Why Do Bookmakers Limit Accounts and Should They Be Allowed To?

limitedIf you bet a lot online, use a lot of promotions or simply win more than you lose over a period of time then it is likely you may had your online betting account limited or even closed.

Limiting and closing accounts is a method that bookmakers use to ensure they are not fiddled, it allows them to stop people and groups from exploiting offers and odds for matched betting, arbing and other forms of wagering that guarantees a profit. 

This makes sense and it is necessary tool to allow gambling companies to continue to operate in a fair way, after-all if the bookies get exploited then it is the average punter that will lose out with poorer long term value.

The problem is many betting companies themselves will exploit this argument simply to ensure they make more of a profit, these are private businesses after all and if they can get rid of customers that put any amount of thought into how they bet then they will increase their profit margins.  This is great if you are a shareholder but not so good if you are a sensible punter who happens to win more than you lose, or always seeks the best prices or offers.

In recent years the number of complaints we have heard from customers subject to limiting has gone through the roof, meaning companies are limiting more and more accounts just because bettors are successful.

The question is should betting companies be allowed to limit accounts at will?  Many will argue we live in a capitalist world and it is the operators choice, you can always take your business elsewhere.  On the other hand others see this as affront to a fair gambling industry, while in other countries, like Australia, bookies are banned from putting limits on winning punters in certain situations. 

Reasons For Bookmakers Limiting Accounts

Matched Betting

betting systemsMatched betting is a form of bonus abuse. The idea is you take advantage of two or more introductory or existing customer offers from two different operators, effectively backing outcomes in a way to ensure you will make a profit whatever happens.

This is different to arbing, where you are taking advantage of odds differences, here you are taking advantage of free money to guarantee returns.  This can often be up to 85% of the value of the promotional cash.

There are many matched betting services out there, most are subscription services where you pay for the instructions.   This is assisted matched betting where 'matchers' tell you what offers to take and what to bet on.  There are even software programs that will automatically find the best markets and odds to maximise returns. 

You can of course also do it manually yourself, which requires more research but is of course more profitable as you save the subscription cost.

Matched Betting Example - You take a 'bet £10 get a £10 free bet' offer with two different bookies and you plan to bet on two different tennis matches (made up), Jimmy Jones vs Kevin Conner in match 1 and John Doe vs Peter Smith in match 2.  There are only two possible outcomes to each match.

With bookmaker A you place your £10 qualifying bet on Jimmy Jones winning match 1 and you use your £10 free bet on John Doe winning match 2.

With bookmaker B you place your £10 qualifying wager on Kevin Conner winning match 1 and the £10 free bet on Peter Smith winning match 2.

Whatever the outcome of the two games you guarantee to win with both bookmakers.

Now in reality it is often more involved than this as there is a process of odds and stake matching to maximise profits (as free bet stakes are not returned), but the example above gives you the basic idea.

Whatever way you do it bookmakers hate matched betting as it takes advantage of generous offers designed to attract and retain customers. Punters should hate it to as it also reduces the generosity of offers to legitimate punters from betting companies.

If you are caught matched betting you will almost certainly have your account limited so you cannot claim more promotions, perhaps even closed. Operators will also often share information so if you are caught by one or two you may find your I.P., username, or even your real name goes on a blacklist.

There are only so many offers out there and if you exploit them all with matched betting you will likely end up with a whole host of useless and restricted betting accounts. Therefore if you want to match bets make sure you understand the risks.

Arbitrage (Arbing)

arbitrageArbitrage in betting is as old as betting itself. Often shortened to 'arbing' it is the art of spotting discrepancies in odds between different bookies and betting proportionally on all possible outcomes to ensure a profit.

Arbing is something very common in financial markets, especially currency trading. It takes advantage of imbalances between markets that means if you strike two or deals at the right time you can ensure 'no negative cash flow', i.e. that you make money.

You can perform arbitrage on anything where a trade is involved, not just finance and betting, but of course these are the most profitable areas and so these are the industries that arbitrage is most famous in. Most professional gamblers make their money by arbing.

Arbing from a betting perspective in its most simple form involves taking a market with two possible outcomes, say a tennis match that can only have one winner. You back one player with favourable odds with one operator and the other player with another operator that has favourable odds. By betting the appropriate amount on each (see example below) you can ensure a profit.

