When betting online, we send our own hard-earned cash, sometimes large sums of it, electronically to a company behind a bookmaker website. We often don’t do enough research into who is behind these companies and even if we did and were convinced that they were reputable and trustworthy, are our funds really that safe?
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how safe our money is with bookmakers and the different levels of fund protection online bookies provide and how these different levels can impact the outcome of what happens to our funds should the bookmaker go bust.
Any online bookmaker which is licenced by the UK Gambling Commission must offer customers one of three levels of funds protection and state which level they offer on their websites. You’ll usually find this declaration in the terms and conditions section of the bookmaker site and although these terms can be pages long, a quick page search for ‘funds’ or ‘funds protection’ is usually the best method of finding the information quickly.
So, let’s get into what the three levels of fund protection are.
Now let’s take a look at what these levels of fund protection mean.
As you may have guessed, a High Protection level is the greatest level of protection you can receive from a bookmaker. With a bookmaker which offers High Protection on customers’ funds, your money is held in accounts which the bookie is not in control of. Instead, these accounts are controlled by a third party person or auditor.
You should be confident that you will receive your funds should you have any with a bookmaker which offers this level of protection should they go bust.
With a bookmaker offering Medium Protection on your funds, again, your funds are stored in separate accounts to company funds. Also, there is usually some kind of insurance taken out on these accounts which means that if the company goes bust, the funds in these accounts are distributed back to the customers.
Similar to the two levels of fund protection above, with bookies offering basic protection, your funds are stored in accounts separate to company funds. The difference with Basic Protection is that there is no third party controlling these accounts and there is no insurance taken out on them. If a bookie which offers Basic Protection goes bust, all customer funds will be classed as assets of the company and so could be used for other purposes.
You’ll notice that all three levels of fund protection involve customer funds being stored in accounts separate to company funds. This in itself doesn’t provide any real protection as shown with the basic level of protection where all customer funds can be classed as assets of the company. It is the measures applied to these separate accounts which make the difference.
With new betting sites popping up on a regular basis, it’s no surprise to see some of them go bust. The online gambling industry is extremely competitive and although some bookmakers make huge profits, it’s also difficult for less established brands to make an impact. Advertising fees, bonus abuse and mismanagement can all have a huge effect on income and if they don’t get it right, it’s not uncommon for them to shut down.
However, even if a bookmaker does go bust, it doesn’t always end badly for the customers. In a lot of cases, the bookmaker is taken over by bigger brands which agree to take over the customer base, settle outstanding bets and process customer withdrawals. The benefit of this is that the bookmaker which buys them out, gets a lot of new customers.
Occasionally, the above doesn’t happen and this is when the level of funds protection which the bookmaker offers really matters. If a bookmaker offers no protection, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will receive back any money which you have in your account with them.
So, should this put you off betting with a bookmaker offering a low level of funds protection?
This is a personal choice. It’s uncommon for firstly a bookmaker to go bust and secondly, customers not to receive their funds back. However, it can happen and so this is a choice which you have to make. You may choose not to leave large sums of money in accounts with bookies which offer low levels of protection which can minimise risk should the worst happen.
Before we get into which bookies offer what level of funds protection, it’s important to note that you should always check these details yourself prior to registering an account and depositing any money. The list below may be used as a guide but not concrete evidence that the information is correct at the time of reading.
At the time of writing, the bookies below offer the highest level of funds protection.
Below is a list of online bookmakers which offer a medium level of protection. Although you are not guaranteed to receive your funds back should the bookie go bust, you should have some confidence that you will.
|Bruce Betting||Novibet||Virgin Bet|
The bookies below offer the lowest level of funds protection. You may be surprised to see so many bookies in this list along with some big names.