When are Free Spins not feally Free Spins?
There are many different ways that online casino companies can try and entice customers into playing on their site. Many offer customers an exciting offer when they join up with the casino and this offer can take many forms. It can be a matched deposit bonus, sometimes offering to double, treble or even quadruple your initial deposit in the form of bonus cash.
Some casinos will also offer another bonus as part of the offer and these are Free Spins. However, with new guidance coming into play especially in the UK as regards what can be regarded as Free Spins and what cannot, it is perhaps a good time now to finally make clear what casinos mean when they say Free Spins and, indeed, whether the spins really are genuinely free to the player, or not.
Guidance from the Advertising Standards Authority
In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority have announced a number of new measures that are targeted predominantly at online casino sites, betting sites and sports books and in this guidance it makes it clear what constitutes a breach of the advertising code of conduct.
Now I am not going to bore you with all the details of this, but the upshot of this is, that many casinos and gambling sites that are based in the United Kingdom, or at least advertise in the country, are going to have to be far more careful with the terms that they use to describe offers.
A great example of this is the term Free Spins and the aim is to provide customers with more clarity about what actually does, or does not, constitute Free Spins.
What were Free Spins?
In the past, Free Spins has been used as a catch-all term which describes any kind of offer that a player can access that comes with some bonus spins to play either on a stated slot or slots, or more rarely, to be played on games of a players choice.
This has led to some rather different Free Spins bonus deals being available, from those that are offered to a player upon registration with a casino, without any deposit requiring to be made, whereas others are awarded to players after they have made a deposit into their casino account.
Now you may argue that essentially both these situations are the same; the players in question do not have to pay to play through the spins, as even if they make a deposit to receive the spins, their deposit will remain untouched if they can play through their free spins immediately on site.
Now of course, some casinos are well aware of that and have put in caveats to their terms and conditions for these offers, which may state that in order for a player to receive their Free Spins, they may need to play through their deposit, or even their deposit and any bonus they are awarded to receive the Free Spins bonus.
At this point, it is fair to ask when do Free Spins then cease to become Free Spins? If a player is obliged to spend money that they deposited in order to receive their 'Free Spins', can these spins truly be said to be free?
It is this situation that the new regulations in the UK will seek to clarify.
What will Free Spins mean now?
From now on, all scrupulous businesses in the UK will be adhering to the new code from the Advertising Standards Authority which states that there has to be a distinction made between the different types of Free Spins bonus offers available.
Henceforth, any offer that a player has to make any form of deposit into their account, regardless of how small that deposit is, and regardless of whether they must spend their deposit (or deposit and bonus) to receive their free spins, cannot be called a Free Spins offer.
The reasoning behind this is that a player must deposit cash into their account, and for some offers spend it, before they receive their bonus spins. As such, these spins cannot be counted as being genuinely 'free' for the player.
So, the only offers that you will see advertised as Free Spins are those that can be accessed by a player without having to make any form of a deposit. The most popular of these offers are the genuine Free Spins you can receive at some sites when you register your details but do not have to make a deposit to receive your spins. The fact that you do not need to deposit or spend any cash to receive the offer means that these are genuine Free Spins.
This can also apply to some of the bonuses that casinos make available from time to time to existing customers, where they can enter a code into their account and without having to make a deposit, or spend any of the cash in their balance, can receive some Free Spins, perhaps to try out a newly released slot, or as part of a promotion or thank-you from the casino in question.
How has this change manifested itself?
Well one of the big things for Mega Moolah fans is that you will have noticed that instead of referring to Mega Moolah Free Spins starter bonuses or similar, we have now started calling the fantastic value offers available at the likes of Captain Cook's Casino, Zodiac Casino and Grand Mondial Casino as either Spins or Chances.
As you know, we are fully committed to ensuring we offer fair and representative gaming to customers and readers and we're more than happy to comply with the new guidance from the ASA in the UK.
So this is why you now have 80 Chances to Play Mega Moolah with Zodiac Casino, rather than 80 Free Spins and the same is true on the other sites.
It is important to note here that although the names of the offers may have changed slightly, the actual offer remains exactly the same as what it was. You still get your 80 Chances for just £1 deposit at Zodiac Casino, your 100 Chances for £5 deposit at Captain Cook's Casino and your 150 Chances for £10 deposit at Grand Mondial Casino.
It is important to note this as not all advertisers have updated their advertising to fall in line with this new guidance as yet, although many are in the process of doing so. So just remember, to check whether Free Spins are genuinely Free Spins, as if you have to make a deposit or spend any of your own cash to receive them, then they are not technically Free Spins under the new guidance.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.