Arbitrage Betting Example - Taking the same made up tennis match, Jimmy Jones vs Kevin Conner.

Bookmaker A has Jimmy Jones at 5/8 and Kevin Conner at 13/8. Bookmaker B has Jimmy Jones at 2/5 and Kevin Conner at 2/1.

If you bet £100 on Jimmy Jones with bookmaker A it will return £163 if he wins the match. If we now bet £54.33 on Kevin Conner with bookmaker B it will return £163.

We've staked a total of £154.33 but we guarantee to get back £163, ensuring an £8.67 profit.

This doesn't sound like a lot but do it enough on a big enough scale and you can earn a lot of money, especially if you re-invest profits leading to exponential growth.  Easy money if you are not caught.

Fixed odds bookies will limit you if they think you are using them for arbitrage on a regular basis.

Arbing Using Betting Exchanges, Backing and Laying

exchangeThe advent of the betting exchange by Betfair in 2000 also changed the game when it comes to arbing. Exchanges allow punters to in effect act as their own micro-bookmaker by letting them 'lay' their own bets for other customers to back, paying a flat commission to the exchange.

The ability to back a bet, with a fixed odds bookie or on another exchange, and then lay the opposite outcome can again ensure a profit.  The basic principle is simple, if you back something at say 10/1 with a fixed odds sports book or another exchange and could lay that bet at 9/1 then you will guarantee a profit.  Remembering the exchange takes a commission, which must be factored in.

Exchanges are more amenable to arbing than fixed odds bookmakers as the exchange simply only a commission on all bets. This means they don't really care if you guarantee yourself a profit or not as they will always get paid too.

Arbitrage Using Betting Shops

betting shopMany people who arb regularly will place bets with a local retail bookmaker and opposing bets online with another fixed odds bookie or lay the bet with an exchange.

This is partly to reduce the chances of detection, with punters using a range of shops and betting in cash to prevent operators from knowing their exact transaction history.

The main reason however is that shops are far slower to react to odds changes than something like an online exchange, therefore when a margin becomes favourable get a bet on quickly in store and lay the bet online or back the opposite outcome with a different online bookie.

People who do this really seriously will visit a lot of different shops, know the shift patterns of staff, will wear disguised and even get other people to place their bets on their behalf.

How Do Bookmakers Spot Arbing

detective silhouette following footsteps

Very few punters bet random amounts of money, most 'normal' bettors will stake round figures, £1, £5, £10, etc.

When arbing however you need to stake an exact amount that is proportional to the margin difference between the outcomes. These random bet amounts (e.g. £78.45) can be a huge giveaway to a bookie when they are looking for it.

Another big giveaway is the markets you bet on. If you always back markets with only a few possible outcomes (match result, draw no bet, over/under, both teams to score, etc.) rather than markets with lots of outcomes (goalscorer, correct score, accumulators, etc) then it can be a signal that you are arbing.

Finally the amount of time you spend on site is a giveaway. If you literally log in, find a market, place a bet and then log out it is a fairly strong arbitrage signal. Most punters will spend a little time browsing, perhaps use a promotion or stream a live event.

Most online betting sites now use software to spot these patterns, so it isn't just being caught by a real trader that is an issue either.

If you arb and want to avoid getting your account limited then it helps to place 'normal' bets from time to time, with round figures (say £10) on markets with multiple outcomes. It would also be wise to spend a little more time on sites, browse more, stream an event, read the site blog, etc., etc., anything to make you look like a general punter.

It will also help to use a wide range of betting accounts, this will help limit patterns.  To reduce sharing of information vary any usernames too and don't always withdraw all of your winnings straight away.

There is nothing illegal about arbing but should you be caught by a fixed odds bookie doing it they will consider you a 'professional' and limit you accordingly.  If you think it is unfair it is something you have signed up to in their T&C's so not a lot can be done.

Hedging Your Bets

hedging a bet man climbing two ladders at same timeThis is different to arbitrage, where you are exploiting odds differences between different operators and bet on all possible outcome to ensure a profit.  Bet hedging, rather, is when you take advantage of changing circumstances to guarantee a win, or at least reduce some of loses and the risk, often done with the same bookmaker.

