Dormant Account at an Online Casino: Rule Explained
In this article:
1) What is a “dormant” account?
2) Who sets the policy about “dormant” accounts?
3) Why does this rule exist?
4) What is the difference between “dormant” and “inactive” account?
5) What happens with money which held in a “dormant” account?
6) What should I do if I want to redeem funds from my “dormant” account?
7) How to find out about the “dormant” account policy in a particular online casino?
8) Could some casinos abuse this rule?
What is a “dormant” account?
Here I am going to define what a “dormant” account actually is since each gambling jurisdiction follows its own definition of a “dormant” account in an online casino. Moreover, a particular online casino can set their own policy about “dormant” accounts (often within the boundaries that have been set by gambling commission). You may find it confusing, but anyway, there are some basic principles that are immutable for almost all online casinos.
So to say, your account should meet one of the following criteria (depends on the certain jurisdiction and a particular online casino) in order to consider it as a “dormant” one:
you have not logged into your account for some period of time (for example, Alderney Gambling commission sets this period as 12 consecutive months)
you have not bet on any game for some period of time
Who sets the policy about “dormant” accounts?
Usually, each gambling commission sets its own policy concerning the “dormant” accounts in online casinos, but the online casino can do it as well.
There are 3 main aspects that should be covered:
what triggers the “inactivity” time counter (you have not logged into your account or have not bet on any game)
the time frame after which account is deemed “dormant”
what happens with money on the balance
Why does this rule exist?
Online gambling industry is a quite competitive industry. Therefore, there are thousands of casinos that provide their services online. As a result, active players open many accounts in different casinos. Some of them will be used on a regular basis, and some will be abandoned after a while.
It costs money an online gambling operator to service your account (the payment system fees and the regulatory fees are imposed on its operation). And after some period of time, an online casino is not obliged to do so.
What is the difference between “dormant” and “inactive” account?
Some online casinos and gambling authorities separate two terms “inactive” account and “dormant” account. If they do it then the criteria would be the period of time while a player has not logged in or has made any bet.
It usually requires less time to identify an account as “inactive” than as a “dormant”.
For example, the rule could be that your account will be considered as “inactive” after 12 months not using it, and it is going to become “dormant” after 24 months of being abandoned.
However, some online casinos are considering “dormant” and “inactive” as two synonyms.
The online casino must put a reasonable number of efforts in order to contact the dormant account owner
As the title suggests, a gambling operator is obliged to notify the user that the account has become dormant. This rule protects the player in cases when he (or she) does not expect to have any money left on the account balance (often happens if some bets were cancelled).
Thus, the player will be contacted by an online casino representative via email, phone or whatever available means of communication.
If the online casino fails to do so, then you can dispute any consequences of recognition your account as dormant in gambling commission.
What happens with money which held in a “dormant” account?
In general, there are many different ways. And it depends on the policy of a particular gambling commission and the particular online casino policy.
Let's list the major ways:
goes to the online casino balance. Usually, a player is getting charged every month with some fee (in percentage or at a fixed rate) until the balance becomes zero.
goes to the gambling commission fund ( after that may (or may not) be redeemed by a player)
goes to charity funds
What should I do if I want to redeem funds from my “dormant” account?
For one thing, you have to find out if your money is refundable at all. If they are, refundable than they can be returned:
by the online casino itself
by the gambling authority
Contact them and you will be given with instructions on what actions you have to undertake to get money back.
How to find out about the “dormant” account policy in a particular online casino?
The best place to start your research is to look for the needed information on the official website of gambling commission which gave a license to an online casino you have been playing at. You will be provided with all necessary instructions regarding those matters on its website .
After you have gained some notion about how the dormant account policy is set in this particular jurisdiction, you need to find out how a particular casino resolves such issues.
Usually, there is the whole section of an online casino website that called “Terms and Conditions” devoted to dormant accounts. You can easily find it at the bottom of any online casino website.
If for some reason this section is not placed there, then you should feel free to contact the online casino and ask its representative about dormant accounts directly (via live chat or email).
Please be aware, that online casino “Terms and Conditions” must comply with the Gambling Commission’s rules. For example, if gambling license requires that only after 12 months an account could be considered as a “dormant”, then an online casino “Terms and Conditions” must not set this period less than 12 months (however, if an online casino desires to make this period higher than 12 months, it can do so).
Could some casinos abuse this rule?
For my experience, it happens very rarely. As you may guess, players are not prone to forget about money on the balance of their accounts (what a surprise). And even if it happens online casinos are not eager to discourage their potential customers to play more (it is predictable that even small but unexpected and rather unfair fees could easily upset anyone).
As for me personally, I would not spend any considerable amount of time to find out the information about the rules concerning the dormant accounts in online casinos before making a deposit. Though, it is sufficient to be aware that it exists. And it’s clear that any negative consequences can be easily avoided by timely balance withdrawal.
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