It is a sad truth of betting accounts that bookmakers will limit the options of people that are too successful. It might seem as though you are fighting a fair fight with the bookies, but the reality is that you aren’t and most sportsbook providers will limit how much you’re able to bet if you win too often. There are ways that you can try to avoid this happening, but even with the best will in the world it isn’t always going to go your way and no matter how many losing bets you throw into the process, you’ll still find your account restricted.
One thing those of you with a limited account will notice is that there is usually no restriction put in place on the casino side of the business. This is largely because it is much more difficult to come up with a plan to win regularly on casino games than it is to do so at a sportsbook. As a result, the companies are happy for punters to spend their money where the House Edge is such that they will almost certainly lose over a prolonged period of time than they are to let successful bettors keep on being successful and taking their money.
Why Accounts Are Limited
It is worth at least mentioning why it is that bookmakers will close and limit accounts. In short, it comes down to how successful you are as a bettor, given bookies don’t want to be losing money consistently. They limit a punter’s ability to take money off them by imposing a restriction on the amount of money that can be bet at any one time. They do this under the guise of protecting themselves, often closing an account entirely if it can be proven that the holder was actively breaking rules.
Whether you’re seen to be abusing promotions and bonuses or suspected of engaging in matched betting, there are all sorts of reasons why a bookmaker might want to limit your sportsbook account. The sad fact is that this isn’t an illegal practice and is actually a common one. As a punter, there is nothing that you can do to force a company to take your bets, even if it feels like a remarkably unfair practice. It is unethical, but that in and of itself doesn’t mean that there’s all that much you can do about it other than moan in most cases.
Ultimately betting companies are private businesses and they can choose who they accept bets from and have the right to limit you at any time. They don’t have the right to cancel any winning bets but they can void wagers that have not yet started. Your money should never be held from you, though, unless you are suspected of fraud. In some countries, like Australia, a minimum bet guarantee is enforced for horse racing. This means bookies have to take bets from all customers up to a certain amount. No rules like this exist in the UK though, at the time of writing.
Can You Stop Your Account Being Limited?
There are some things that you can do to stop your account from being limited, though it is important to acknowledge that these don’t always work. For starters, you’d be sensible to bet with round numbers as often as possible. If you’re betting, say, £43.19 on something then that will automatically look somewhat suspicious to bookmakers. It will appear as though you’re trying to hit a matched bet, which will be flagged as not normal by the system used by bookies. That will then mean that you’ll be on their watchlist moving forward, which is difficult to escape from.
Another thing that you can do is lose bets every now and then. Bookmakers obviously want to make a profit from all of their customers, but they accept that punters will win a bet every now and then. What you don’t want to do is only have winners, given that that will usually lead to a restricted account. You don’t necessarily need to lose vast sums of money, but if you can make bets that are not overly sensible then that will be noted. The likes of accumulators with long odds are not bets that a sensible punter would make, for example, so doing that semi-regularly will almost certainly work in your favour.
Why Isn’t Casino Access Limited?
The big question for punters that have seen their sportsbook accounts limited is why the same sort of limit isn’t imposed on their casino accounts. Although casino accounts can be limited or closed if a company discovers that you have duplicate accounts or you abuse your bonuses and promotions, the reality is that most casinos will happily allow people to keep placing bets with them even if their sportsbook account has been limited. This is all down to the fact that it is much harder to develop winning systems on casino games.
To put it another way, one of the best things to do when playing the casino game with the lowest House Edge is to follow Basic Strategy when playing blackjack. This way of playing reduces the House Edge to about 0.5%, which is obvious excellent but still has one major issue: you will lose money in the long-term. There is very little that you can do to guarantee yourself a profit when it comes to casino games, sadly. As a result, casinos will allow you to keep playing as long as you’re losing regularly over the long-term.
Again, this might sound unethical, but casinos are ultimately money-making companies and they are designed to take as much money from you as possible. As a result, they will allow you to keep placing bets with them when other forms of gambling might be restricted as far as you’re concerned. They’ll encourage you to play their slot games, say, because they odds are against you and they know that they’ll be able to make a profit from you the more that you play and the longer you put yourself at the expense of the Return To Player percentage.
Is It Right?
It is difficult to argue that this practice is fair. If a company is going to limit your account, they should have to limit it across all aspects of its offerings. That means that you should be stopped from placing bets on their sportsbook and from losing money in their casino. By only limiting one aspect of your account with them, companies are essentially saying that they don’t want to lose money to you but are happy for you to lose money to them, which definitely feels as though it goes against the grain of a fair betting experience to most sensible thinking punters.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission says that its licences should operate a practice of transparency when it comes to its betting terms and conditions. The feeling is that customers should be informed of what is happening in a ‘clear, timely, unambiguous, transparent, non-misleading and prominent manner’, but that is rarely the case. We might all cry foul, but betting companies are able to do pretty much whatever they want and regularly do so. It takes people complaining about their practices for the UKGC to get involved, so the worst betting companies get away with it.
If you try to query your account restriction you will generally get nowhere and will receive a generic response like the one shown above. It is highly frustrating but until rules change they do this as they see fit.