Last Updated on October 10, 2023
It might be shocking when a company as big as Betfair takes action against you and close your account. You’ll undoubtedly have questions like What exactly happened? Why is my Betfair account suspended all of a sudden? And why did they take such extreme measures instead of just talking to me about the situation?
An account suspension is one of the most serious measures a real money online casino can take against a player outside of legal action. They could have taken several other measures, ranging from warnings to various account restrictions (betting limits, specific game restrictions, etc.). But jumping right to suspension indicates that they’re taking matters quite seriously.
Take a breath. Let’s calmly go through some of the most common scenarios that might get your Betfair account closed. Then you can take a reasonable stance with their support staff to get the best possible outcome.
Suppose you need more satisfaction with your support experience and want to escalate the matter to the gaming authorities. In that case, we’ll give you the tools to tell the regulators that your Betfair account was closed unfairly.
Now, let’s dive into the details.
What Are the Most Common Ways to Get a Betfair Account Closed?
We at SisterCasinos.org believe that online sportsbooks and casinos close user accounts for many reasons. These are just the most common ones:
- You created a duplicate account.
- Your account was hacked.
- You’ve been accused of insider betting or collusion.
- You’ve been charged with money laundering.
- You violated the Terms of Service (ToS).
- Your account was dormant or idle for too long.
Although they’re listed in the ToS, we’ve broken out the two more significant legal issues of insider betting and money laundering. There are a lot of false positives that can get your account flagged falsely and we will address these issues in detail.
Of course, there are many other possible reasons, some of which are listed in the ToS. Others have to do with gambling and identity laws in your country and the countries that Betfair operates from.
We’ll cover these scenarios to prepare you for your conversation with the Betfair support staff. That way, you won’t be shocked or flustered when these things get mentioned, and you can react calmly and factually. Remember that if you’re in a situation that can have actual legal consequences, don’t rely on a website for information. Consider consulting a legal professional.
Creating Duplicate Accounts
First, let’s talk about why duplicate accounts offer an unfair advantage and why the apparent use of duplicate accounts can close your Betfair account. That might mean you got your Betfair account suspended after registration, got your old Betfair account locked, or both.
Colluding with other players offers an unfair advantage when discussing table games like poker. The ‘teamed’ players will have more information about cards that would usually be hidden (hole cards). This can further artificially pump up bets or chip dumps to one another. In short, it’s cheating.
But how does that apply to a sportsbook?
On the sports betting side, multiple accounts can be used to manipulate matched betting. This is also known as gaming or utilizing a gnome account.
Mysterious ways and specific cons can be used with gaming to make money from the bets themselves. But generally speaking, using gnome accounts manipulates bonus requirements and evades taxes.
Manipulating bonus requirements might involve meeting a casino’s rollover policies before earning a deposit bonus. Or running up your bet count artificially through ‘win trading’ with a friend (winning one bet, losing one chance, etc.) or a gnome account to earn free bets through a customer loyalty offer.
Because UK players do not pay tax on gambling winnings (at the time this was written, please consult your current legislation if things have changed), that same pattern of win trading is potentially used as a tax evasion scheme. This is not only bad for the gaming site in question, but it’s potentially very illegal. The HMRC would have a lot to say about this kind of activity.
These are just a few reasons why creating duplicate accounts is grounds to have your Betfair account closed. The entire system is designed to expose players to risk for a specific potential rate of return. Multi-accounting and gaming throw the whole system into disarray.
But what if you didn’t create multiple accounts, but that’s still the stated reason your Betfair account was closed?
It’s possible to mistakenly be accused of creating a duplicate account if multiple people use Betfair in the same household. This is because are using the same IP address (there are other issues we’ll be covering if using a VPN). Apart from that you also have the same physical address, and potentially have the same or similar identifying attributes. This can cause automated checks to become confused, even if you legitimately do not share accounts or collude with one another in any way.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to get on the line to support and calmly explain the situation. It’s impossible to prove a negative and it can become a bit of a ‘he says, she says’ scenario. Ultimately it will be up to Betfair as to whether or not they believe that the two accounts are independent and have no influence on one another. All you can do is make your points calmly and allow support to do their best on your behalf.
If they do permanently close your account for some reason, there are some reputable UK-based Betfair similar sites that you can move on to.
