In recent years, some of the most successful punters in the UK have complained about having their online betting accounts limited or even closed. But is this legal? Can a bookmaker refuse a bet by law?
If you’ve had a bookie decline to take your bet, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. But the fact is, they can and do get away with it. As unfair as it seems, there is no law requiring a bookmaker to accept any bet. Therefore the bookies can legally refuse to accept a bet from any customer they choose.
Even the best bookies have been known to limit accounts. At the end of the day, they are running a business in a highly competitive environment. Bookmakers are limited companies with a duty to their shareholders, therefore they’ll do whatever it takes to make a profit.
If they suspect that a customer won’t be profitable, they act within the law to limit that customer’s account. They have systems in place to spot what they think are professional punters. Unfortunately systems don’t always work as they should, so quite often innocent everyday punters get caught up in this. Some of our own members have complained that companies like Betfred have limited their accounts very quickly, even if they haven’t been winning much.
Some bookies are better than others when it comes to playing fair with their customers. So the first step is to check out the bookie reviews to see which ones are best.
However, at the end of the day, limited accounts are a fact of life if you win regularly. Therefore, professional punters try elaborate ways to get round these limits. Some try to open accounts in friend’s names. Others have been known to employ a large team of “runners.” These are small punters who can place bets on the banned punter’s behalf. By splitting a large stake among lots of small players, the bookie won’t know where the bet is really coming from.
Of course, both of these methods are quite complicated to set up and maintain. Furthermore, they require a good deal of trust between the parties involved. A simpler solution is to bet with a site that won’t limit your account. With betting exchanges such as Betfair, you bet against other people, not the house. That means the site doesn’t care how much you win, as it’s not their money.
If you’ve had your accounts closed by other bookies, then opening a Betfair account is probably the only solution that will work for you in the long term.