McArthur, recently said that:
“Together with Government and the industry, we must continue our ongoing work to make the whole industry safer”.
The UKGC has been particularly concerned with the approach operators have been taking.
Late last year Mr McArthur said:
“Our investigations found that a large number of operators and their senior management were not meeting their obligations.”
The UKGC believe that reckless advertising and marketing by operators is a serious problem, and one which needs addressing.
In short, they believe that the approach of many operators is contributing to problem gambling and encouraging reckless gambling.
Operators Risk Punishment
The UKGC has stated that they will punish those who are found to be advertising in a manner that is deemed to be irresponsible.
Those enticing adverts with big numbers and big promises are the type which the UKGC has taken issue with.
They are particularly concerned with casino bonus advertisements which don’t clearly state the terms and conditions of a bonus.
The UKGC has said that those operators who are found to be engaging in this kind of behaviour risk receiving hefty fines.
What Has Been the Impact of This?
The UKGC statements have already had an impact. Many operators have already scaled back on their bonuses, in fear of being in breach of the UKGC’s new rulings.
In fact, you might have noticed yourself that the welcome bonuses at new casinos have become noticeably less generous.
Whilst big welcome bonus packages are still around, the trend seems to be moving towards more basic bonuses of just a certain number of free spins or a small matched deposit bonus.
It appears that the days of huge welcome bonus packages and, usually, huge wagering requirements too, could slowly be fazed out.
What Is the Future for Casino Bonuses?
One thing which is absolutely clear is that casino bonuses as we have known them over the past five years or so are going to change.
Charities, health bodies, the government and the UKGC are all working hard to make gambling safer. One of the ways they plan to do that is through more regulation around casino bonuses and advertising.
Fewer Casino Bonuses
For many of us, casino bonuses and promotions are very important and one of the primary things we consider when choosing a new casino to register at.
However, we think it seems inevitable that casino bonuses will reduce in number across the board. This might be sad news to read for many of our readers, but if the current trends are anything to go by, this is pretty much a certainty.
Fewer Big Bonuses
Related to the previous point is the likelihood of less generous bonuses. The days of big and loud bonuses and promotions could well be on the way out.
Truthfully, many of these bonuses with big slogans such as ‘£1,000 welcome package’, ‘500 free spins’ etc, were not actually as generous as they appeared anyway when you would take wagering requirements into consideration.
Expect to see more measured bonuses, particularly when it comes to welcome bonuses. Small deposit bonus matches, some free spins or perhaps even just some free money are all welcome bonuses which you can expect to see more of.
Clearer Terms and Conditions
Something we should all welcome is clearer casino bonus terms and conditions. There is no denying that key information relating to a bonus is often missing from the main advertisement, or is barely visible.
At the end of the day, we all want to know the key details and information of any casino bonus quickly and clearly.
With more stringent conditions around casino bonus advertising, clear terms and conditions will become not the exception, but the norm.
Different Style of Bonuses
Casinos may begin to change their approach when it comes to casino bonuses in mind of new rulings and regulations. Whilst this is purely speculative, we think it’s a definite possibility.
Generally speaking, we predict that operators will begin to get more creative with casino bonuses, moving from the traditional ones we’ve seen to more imaginative bonuses.
One thing which may happen is more personalised casino bonuses based on the way players gamble. This would be in line with the online gambling industry’s moves towards a more personalised online gambling experience.
Perhaps operators may begin to offer their players small bonuses, such as a limited number of free spins based on the slot games that particular player spins most frequently.
Also, small cash incentives could become more common too, rather than a bonus with a big, enticing slogan.
Loyalty point style bonuses might also be something casinos move towards. Many casinos already have loyalty point tier systems and we suspect they might become more common.
So, instead of traditional bonuses, players will receive certain bonuses when they reach certain levels of the tier system.
With such an approach, operators are less likely to run into problems with advertising and can offer their loyal players more valuable bonuses, which means happy days for both parties.
To wrap things up, we predict that casino bonuses will change in the following ways:
- Fewer casino bonuses
- Simple and clear terms and conditions on casino bonus adverts
- More measured casino bonuses, particularly with welcome bonus packages
- Moves towards different styles of bonuses
Whatever happens, casino bonuses are going to change moving forward, there is no doubt about that.
Whilst fewer casino bonuses might seem like a negative thing, clearer terms and conditions is something we can all welcome.
It remains to be seen what exactly will happen but expect pretty significant changes.