Why do Some Betting Companies Refuse To Pay Out?
There are many different reasons why a betting company might decide not to pay out a bet, and in this guide, we will be looking at what are the rules and also what you can do in case you believe that you are being mistreated.
It is essential that you read terms and condition carefully as every company it is a different private business. Having said that, betting companies cannot do what they like, and they can only refuse payment if there has been a clear breach of their terms and conditions. Those rules also have to be fair and transparent.
Lots of bodies are in place to make sure betting companies that have a UK license will be open and transparent with their terms. In this guide, we will look at when bets can and cannot be voided and also provide some advice on how to try to resolve unpaid bets.
Licensed Betting Sites And Gambling Law
If the company that is refusing to pay do not have a license, then you stand a very little chance of recovering the money. Even though it is illegal for gambling companies to operate in the UK without a license, you are ultimately responsible for checking that they do have a UK license and if you don’t do it and that company basically run away with your cash there is little you can do.
If however, you are betting with a UK licensed betting company you will have the protection of bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standard Agency so you will stand a much better chance.
If you are outside the UK, you will need to check what is the regulation in your country and if you are protected as a customer in regards to gambling.
Here at BestBettingSites.Online we do only list licensed UK brands that have been tested and have fair and transparent terms.
All betting sites will have a term that says that if a genuine error has been made by the operator, they reserve the right to cancel the offer. Since the betting sites are publishing thousands of lines a day, it might happen and sometimes due to human error or machine that they do promote a visible wrong line. The error must be obvious, and you should get your stake back: for example Man Utd to beat Watford at 100/1.
If you believe the odds were genuine, you can always dispute and if you do not find an agreement you can send it to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) which will help to resolve the issue (see later for more).
Betting sites are regularly promoting great offers so that you can try their products, a new market, etc. If you are duplicating accounts, arbing or try to exploit weak odds with bonus funds, you might be banned or restricted. Brands know all the tricks and also shared information between each other so do not be surprised if you get banned for bonus abuse from multiple sites.
If you believe you have been accused of abusing a bonus/offer unfairly, you can follow the complaints procedure.
Exploiting Weak Odds & Winning Consistently
It might sound strange, but people do get banned because they win too much and continuously. After all betting companies are businesses and although they will tolerate people that win and lost they will not have customers that are betting in a specific way that gives them a consistent return.
Lots of punters are looking for betting sites ‘weak lines’ and will try to exploit those to get wins. Weak odds happens either through error or because the book is trying to balance the market and therefore is having inflated odds, which are significantly higher than the actual probabilities of an outcome to occur.
Betting Sites Softwares
Betting sites have softwares that will flag who bet only on weak odds. If however the betting sites do accept your bet, and there isn’t a clear error, they will have to pay, but they are free to limit your account for future betting. In case they void the bet before it settles they will have to pay the stake back.
Breaching Terms & Conditions
Underage Or Illegal Persons
If you are underage or gambling from an illegal territory or using criminal funds, you don’t have a chance. Your money will be kept by the bookmaker and most probably also the stake.
You can only have a single account per betting site. If you have done that maybe to get double free bets and you get found out it is unlikely you will get a payout.
Generally, though a quick discussion with the customer service can resolve the matter as long as you have not abused the free bet bonus. It is fine for two adults to have two accounts in the same household.
You need to verify that you are over 18 years old and also your residence. If you do not complete the verification process, the company will not pay you out. This is a legal requirement against underage gambling and fraud.
If you are continuously use betting systems especially with free bets and bonuses you are likely to be limited or even banned with winnings that will be forfeiting.
Third Party & Syndicate Betting
It is not possible to bet on behalf of someone else even if you are legally authorised, and the person can legally gamble. This also extends to syndicate betting.
Since in the past lots of bookmakers have been used to money launder, rules are not a lot more strict and betting companies need to keep track of the cash that goes through them. In some cases, you might be asked to prove where the money you have deposited is coming from before you can withdraw your winnings. This is why it is strongly suggested to deposit your own cash with bookmakers so that you will be able to prove where it is coming from.
Customers might get a block if they try to withdraw with a different method to the one they have used when they have deposited. This is for security, and it is called the closed wallet system, and it is adopted by all the best betting sites.
When you self-exclude yourself from a betting site for responsible gambling, you should first check if you have any open bets. If you self-exclude, you should get your account balance back, but bets that are open for long-term (i.e. Chelsea to win the league) won’t stand.
Betting From Illegal Countries
If you are placing a bet from a country where gambling it is not allowed you will not have many rights. You usually will not be allowed to gamble in the first place, but even if you do, it is likely you will not be able to withdraw. If you are found you will lose all your winnings and stakes.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s)
Using a VPN’s is not illegal, but it is not allowed to use it to mask your identity or location so that you can gamble when you shouldn’t.
If you get caught using a VPN for those reasons, you will lose your winnings, and your betting account will be blocked.
Breaching Betting Rules
Lots of people do contravene betting rules, and it is essential you read the terms and conditions first as can be different from company to company. If you are placing bets on certain types of sport, it is also a good idea to check what are the significant limits and also what are the conditions that might influence a winning bet.
Major non-payment issues for breach of betting rules are:
Every market and sport will have a specific payment maximum. If your winnings exceed this amount, you will only be paid up to the cap. Most sites will not let you bet above that limit, but this is not always the case so make sure you check before as some betting sites (usually the smaller) have minimum payout limits on some sports.
