This can be a real sticking point for many players at online casino sites, and with good reason, too. Each casino is different, but they all have various terms and conditions with regards to how often you can withdraw money, how much you can take out at a time, how long it will take to process and reach your account – some even charge you for the privilege!
This can understandably cause problems from time to time if players feel they have been mistreated or they weren’t aware of some of the limits. That is why it is essential for you to look at the terms before you commit to a particular casino. Otherwise, how can you pick a place to play that suits you and treats you fairly?
It’s important to say from the off that, these days, legitimate bookies and casinos aren’t trying to pull the wool over their customers eyes. Most of them realise that the best way to keep customers coming back is to make them feel valued, not to make them feel like they have been taken advantage of.
However, the terms are many and you need to decide what you are and are not willing to put up with. After all, everyone has their limits (that made you smile didn’t it, admit it).
Right, so you have had a good week and have finished up with more money than you started with, amazing. You want to withdraw that money so you can celebrate your good fortune and spend it on something nice.
You head over to the cashier and enter all the relevant details, hit the button to withdraw your cash, and then you will face your first potential hurdle; the pending period.
Put simply, this is a chunk of time before anything meaningful happens. Your withdrawal request is pending for up to as long as the terms state, and this can be as little as a few hours to a whole week.
It isn’t being processed, that part hasn’t started yet, it’s just sitting there doing nothing. As you can hopefully see, this is an unwelcome delay for the player who just wants to get their hands on the cash that is rightfully theirs.
It can be frustrating biding your time for no good reason, so why do casinos do it? They might give all sorts of reasons, but of course they are really hoping you will reverse the withdrawal before it enters processing and put your winnings back into the slots.
Yes, some casinos are so generous that they allow you to change your mind about withdrawing your money. This means you can cancel the request during the pending period and have the funds returned to your account so they are available to use again on the games.
This has an obvious benefit for the casino in that you may not be quite so lucky the next time around and they might get their money back. If you know you are easily swayed or you tend to give in to temptation without too much of a fight, then perhaps a casino with a very short pending period or one that doesn’t allow withdrawal reversals is for you.
Alternatively, you could find a casino that allows manual flushing.
Sounds a bit disgusting but is actually very useful for those of you with less than perfect self discipline.
Some casinos allow you to ‘flush’ your withdrawal so that it skips the pending period and goes straight to the processing stage. Once flushed the withdrawal cannot be reversed, so you would have to deposit more money if your account was empty and you wanted to keep playing.
For those players who have self imposed deposit limits set up, using manual flushing immediately after you withdraw is a doubly great way to ensure that your winnings are kept safe and make it to the processing stage.
Once your request hits processing the team at the casino will put the withdrawal into action, and providing you have supplied all of the relevant documents and identification, your money will be on its way to you in the given time frame for the withdrawal method that you are using.
EWallets can be almost instantaneous whereas withdrawals by bank transfer can take much longer – as much as up to 10 days in extreme cases. So, if you didn’t use due diligence before you signed up, you could end up with a casino that operates a week long pending period and has no manual flushing. If you also had to withdraw via bank transfer then it could be well over two weeks before you get hold of your winnings. This is an extreme example but it’s not impossible, so do your research.
Once it has been processed and sent to your chosen account it will be your payment provider that dictates any further delay and/or charge, but usually that is the last step in the process and your winnings will be yours to spend.
Another thing to be aware of is any withdrawal limits the casino has in place. If you are betting at a lesser known online casino then these are likely to be lower than if you were playing at one of the big names. The casino has to protect itself, after all. With fewer resources they could potentially be wiped out with one big win.
These might be daily, weekly, or monthly limits, but you need to be aware of them because if you strike it lucky and win big it could seriously affect how your winnings are paid out. Most of us won’t ever need to worry about this, and even if we did win a lot of money at a decent casino we could get our winnings fairly quickly. But if you managed to win £100,000 at a smaller casino it could potentially take months to get hold of it:
Things are slightly different where jackpot games are concerned, especially progressives as they can be spread over hundreds of different casinos. A progressive will almost certainly be paid out in full, whereas a fixed jackpot could be held to the same withdrawal limits as any other win.
Often times you will get a fixed jackpot win in one lump sum, but imagine winning a huge jackpot and having to withdraw it in small chunks for the next 5 years… check those t’s and c’s.
