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Country Specific Issues in End User Agreement

October 28, 2009

Online gambling has gone global. However players from different countries are treated differently. This is not because of any discrimination by the online gambling industry, but is mostly a necessary consequence of the different laws and regulations prevailing in different countries that must be accepted by the online gambling operators. These country specific issues are clearly dealt with in the End User Agreement that the player is required to accept before registering at an online casino. It is in the player’s own interest to understand the implications of these issues and the player’s obligations in this regard.

One of the major issues is that of eligibility to wager at online casinos. Some countries have laws prohibiting online gambling and for citizens of such countries it is illegal to place wagers online. There are several countries and laws are often difficult to interpret and sometimes are changed. Therefore online gambling operators cannot and do not specify players from which countries are allowed to wager and players from which countries are not allowed to do so. They make it very clear that it is the player’s responsibility to determine if the laws of his country allow him to participate in online gambling.

A similar issue is that of the legal age for participating in online gambling, where such gambling is permitted under law. Again each country has its own stipulation and that stipulation is the one which is binding on players from that country. Therefore it is again the player’s responsibility to ascertain if he is of legal age or not. Often online casinos also specify the legal age of the jurisdiction in which they are located. In such an event the player has to meet the requirements of both his country and of the jurisdiction of the online casino.

In online casinos that offer wagering in only one currency players have no choice. However, most online casinos today offer multi-currency wagering. This does not imply that any player can choose any currency for wagering. Usually if the currency of the player’s country is offered then the player has to wager in that currency. This also makes commercial sense because players will save on exchange rate transactions. Players from certain countries are allowed choices and these are usually stated in the End User Agreement. Players need to check out these clauses before selecting a currency for wagering. Players also need to check out the laws of their country to ascertain that they are allowed to make and receive payments in the currency they want to wager in.

There is a third country specific issue that is dealt in the End User Agreement. This issue has no bearing on national laws but has arisen out of experience of dealing with players from different countries. In a sense it is discriminatory, but necessarily so. Online casinos routinely offer bonuses to their players. These bonuses are subject to certain terms and conditions. Online casinos have found that a significant number of players from certain countries have a tendency to abuse these bonuses by trying to claim them even when they are not eligible to do so. Very often online casinos lose out on this account and as a result bonuses are delivered to ineligible players and in the long run the eligible players suffer. Therefore most all online casinos now specify countries, the players of which are either subject to higher wagering requirements or are completely prohibited from claiming bonuses. It is unfortunate that the genuine players from these countries suffer as a result. Therefore players should check out the bonus terms and conditions to determine whether they are or not entitled to bonuses.

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