Online operator BGO has announced that by 15th October this year, it will drop minimum wagering requirements altogether from its promotion schemes. This move was inspired, according to BGO, by player feedback and the changing environment for online gambling in the UK.
All bonuses from this date onward will be either ‘wager-less’ free spins or cash bonuses delivered in the form of real cash. Will this be a knock-on effect with the rest of the industry? At this moment in time, it’s hard to tell.
If you’re an astute player, you may have noticed that there’s a curious phenomenon occurring in the iGambling industry of late. This trend (or development, shall we say?) is the sudden removal of wagering requirements.
Wagering requirements have, for a long time, been a necessary component in the promotional deals drawn up by the casino. BGO has been one such casino for a long time now as it’s seen as abnormal for a casino to not have any wagering requirements, or at the very least suspicious.
That’s what everybody thought, but now more and more casinos are coming out of the woodwork with either very low wagering requirements or none at all. This has made players realise the potential that a mobile casino can have for scrapping them altogether.
BGO is just another one of those operators that have caved-in to the pressure, claiming that they are adapting to a changing landscape. Is this a wise move, though? Should mobile casinos be getting rid of wagering requirements? It did seem to be a great way of fending off fraud, after all. What possible benefits could getting rid of them bring?
A Costly Mistake
And many of BGO’s peers might agree. Many of their rivals like the 888 Holdings Group, Gala Bingo and Ladbrokes are still sticking to their guns and tying players to themselves with wagering requirements, some even up to 50x or even 75x. Even BGO admit that this is a ‘bold move’ and if this phenomenon results into a non-event, it could prove a costly mistake.
Mistakes are something BGO’s familiar with too. In May 2017, the operator was forced to pay out £300,000 in fines to the UK Gambling Commission for misleading advertisements. However, this move may be a result of trying to throw off that reputation as Nisha Arora, the Senior Director for Consumer Enforcement at the Competition and Markets Authority launched a campaign against BGO for allegedly breaking consumer law. The fairness of their sign up bonuses were apparently dubious and poured scorn all over the online operator.
BGO, on the other hand, insist that they did not ‘make the decision lightly.’ They chose to scrap wagering requirements on their site, because it would better reflect the changing market: ‘We are at a crossroads where we need to make the right decision for both the company and the consumer’, they said. ‘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.’
While it’s debatable if BGO have enough clout behind them to be trend-setters for this to happen, only time will tell. In the meantime, it’s hard to deny that there are certainly a lot of bonuses out there to choose from. That’s not to mention player lifetime at a casino is not what it used to be. Hardly any of them are aware of what wagering requirements even are and as soon as they become aware of them, it becomes a detractor. Perhaps the time for wagering requirements has come to an end after all.