Your Account Was Hacked
Because you have personal information on the site and because you might have associated financial information such as credit cards and bank accounts with your account, having a hacker get control of your real money online casino account can be a nightmare.
Whether they try to drain your account balance or dump bets or chips to another account they control, it’s possible that whatever money you had in your casino wallet will be gone, even if you get it back. Current UK guidance (as of early June 2023) says that if the site’s T&Cs state that your account security is your responsibility, they aren’t liable for the results of bets placed by hackers:
“Other than where due to our negligence, you are responsible for any misuse of your password and TAN unless and we will not be liable for any loss that you may incur due to misuse of your username, passwords, and TAN.”
So if your account was hacked, unless it was a breach of Betfair’s servers, expect your balance to be zeroed. You should change all your associated debit and credit cards, inform your bank, and check your credit status if appropriate.
Whenever Betfair detects activity that might be due to a hacked account, their automation suspends the account. If you get lucky, that might be before you lose everything. With enough warning time you can take measures to protect your personal and financial details. Either way, you’ll need to contact support to straighten things out.
Some people will get hacked through an extraordinary lucky guess from a hacker, even if their password was complex enough and they took precautions. This can happen one out of every several million times, and sadly there’s not much you can do about it other than deal with the aftermath.
For everyone else: Remember that it wasn’t random if hackers got your Betfair account closed. You’re asking to be hacked if you use the same password on multiple websites or in various apps. Some sites that have been hacked will get entire password lists leaked to the public. You can check if this happened by visiting HaveIBeenPwned and entering your E-mail address. This is why many people use password managers. That way they only need to memorize one longer, more complex password, and never have to reuse their passwords on multiple sites.
If you’ve been hacked, take care of your personal and financial issues first. Only then should you contact Betfair support to help you with this issue! Once you independently verify your account ownership, they can restore your account and reset your password. If so, they may contact you on your mobile device (SMS or voice), call you on a landline, or confirm your identity through a third-party service. Then they can start to help you out.
Remember to change any common passwords you use on other sites. Shared passwords are a terrible idea; they will get you hacked eventually. If you use the same password across many areas and apps, don’t be surprised when you’re left wondering: Why is my Betfair account suspended again?
You’ve Been Accused of Insider Betting or Collusion
Insider betting or collusion is an accusation that is more common in professional gambling circles. Still, this reason has also been used to suspend the accounts of average low-stakes players occasionally, as we’ll explain shortly.
Collusion covers a lot of different scenarios. For table games, it might include organized team play in games that are supposed to be a solo effort (poker, for example). For sportsbook wagers, this can consist of managed plots trying to manipulate the odds and agreements to avoid specific bets artificially poisoning the action. It generally involves a large group of people, a large amount of money, or both.
Insider betting covers any situation where the person laying the bet is directly involved with someone who can change the outcome. That includes members of sports teams throwing games or placing personal bets, betting with foreknowledge of the results because of a professional association, and using contacts within Betfair itself to manipulate odds or betting availability.
Insider betting and collusion accusations usually hit professional gamblers. The reason why is because they’re in the best position to have the right contacts and use the information and opportunity presented. This can result in hundreds or thousands of Betfair accounts closed, followed by criminal and civil investigations into fraudulent activities.
But sometimes automation can cast a little too broad of a net. That’s when an innocent punter is accused of a conspiracy simply because they made the same bets as the professionals running an organized scheme. Their fortune (because those bets were probably won) turns into misfortune when they find their Betfair account closed and potentially lawyers trying to contact them.
If your Betfair account is closed due to insider betting or conspiracy and are innocent, you should contact support to get it straightened out. It’s possible that an actual human being didn’t do the banning, just an overzealous bot. We’ll see this scenario again in the money laundering section, which has similar themes.
They may examine your past betting patterns, ask you questions about how you do your wagering research, and confirm your identity. If you’re patient and have no involvement in the larger scheme that they detected, your will usually restore your account with all the winnings intact.
You’ve Been Accused of Money Laundering
This might sound ridiculous. But the financial laws in the UK are strict, so the accusation of using your account for money laundering isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
What does ‘money laundering’ mean in terms of an online casino? It means that the site’s financial review bots suspect that deposits, wagers, and withdrawals look suspicious. For example, if a drug cartel wanted to ‘clean’ their money, they could deposit it into
An online casino, lose it to a friendly account in poker and come out on the other side with ‘clean’ untraceable funds at the cost of the site’s rake.
