You have received an email from your bookmaker, which goes something like this.
After reviewing your account we can no longer offer you promotions and your stakes may be subject to limitation.
On further inspection you log into your account, try to place a bet and…………………
Find that you are only allowed to bet a very small of money.
Have You Done Something Wrong!
Whereas before a bookmaker like Skybet/Bet365/William Hill would allow you to stake several hundred even thousands. Now they are saying that you are only allowed a paltry £4.55.
Bookmaker account closures and limitations are becoming more and more common!
Why Bookmakers Limit Or Close Accounts
Sometimes bookmakers do have legitimate reasons to close accounts. Perhaps you already have an account and are using trying to open multiple accounts in your own name. This is against most bookmakers terms and conditions which will result in them closing them down.
Another reason is they may suspect that someone is using stolen data or identity to open a betting account. Which again is a very legitimate reason to close someones account
However very often a bookmaker closes accounts to protect their business. In the case of bookmakers limiting accounts this is always the case.
Basically they are saying no more “no mas” we don’t want to lose any more money to you.
It’s an admission by them that you are beating them at their own game or that at least they think you will beat them at their own game in the long term.
So they either close your account completely or limit you to such small amounts that you can’t really hurt their bottom line.
Here are the main reasons bookmakers close or limit accounts.
- Matched Betting ✔
- Arbitrage ✔
- Making Bets That Consistently Beat The Closing Odds ✔
- Betting Like A Professional Gambler (Clear Profitable Pattern Of Bets) ✔
- Your Account Is In Decent Profit ✔
Basically if you are in able to make consistent profits then they don’t want your business.
Are Bookmakers Allowed To Limit And Close Your Account?
Unfortunately in the majority of countries there is nothing you can do about a bookmaker closing your account.
One slight ray of hope has appeared out of Spain. Where Bet365 were ordered to restore the betting limits for a number of Spanish customers, after it they were taken to court.
(This happened in 2019, but unfortunately hasn’t effected bookmaker behaviour.)
However here in the UK this is certainly not the case and bookmakers are given free rule over who they can provide betting accounts for and who they cannot.
There is no law in place can that stop a bookmaker from closing your account and refusing to take a bet.
This means that bookmakers will continue to milk losing customers whilst turning away profitable ones.
How Can I Stop Bookmakers Limiting Or Closing My Account?
There is one clear way to stop bookmakers from limiting or closing your account.
Are you ready for it…………..
Don’t try to make a profit your betting and lose to the bookmakers over the long term.
Honestly with bookmakers such as Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes etc that is the only way to keep your accounts healthy.
Another option is to use betting shops. Although eventually you will also get limited if you don’t bet too frequently and move around shops. Then you can usually get your bets on for a longer period of time in comparison to online bookmakers.
They won’t accept any winning bettors long term. It is not in their business interest and with no law to stop them, they are going to remove the biggest expenses from their business. Which is winning sports bettors
Obviously I wouldn’t expect anyone to actively try to lose but that’s the truth. If you are winning long term then there is no chance of keeping soft bookmaker accounts.
Want to learn how to extend the life of your betting accounts?
Bookmakers That Don’t Limit Or Close Accounts
Betting exchanges are websites that don’t limit or ban winning players. They use a different betting model to make a profit.
Instead of making money off losing bettors betting exchanges use a commission model where you are charged on winnings. This is generally 2% across the majority of betting exchanges.
It should be noted if you are very successful on the betting exchanges you may need to pay a higher percentage in commission.
The major betting exchanges are –
There are a lot of similarities between the three with Betfair being the oldest and most popular. However in recent times it has had a lot of negativity for its frequent maintenance issues. Whilst liquidity is still good on the platform its unreliability is an issue.
Smarkets is next on the list. Used by the majority of matched bettors and arbitrage bettors. The platform itself is very stable with very little unplanned downtime.
Next up is Matchbook. Similar to Smarkets it is used in the UK by a lot of matched bettors/arbitrage bettors.
The amount of money to be matched seems to be lower then Smarkets on the majority of markets. Smarkets also tends to offering better market spreads with less gaps compared to Matchbook.
Betdaq doesn’t really seem to have much going for it. It is the least popular of the betting exchanges. Has changed ownership a few times and introduced a sportsbook. Occassionally they offer 0% commission for certain events which is worth keeping an eye out for.
Out of the four Betting Exchanges listed my personal preference would be Smarkets.
It is the betting exchange I use the most, have had very little issues with and currently seems to be much more stable then Betfair.
We have covered why bookmakers close or limit accounts throughout this article.
Overall unless there is a law that comes into place which forces bookmakers to take bets from everyone.
Then the winning sports bettor is always going to end up being closed or limited very small amounts by bookmakers. Ultimately if a business can remove its biggest expense and breaks no law doing it. Then they are going to exercise their right to do so.
The best option if you don’t want your account closing or being limited. Is to open an account with a betting exchange where being a successful bettor isn’t a reason to close your account.
(This article features affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.
I use or have used any product I review. If I recommend them it is because I believe they are helpful, useful and offer value to their customers.
Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel they will give you value or that they will help you achieve your goals.)
Ryan is a former mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitor. After finishing university he played online poker and taught English for a living in Thailand for a few years.
Upon returning to England his focus has been on making a living from sports trading, betting and arbitrage. Over the course of 5 years he has managed to make a six figure profit using the strategies discussed on this site.
Ryan runs the sports betting and trading website www.smartsportstrader.com