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Can bookies refuse to pay out when you know how to win big on football bets?
Bookmakers could refuse to pay you. Find out what you can do to beat the bookies fair and square
Published on 14 July 2018
Updated on 14 July 2018
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Now, this is the real question that all successful soccer punters and aspirational soccer traders want to know the real answer. Is it true that you could be working hard for years; checking your research, improving your bankroll management and improving your betting system. Only to be told by your bookmaker that they will not pay your winnings!
This can’t be true….can it?
Well sometimes it's the reality, but we don’t want to believe it, there must be a reason why. Ok, so, what’s the next question on your lips, I know, it’s something like this…Do bookmakers have to pay out by law?
Well again, I can’t say there is a clear answer to this one. It all depends on those fantastic terms and conditions that we all love to click past and don’t bother reading.
However, when it comes to long-term soccer betting and your betting starts to improve above the recreational activity status then you could approach the realms of the professional sports investor, who starts to see the real issues that the rest of us punters do not see.
How would you like it?
Let’s take a moment to think about this bookmaker pay-out problem in another way…If you made a friendly bet with your friend that Real Madrid would beat Barcelona in the next El Classico, Spanish La Liga? You would think that your friend would have similar knowledge to you, such, as the recent form, the match reports, the injury lists, the sports pundits and the various online sources.
But what if your friend had another friend and they could ensure the Barcelona or the Real Madrid team coach breaks down, so the away team will arrive late and unprepared for the match? What if the same friend could also influence the decisions made by the manager, coaches or players during the match? The list could go on and on…We don’t have to find every reason, but it’s safe to say you would be disappointed and annoyed if your friend had the opportunity to secretly influence the result behind your back.
This is a legitimate reason why bookmakers may refuse to pay-out on matches with suspected irregularities or suspicious betting patterns, which is more widespread within less popular betting markets.
It is entirely possible for individuals operating within less popular markets to know more than other bookmakers and have access to information, which is not available for the average punter and bookmaker alike. This is also a reason why it is usually not permitted for professional sports people to place bets on their sports, as they would have a better opportunity to know more than the bookmaker and the market, but also because they may have the opportunity to impact or fraudulently affect the match in their favour.
What are some other reasons that can explain why a bookie can refuse to pay out?
A few more day-to-day reasons could be related to our behaviour and our belief that bookmakers are making lots of money. Let’s challenge this thought for a second and see if we can find out how much profit is really being made by the bookmakers.
Betting exchanges are very different, as the exchange will take a commission from the winning bets, similar to a betting tax and our winnings are all provided by the different bettors playing the same event, rather than relying on a single bookmaker to provide the pay-out.
So, if we ignore betting exchanges and look at a few of the bookmakers operating within the UK. We can see the following public information from Wikipedia and other sources:
The chart below shows the profit as a percentage of earned revenue by each of the bookmakers in the list, below:
2017 Revenues: £1.7 billion
2017 Net Income: £83 million
Approx. Profit Margin: 5%
So, for every £1.00 William Hill is paid they will make approximately £0.05 profit.
The Stars Group (owners of Sky Bet)
2017 Revenues: $1.3 billion
2017 Net Income: £260 million
Approx. Profit Margin: 20%
So, for every $1.00 The Stars Group is paid they will make approximately $0.20 profit.
2017 Revenues: £2.2 billion
2017 Net Income: £504 million
Approx. Profit Margin: 23%
So, for every £1.00 Bet 365 is paid they will make approximately £0.23 profit.
2017 Revenues: £1.2 billion
2017 Net Income: £158 million
Approx. Profit Margin: 13%
So, for every £1.00 Ladbrokes is paid they will make approximately £0.13 profit.
All of the bookmakers or bookmaker owner operators, will provide a range of services for their customer’s from physical stores to online casinos, mobile and gaming products. However, the chart and data above show that bookmakers could be operating on some thin profit margins.
The largest profit margin, as a percentage of revenue (i.e. amount of money returned to the business) is only 23%. On this kind of profit margin, it does seem plausible that bookmakers with a significant exposure may want to limit risk by refusing to pay out or increasing the difficulty of a customer removing large winnings from their site.
This seems to suggest that bookmakers may be more concerned with the volume of transactions and gradually using the negative Expected Value against the average punter to increase their returns over time. For example, when placing money on accumulators is highly risky and if you don't know the best way to bet on football accumulators to beat the bookies...it's worth reading the post!