This has already been touched on in the opening section of the article, but time frames are a real bug bear for many players. The disparity from one casino to another can be huge and it’s sometimes difficult to understand why; if Casino A can process and complete a withdrawal by card in two days why does it take Casino B five?
It can be down to how well staffed their payments department is, but sometimes it’s simply that they don’t want to prioritise your withdrawal. Again, this should be checked before you sign up, as it can often be a good indicator of the company’s attitude towards its customers.
Discounting pre-pay methods such as Paysafecard which aren’t always available for withdrawals, there are three main deposit and withdrawal categories:
|Category||Examples||Speed||Main Benefit||Av Timeframe|
|Debit Cards||Visa, Electron, Maestro||Average||Widely Supported & Reliable||1-5 Working Days|
|EWallet||Skrill, Neteller, Paypal||Fast||Speed & Anonymity||Instant-48 Hours|
|Bank/Wire Transfer||N/A||Slow||Safety & Security||3-7 Working Days|
The timeframes can vary quite a lot so our averages cover the quickest to the slowest, but if you see anything longer than what is noted in the table above consider it exceptionally slow.
It’s about finding the right balance that works for you. If you have a preferred payment method then hunt for the bookie that has the quickest withdrawal timeframes for that method. On the other hand, you might find a casino with offers that you love, so you don’t mind waiting a little longer for your money.
These checks could hold up your withdrawal if you aren’t prepared, but the ball is in your court on this one.
By law, an online bookie or casino must have proof of your name, age, and identity, proof of address, and proof of payment before they are allowed to transfer any money to you. This process is called verifying your account.
While you can sign up, deposit, and be playing in under a minute with virtually no questions asked, if you want your money back you need to go through the verification process. A lot of complaints float around online about this, but actually, it’s better to do it this way around. You have to verify anyway, so why make people do it right at the start? Better to let them do it at a time of their choosing and let them get on with gaming initially if that’s what they want to do.
Still, it would be prudent to get yourself verified as soon as possible to save problems later down the line.
You will need:
Photo I.D – Passport/Driving License
Proof of Address – Recent Bank Statement/Payslip/Utility Bill
You may need:
Proof of Payment – Scan or Photo of Card/Screenshot of EWallett
Have these things handy before you start and it should be relatively pain free. It can take between 24 and 48 hours to become verified but the process for you should only take 5 minutes. If you intend to use more than one website then why not have copies/scans of your documentation stored on your computer to save time.
Why all the Fuss?
There are three very good reasons why online gambling companies are required, by law, to do this. It may be slightly annoying but if a company is going to the trouble to obey the law to the letter then that is generally seen as a good sign from the players point of view.
Age – They need to check you are legally old enough to gamble and they have 72 hours to do this from the time you open your account and deposit. If you are found to be under age you will not be able to withdraw any winnings you might have.
Self Exclusion – Responsible Gambling is being taken more seriously than ever by the law and gambling companies alike, so they have a duty of care to check that you aren’t somebody who has previously self excluded and then set up another account to continue gambling under a different name.
Money Laundering – Ill gotten gains from criminal activity could technically be ‘washed’ by depositing it on a gambling website and then withdrawing it. The company is responsible for checking that this isn’t happening.
The law dictates they must check your identity but not what documents they need to ask for. Therefore, what one company may accept as ID might not fly with another. Equally, if you feel you have been asked for sensitive information that you are not comfortable giving, best to do further checks on the casino before going ahead.
HAVE YOU BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY?
If you have read through this, checked the terms and conditions etc, and still feel that something is amiss there are a few things you can do.
The first and best is to talk to the casino itself and try to resolve the issue with them. They don’t want hassle or negative press, and provided you have gambled with a certified company you should be treated with respect and fairness. They will investigate and either pay what they owe or explain to you clearly why they will not.
They have 8 weeks to investigate the complaint and give you an answer.
If communication with the casino has broken down or you are not satisfied with their answer then you could go to a mediator or complaint resolver service. There are even some that are dedicated to online gambling and can be from a quick search on the web.
Alternatively, you could go direct to a licensing body and hope that they explore your claim. You can find links to these operations’ websites at the bottom of most online gambling sites.
If it does get to this stage then it could take months and months to find a resolution unfortunately, and it has to be said that most complaints occur because a player hasn’t read or understood the terms that they agreed to. If this is the case, the fault lies solely with the player and not the casino.