One of the most common concerns among bettors are having their accounts locked, blocked, or limited. The truth is that bookies close accounts because of their rights. However, can they close those that are constantly winning?
Here are the things you should know about why bookies close winning accounts.
Why Bookmakers Close Winning Sports Betting Accounts
Bookmakers, from the smallest in size and reputation to even the most decorated names in the field of sports betting, are known to close accounts of some punters for specific reasons. There are several reasons for this, such as any suspicious activity from the account or anything that violates their terms and conditions, especially on being fair. These offenses include suspected fraud or having multiple accounts, among other things. These offenses are also the reasons why bookies delay withdrawals.
However, another common reason is if the account wins too much. If punters win so much more in their bets than they do lose, this only means one thing for the bookmaker - they stand to lose money with this person rather than profiting from them. In a way, a bettor who wins so much is not good for business. This usually occurs to those who are matched betting, which provides a risk-free way to profit from an online sportsbook. The practice is also known as betting on all outcomes, which is also used for horse races. Bookies will cancel winnings bets if this type of method is used.
Another reason why bookies close customer accounts is if they are exhibiting the player behavior of a professional bettor. If there is one thing online sportsbooks hate the most, it's professionals. They can handicap the bookies and often bring no value to them as a customer. Behaviors that may get you flagged include betting weird amounts and not having any activity on the site or app (you log in, place a bet, log out).
One interesting fact to note is how sports bettors are more likely to be suspended for winning too much than casinos. In terms of profitability between sports betting and casino, bettors have a better chance of winning a fortune by finding weak lines and opportunities with sportsbooks.
How to Prevent Sports Betting Account Closure
Are you worried that you might end up having your account limited, banned, or closed entirely? Here are some steps you can take to avoid it from happening.
Take Modest Bets When Starting Out
The reason why bookies are not a fan of professional gamblers is that they know the "game" so much that they can make money from the sportsbooks more than they end up giving money to them. That being said, they often do this by placing huge amounts of wagers, especially if they are confident that the pick would pan out to win.
To avoid getting flagged as a potential professional, it would be ideal to avoid placing huge bets, especially if you are new to the platform. Nothing screams professional bettor more than a new account placing a huge amount of money on their first pick.
It is a good idea to calculate your sports betting payout when planning on matched betting or placing any wagers. You want to get a conservative return, such as ones that are two to three times your wager. Winning thousands of dollars from a wager that costs less than $50 will likely get you noticed by the operator. This is also important for those taking no-risk matched betting that involves taking advantage of a sportsbook's bonus. Modest bets help you avoid standing out.
It pays to aim for reasonable sports betting ROI, which is 5%. Remember, professional sports bettors who achieved a prosperous career always think about the long-term profits of this activity. Those who are going for short-term games are likely to catch the wrong attention by aiming for an ROI of 20% or more.
Bet With Round Numbers
The difference between a bet of $20 and that of $20.13 is the former is a typical bet but an arbitrager most probably places the latter. Also called barbers, these are professional gamblers who strategize their betting by making calculations that lead to "weird" betting amounts.
For a casual bettor, there is no reason to include weird extra amounts on your bet. A simple bet rounded to the nearest dollar is a safe way to play this situation. Otherwise, if you keep on betting weird amounts, the bookies may notice your activity, and you risk getting your account in the middle of their closure crosshairs.
Bet on Risky Markets
One of the most telling behaviors that a betting account owner is most likely a professional is that they always make the safest and most ideal picks. Professionals often do not like taking the bigger risk, even if it means bigger potential profits.
This is why betting on risky markets from time to time is a good way to avoid being pried on by the suspecting eyes of the bookies. If they hate professionals, they love gamblers who are taking huge risks in risky markets - this means more money for them, as risky bets often lose. In a nutshell, you also have to risk losing from time to time, too.
Limit Your Withdrawals
Did you know that sportsbooks are often charged by banks and payment processing channels every time you make a withdrawal? The average processing fee is around 1.5% to 3.5%. Although there is no definite "recommended" pattern of making a deposit and a withdrawal, the idea is not to make too many instances of withdrawal requests.
Instead, try accumulating your winnings to a decent amount before requesting a payout. Remember that if they end up standing to lose more money than they earn from you, the chances of your account getting limited or closed are very likely.
Avoid Abusing Promotions and Bonuses
One thing is clear: bonuses, free credits, and promotions are there for a reason. These are often thrown in as an incentive to make a player bet more and thus, dish in more money towards the bookie. However, some players, often professionals, can find a way to exploit these freebies in their favor for more profit.
If your bookie notice that you may be taking advantage of free plays and bonuses (such as if you are no longer making a deposit that much but for some reason keep on making a withdrawal) so much, you also risk your account getting limited or closed.
Use Alternative Payment Methods
This is in line with the idea that if the bookies no longer stand making a profit out of you but instead lose money by paying frequently, you would no longer be considered a "profitable" customer.
Although a bookie may offer several payment processing methods, not all methods work the same for their end. For example, credit and debit card transactions often carry the highest fees, which means more money is lost from the bookies' end. However, e-money wallets such as PayPal and Skrill often have little to no payment processing fees at all. Thus, by using these wallets as your preferred transaction method, you save the bookies money in processing fees.
This method is also a good way to prevent your sports betting activities from affecting your credit score. Card companies and financial institutions see any transactions to online sportsbooks or gambling sites as a red flag for any loan applicants.
The Legality of Sports Betting Accounts Closure
You may ask: is it legal for online sportsbooks to just close an account, much more a winning account? Although it may sound unfair on the part of the punters, the truth is that there is no law, gambling ruling, or regulation that deems this illegal or prohibited. In the end, sportsbook operators still need to make money to cover their overheads. Any bettors becoming a financial burden to bookies are likely to get suspended from their platform.
However, sportsbook operators are still required by law to pay bettors their winnings. This is the law in the UK, thanks to the Gambling Act of 2005, and legitimate UK betting sites must comply. Similar laws are in place to protect American gamblers who gamble on US-licensed sites.
Can You Remove the Limit on Your Sports Betting Account?
Unfortunately, there is no known way to remove a limit on a bookie account once it has been "punished." The alternative, then, would be to simply switch bookies such as bet365 or try betting exchanges where players wager against each other.
Although bookies can limit your account or close it if they see it necessary, you can still protect your account from this by taking on several precautionary measures and "careful" playing behaviors.
This article was published on July 2, 2022, and last updated on October 25, 2022.