In this article, we’ll check out some of the most important aspects you need to consider before opening a new betting account, placing your first deposit or your first bet.
In actual fact, pretty much before you do anything in the betting world.
The devil’s in the detail
It’s often said that the devil is in the detail and this couldn’t be more true when describing the betting industry.
The gaming industry is not known for its transparency and unfortunately that goes for the bookies promotions as well. Specifically the terms and conditions of the promotion.
The bookies are often slated for hiding the important information in the small print which most casual bettors don’t bother checking.
There are sometimes pages and pages of jargon filled small print. No wonder, people don’t like reading it all, there’s so much of it…
However, if you’re looking to consistently make money with betting, whether that’s through matched betting or other strategies, you’ll need to pay close attention to the small print.
Here’s a list of things you’ll need to watch out for:
Things to watch out for
- Sign up offers exclusions
- Account restrictions
- Account limits
- Maximum stake limits
When it comes to bookmakers terms and conditions, these are all important aspects that are likely to be hiding somewhere. The aim is to quickly suss them out so you can get on with your betting.
Let’s look into these in a little more detail.
Sign up offer exclusions
First up let’s look at sign up offer exclusions. The reason being, it will likely be the first thing to catch you out.
You’re probably aware that the bookmakers entice new customers through rewarding free bets, offers and other promotions. In some circumstances, these offers are made to look more appealing than they actually are.
The bookmakers may offer £100s in free bets, but what they don’t initially tell you is the amount of times you may need to rollover your deposit before being able to access any winnings.
The bookies know exactly what they’re doing. But it works, so they keep doing it.
Not making promotions clear is something bookmakers have previously got into trouble for.
A few years back the The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in conjunction with the Gambling Commission made it clear that bookmakers must stop misleading customers via ‘unfair online promotions that trap players’ money’.
Whilst changes have been made, the bookies still cram the key information into the small print.
It’s therefore important to make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you qualify for your free bet or promotion.
You don’t want to place your bets only to find out your qualifying bet didn’t meet the criteria or that you need to rollover your initial deposit three more times.
So specifically, what kind of criteria do you need to look out for?
Common qualifying criteria to watch out for
Stake amount – there’s usually a minimum stake to qualify for your free bet or bonus. It’s usually something like Bet £10, Get £30.
Betting market – your qualifying bet is generally only accepted on certain mainstream markets.
Deposit methods – when you open your new betting account you’ll probably be excited to place your first deposit. However, if you’re looking to take advantage of the sign up bonus you’ll need to ensure your deposit method qualifies.
The bookies usually state that eWallet providers such as PayPal and NETeller don’t qualify where as other more common methods such as credit and debit card payment methods will qualify.
In the example below, Bet365 state that customers who place deposits via Entropay, NETeller, PayPal, paysafecard or Skrill will not qualify for the bonus.
For more information on payment methods, check out this article.
Whilst scanning the terms and conditions before opening a new betting account is the last thing you want to do, it’s an important step.
You don’t want to miss out on your free bet or bonus or end up with no profit.
If you’re an experienced bettor who wins on a regular basis, the bookies are likely to be keeping a close eye. And they may end up putting restrictions on your account.
In 2019, the bookmakers use incredibly sophisticated technology that keeps track of all sorts of betting information.
They profile each bettor to assess their impact on the bookies bottom line. If you’re winning too much, you’re likely to have restrictions placed on your account.
On the other hand, if you’re losing, the bookies may actually give you more free bets and promotions.
Gubbed is the term bettors have coined for when a bookmaker place a restriction on their account.
Whilst this is something most gamblers aim to avoid, there’s not much you can do if it happens.
Once an account is placed in lockdown, there’s no going back. What’s more, you may struggle to open an account with other bookmakers as the larger firms now own quite a few of the smaller bookies and will therefore pass down the data.
In terms of actual account restrictions, the bookmakers are likely to either add a maximum stake (which we’ll come onto later) or maybe, even worse close your account down.
For most gamblers out there, especially matched bettors this wreaks havoc on the potential profitability. Bettors need as many bookmaker accounts open as possible.
If you’re looking to avoid any of these account restrictions, it’s advisable to use a bookmaker that are willing to accept winning bettors.
A good example is Smarkets. They accept any kind of bettor whether they win or lose.
The third aspect you need to keep an eye out for when looking at bookies terms and conditions are account limits.
There are a number of different account limits that the bookmakers might have in place. These are generally specifically for money transfers into and out of your betting accounts.
Bookmakers are required to let users set a maximum deposit amount to help avoid problem gambling and ultimately allow you to stay in control of your betting.
This is usually a set amount over a given period, for example a day or a week. It looks something like this:
Whilst this is a great feature, I recommend you set the limit relatively high. You don’t want to be limited by your total deposits at a later stage. However, this is completely up to you.
The bookmakers also have limits on what you can win in a given period, usually over a day. This amount is rather large and you’re unlikely to ever reach that amount unless you’re incredibly lucky or a big time gambler.
To put it into perspective, the limits are well into the hundreds of thousands… All I can say is, congratulations if you’re winning on that scale, you probably don’t need this site!
Maximum bet amounts
Most average punters are unlikely to have a maximum bet restriction put in lace. This is especially true for new accounts that have recently been registered.
Having said that, it’s becoming more and more common that bookmakers restrict accounts that they deem to be unprofitable. Now, that obviously varies from bookmaker to bookmaker. What one bookie may think is worthwhile, another bookie may not.
All in all, this is just something to keep in mind.
Bookies terms and conditions summary
Overall, bookmakers keep all the important information hidden away in the small print of the terms and conditions.
If you’re looking to make money with betting the T&Cs are something you’ll need to become good friends with in 2019. Even if you have to force yourself.
I’d love to hear about any other terms and conditions you think are important. Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.