Free Spins are one of the most commonly found casino bonuses found online. However, in recent years, the rules and regulations around them have been clamped down significantly by gambling authorities. This has happened in a wide range of places, including popular gambling nations like Sweden and Belgium. In these, particular attention has been paid to placing limitations on the way in which free spins and other bonuses can be advertised in their respective countries. It has also been placed on the way they can be claimed, the amounts available, when they can be offered, and many other restrictions too. This has led to many fearing that free spins could soon become a thing of the past. Could this be the case in the UK?
Well, to some extent, the pathways for this have already been set. In recent years, the authority which is in charge of monitoring gambling legalisation in the country, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) have already been clamping down on the situations at casinos that offer their services to UK players. The biggest overhaul of this happened in 2017. This occurred in response to a significant increase in gambling-related issues in society which had been attributed to lax gambling advertising laws that meant that many casino companies were advertising their services irresponsibly. During this clampdown, there were many avenues that were pursued to end problem gambling.
As well as the need to protect young people and help problem gamblers find help, these focused primarily on the advertising that was allowed for online casino’s bonus deals – particularly free spins. This focused on the way free spins and other casino bonuses could be detailed to the end-user. As a result of this, casinos were forced to make their terms and conditions clearer- especially the conditions that affected the authenticity of the deal. This meant that wagering requirements had to be displayed clearly, as well as any other significant conditions that are found on the bonus. This is because technically, when we talk about free spins, the title is a bit misleading as the casino doesn’t actually give you free spins as there is usually some form of financial sacrifice on the player’s part.
Of course, this refers is the need to make a deposit in order to claim them, thus you are paying something. Worse still though are the wagering requirements that lock players into a casino as they would have to continue playing at the casino to make sure they were able to keep any money won from the free spins. This meant that, in some cases, players would have to spend significantly more than they first had planned to as a means to claim funds that they had already won. Due to this, casinos had to reshape and rebrand their free spin deals in order to be fairer and clearer. For some casinos, this meant that they removed these sorts of T&Cs altogether and in fact, this resulted in the creation of wager free spins – which are today some of the best deals you can get.
There are still some other casinos that offer free spins but have changed the name of their free spin deals. This is why at many online casinos that are UK orientated, they will not say “free” spins but instead “bonus” or “extra” spins as they are spins you can play with in addition to your funds but are not free per se. To some extent, because of this, free spins in the UK are essentially already over as they cannot convey themselves as such and instead need to represent themselves as they previously did. Furthermore, the large majority of casinos have removed their “free” spins deal altogether and many have now resorted to offering other casino bonuses instead, such as bonus cash or free bets, as opposed to even risking the legal grey area. This has meant that any free, bonus or extra spin deals are already mostly limited.
All of this considered means that generally, the idea of free spins is already over to some extent with only a few that offer them and those that do so in a way that is not the same as previously. Overall, this is not a bad thing really as it does mean the deals that do exist are fairer and more accurate for the player. While these steps were the most radical so far from the UKGC, they don’t seem to be the last and in recent weeks alone, they have outlawed using credit cards at casinos. On real-world venues, the options on certain games have been reduced and this may soon spread online. This means that while the loss of free spins is an issue for bonus hunters, if these laws continue the ramifications for the casino industry at large could be more significant and dramatic then merely the loss of a free gameplay.