Official & Unofficial Results
Usually, you will only get paid on official results. Some betting sites will pay out on both official and unofficial results, but this is not the norm. In any case if you have already been paid, you should expect to keep your money once they are on your account: if the betting site has made a mistake, it is their problem.
There are some situations where different bet types are covering the same market in different ways: do not assume terms will be same. For example, if you bet on a 0-0 bet and a no goalscorer bet.
In the case where the game ends 1-0, but the only goal was an own goal, only the ‘no goalscorer’ will be payout out as this market do not consider own goals (but the correct score does).
Remember all bets comes with terms and to be sure you get paid you need to check all the different possible scenarios.
Some markets are linked with each other, and for this reason, you are not allowed to combine them into multiples: this is for example first goalscorer and correct score. You can read more about related contingencies in our dedicated section.
If by mistake, you are allowed to place a bet on a related contingency the bookmaker can refuse to pay especially at the original odds you were given.
Rule 4 & Other Winnings Deduction Rules
Some special rules will influence odds and payouts when there are withdrawals of contestants from the event, but this will still go ahead.
In horse racing, this is the Rule 4 that will change odds if a horse is withdrawn from a race.
Lots of Ante-Post bets especially for horse and greyhound racing will not give you money back if the selection does not run. Those bets have different rules from the ones placed on the day of racing who are generally protected from withdrawals. On the positive side, if you have an ante-post bet and a runner(s) is withdrawn, it will not be affected by Rule 4.
Abandoned / Postponed / Cancelled Events
If an event is cancelled or postponed before the start, you will get a complete refund in cash.
If an event is abandoned during the event, usually all bets will be off. This might be different though if you are betting in play (i.e. if you bet a player to score the next goal in play and they do score you will still get paid out).
There are some grey areas especially on in play betting though, and ultimately the interpretation will be up to the operator. The operator should have it very clear on the terms and conditions and should at the very least give you money back.
Similarly, if you are betting with free bets and the bet is void, it will be the betting site that will decide what to do. Free bets usually are voided, but bonus funds are returned to your account.
In some sports (like golf for example) there might be several selections that are all tie for one position. This is called dead heat and can have the impact of reducing the amount of money that you will get paid out (both from win bets and each-way bets). All potential reductions due to dead heat should be clearly stated in the betting terms.
Betting Site Refusal To Pay Customer – Example
Bet365 Refuse To Pay Out £1M To Megan McCann
Back in 2017, Megan McCann decided to take Bet365 to court as they were refusing to pay £985,000 in winnings and also kept their stake of £24,960. Bet365 didn’t want to pay as they were accusing Megan of breaching rules of ‘third party betting’: Bet365 were claiming that Miss McCann, which was a 19 years old student, placed the bet through her account on behalf of other people. This was breaching Bet365 terms that all the bets have to be placed by the customer alone.
The case is still unresolved at the time of writing however whatever will be the result it is suggested that you only bet yourself and using your own cash.
Know What You Have Backed
There are situations where it is not clear if a bet has won or not. Imagine backing a tennis player to win a major tournament over the season: he goes on and wins the doubles at Wimbledon. You have won! Or maybe you haven’t as in the terms and conditions it was saying that the player had to win a singles tournament. If you are not careful at the terms and conditions of what you are backing, you might find nasty surprises.
What Are Your Rights – Real Cash Vs Offer Cash
When you are using bonus funds or free bets, the betting sites have lots of their own terms they can potentially use for not paying out. Even if you do make a complain you might just get back the promotional funds in the best cases.
When using real money things are different, and a complaint can become a serious matter. This is because any money that is in your betting account it is yours, and the betting site has to have excellent reasons why they are stopping from withdrawing.
Complaining About A Bookmaker
If you want to make a complaint, the first thing to do is to reach out to the betting company (better in writing). The UK licensed betting companies have the duty of handling complains seriously. In most cases, even if it was your fault, but you genuinely ignored a term, the betting company should issue a refund or pay you out. After all, you are their customer.
Escalate The Complaint
If you are not able to resolve the problem, you can escalate the complaint to some independent bodies like:
The Independent Betting Adjudication Service – they will help in regards to a specific bet, account issues, non-payment etc.
Advertising Standards Agency – make a complaint with ASA if you believe being misled by advertising or terms
Gambling Commission – if you think the betting site has done something that breaches their gambling license terms you can raise it with the Gambling Commission.
If you want to have a more detailed guide on IBAS and also know how to complain to a betting site make sure you visit our dedicated pages.
Switch To A Competitor
As mentioned betting sites are private businesses and as such, they can set their own rules to a certain degree (rules has to be fair). If you are not happy about a company for whatever reason, you will find lots of different operators to sign up to.
We have taken great care to only list honest, tested and licensed betting sites at BestBettingSites.Online. Surely this doesn’t mean that they are infallible, but they have procedures in place that will allow them to be as fair as they possibly can. They have dedicated teams that will handle complaints so feel free to raise a complaint in case you are unhappy about something and get that clarified.
What If A Bookmaker Or Casino Goes Bankrupt?
The UK licensed gambling businesses are legally required to have customer funds in separate accounts. There isn’t, however, a government-backed protection scheme to cover in case they will fail.
Bankruptcy usually is unheard in the industry as companies that are struggling are typically bought out by competitors. It might happen though, and you can read more in our section on gambling companies that have gone burst and what happened to customer’s money.