So lately I've been playing blackjack online at English Harbor. Today I went through some incredible frustration with their bonus system. Like most online casinos, their comp system consists of adding "bonus money" to your deposits. I received a 5% “loyalty” comp on my deposit of $600 which came out to be $30. But they don't let you use blackjack or roulette to meet the 20x wagering requirement. I knew this and I didn't care, I just ignored the bonus $30 that showed up under my balance, maybe I'd burn it away at slots later.
As I started playing blackjack, I noticed my first bets came directly out of my bonus balance. Weird, I thought, as blackjack is on their exclusion list for wagering requirements. But I'm not complaining, if my bonus money is absorbing my losses it's a good thing, right? And it looks like any money I win is going into my real balance. Slowly my bonus balance goes to 0.
Well, my plan for the night was to flat bet until I was $100 ahead. About half an hour later I reached my goal. I go to cash out my $700 and it tells me I still need to bet $596 to meet my wagering requirement until I could withdraw anything. Wtf? After half an hour of frustrated conversation with a customer support rep who lacked English skills, it became clear how I got screwed over. I had deposited $600 real dollars, gotten a $30 bonus, and since one or two of my winning bets with the bonus money had automatically gone into my real balance (I had NO choice of how to bet this money), my entire real deposit + winnings was now “bonus” money that had to meet a wagering requirement. A wagering requirement that excluded pretty much every game except slots.
So anyways, pissed off and just about ready to call my credit card company to cancel a $600 charge that "I had no idea about", I navigate over to the slots and cringe as I grind my way through $596 of wagering requirements. I never thought I’d touch a slot machine in my life. I felt defiled. I winced as I watched the slot machine wear my balance down from $700 to $475, when I finally finished the wagering requirement and could cash out all my money. F-that I said, I’m not letting the casino cheat me out of money like that. I wanted my winnings back, and despite how stupid it was, I decided to somewhat martingale my way back to $700. I had a comfortable amount of room left before I reached my monthly credit limit on my card and was frustrated enough at this point to face the 6% chance of losing everything. I flat bet my way to $500 with nickels, then started a martingale. Lost my first bet ($50), then bet $100. Had a pair of 9’s vs. the dealer’s 9. Split them. Had an A-9 with another pair of nines. Split those. Had a 10-9 and a 9-2. Doubled the 9-2. Dealer busted. Was now $300 over my goal, so I let myself throw down 3 $100 hands. Won all 3, and proceeded to cash out without a problem. Laughed at how I ended up cashing out +$700 of profits compared to the +$100 I was trying to get back earlier. Sweet revenge, stupid casino.
Anyways, apparently you have to ask a support rep. to remove your bonus money before you wager a single bet if you don’t want to risk having your winnings mixed into your real money and being held to a wagering requirement. Pretty stupid that you can’t use blackjack to meet a wagering requirement yet it still uses your bonus money to screw you over.
Always read the fine text. I thought I did, but apparently not well enough (still, looking back, their rules are incredibly elusive to the catch that almost screwed me over…I can’t really blame myself). In the past, I had deposited much smaller amounts of money (<$100) which gave me a small bonus that I guess through luck I had lost immediately and therefore never had to deal with this crap before.
Learn from my stupidity