Hedging for insurance allows you to minimise loses in the event of the odds drifting after you back it.  For example, you back Man United to win, £100 at evens (2.0 decimal), however news comes in that three key players are out with a gastro bug and speculation is more may follow, the odds drifts out to 11/10 (2.1), and look to be going higher.  If you now lay £92.86 with an exchange, that has say 5% commission, you can guarantee a loss of only £7.14.

Conversely, and more commonly, a hedge can be used to guarantee a profit.  Let's take the above example but say this time surprise news comes out after you've backed United at evens that two key players thought to be injured are declared fit.  The price now instead shortens to 11/10 (1.91).  If you now lay £102.09, again taking into account commission, you can guarantee a profit of £2.09.

You can of course reverse the process if you were to first lay a bet.

I won't go through the maths behind it here, as it can become complicated depending on commission rate and whether you are hedging between exchanges, fixed odds bookies or a mix.  There are plenty of calculators available online that can save you any effort, after all this is a commonly used technique in financial markets.

Hedging your bets, as the saying eludes to, is just a form of risk management. Many would argue bet hedging is a sensible thing to do and why shouldn't customers be able to utilise it?

Of course, the bookies don't see it this way. Anything that you do on a regular basis that increases your chances of winning will get you limited or banned. It is just the reality of the industry.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't hedge your bets, instead try to vary the patterns as much as possible. Just like with arbing you need to make yourself seem 'normal' by doing things typical punters would do.

Therefore don't always use the account just to hedge, don't always place bets with random stake amounts, use multiple non-connected betting sites, spend more time on site, etc.

Exploiting Existing Customer Free Bets and Bonuses

Free Bets HomeFree bet and bonus abuse is perhaps the primary way that most non-professional gamblers get limited, apart from through matched betting.

Betting online is a hugely profitable industry with relatively low overheads and high profit margins. It is also a massively competitive market and therefore brands must also provide reasons for you to bet with them, this can be unique bets, features, markets, streaming availability or by having the best overall site.

Generally, however most bookies get you through the door using generous introductory welcome offers and they then try to keep you there with regular existing customer free bets.

Therefore why should you end up having your account limited if you utilise these regular customer offers? Because they only want you to use these in addition to other betting, not as the only type of wager you place.

If you pretty much always use a promotion, free bet or bonus when you bet then expect after a few months to have your account limited.

There are a few ways to get around this:

  • Don't always bet using promotions, try to place some bets at standard odds without any offers.
  • Use several betting accounts, ideally not connected, to reduce patterns.
  • Don't always claim the maximum bonus, e.g. if the offer matches your stake up to £25 try betting £10 or £15.
  • If you utilise several accounts for various bonuses don't use the same username.
  • Use free bet clubs and loyalty schemes in addition to event specific and one off deals.
  • Spend longer on site, don't just take an offer and leave.
  • Don't bet at or around the minimum odds all of the time.
  • Use your free bets on a range of markets and not always low odds bankers.

Should you be limited for abusing offers then you will not be able to claim any future offers, or other concessions, and your stakes will also likely be limited. The operator is effectively telling you to leave now and don't come back.

Exploiting Weak Lines

betting oddsOdds don't always reflect the real possibilities of a scenario occurring. In most cases the odds are poorer reflection of the actual chances of something happening, this is because bookmakers build in margins to their book to ensure they make a profit.

The thing is odds prices are not just dictated by probabilities, just like financial markets, they are also prone to the effects of human confidence and opinion. This means if lots of people back a line within a market it will shift the prices of the other possible outcomes, when the real probabilities of those outcomes have probably not changed.

After-all a bookmakers objective is to create a balanced book with an equal proportion of bets on all outcomes that ensure they profit whatever happens. To balance a book however odds sometimes need to be offered that are better than the true value. This is where you can often find weak lines to exploit.  If you back odds that are better than probability on a regular basis then the logic is of course you will win more.

Weak lines also appear naturally when traders cannot appropriately price a market, this can be because it is novel and has never happened before or there are too many variables to calculate an accurate outcome.  In these scenarios there is more room to find niche information that can help you find an edge if you think the bookie has overplayed it and you have knowledge they do not.