Similar schemes to launder money can be performed using sports betting. Furthermore using the site as a temporary storage place for a few months until it’s safe to withdraw the money again.
If the anti-money-laundering bots flag your account, it’s probably a mistake (unless there’s something you need to tell us). You might have played poker and done something that looked like a ‘chip dump.’ Or a recent gain or loss of funds looked incredibly intentional.
Suspected money laundering will result in a Betfair suspended account. International banking standards and UK national laws require it, pending an investigation.
If you want your account back, you can (assuming you’re innocent) cooperate with Betfair support. But if you think that there’s a possibility you could get in any legal trouble, you should consult a legal professional.
You Violated the Terms of Service (ToS)
This is one of the most common reasons for a Betfair account closure. And that’s because there are a ton of rule violations that fall into this category.
Three common ToS violations that can land you in hot water are tournament chip dumping, bug abuse, account sharing, and overseas VPN use.
Tournament chip dumping is when you play a competitive game (like poker) and intentionally lose your chips to a friend. This gives them a massive advantage and allows them to bully other players with their big stack. If a bot thinks that it detects such a thing happening, it will suspend the accounts involved.
Bug abuse can happen, and you might not even know it. Let’s say a slot machine is ‘running hot’, and you can’t seem to lose. In reality, you might benefit from a bug and not even realize it. Once the game gets in a particular state, it might produce winning spins or hands an unusual percentage of the time. If the system detects bug abuse, it will suspend your Betfair account pending further review.
Real money online casinos strictly forbid account sharing. The site has no way of knowing if the person using your account has agreed to their terms of service, if they can legally gamble in the first place, or if you were of sound mind when you decided to share the account.
And since you’re on the hook for your account security, as mentioned in the ‘hacked.’
Section, any activity on the account falls strictly on your shoulders. It’s doubtful that Betfair will reverse your account closure if they have evidence of any account-sharing activity.
Overseas VPN use is strictly prohibited for UK players using UK online casinos. UK residents who are abroad cannot use a UK-based online casino. Using a VPN or other virtual machine to redirect your network traffic and make it seem like you’re gambling from within the country’s borders is strictly prohibited. This also applies to any ‘tunneling’ or ‘forwarding’ software that will make it appear like you’re in the UK when you are not. Immediate account suspension is the standard policy here. Foreign players should not attempt to ‘look’ like a UK player using a VPN.
Now it’s possible that you either didn’t do these things or did them mistakenly in a way that didn’t impact your account balance. In these cases, you can appeal your chance to support. If you accidentally got your Betfair account closed, you can explain the exact circumstances. And if you didn’t do what you’ve been accused of, you can get clarification on why your Betfair account was suspended. After that offer to cooperate and provide any evidence necessary to clear your name.
However, sometimes Betfair policy won’t allow them to reverse their decision. In that case, UK-based Betfair similar sites can be explored to offer you a similar experience elsewhere.
Your Account was Dormant for Too Long
While there are valid security concerns that cause online casinos to suspend inactive accounts, Betfair has one of the worst dormant account policies in the business for non-UK players:
“If you have not logged in to your Betfair account in over 13 consecutive months, your account is considered ‘Inactive.’ Once an account is inactive, your Betfair account balance will be charged a monthly fee until you log in and reactivate, close your account, or your account balance reaches zero.”
This means that they will charge you for every month you remain idle after one year and one month.
The security concern is that inactive accounts need to change their password. They need to check up on the status of their account, so they won’t notice if someone else logs in or if the account gets hacked. They’re a sitting liability.
So it’s perfectly reasonable for a real money online casino to suspend a very idle account. But draining their bankroll after that is ridiculous. The account status is a few kilobytes of
Information. Any funds they hold to cover a potential future withdrawal should sit in an account somewhere, gaining them (a tiny amount of) interest.
That aside, try a simple login if you want to reactivate your account. If, for any reason, that doesn’t work, contact support to reactivate the Betfair suspended account.
Betfair Account Closed ‘On Business Grounds’
In an annoying development, Betfair is getting less specific about why they suspended any given account. You’ll often get a message that your account has been closed ‘on business grounds.’
