There are several reasons why Bookmakers restrict or close your betting accounts. Usually it’s because you’re betting smarter than they want you to be. If you’re a profitable bettor then closures are inevitable — but that doesn’t mean you can’t prolong the life of your accounts.
Under What Grounds Do Bookmakers Close/Restrict Accounts?
If you want to prolong the life of your betting accounts, then it’s important to understand the exact reasons why Bookmakers are restricting or closing them. Here’s the main causes:
1. You’re a profitable bettor
This is as simple as it sounds. If you regularly profit from a Bookmaker then they are under no obligation to allow you to continue betting with them. They may not even be able to identify exactly how you’ve profited (i.e. what your strategy is) — but if running a query reveals that you’ve made stacks of cash from them, then you may be shown the door.
Pinnacle Sports are an exception to the rule. They actually invite winners. They hold a “Winners Welcome” policy, and don’t discriminate or close accounts of successful players.
2. The selections you make are consistently ‘marked’
If the selections you place are ‘marked’ by the Bookmaker then you instantly draw attention to yourself, regardless whether you’ve profited or not. Betting on marked selections once or twice randomly shouldn’t ring any alarm bells: but do it consistently and it’s obvious that you’re involved in some kind of strategy.
Strategies include Arbitrage betting, using inside knowledge, or taking advantage of price inaccuracies. These are just some of reasons why Bookmakers closely watch some selections and scrutinise the ‘offending’ customers.
3. Your identity/location/associated people has flagged up
Your identity, local area, IP address, or even people associated with you can affect whether a Bookmaker decides to close or restrict your account. If there’s a history of smart (or professional) betting from one particular household or local area, then it’s within the Bookmaker’s rights to discriminate against you and refuse your custom.
This doesn’t just apply to existing customers — new signups can be automatically refused if the prospective customer enters details that have been “blacklisted” on one of the Bookmaker’s databases.
Importantly, this isn’t always the fault of the account owner himself. Occasionally customers are tarred with the same brush as others close by e.g. a local betting syndicate.
4. You have a history of promotion abuse
Bookmakers don’t like customers that deliberately take advantage of their free bets & promotions. They discourage betting with an advantage, full stop.
Most of the time you’ll go under the radar for Matched Betting. But Casino “Bonus Bagging” is easily identified, and it increases the likelihood of your accounts being closed or restricted. The ‘punishment’ often depends on how frequent you do it.
5. You’re doing (or have done) something that’s against the law
I’m referring to situations where users have, for example, signed up under a bogus alias in order to bet illegally from a restricted country, or colluded in a Poker room. Companies like Iovation, who provide fraud prevention tools, work closely with many online betting sites and share information about unwanted customers in order to clamp down on such activities as efficiently as possible.
If points 1 or 2 apply to you (i.e. you're betting is profitable), then it's possible you can extend the life of your betting accounts.
What Can I Do To Keep Under The Radar?
If you’re doing something fraudulent (or just plain dodgy), then the advice which follows isn’t for you. This is for the smart gamblers looking to avoid restrictions and maximise the profitability of their betting accounts.
But bare in mind — whatever measures you take to disguise your betting activity, Bookmakers are in the best position to catch you out. So the following suggestions will not guarantee improved results.
1. Use “coverplay”
If 100% of the stakes you place are the type of bets that will be monitored by the Bookmaker, then you’re doomed to be restricted or closed down very quickly.
You may be able to continue betting for longer if you try to conceal your profitable bets amongst regular ‘punts’ or ‘mug bets‘. Perhaps place some random bets on football, or give the casino a little go. If you’ve got some Matched Betting to do then use your betting account to match off another [non value] bet elsewhere to appear more ‘random’; this is particularly good for 2 outcome sports like tennis or darts.
2. Keep deposit and stake sizes low
If a player signs up and instantly deposits a large sum of say £1,000, and he attempts to place the maximum stake on a selection then it’s very likely to raise suspicion. Betting this much shortly after signing up isn’t the behaviour of someone ‘dipping their toes in’ for the first time. And those sort of funds aren’t usually available to average punters. It smacks of someone who knows what they’re doing — so it’s an easy way for bookmakers to highlight the pros.
Try not to be so blatant — build it up slowly.
3. Don’t be too rigid
It might seem normal for you to maintain the same size stakes, or to bet solely on one sport. But gamblers who bet for fun don’t stay rigid all the time. Whenever you can, try to add an element of randomness or spontaneity to your betting activity.
4. Avoid using peculiar stake amounts
Avoid using stake amounts such as £5.42. Average punters with full privileges tend to place flat, round stakes, like £5.00.