If you regularly back lines that have better odds than they should do then you will be spotted by the various algorithms operators use to track bets. If they think you place bets to exploit weak lines then you will find yourself with a limited account pretty damn fast.

Again to avoid getting caught don't always bet on only lines you think are weak, even if this dents your profit margin a little it may mean you get to keep an unlimited account.  Of course spread your bets around too with multiple betting sites.

Winning - Taking Out More Than You Put In

winnerIf you withdraw more than you deposit over a period of time most betting companies are going to limit you. Yet this is perhaps the most unfair reason of all to have your account restricted.

There is nothing legally, in the UK at least, to force bookies to accept your bets (there is in some other countries, read about this later). These are private businesses and they will basically just kick you out if you take more money off them than you give to them, you would do the same if you ran their businesses and had their choices.

We are not talking £10's or even £100's, quite often you will be needing to take £1000's more out than you put in each year to be flagged in this way. Once you are flagged though you are likely done for.

There is little you can do to stop this, if you genuinely win because you are a good gambler (not because you arb or exploit offers) then it is hard to hide the fact from the operator. There are some things you can do however to reduce the chances of being banned:

Firstly try betting with a good bookie with high limits, one that is more tolerable to winning punters. Bet365 are a good example of this.

Try losing every now and again, this sounds like a false economy but if you like betting with that specific operator then you might want to consider it every so often.

profit and loss

Bet widely with lots of sites to reduce the overall amounts you are winning with one individual brand. Again vary usernames and bet with non-connected sites to reduce information sharing.

Luckily if you fit this bill then there are 100's of sites you can bet with even if you get limited. You can always still walk into a betting shop and bet with cash should all else fail.

Third Party & Syndicate Betting

syndicate

You are not allowed to bet on behalf of someone else. If caught doing so you have contravened the terms and conditions of the site and you will be restricted, you may even lose any winnings from bets suspected to have been placed on behalf of someone else.

There are many reasons for this, such as preventing minors and vulnerable people from gambling, preventing fraud and money laundering and other forms of financial crime.  It is even enforced as a requirement of operators gambling licences to ensure the source of funds.

In reality most people who place a bet for someone else will do it on a casual basis (e.g a mate asks to stick a fiver on your favourite team with you), you won't be caught and there will be no harm done. It is important to be aware of though if you do this often.

One instance where this becomes pertinent is for those betting in syndicates. There is nothing wrong with syndicate betting right? Lot's of people do it after all?

Technically however this comes under third party betting rules and should you be found placing syndicate bets you can in theory have your account suspended, winnings may not be paid out.

There are some high-profile cases about this where bookies have refused to payout large amounts when syndicate betting is suspected. One such case focuses on Bet365 for a large sum, you can read a case study about this.

Letting Someone Else Using Your Account

relatedYou cannot let someone else use your betting account pretending to be you, just as you cannot let someone else use your bank account.

The laws again are there to protect children from gambling, vulnerable groups and reduce the amount the industry is used for the proceeds of crime.

Again, however, many people get caught out with this when they have allowed someone to use their account for what they see as innocent reasons.

Let's say you are abroad and you are not allowed to bet with your account in that country. You phone home and get a family member or friend to log into your account and bet. You've now contravened the terms of the site and could be banned.

In reality it is unlikely you would be found out unless you do this on a regular basis, but something to think about nonetheless.

Of course if you are caught allowing someone under the age of 18 to use your account then you are not just going to get banned by the bookie you are also going to be in trouble with the police as you've just broken the law.

This happens too, a large amount of kids use their parents or responsible guardians accounts to gamble and the parents are legally responsible to prevent this.

If someone used your account without permission then of course you can tell the betting company, this is however criminal, especially if the person has used money in your account.  Therefore if you do report someone for accessing your account make sure you mean it and don't mind the perpetrator getting in trouble.

Betting Using a VPN To Mask Identity or Location

vpn login

When you gamble in the UK you are betting with companies that have a UK gambling license that allows them to take your custom. In exchange they are legally obliged to offer you certain protections and the operators themselves receive protections under law.

Gambling companies must verify you are a resident of the country you are in in order to let you place wagers, they must also verify you where you are when you try to place a bet. They do this by checking your location through your I.P. address.

