We are obviously huge fans of placing your sports wagers online. Not only is it extremely convenient, but the bonuses and rewards you can earn will really boost your bankroll. We could go on and on about the all the advantages online betting has to offer, but we can’t fail to mention that there are also a couple of disadvantages.
The disadvantage we will be focusing on for the purpose of this article is the fact that sports betting sites can track each and every wager that we place. While this might not sound like a huge disadvantage in and of itself, it’s what they do with this information that’s the problem.
Betting sites constantly analyze each customer’s betting activity to see what type of bettor they are. If a customer is deemed to be “low value” for any reason, then it’s likely that their account will be limited in some way. Some betting sites will even go as far as closing their customer’s account. Whether your account is limited or closed, this can be extremely frustrating.
The limiting of betting accounts is nothing new. Even before the era of online gambling, bookmakers would restrict successful bettors from placing wagers with them. It has become more and more common in recent years though, and it’s no longer just proven winners who are affected. Betting sites have become increasingly prone to limiting or restricting the accounts of ANY customers whose betting activity they don’t particularly like.
Sometimes customers are limited for valid reasons. Other times they are not. Since betting sites don’t always have the time and resources to properly investigate each account, they tend to err on the side of caution. This results in sites applying restrictions on more accounts than they technically need to. These days a single “suspicious” wager can be enough to trigger some kind of restriction, and the end result is that a lot of recreational bettors are affected despite not doing anything wrong. This is harsh, especially when these people generally lose money through their betting.
Bookmaking isn’t a public service. All bookmakers, whether online or offline, are commercial operations. They do provide a service, yes, but they ultimately take wagers for their own benefit and not for the benefit of their customers. And while the bookmaking industry has always been competitive, it’s become even more so since the advent of online betting. There are a lot of operators that make a LOT of money, but their margins are usually very tight. They simply have to manage their businesses as efficiently as they possibly can, which means imposing limits or restrictions when necessary.
Consistent winning is the most obvious, and common, reason for a betting site to limit customer accounts. Bookmakers don’t prefer to take wagers from anyone who wins too often. Consistent winners are bad for their bottom line, so it makes sense financially to restrict them. As aggravating as this can be, we do understand and fully accept that a bookmaker or betting site has the right to either refuse our business or limit the amount we can wager if they’re concerned about us taking too much money from them. And, to be fair, not all sites restrict someone the moment they start winning.
Arbing is the act of arbitrage betting, which bookmakers hate. It involves placing different wagers on different outcomes with more than one bookmaker to make a guaranteed profit regardless of what the actual outcome is.
The competitiveness of odds offered by online betting sites, combined with the rise of betting exchanges, has led to an increase in the availability of arbitrage betting opportunities. Arbing is effectively taking advantage of bookmakers’ services without assuming any risk, so it’s understandable why they don’t like the practice. It’s not against the rules, it’s just not considered a legitimate way to bet.
When a betting site suspects a customer of arbing, it will only be a matter of time before they restrict their account. They may go as far as account closure, although limiting the amounts that can be staked is a more common response. We’d prefer that arbing wasn’t an “offence” in the eyes of bookmakers, but we can’t really complain that it is.