A high frequency of non-round bets comes across as persistent, suggesting the use of a betting strategy or automated program. It’s made a tad more difficult that customers who frequently bet on “marked” horses have their maximum bet size capped (or other privileges revoked, like BOG). Stake restrictions are either imposed by automated risk parameters or set manually by the bookmaker. Unfortunately these restrictions encourage unusual stakes — therefore it’s the duty of the bettor to re-enter the round number stake whenever possible.
5. Refrain from unusual patterns
Betting at antisocial hours of the day, or at exceptionally high odds could be deemed as “unusual”.
Horse racing activity typically builds up around the time that races begin, which is around 2pm for most racedays. Those who wake up early in the morning to place bets (when they ought to be at work) are at risk of being flagged or monitored. Bookmakers will assume you’re a professional value bettor.
Equally, a customer who frequently bets at high odds demonstrates risk tolerance, or strategy — the traits associated with risk-free betting techniques like Arbing. Avoid falling into a pattern which isn’t the norm for a typical punter.
6. Mind your IP address
If a customer comes from an area where betting syndicates have been known to operate then the location alone could be an identifying factor.
Other issues with IP addresses are that they make it easy to identify multi-accounting. Let’s suppose a customer was closed down for being too profitable, and then signed up his brother (with his consent) on another account using the same IP address. Whilst the bookmaker may not entirely discriminate against siblings of the same address, they will be aware that this household (IP address) has a history of smart betting.
It’s worth taking extra care with what IP you’re using. Ideally you want to use one without any prior associations with gambling whatsoever.
7. Don’t kill the Golden Goose
If you’re onto a good thing and decide to push it too far then it will become obvious. Chances are you’ll quickly get caught and shut down. Knowing how far you can push your luck with the Bookmakers is a tough one to call and you’ll have to use your own intuition.
8. Avoid using the exact same details at all bookmakers
You absolutely cannot sign up using false details. But if you’ve got the same username at every Bookmaker then it makes tracking you down a little too easy. This is especially true if Bookmakers share information. When possible, mix it up a little.
9. Walk away gracefully
If you’re upset about losing one of your account privileges (e.g. BOG or high stakes) then don’t keep on fighting the Bookmakers. They seldom overturn their decision. It’s not worth the hassle, and there isn’t anything to gain from arguing.
10. Keep withdrawals low
Bookmakers are alarmed by huge withdrawals. If you’ve got £5k in your account and you decide to withdraw the whole lot in one go, then don’t expect it to run smoothly. They’ll usually want to look into how you’ve made that money. You’ll probably be hit with additional verification steps (sigh). But the question is: would they bother making a fuss over, let’s say, £800?
My advice is to withdraw funds out of your betting accounts in smaller ‘chunks’.
Is It Unfair That Bookies Are Allowed To Reject Winners?
On the surface I’d say yes, it’s totally unfair. But there’s more than one way of looking at this.
► I think it’s unfair because…
- Assuming their books aren’t unbalanced, theoretically the Bookmaker’s overround would ensure that profits are realised on every event — regardless whether a small percentage of customers are earning a profit.
- A small percentage of customers (the professionals) are playing the same game back at the Bookmakers. And the pros aren’t denting their profits enough to cause a serious concern to the business.
- For every professional that’s been restricted there’s an addict spending well beyond his means on betting. This is extremely hypocritical.
► I think it’s fair because…
- It isn’t in keeping with the Bookmaker’s business model to provide value betting opportunities. So closing such opportunities as quickly as possible, and preventing customers from betting on them going forward is within their rights.
- Bookmakers, understandably, don’t want to facilitate capitalistic bettors. Identifying specific customers, or groups, with a high probability of making a profit should improve revenue and reduce the likelihood of other nuisances — such as bonus abuse.
- Not all profitable bettors are honest. Bookmaker’s have to be on guard. Amongst other examples, there’s been cases of individuals exploiting software vulnerabilities in order to generate profits from Sportsbooks/Casinos. Such activities are illegal and have given professionals a bad name.
To a Bookmaker the ‘ideal’ customer is the one that never seeks value. Profitable bettors, as unfair as it may be, are perceived as pests. Bookmaker attempt to swat them away by any means possible. So if you’re profitable then you really need to refrain from drawing too much attention to yourself.
How Can I Convince Bookies To Revoke My Account Closure?
► It’s incredibly hard to revoke a closure
Bookmakers are stubborn. Once they’ve identified you as a profitable Bettor then there’s barely any chance of them back tracking. You also have to consider the fact that Bookmaker staff probably have more pressing things to do with their time than to help a potential professional to re-enter their Sportsbook again. For them, it’s just not worth the risk.
My advice is to accept the inevitable restrictions/closures and focus on prolonging the life of your accounts.