Many people use Virtual Private Networks, or VPN's, to mask their location and often to tell a website they are in an entirely different place.

If you use a VPN to bet you are 100% contravening their terms and conditions and if found you will be suspended/banned.

A lot of people use VPN's for security reasons and not to exploit a bookie. If you use one however be mindful that if you are suspected you may be banned.

Many people use VPN's to bet when abroad, if they are in a country where the bookie won't take your bets. This is not allowed and again if you are caught you will be warned or blocked. If you've won a bet you may not be paid out.

Like most things if you use a VPN rarely to place the odd bet (let's say because you are abroad) then in reality no one will notice. If you use a VPN regularly and especially if your I.P. address jumps each time you log in, you may get flagged and find your account restricted.

Suspected Duplicate Accounts

live sports bettingObviously if you sign up to a betting site with multiple fake aliases you are breaking their terms, and the law, and you will be banned if caught. Most people who have done this in the past have done so to exploit bonuses or use a bookie to launder money.

There are some grey areas however where more normal bettors can be caught out. For example, many operators restrict accounts or introductory offers to a single household or I.P. address to prevent this. Of course however many adults could live at the same address legitimately.

If you sign up to a bookie, use a bonus and then find out you've been blocked because of multiple accounts or bonus abuse it could be because someone else in that house, or using that internet connection, already has an account.

One reason you will find eWallet payment methods such as Skrill and Neteller are often excluded from promotions is due to their use previously in duplicate account defrauding of betting sites.

Insider Information & Fixing

match fixing exmaple arm wrestling

This is an obvious one, if you use insider information to increase your chances of winning then you will be banned, you are also breaking the law as this is in effect fraud. This is one reason why footballers and most sportsmen and women are restricted in what they can gamble on.

Quite frankly if you've gone to the effort of getting insider information on something then you are likely up to no good and are taking a risk that you might be caught.  This is one reason why it is hard to bet on things like football transfers, as it is often too easy to exploit

Now, if you are involved in match fixing of any sort then this is of course going to lead to an immediate suspension, funds withheld and possible reporting to police.  There are many cases where match fixing has been suspected, because of suspicious betting activity (see next), but on appeal accounts have been re-activated.  A lot of this is done by software and it isn't fool proof.  

Suspicious Betting Patterns

betting patternsAs eluded to in the last section bookmakers employ people and software to detect suspicious betting activity and if they suspect you have been involved in such activity expect a very quick suspension.

Obviously if you have used insider or fraudulently gained knowledge to bet then fair enough, but often normal punters get embroiled in this and often don't understand why.  

It could be that you just happen to have backed a market that someone else has tried to fix or tamper with, therefore the bookie could suspend your bets or account while they investigate.  If you've done nothing wrong this should sort itself out in due course.

One issue here however is some people use insider information and don't necessarily realise they have done so.  This can often happen if you've signed up to some of these 'tipping services', some of which operate unscrupulously and may suggest you bet on outcomes that are not entirely honest.  If this happens to you then you are unfortunate and you could explain the situation to the operator and hope they re-instate your account.

Suspected Professional Gamblers

professional gambler

Last but not least if you are a suspected professional gambler you will end up with a lot of restricted accounts.  If you've become a professional then this is just part and parcel of the game, most professionals factor in the fact they will have accounts limited and suspended.  There are plenty of fish in the betting sea after all.

Most professional gamblers bet using exchanges, mainly because an exchange never really cares whether you win or lose as they know they will always get their commissions either way.  

This is one reason to be careful when using exchanges to back and lay bets, especially if your intention is to guarantee a win, you will find yourself surrounded by many people who know more about the odds and maths behind them than you do. 

There is a difference between a successful gambler and a professional gambler.  Professionals mostly exploit markets to ensure they always win, by arbing or hedging, successful gamblers are just lucky winners.  If you are a 'successful gambler' bookies will often lavish hospitality and other gifts on you in the knowledge that some point in the future your luck will change and they will get it all back, and more.

User behavior is a key indicator when it comes to betting companies looking for professionals.  There are many flags, things like large bets, short login times, precise markets, specific stakes, they don't stream or use features such as news, stats, blogs, etc.