This is why sometimes it may make more sense to think like a bookmaker and place lots of transactions (i.e. bets) when the value is in your favour and gradually increase your income over time. This is how the online betting companies have made large profits from an incremental increase in the amount of customers and the average value of bets placed by their customers.
Remember, bookmakers manipulate the odds to make sure they’re likely to be paid no matter the result and if they can foresee an event where they have a large exposure, they would place a covering bet or lay the result to ensure they minimise their exposure and increase their Expected Value on each bet and therefore, slowly increase their profits over time.
Ok, That’s the serious one out of the way, but what about day-to-day issues, which may affect all of our betting?
Creating multiple betting accounts can cause problems
This is controversial for some people, but I’ll go back to my example above. If any one of us tries to cheat a bookmaker out of money, do you think it’s unreasonable to think they may retaliate? Of course it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, I want you to win, as much as anyone on the Internet, but unless you’re doing it in the right way, you’re going to come up against the bookmaker with more resources and deeper pockets, if it ever came to a legal fight.
Creating multiple betting accounts could be considered fraud if the named person on the account is not actually placing the bets. This is sometimes the reason why bookmakers will prevent a bettor from withdrawing their winnings, as it is more likely to be a suspicious betting account, if they track things like time of day for the bets, bet types, IP address of where the bet originated, etc.
Unfortunately, bookmakers sometimes don’t do themselves favours, as they may prevent someone from withdrawing funds and request an account verification check, but they sometimes don’t prevent that same person from placing the bet in the first place. This uneven approach to account verification can become extremely annoying and it’s something that has affected many regular sports bettors.
I believe that bookmakers should attempt to be more transparent about the account verification process and possibly do some of this work ahead of time to prevent unnecessary customer satisfaction issues, but with many of the sports betting and gambling companies, we’re dealing multiple products, public companies and people with different motivations. Transparency is usually the best way and I’m sure this will come over time, as the regional authorities and the sports betting community will demand this change.
Not understanding the bonuses and not reading the terms and conditions
A bookmaker refusing to pay-out is one thing, but the other could be our tendency to take the easy option and scan offer and bonus headlines instead of thoroughly reading terms and conditions to make sure we fully understand everything. This could be a combination of increasing the difficulty on the bookmaker’s side, but you and I must also take some of the blame by not taking the time to review what we’re actually signing up to!
Some of the conditions may require you to turn over your winnings a certain numbers of times, which requires you to continue to risk the winnings until a number of bets were placed and ensuring that you continue to risk the free bonus betting money.
In a way, maybe it’s a good thing that you know bookies can refuse to pay out, as we’re given free betting bonus cash, but it looks like we have to give something in return!
Yes, I know this may not be popular, but sometimes if we can learn from our betting mistakes, we can keep improving our skills and abilities at not only finding betting value, but also decreasing the likelihood of bookmakers refusing to pay out on your winning bets.
Hacks and cheating bookmakers may cause account closure
Many of us have been around for long enough to understand when something sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
Just ask yourself. Is this offer, hack, deal generating an emotional response and promising money easily? If the answer is yes, you’re most likely reading an offer that will either, at best end due to over demand, or at worst, it’s a scam product or service designed to get your hard earned money.
Trying to find hacks and tricks to beat the bookie is sometimes a lot of fun, but the problem with hacks and tricks is that they always come to an end. A hack and a trick is something that has a short shelf life and it’s not something that can help you to long-term betting profits and learning how to properly manage your bankroll over time.
I get it, you want to win big and you want to win now, I really do get it, I’m the same, I want to beat the bookie and get cash quickly, but there’s a sustainable why to achieve this and a short cut way to continually fail.
At iwinsoccerbets, we advocate the long-term approach; it’s much more difficult and will take you longer to understand how to spot value and how to place bets correct, but as soon as you do, you will have something that no-one can take away from you and you will be able to bank that skill and knowledge for years and not just moments.
Food for thought...
I hope you haven’t experienced an issue with bookies refusing payment, requesting account verification checks or blocking signups, but if you have it’s generally a good problem. However, maybe it’s a good thing, as it demonstrates that you’re becoming a better soccer punter and your long-term management of your bankroll and your choice of selections must be indicating that you’re finding options with real value.
Tell the iwinsoccerbets community about your experiences and how you managed to get around this age old problem.
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