There’s a very good chance that, if you play regularly at an online casino, there will be a loyalty programme in place. While these may have different rules and regulations across the board, they generally function in the same way: players are rewarded by means of points for every wager they place and play at the casino. As more points are accumulated, more tiers are reached, and more rewards are unlocked.
At the highest end of any tiered loyalty programme, there’s more often than not a VIP programme or rewards club, which certain players are exclusively invited to join by the casino, based on their spending and withdrawing habits. But, what are the main differences between a regular or standard player, and a VIP? Let’s take a look.
A general rule of thumb across the board is that, in order to become a part of the VIP club of an online casino, a player will need to have received an exclusive invitation from the casino, with the decision to do so being based on a number of different criteria. These criteria may differ from one online destination to another, and actually go far deeper than simply being a big spender. Once inside, there are numerous perks to anticipate, with some of the most common highlighted below.
While standard players at online casinos will usually have the benefit of a 24/7 customer support team available to assist all year round, they will never be guaranteed a specific ‘go to’ person, with whom they can communicate and voice their concerns on a first-name basis. Part of a good VIP programme is the assignment of a personal ‘host’ or ‘account manager’ to a player, who functions as more than just an assistant, but as something of a maître d, building relationships and ensuring that the VIP is kept happy at all times. Being in direct contact with someone at your chosen online casino, and being able to bypass the regular customer support protocols is probably one of the biggest perks of being a VIP.
In line with personalised customer support, VIP players are also given the benefit of individual special casino offers. This doesn’t mean they cannot still take up the regular promotions and competitions the casino offers, but they’re also treated to bespoke offers, which can include bigger match bonuses, extra loyalty points on certain games or even cashback deals - if that particular VIP doesn’t enjoy the wagering requirements generally fixed to bonus rewards, for example. Every case is unique, just as every player is unique.
It’s no secret that different withdrawal methods (credit cards, web wallets, etc.) have different pending periods with different processing times. In general, players can expect their withdrawals to reach their bank accounts within at least 48 hours. A perk of being a VIP is having those withdrawals fast-tracked, thanks to the account manager working directly with the banking department. This does not mean to say that any loopholes are used or corners cut. All processes and procedures are duly followed, but the VIP’s name is simply put at the top of the list.
On top of bonus perks and cashback rewards, VIP players are also generally eligible for exclusive, tangible gifts. These are not limited to the festive season, though, and players can sometimes look forward to birthday gifts as well, including luxury products, the latest tech, designer gear and the like. Given the very human relationship between VIP player and their account manager, these gifts are also in no way arbitrary, and are personalised to really make the player feel special.
It should be mentioned that, no matter whether you’re a VIP or standard player, anyone and everyone who signs up at a reputable online casino can expect responsible gambling to be supported. This can be by means of offering to put spending limits in place if need be, managing player expectations and offering guidance. If a player at any point feels they’re being less responsible than they’d like, the casino can even offer to suspend their account for a ‘cooling off’ period.
It’s all good and well, getting the news that you’ve been invited to a VIP programme, but should the circumstances that earned you the invitation change (i.e. the player spends less money than they did before, or they withdraw more often than they deposit), they’re likely to lose that spot as a VIP. This doesn’t generally happen then and there, though, and when the player’s behaviours start to change, they’re contacted to ask if all is in order, or if there’s anything the casino can do to turn things around.
As much as online casinos are there for entertainment, there is the very real possibility of a player developing something of an irresponsible habit. VIP players tend to spend more than average players, but there isn’t always a discernible way of knowing whether or not they would ideally like to be spending that much. If, however, a player discloses a problem with their spending, the casino will do everything it can to ensure the player is unable to play there, and offers as much guidance and support as is necessary.
As enticing and exciting as an invitation to become a VIP may be, only a very small percentage of players will get one. As such, it’s still vitally important for an online casino to offer enough perks to standard or base players, too, and reward them for their loyalty to the casino. While the following points are still applicable to VIP players as well, they’re what standard players can look forward to.
Reputable online casinos generally welcome new players with a special sign up offer, either by means of a match bonus package, some free spins, or even both. In some exceptional cases, a casino will even offer a ‘no deposit’ bonus, which will allow you to explore and experiment with some of the games on offer, before parting with a single dollar of your own.
Standard players at online casinos have a lot to look forward to when it comes to loyalty programmes and rewards. As previously stipulated, these generally consist of various tiers that get progressed through, by means of placing wagers and playing regularly. As the player continues to play with the casino, they earn points, which can often be exchanged for free cash or bonus credits.
You’ll often find a disclaimer on any online casino web page that mentions the casino’s support of responsible gambling. Reputable online gambling destinations are often externally regulated, ensuring that player safety is always a priority. This includes supporting players who may feel that they’re being irresponsible with their spend, and offering adequate solutions and guidance, be it by means of account limits or cooling off periods.
Even if VIPs have the benefit of a personal account manager, standard players still have the quick and convenient option of a Live Help team, which is reachable by means of Live Chat facility or email. While more and more establishments are doing away with telephonic support, there are still some who offer it. The support teams are usually available 24/7, and even in rare cases where they aren’t, their response times are still swift.
While online casinos generally have minimal withdrawal limits, there is no limit on who can withdraw. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a high rolling VIP or a safe staying novice: if you can make a deposit, you can make a withdrawal. The method you choose to make a withdrawal will have specific pending timeframes, and this is easily discerned either on the site or by chatting to a customer care agent.
Just because a player isn’t depositing a lot, doesn’t mean they’re not depositing more than they would like. Problem spending and gambling addiction are taken very seriously by online casinos, and all measures will be taken in the event of a player disclosing a problem or addiction to ensure that the player is unable to play there.
While some casinos offer plenty of different payment methods, some players choose only one or two. Changes in bank policies, or simple things like an expired card, may prevent a player from being able to make a deposit. This, of course, has little to do with the casino, and alternative methods are always available.
Standard players simply have to endure the processing times involved with making any kind of withdrawal. While web wallets tend to be the quickest, most players prefer using credit or debit cards, which can take a little longer. Still, there’s no need to sit around and do nothing while you wait – simply play some more! The pending period even allows you to reverse a portion (or all) of a current withdrawal, should you want to take a chance at an even bigger win.