How To Tell If Your Account Has Been Limited?

limitted bet exampleYou will very often find your account has been limited before they tell you about it.  If you try to place a bet with a stake of say £10 you may find you cannot place it and instead you are being offered a much lower stake amount.

This will often be followed by an email or you may find a message in the on site message center, some examples of these types of notifications are shown next.

Punters will also find they are unable to claim offers going forward, along with concessions such as best odds guarantees, price boosts and any other loyalty schemes or promotions.

You will likely still see many existing customer promotions when you visit the site but from that point forward even if you place relevant bets you will not receive any offers.

There are some grey areas, I've been able to continue to play free prediction games but cannot claim any offers or place significant stake bets.

Limited accounts are still open and you can still bet, although only on a low level.  The stake limit is often dependent on the odds and market and it is possible to still place some recreational bets, like low stake accas.

Examples Of Account Limitation Notifications

ladbrokes coralCoral / Ladbrokes

Hi X,

We wish to advise you that following a review of your Coral sports betting account, you will no longer be eligible to receive ANY of our free bet offers and concessions.

These include concessions such as “Best Price Guaranteed” as well as ALL current and future free bet offers (including “Acca Boost”).

Please be aware that although you may still see free bet offers and other concessions advertised on the Coral site and mobile apps, any bets you place will NOT qualify toward them and you will not be awarded any subsequent free bets.

Please note that any future sports bets that you attempt to place may be subject to staking restrictions which will be notified to you at the time you are seeking to place a bet. These restrictions are in accordance with our terms and conditions. We would like to draw your attention to the following key points regarding any free bets that you have not yet redeemed or in relation to which you are part way through completing the qualification requirements:

Any unredeemed free bet tokens currently available within your account will remain available for use in accordance with the terms and conditions applicable to the specific free bet offer through which they were granted.

If you have already placed qualifying bets in relation to a specific free bet offer, you will still be entitled to receive the full value of the relevant free bet token in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions.

If you are part way through qualifying for a free bet token you will still be able to place further qualifying bets and be entitled to receive the full value of the relevant free bet token once all applicable requirements have been fulfilled in accordance with the terms and conditions. However, please note that whilst we will allow you to place further qualifying bets on the vast majority of our sports betting markets, the restrictions placed on your account may result in you not being able to place qualifying bets on certain sports betting markets.

If you have any queries in relation to this notification please contact support

Regards,

Team Coral

betwayBetway

We are contacting you today in regard to your Betway account - 'username'.

After a careful review by our senior trading team, we have taken the decision that your account 'username' will no longer be eligible to receive any future sports promotions from Betway. This means that you will no longer be eligible for Bonuses, Free Bets, ex gratia payments, Best Odds Guaranteed or reward points. This decision will not affect any promotions you have already been granted or the outcome of free bets you have already placed. If you have any questions about Free Bets you have already received you can contact customer support.

This decision is final and will not be overturned but let us assure you this action has been taken only after much consideration.

Please note that you are welcome to continue using your account with us recreationally.

The Betway Team

Do Bookies Share Information About Winning Players?

bookmakers with cash

Openly, no, behind the scenes yes, of course they do. The gambling industry is exceptionally competitive, online especially, and so there is no central pool of information for operators to draw on.  What you find instead is information disseminating in other ways.

Many of the biggest betting companies have been merging and acquiring like crazy over the last decade and this has lead to industry goliaths such as Ladbrokies-Coral (+Gala), Paddy Power-Betfair and the Kindred Group (Unibet, 32Red, Stan James and more).  Each time these companies merge and acquire they will be sharing entire databases about users with each other.

For example, having been limited by Coral I was limited by Ladbrokes a week later, with a carbon copy email simply substituting Coral for Ladbrokes.  The interesting thing is there was reason for Coral to limit my account, I had been using a lot of bonuses, but there was little reason for Ladbrokes to do so.  My Ladbrokes account was running at a loss and my betting activity was far more conventional.

Many new sites these days are also white labels or partly run using third party software.  You will have noticed how many sites look the same these days, and that is because they are. Information sharing is of course going to happen in this situation and so try to use accounts on different platforms or use independents.

It may seem obvious to avoid betting with brands that are obviously connected but that isn't a foolproof strategy as there are many operators that are not part of the same group but are on friendly enough terms to give each other heads up on players that win too much or arb.

