The Problem with Bonuses

The subject of bonuses that are offered by gambling companies is another controversial subject. Many oppose them because they aim to persuade people to join online gambling sites. However, for the companies themselves, there are increasing problems with the bonuses being abused.

Ravelin are fraud detection and payment acceptance specialists. They’ve carried out a study that has shown 71 per cent of online gambling companies have seen a rise in the amount of bonus abuse in the past 12 months.

Just how is this happening? Well, there are players who realise that if they open several accounts with different operators, they can exploit the bonuses and promotions that exist. Using a VPN to change their IP address allows them to convince sites that they are new customers. The fraud is leading online companies to suffer heavy losses.

There are several forms of bonuses that online betting companies use. They vary from the offering of free bets, loyalty reward, enhanced odds and free spins on slot games.

As already mentioned, the subject of bonuses is a difficult one. Annie Ashton is calling for an end to the offering of free bets. Her husband Luke sadly committed suicide after developing a gambling addiction.

His widow says that he wanted to stop gambling but the free bets offers just kept attracting him to online gambling sites. She recently handed in a petition to the UK government calling for more to be done to change the “outdated” 2005 Gambling Act. Details of what changes the government has in mind are due to be published shortly.

Her view is that the 2005 Act must be changed as it does not deal with online betting. “If the gambling laws had changed to make gambling safer sooner, Luke and hundreds of others would be alive today,” she said.

When it comes to the subject of free bets, Mrs Ashton made a damning comment: “When people are given free bets it’s an incentive to gamble more.” This can lead to gambling problems developing and the bonuses simply encourage players to “put more money into a system.”

67 per cent of online betting merchants also saw an increase in payment details being taken from customer accounts. The CEO of Ravelin is Martin Sweeney and he said that “the high transaction volume, with players making a lot of payments regularly” makes detecting “fraudsters card testing” or catching “individual fraudulent purchases” very difficult.

He believes that companies need to bolster their fraud detection with “an external machine learning platform” if they are to counter the tactics fraudsters are using that are becoming increasingly complex.

90 per cent of online gambling merchants believe their budgets will have to be increased. 85 per cent see themselves having to take on more fraud prevention workers to deal with the problem.