This could mean anything. Maybe you need to be better for their oddsmakers and are winning too often. Perhaps you won too much on table games, and they suspect you have some edge that they can’t detect. Someone in the corporate office may not like your betting patterns. Who knows?
Betfair’s Trustpilot rating has plummeted since the rash of closing accounts on business grounds. It seems like they’ve upset the casual punter and gambling professionals. Hiding specific information about account status from the customer and needing to be more transparent about account closures, in general, is a good sign for an online casino.
We’ll monitor Betfair’s policy on the matter, but if you’ve had your Betfair account closed ‘on business grounds,’ you can only contact their support. There needs to be a way to prepare for this; they likely won’t give you additional information. You should be entitled to all of your current balance and winnings in most cases.
Betfair Closed My Account for Another Reason
There are less common reasons that your account might be closed. The site’s Terms of Service need to cover these less common possible reasons.
Requests from outside agencies are one possibility, ranging from the gambling authority to HMRC to an intelligence agency with a Five Eyes partnership. Another possibility is a change in your local or national laws. Those laws can force these accounts to be closed because of your specific citizenship status or Internet region.
You can contact Betfair support in these odd cases, but often they will need to refer you to an outside agency.
What Happens to Current Bets and the Account Balance on a Suspended Betfair Account?
If your Betfair account gets suspended, there are a few potential outcomes regarding your running bets and account balance.
Here’s their official policy for ongoing bets on a suspended account:
“Bets will continue to run while your account is suspended. If the result of the subsequent investigation into your suspension is that the matter is not resolved to our satisfaction, we reserve the right to void all bets/cancel your winnings. If the matter is resolved satisfactorily, any winnings will be added to your balance.”Betfair
In other words, if they look into the matter and find that whatever the suspension reason was had nothing to do with ongoing bets, the results are run as usual and added or subtracted from your balance. They can be canceled if the bets had something to do with their investigation and violated their policies.
As far as your balance is concerned, it depends on what entities are involved. A government or regulatory body can freeze your account if they suspect fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, or illegal activity. The fate of your account balance is up to the court process at that point.
If Betfair is involved, they will not touch your balance unless you’ve engaged in one of their Prohibited Activities. In that case, their policy is as follows:
“Any balance in your Account at the time of any closure by us will be paid back to you, except where you have engaged in illegal activity or we determine that you have participated in any Prohibited Activities.”
In other words, they can reclaim any funds won via illegal or prohibited activities and appropriate service charges. They will refund they remainder to you.
Suppose you violate international law or national gaming regulations, either intentionally or accidentally. In that case, a portion of your entire account balance may be handed over to the UK Gambling Commission or other appropriate enforcement agencies.
To withdraw money from your suspended account, contact Betfair support. They’ll give you a list of requested documents, confirm your identity, and force you to agree to stop using their apps and sites. Only then will they start the money transfer process, and you can close out this chapter of your online gambling history.
If Betfair has Unfairly suspended my account, What Can I Do?
Betfair is an independent company, which means they can choose their customers. They can use many valid reasons to ban you, all within UK’s and national law’s scope. It’s the online equivalent of having the right to refuse service.
But they do have a regulator. You can challenge or dispute the fairness of any suspensions or bans you receive. If you think that your case has been mishandled, or if Betfair is unresponsive, unprofessional, or corrupt in some way, there is an avenue you can take to lodge a formal complaint.
You can contact the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). This launches a formal negotiation and arbitration process. You don’t need to agree to the results of arbitration if you dislike the results, but it’s unlikely that other government or regulatory bodies will do better. At that point, you’ll need to take the matter up in civil court.
If Betfair somehow broke UK regulations or laws, there’s an option that won’t result in any personal compensation but might get them fined or censured. The UK Gambling Commission is an investigator into any gambling operator’s misconduct. Your case won’t be reported on. Instead, they look at trends set by dozens of topics and issue fines based on any wrongdoing they find.
What Do I Do if Betfair Closed My Account?
Ensure you get your account balance, assuming there’s anything left after the resolution of the process.
If your suspension becomes a permanent ban post-investigation, you should assume you’re done playing at any Betfair sister site. These kinds of bans are rarely reversed, even after a change of ownership.
This means you must find a new online gaming site to continue playing. There are a few Betfair similar sites to pick from, hopefully with better support and terms of service that are more agreeable to your play style.
Betfair is one of many games in town. There are other fish in the sea.