One of the most important things a matched bettor can have is bookmaker accounts. They’re the source of free bets when you first sign up and they’re there to offer odds on the latest sport events.
Sometimes though, bettors may find an email sitting in their inbox, informing them that their bookmaker account has been restricted. But what exactly does this mean?
If we’re being honest, bookmakers are pretty used to being the only winners. And they LOVE it. What they don’t really love, however is people doing too well and winning too much money from their bets. Matched betting allows us to ‘beat the bookies’ in that we can use their free bet offers to extract real value.
If a bookmaker suspects you aren’t ‘playing fair’, they can make the decision to close, limit or stake restrict your account. If your account is closed, it means that you won’t be able to place bets any more. Being stake restricted means that you may be limited in the amount of money you can place on a single bet. In most cases, the bookmaker’s decision is final, meaning that it’s unlikely to be reversed.
What does a restricted account mean for your matched betting activity?
If your account is closed, there’s not much (if anything) you can do about it, and therefore, it’s pretty useless. In matched betting, this would mean that you’ve lost one of your potential money-making avenues. It’s important to note that if your account has been closed, you should still be able to withdraw any funds you have in there. Your money should not be in danger but do check the terms and conditions of individual bookmakers before you place any bets with them.
A restricted bookmaker account can make it harder for you to reach your monthly profit target, as you’ll likely only be able to stake small amounts. This can be a major roadblock for matched betting.
What causes betting account restrictions to happen?
There are loads of theories about why bookmakers choose to restrict accounts. Here’s an example: some people believe that when you sign up to a bookie, you’re given a personal rating between 0 (no betting history) and 100 (account closed or restricted). Based on your betting activity, this rating can go up and down…until it reaches the top, and it is believed that there’s no going back.
Bookmakers employ traders to look for patterns of behaviour which DON’T follow those of the ‘normal punter’. If they decide that’s you, they’ll notify the bookmaker, who’ll make a decision. Unfortunately, the bookmaker’s decision is usually final, so it’s best to try and look after your accounts from the off.
Can you avoid having your account restricted?
There’s no way to really know what causes account restrictions, so it’s difficult to know what you can do to avoid having it happen to you. However, there are theories which some matched bettors believe helps them keep their accounts unrestricted. Let’s take a look at a few:
- Stick to well-known or high-profile events. Obscure sports events may make your bet stick out like a bit of a sore thumb.
- Don’t just deposit or bet the lowest amount asked for. If a bookmaker’s welcome offer is ‘Bet £10, get a £30 free bet’, think about depositing or betting a different amount.
- Think about when you place your bet. Placing a qualifying bet on something on the day of the event may help to give the impression that you’ve just found the offer, rather than it being on a ‘to do’.
- If you don’t need to withdraw your money from the bookmaker straight away, leaving it to sit for a while may make it look like you were genuinely betting on a specific event, rather than just doing it to unlock/make money. Obviously, this one depends on your personal circumstances, so just do what works for you.
Please be aware though that if follow any of the above tips, you may still see your betting accounts restricted. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be an obvious explanation as to why you’ve been chosen and your account restricted.