Predatory T&C at Riviera Play Casino

November 17th, 2016
Back Predatory T&C at Riviera Play Casino

If you are gambling online, sooner or later you will come across phrases such as 'predatory terms and conditions' or 'rogue terms'. These are expressions frequently used within the gaming community to describe certain questionable terms of service relating to Internet casinos and formulated with the intention to disadvantage players and benefit casinos. Most often such terms are linked to bonuses, specifically rollover requirements and withdrawal policy. Poorly phrased, vague or confusing, predatory terms allow rogue casinos to legally prevent customers from withdrawing winnings or to restrict the amount that can be won, so that players end up empty handed despite having won their money fair and square.

Some casinos will have rogue terms tucked away making them hard to find, others put them on display for all to see. As soon as you register and start playing their games, you have agreed to abide to these rules and there's really nothing you can do to prevent them from taking advantage of you and your money if you happen to breach the terms, which you almost always will as that's how they are made to work. Many players, especially those new to online gambling and those who can't be bothered to study T&C before claiming a bonus, get scammed several times before eventually realizing that when it comes to gambling online, you can never be too careful.

With Internet casinos, everything happens in the virtual world which is a fertile ground for rogue activity. Rogue sites can and do go to great lengths to conceal their true physical location and lack of valid licenses. It is difficult for regulatory bodies to enforce laws as they would do with land based operators, and in case there's a problem with payouts, limited communication options and being in another country makes it hard for players to get their issues solved.

While going through the terms and conditions of a recently added casino - Riviera Play, we've noticed a lot of red flags which our members should be aware of. The site is powered by Rival and BetSoft, and operates under the jurisdiction of Curacao. If you go through their T&C page, you'll notice several suspicious paragraphs, some of which are so obviously predatory that even inexperienced players will know something's not right here.

1. ''If a player is using a slots bonus and playing roulette with it, his winnings will be reviewed and we reserve the right to cancel them''; ''If a player is using too much a roulette method, his account will be reviewed and we reserve the right to cancel his account."

A bogus rule that doesn't really specify anything of importance and leaves players wondering what exactly this ''roulette method'' is, and how much is actually too much. This is apparently part of their bonus abuse policy which is very vague giving them the right to void your winnings and/or terminate your account as per their discretion. There is no system that can beat the house, the games have random outcomes and in this respect such rules are irrelevant.

2. ''A player must roll over their deposit at least before making a withdrawal on the amount.''

This part is incomplete, whether intentionally or not, it doesn't say how many times a player needs to roll over a deposit before being allowed to request a withdrawal. Not only do you have to deposit to get your free bonus win, but you also have to roll over this deposit who knows how many times prior to withdrawing. Eventually, you'll find yourself going around in circles and losing all your money.

3. ''A player is responsible for paying any and all taxes on winnings or prizes received from throughout the course of this agreement.''

To whom? Whether you pay any taxes or not is not the responsibility of a casino nor should it concern them. Unless, of course, they want to collect those taxes themselves, which we think is exactly the case here, given how confusing and unclear this term is.

4. ''All withdrawals will be paid in from £/€/$250 and up to £/€/$3000 installments. To approve the withdrawal This process may take 5-10 business days and be dependent on player class (for example higher classes of VIP may receive their withdrawals faster than a regular player). The casino will send an email to the player advising that their money has been sent.''

A convenient way to delay payments by dividing even the smallest wins into installments. Months will pass between payouts, if you receive any at all. After numerous e-mails, inquiries and futile correspondence trying to get information on the whereabouts of their wins, many players give up the pursuit and move on to another casino.

5. ''The casino won't pay two successive withdrawals in the case the player is not active after the first withdrawal.''

This one doesn't even need any explanation and we're not sure we ever saw anything as silly as this. How much time needs to pass before your account is considered inactive? Since it is not stated, it could be a single day before a withdrawal is refused.

6. ''Higher winnings may be paid out over a number of weeks.''

Again, they do not specify what they consider ''higher winnings'' and there is absolutely no reason to wait a number of weeks to receive a full sum.

7. ''If your balance is less than the amount of the bonus you will not be able to withdraw. A maximum cashout of 5 times the bonus applies. If your balance is greater than the maximum cashable amount the remainder will be removed automatically on cashout.''

Restricting the amount you can win is always a sign of bad practice, especially given the fact you can't really control your winnings on a game of chance. Unfortunately, this is now customary rule at most online casinos and that's something we'll just have to put up with.

8. ''The appropriate documentation, in the form of proof of identity, including address, copies of credit card or other proof will be provided in order for withdrawals to be processed. The player may be locked out of their account or winnings/cash ins voided if proof of identity is not provided to the casino within a period of 3 weeks.''

''Documentation in the form of proof of identity may be requested in order for a bonus to be redeemed to a player.''

Verification of identity has become the usual practice at most online casino and there are multiple reasons for this. Sometimes, you will have to submit the necessary documents before any transaction is allowed, other times the verification will take place only after you've accumulated a certain amount on your balance. While it is not exactly a predatory term, this requirement is still a pesky task no player enjoys doing, but has to or else risk their winnings voided and accounts closed.

While there are many online sites like Riviera Play Casino, trying to get advantage of unsuspecting players, there is nothing much we can do about it save for exposing them and giving out warnings. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure the casino you intend to deposit at is as fair and transparent as possible. Rushing to claim bonuses and promotions without previously checking the rules is reckless and you have only yourself to blame if you fall victim to rouge sites. Fortunately, there are numerous reputable casinos that are consistently paying out winnings and have little or no unresolved complaints whatsoever. Of course, there's always the possibility of good guys gone bad, or some unfortunate confusion happening without an ill intent. But if we are to play online and have fun, next to being cautious, we also need to have a little faith, don't we?

“we've noticed a lot of red flags which our members should be aware of”

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