Fast withdrawal casinos licensed by the UKGC are your best and safest bet when you love to gamble online, but can’t wait to cash out winnings.
With the Gambling Commission’s mandate for casinos to let you cash out your funds whenever you want without any unnecessary delay, it’s easier to meet your money at the earliest.
Nonetheless, like any other UKGC-regulated casino, even the fastest withdrawal casinos must abide by rules governing inactive accounts with funds.
In this article, we will explore what happens to dormant accounts that have funds on them at fastpay casinos and what you can do to prevent your casino account from becoming dormant.
- Fast payout casinos with a UKGC license can render an account dormant upon inactivity of 12 months or more.
- After rendering the account dormant, casinos can charge a maintenance fee if there are funds in your account.
- But they must try to refund the balance before charging the fee.
- Casinos must also inform the player 30 days in advance before charging the fee.
- All reasonable efforts must be taken by the casino to get in touch with you using the contact details you provided unless you opted out of communication.
- Fees and charges on dormant accounts can bring your balance to zero.
- It is possible to reclaim a dormant account and the funds in it if the casino is still in business.
- A dead player’s funds in a dormant account can be claimed by a legally entitled family member.
- If a casino wrongfully deducts a maintenance fee for inactivity, you can ask for a refund.
What Is a Dormant Casino Account as per the UKGC?
The UKGC defines a dormant account as one that you have not touched for a minimum of 12 months (365 days). No instances of logging in, depositing money, requesting a withdrawal, or even playing demo games have been detected in this account for the said period.
Please note that this definition of account inactivity might be different at non-UKGC-licensed casinos. For instance, while some casinos with fast withdrawal speeds may consider a no-show for a specific period as inactivity, others may view a lack of deposits even after logging in as grounds for dormancy.
The length of time that must pass before an account is deemed inactive can also vary widely, depending on the specific casino or regulatory body involved. UKGC casinos provide a transparent process in this regard, allowing you to know exactly when your account will go dormant and what the implications will be.
When Can Your Fastpay Casino Account Become Dormant?
As already mentioned, your fastpay casino account can become dormant when you haven’t accessed it in over a year. Now, there could be countless reasons as to why. We have highlighted the most obvious ones below:
- You decided to take a break but didn’t put yourself in self-exclusion or asked the casino to close your account.
- You created the account, but eventually lost track of or forgot about it.
- You moved to a different country and couldn’t access the casino anymore.
- You went broke and couldn’t afford to gamble anymore.
- You laid comatose for over a year.
- You died without closing your casino account.
What Are the Types of Dormant Accounts?
A dormant casino account at a fast withdrawal casino can be of two types:
- With funds
- Without funds
There’s nothing much a casino operator has to do to maintain an inactive account without funds. However, a lot goes into maintaining one with funds, because your money itself is segregated separately within the casino’s business as per UKGC norms.
How Does a Quick-Paying Casino Detect Account Dormancy?
When a casino account goes unchecked for months, it triggers an alert with the operator who then takes all the necessary measures to pull the plug on it. You can think of it as a notification or alarm that sets off once the stipulated time is up.
When Can the Dormant Account Become Problematic for You?
A dormant account can become problematic for you only when you have funds in it and you cannot risk losing the money. Thankfully, UKGC has now made it possible and easy to get back the funds with its strict rules for inactive accounts.
Do Funds in a Dormant Account Become Dormant As Well?
Funds in a casino account that has been inactive for 12+ months cannot be termed dormant. Without harming your rights as a player, such an account can be reclassified for the casino’s internal accounting purposes.
This basically means the casino can place accounting controls over your money to ensure that their own financial statements are accurate, legal, and valid. This is the best way for them to explain money from an inactive player account sitting in a segregated business account.
What Happens to the Money Eventually?
As per UKGC, every fast withdrawal casino has to wait up to at least 12 months before rendering your account inactive. During this period, a casino cannot reduce the level of protection for your funds that was originally promised as per the UKGC customer funds protection rating system.
After this period is over, the casino can reclassify your dormant account for internal accounting purposes, as long as it doesn't unfairly impact your rights to the funds in it. The casino is now free to charge a recurring maintenance fee that is reasonable.
But there’s a twist!
The fast payout casino should try to return your deposit balance to the last banking option you used before imposing a maintenance fee. After that, they must notify you at least 30 days before charging the fee and make all reasonable efforts to reach you through the email, telephone, and/or mailing address you provided, unless you have opted out of such communication.
Once a casino has contacted you 30 days in advance, advised you of the remaining balance, informed you that you can still access your funds and get your money back, and explained how to do this, they can start removing funds from your dormant account.
Please note that the maintenance fee can eventually bring your account balance to zero. But, does it lock you out of your own funds? Nope, never!
According to the Gambling Commission, licensed fast-pay online casinos should not have terms and conditions that enable them to modify the legal status of your funds or change your legal rights to access those funds, even if the account becomes dormant.
This means that even if you have been charged a maintenance fee for account inactivity, you can still recover your funds in the future. However, if the money has been donated to GambleAware as a settlement offer to the UKGC, it cannot be recovered by any means.
What Is the Maintenance Fee Charged?
The UKGC has not said anything about a fixed maintenance fee, which means casinos are free to charge whatever they like. Nonetheless, the Commission requires that these fees are reasonable and explicitly disclosed in the company's terms and conditions.
Furthermore, any charges levied must reflect the expenses incurred by the casino in maintaining the customer's account. Meanwhile, fast withdrawal casinos that aren’t licensed by the UKGC may or may not be obligated to such strict terms.
Why Is a Maintenance Fee Charged?
For quick withdrawal casinos licensed by the UKGC, it is mandatory to keep player funds separate from business accounts as per legal requirements. This practice, also known as funds segregation or ring-fencing, incurs additional costs for the casinos.
Active players generate revenue for such businesses, and hence, the administrative costs associated with their accounts are not much of a concern. After all, they are the golden geese and the casinos make money off them.
But this isn’t the case with inactive players. They do not generate revenue, and therefore, using their funds for account maintenance is an easier and cheaper way for the casinos to meet their profit margins.
Of course, this might not be the case with other fast payout casinos without a UKGC license. They may or may not be required to segregate funds. But they could still charge a maintenance fee and continue doing so until your account is empty. Also, they may not be obligated to even try to refund you or remind you before charging a fee.
Can You Reclaim a Dormant Account?
You can reclaim a dormant account at a UKGC online casino with fast withdrawals by simply logging in to it. Most often than not, you’d be notified that you must get in touch with customer care to access your account.
You will then be bombarded with security questions until the casino is satisfied that you are who you claim to be and rightfully own the funds in your casino account. Don't be surprised if you have to go through the KYC procedure all over again. It’s the need of the hour!
Meanwhile, if the casino in question has gone bust, getting back your funds will entirely depend on the level of protection the business offered when it was in operation. The same is the case when the casino is acquired by another casino.
Can a Family Member Claim the Funds in a Dead Player’s Dormant Account?
When a player dies without cashing out the funds in their dormant casino account, a family member can claim the money by following a set process.
Firstly, the casino will require certain documents, including the deceased's ID, a death certificate, and an official letter from a lawyer, solicitor, or notary that confirms the claimant's legal right to receive the funds.
Alternatively, the casino may accept an authorized copy of the player's last will and testament, accompanied by a signed confirmation that it is indeed the deceased's last will.
Once the casino has received these documents, they will conduct an internal legal review before requesting the claimant's bank details. If everything is in order, the funds will be refunded from the player's dormant account.
What Happens When a Casino Wrongly Deducts Dormancy Fee?
If a casino wrongly deducts a dormancy fee, it will most likely give you a refund if you take up the matter with the operator. Here’s a classic case:
A UK punter was left outraged when Ladbrokes deducted £800 from his account as monthly dormancy fees while denying him access to the funds. His attempts to withdraw his balance had been unsuccessful since 2014 when Ladbrokes informed him that his account would be closed.
By November 2017, they had deducted a total of £827.11 from his account under their policy on inactive accounts, leaving him with just £512.12. Despite being unable to log in to his account, he suspects that a further 5% deductions have been made in December and January.
The punter claims that Ladbrokes asked for receipts from purchases made via the now-defunct UKash, even though they already had a full list of voucher numbers. Although Ladbrokes eventually refunded the deducted dormancy fee, the punter's access to his account remained blocked.
How To Prevent Your Fast Payout Casino Account From Becoming Dormant
To prevent your UKGC fast payout casino account from becoming dormant, you can take the following three steps:
- Show up: Logging in at least once every three to six months is the easiest way to ensure that your account remains active.
- Make a deposit every now and then: Depositing funds into your account is another way to keep it active. Even a small deposit can help ensure that your account remains active.
- Play regularly: Regularly playing casino games on your account sends out a signal that you’re an active player.
Are the Rules for Account Inactivity Different in Fast Payout Casinos That Aren’t UKGC-Licensed?
What happens to the money in dormant accounts at non-UKGC fast payout casinos can vary from one casino to another or depend on its regulator. Typically, the casino will get in touch with you using the contact details you provided to see what you’re up to.
If you fail to respond within the stipulated time mentioned in T&C, they will label your account as inactive. Thereon, a monthly or quarterly or yearly fee may be deducted from your funds, which is at either the casino’s or its regulator’s discretion.
All this is almost the same as that in UKGC fast withdrawal casinos. What could be different is the stipulated time for dormancy, the resulting maintenance fee, and its periodicity. Unless a casino regulator sets a certain timeframe for account dormancy and rules for maintenance fees, each casino it licenses will impose its own.
Moreover, your funds may or may not be kept in ring-fenced accounts, which could impact your access to them. This is why it is important to read an individual casino’s T&C as well as gain awareness of the account inactivity guidelines set by its regulators.
Or else, you might never realise when dormancy hits and your funds are absorbed into the casino’s profit line. Better yet, sign up with and play only at our recommended UKGC fast withdrawal casinos where the terms and conditions are crystal.