Following on from a previous post; Winning Streak, a certain retail bookmaker has decided to restrict my account. Not my first, but now’s a good chance to talk about account restrictions/closures. This bookie will now only lay me a bet that has a max payout of £18. Ok then, I’ll be taking my ‘custom’ elsewhere. Even on sports that I have no idea about, like cricket, I can only get a piddly amount on. On one hand you could say that they should lay me plenty on sports that I never bet on, but on the other hand I’m not the sort of person to place a -EV bet (or a least a bet that I don’t think is -EV). So instead of just restricting me on basketball, they’re basically saying that they don’t want my business at all.
When I noticed my account had been restricted I opened up the Customer chat to see if they had anything interesting to say about the matter:
Me: I have a question about my account. I don’t seem to be able to place bets to the amounts that I was previously. I’m wondering what’s going on?
Squarebook’s Customer Support:
Hi there, this may or may not be happening but we dont see or control this from customer care, the traders decide this and their decision is final , and non-negotiable, this may happen more often on live bets as they cannot be sent for approval here is their answer in relation to this:
We understand the frustration of not always being able to stake the full desired amount however our market limits are constantly reviewed and believe are set at an appropriate level; whether this is modified or not is uniquely at our traders’ discretion and not negotiable. You may have the option of sending your bet for approval with the possibility of such request getting partially/fully approved or rejected. May we remind you however that even if such request gets rejected, you’ll still have the possibility to stake again should the odds change at a later stage.
There’s the usual rubbish. “This may or may not be happening”…it is happening, and laying me £18 is apparently an “appropriate level”!
Now, I’m not going to criticise someone for doing something that I would do in their position. Retail bookmakers exist because their business model relies on losing punters. They offer better odds in order to attract the mugs/squares but if someone has the nerve to win (even if they’re a square enduring some temporary good fortune) then they’ll show you the door. When these businesses are making half their profits from in-shop FOBTs then it makes their decision to ban someone who’s won even a relative small amount of money even easier. Why take on winning punters when you’ve got a guaranteed income from FOBTs? And I don’t think that a company should be forced to do business with a customer.
As retail books rely on losing punters, if you’re getting banned then you’re on the right track. You see on Twitter people posting photos of large bets placed online at renowned square books (we all know who they are!). If they thought you knew what you were doing then you wouldn’t have been able to place that bet.
There’s a couple of excellent articles elsewhere describing why books will ban you and how to get around it, or at least try and delay it: