Why Do Casino Accounts Get Limited, Suspended Or Closed?
If you have ever tried to log in to your online casino site and found that you cannot access it, you will know how frustrating it can feel. However annoying it might be, it could be the case that the operator has a valid reason for doing this.
Alternatively, it could be the case that the casino has put a limit on your casino account which prohibits certain gambling behaviour. This is arguably just as frustrating.
Even if this has never happened to you, it is definitely something that you should have an understanding of in case it ever does, this will mean that you know what to do if it happens and be aware of how to avoid it happening in the first place.
Let’s take a closer look at why casino and betting sites usually put limits on player’s accounts.
Reasons Your Gambling Account Has Been Limited
The reasons as to why a casino site might decide to place a limit on your account are varied, and sometimes it might be down to more than one.
Chances are though, it’s one or more of these.
While this perhaps might seem unjustifiable, this is one of the most common reasons why a casino site will put a limit on your account, they may even suspend or close it.
Although it is great for you if you are doing well from your gambling activity, at the end of the day, the bottom line for a gambling operator is to make money. An occasional win here or there is something that a site will not mind, they expect it even.
This is because they feel confident that they can entice you back in to gamble your winnings at a later date. They also need winners in a roundabout way, to keep the dream alive for everyone else. No one would play the lottery if it was never won, right?
If, however, you have won large amounts on a regular basis, then this makes you a customer who costs the site money. They might either limit how much you are able to wager so as to reduce your winnings, or in the worst case scenario suspend or close your account.
Promotion and Bonus Abuse
Most casinos (at least big brands anyway) will offer multiple ongoing bonuses and promotions as a way of keeping their current customers happy, and also to try and get new customers to sign up to get access to these offers.
This is especially true with sportsbooks who invariably have promotions every day on various different markets - big events are almost guaranteed to have promotions attached - where they will offer boosted odds or bet insurances, money back as a free bet if such and such happens, etc. This is to make their business as attractive to the punter as possible.
While this is a gamble for them, in most cases they have got it right and the promotion will bring in more money than it costs them to run it. However there are customers who only ever bet using promotions, or even worse they find loopholes or ways to manipulate these promotions and then exploit them.
These offers are supposed to be used alongside regular betting activity, so the sort of behaviour explained above can lead to customers becoming ineligible for promotions or have their accounts closed in more serious breaches of the terms.
To clarify, it is impossible to register more than one account under the same name at an online casino. However, there are some people who will open another account under their spouse’s name so that they can increase their potential to win, especially when it comes to taking advantage of bonuses which may have a maximum bet in place.
This is not only a breach of every gambling site’s terms and conditions but it also constitutes fraud, so don’t be tempted to do it.
This is obvious to a casino site if they investigate, as they will recognise that more than one account has identical gambling patterns and are registered under the same IP address. Gambling sites over the years have been able to develop a number of advanced tools which help them to identify if a ‘duplicate’ account is being used, and this has helped them to combat suspicious activity and close down the relevant accounts.
The vast number of the techniques that are used in order to identify these accounts are closely guarded secrets, however, the most obvious one is being able to track IP addresses.
Being a professional gambler isn’t guaranteed to get you kicked off a site, but the company will want to keep a close eye on you at the very least in case you become a costly customer.
Professionals can be easy to spot for keen eyed betting sites, and one of the ways they reveal themselves is by ignoring bonuses and offers. These guys often sign up with a specific strategy in mind knowing exactly what they are going to bet on and how they are going to do it.
Bonuses do not factor into their plans for various reasons, but often because they come with maximum stake or winning limits which are an issue for professionals who don’t generally make smaller bets.
They also tend to log in, place their bets, and log out again straight away, whereas a regular punter would spend a bit more time looking at the games or markets and browsing the site. This translates to casino games too; a player might log on, head straight to the video poker where they know exactly what todo in any given situation, place some large wagers, and get out once they are ahead.
This speedy betting activity can be a clear indication that the customer either has accounts with multiple sites and is using each one against the other, taking advantage of the best odds, or is simply turning up to siphon money before heading off somewhere else.
Arbitrage or Arbing
This is something that many professional sports betting gamblers do, but it is also fairly easy for regular punters to do as well, especially given the arbing and matched betting services that have started to spring up in recent years.
This is where you find ways to guarantee a profit by identifying gaps in odds difference between sites. It means you can bet on both outcomes and walk away better off regardless of what happens.
The maths behind this means the customer has to bet very specific amounts to make it work though, and this is one of the things that will get accounts flagged quickly by online casinos. Strange wagers such as betting £1.59 where a normal punter would bet £1.00 are an obvious sign of arbitraging.
Obviously, if you are caught doing this you are toast.
Is it legal for Casinos to Limit Your Account?
Ultimately, online casinos are within their rights to refuse service to anyone they please. They don’t have to let you gamble with them.
They have the authority to limit a player’s account for anything really, and because they are in the business of making a profit they will monitor accounts very closely to identify any kind of behaviour that will prevent them from doing this over the long term.
It might mean that they close off markets to a player who has experienced considerable success and might have an edge on the casino, it might be that stakes are limited to just a few pounds to prevent the customer winning large amounts, or it might be that the account is shut down completely.
The bottom line is that the casino is not actually doing anything wrong if they take this decision.
They have to meet a lot of criteria to maintain their license to trade, so breaches of their terms are taken very seriously indeed.
How to Avoid Having Limits Placed on you Casino Account
When it comes to gambling it is all about being smart, and if this means being opportunistic in certain scenarios then that is something you may have to do.
In order to avoid flagging up on casino site’s systems, there are a few things that you can do to stay beneath the radar. Let’s take a look at the various tips that you can use.
Begin with Small Amounts
One way that online casinos are able to identify more astute gamblers is if they gamble substantially large amounts, especially soon after they sign up. This is very common for professional sports gamblers.
In order to make it as easy as possible for you to blend in, start with small amounts when you join a new gambling site, and this will get you over the initial hurdle. Also, it can be beneficial for you to lose some smaller bets as it won’t cost you much but will disguise you well.
In addition to this, it is always worth starting with simple bets like the to win market, or correct score betting. If you go deep into the more complicated markets that are available, have selected different bets on the same ticket, and wager a large amounts then this will show operators that you have experience and know what you are doing so they will be on the lookout for similar activity in the future.
Use Whole Numbers to Make a Bet
In order to avoid being suspected as an arber and closely monitored thereafter, it is recommended that you wager in whole numbers, at least for the sportsbook section of a casino site. This means that you are advised to wager normal rounded up numbers such as £20 rather than £21.33.
One exception here is when you have an unusual amount of money left in your casino account. If your previous wagering behaviour has been normal then the casino is likely to recognise this and give you the benefit of the doubt when you spend you last £2.24 on the twelve o’clock at Aintree.
Keep an Eye on You Results
This can be beneficial for you for a number of reasons. The main one is that it helps you to keep track of how much you are losing if that has been the case, which can be a warning sign that you might need to take a break.
However, by having an understanding of the percentage of your wager to profits ratio, it will give you an idea of whether you should dial things down for a while if you have been doing well.
If you are winning too much and it is clearly noticeable you can anticipate the casino limiting your account to hold you back. Better that you hold yourself back from time to time so that you can come back and let loose again once the spotlight is on someone else.
Don’t Withdraw and Deposit too Often
If you are constantly making withdrawals from your online casino account, it costs the casino a lot in bank processing fees. Cashing out multiple times every week can lead the casino to limit your wagering activity even to the point of closing your account down.
One of the best ways of avoiding this is to combine it with the ‘bet small’ approach and build up a gradual account balance and only withdraw in increments once every week. Ultimately, the less frequently that you withdraw, the less likely you are to come under suspicion of the casino.
It’s a balance though, you equally don’t want to let your account build up to thousands more than you have deposited and try and withdraw it all in one go. Unless you hit a huge win on a slot or something, which the casino will understand.
Withdrawing More than you Deposit
Closely linked to the above is if you are taking out more money than you have deposited on a monthly or quarterly basis.
This is more related to amounts in the high four or five figures rather than hundreds.
When dealing with these sorts of numbers it will be easy for the online casino to spot that they are not making a profit from you, and as such they will either monitor your account or close it there and then.
Better to drip feed the money out or find other ways of putting it to use from within your account.
Be Smart About Using Promotions & Bonuses
While it might be tempting to use every promotion and bonus you can get your hands on, it can raise red flags with the online casino if you abuse them.
By all means take advantage of them, it is a great way to make sure your bankroll goes further, but if the casino identifies that you seem to have a knack for being able to identify those which offer the most value and they are all you ever use, then you are bringing unwanted attention on yourself.
As well as using a variety of promotions, you should also diversify your gambling activity to show the online casino that you are actually wagering cash with them and giving them a chance to claw back some profit as well.
On the flip side though, if you do not use any of the promotions ever, then your account might be flagged as a professional gambling account. At the end of the day, it is all about making sure you get the balance right, though this can be tricky.
Is Limiting and Closing Winning Accounts Fair?
This is a question that many gamblers will have asked over the years, and there is not a definitively right or wrong answer. We already know that it is legal for them to do this, but gamblers might argue that customers winning is just the cost of doing business for a casinos.
This is definitely the case for online slots which have a random number generator (RNG) deciding the outcomes, which means that the chances of a player winning are completely random. They have no way of influencing the result so it is all about luck.
The same could be said for table games, where each one has a house edge built in that is stacked in the casino’s favour (blackjack and roulette for example). Again, card distribution in online blackjack is completely random and the player has very little control over what happens other than playing the right strategy.
Limiting accounts that have won on the slots or table games would be very unfair, and also stupid, because since it is mostly about luck a winning player one day is likely to be a losing player the next.
This is a little different for sports betting. In some cases, gamblers might have inside information about an event (horse racing in particular), and know exactly when to place a bet as well as on what eventuality.
Other punters are simply good at studying stats and form, and can identify what might happen during a particular event, which is a talent they are able to profit from. The operator could argue that these people have an unfair advantage and so closing accounts is justified.
It doesn’t really matter of course, because closing accounts is legal and no justification is needed, fair or not.
As the online gambling industry expands further and more sites are created, it is likely that the approach to closing accounts will change slightly. It is already happening to some degree.
Obviously people flagrantly breaking the rules, doubling up on accounts, or abusing offers will always be in trouble, but there are already casinos and bookies out there who say they will not close winning accounts. They have turned this stance into a marketing opportunity.
For those that stick with the more normal approach, developments in technology will mean that online casinos will be able to better identify suspicious activity on player accounts and make it even harder for customers to take advantage of them.
However, the rise in competition might also mean that online casinos could become more lenient so as not to gift their competitors’ new customers. That said, every year millions of people reach the legal betting age, so they know that there will always be a constant stream of new customers to replace any they lose.