Traders and management staff also move around a lot between companies and these bring with them a lot of knowledge about problem players.  In fact, many staff are poached for this exact reason.

What Can You Do To Prevent Limiting?

stop sign with man putting a hand outThe best methods to reduce limiting of accounts is to use multiple sites but do some research into your brands before you bet.  All of our reviews for example contain information about the companies, holding companies, who holds the licenses, etc.  At the very least use non-connected entities.

Here are some brief pointers to reduce limiting and detection:

  • Place some bets not utilising offers
  • Place some accas and other high margin bets
  • Lose every now and again
  • Use rounded stakes (£5, £10, etc)
  • Do not use the same username with all bookies
  • Do not use the same email address
  • Bet widely with many non-connected operators
  • Do not claim every offer
  • Do not maximise the stake / reward of every offer
  • Spend time on site and visit different sections
  • Stream an event or use some of the features
  • If you want free bets use offer clubs
  • Do not withdraw winnings straight away
  • Do not withdraw the entire account balance
  • Avoid eWallets as these can be viewed more suspiciously
  • If multiple bettors in the same household avoid suing the same I.P.

I've Been Limited, Can I Reverse It?

reverseMost likely no, as you can see from our examples all operators will say their decision is final.  There is no harm in asking to be unlimited but in reality they are unlikely to do so. 

If you really want to continue betting with the operator then continue to use the limited account recreationally and after a period of time they may lift the limits or be more amenable to a request to do so.

If you genuinely think you should not have been limited you can dispute it.  Perhaps you've been limited because someone else on your I.P. has been and they think it may be a duplicate account, or it could be a case of mistaken identity.

The important thing to remember is you haven't done anything wrong.  You have been limited because the operator thinks are using the system against them and why shouldn't you use the best of your knowledge to help you win?

As long as you are not arbing or abusing bonuses you will find a betting company that will be happy to have you.  There are many brands that play the longer game and will value winning customers, don't let one set back make you think you can no longer enjoy online betting.

Even if you do want to bet more professionally you can always use a betting exchange who will be more than happy to accept your business, as long as they get their commission they couldn't care less.

Should Bookmakers Be Allowed To Limit You?

limitsThere is no simple answer to this one.  On one hand gambling is a hugely profitable industry and betting companies, and their shareholders, make tons of money from us.  They offer an addictive product that keeps us coming back for more.  They should take the rough with the smooth and accept anyone's bets.

On the other hand we live in a free market capitalist world, and you don't get much more capitalist than the betting industry.  Many would say it is fair enough for a private business to decide who they let use their services and why should they accept someone that is not profitable for them.  After all punters are free to take their money elsewhere.

There are some examples however in other countries where betting companies are forced to take some bets from all customers, known as minimum bet rules.  The introduction of these in the UK for horse racing has been muted on numerous occasions

Australia Minimum Bet Rule

australian flagIn most states in Australia (New South Wales, Victoria, Tazmania, South Australia and Queensland) minimum bet rules apply to racing win bets placed from 9am on raceday.  This applies to horse racing and ensures punters can bet at least $1000 (AUS) and often up to $2000 on a win.  

Some greyhound racing is also covered, for example Victoria guarantee bets up to $700 on metropolitan races.

First introduced in New South Wales in 2014 in response to mass complaints from profitable punters, it was cited that it would kill the industry.  If anything the opposite is true and horse racing has flourished since its introduction.  

In order for betting companies to offer markets on Australian racing in these states they must sign up to an agreement that means they have ti accept all win stakes up to the threshold. 

Of course this does not cover any other bets placed on other sports or ante-post wagers on racing, but it is a start.

What Are Your Rights?

know your rightsIf you have been limited or suspended the company can restrict your bets or stop you placing any more but they cannot hold your money from you without a valid reason. If you are suspected of fraud or you haven't verified your account then funds can be withheld, otherwise you should be free to withdraw.

The site cannot refuse to pay you out on a bet prior to limiting you, neither can cancel without reason any bets placed before notification that are yet to settle.

Likewise the company should honour any promotions entered into prior to being limited.  You should be able to keep any free bets or promo cash already awarded until the normal expiry time.