Can betting companies keep your money? The truth revealed

It’s a fair question, can betting companies keep your money? This is a worry of many punters when using betting sites they aren’t familiar with. And the answer to this question has a few important elements to it. At the same time, there are numerous reasons why you might have such concerns in the first place. 

Betting companies money

Concerns like – is this a trustworthy betting brand, have I engaged in a suspicious bet without knowledge, have I used too many bonuses, and other queries are perfectly normal. Yet whatever the underlying reason might be, the question of whether betting companies keep your money still has a concrete answer. The answer applies to all of the underlying concerns too, making it a one-size-fits-all response to something that causes daily anxiety and unease for thousands of punters.

So – what is the exact answer to this common question? Let me give you the specifics right now.

Can betting companies keep your money – the ins and outs discussed in detail

Let me get the uncomfortable truth out of the way first and foremost. The answer has both a ‘yes’ element to it, as well as a ‘no’ element. But here’s the good news for all of you ethical punters – assuming you engage in above-board betting activities, there are almost no situations where a betting company can keep your money. Therefore, the typical answer to, can betting companies keep your money, is a resounding no. Yet there are situations in which they can.

So let me start with the uncommon situations in which they can before heading into the answer that applies to the majority.

Circumstances when a betting company can keep your money

Given that this is a two-part answer, I wanted to start with the ‘bad’ before getting to the ‘good’ parts of the response. On that note, I’ve discussed the situations where your money can be kept below.

You’ve gambled with illicit funds

Of course, most punters gamble with legally earned money that is 100% their own. Yet if there are suspicions to suggest otherwise, and the betting company finds out, they can withhold funds pending an in-depth investigation. 

There has been a mistake on the part of the betting company

The first situation is somewhat sinister and links to criminal activity. Yet this second situation can materialize when the betting company has made an honest mistake. For example, they’ve paid funds into your account that are inconsistent with the returns you should have earned from a certain bet.

You’ve gambled illegally

In the UK, betting companies undergo stringent KYC (Know Your Customer) verification steps to ensure that anyone who signs up can legally bet. Note that the requirements in the UK are that you are a resident and 18+. And you must meet both requirements to sign up and bet legally. Yet if someone gets around these checks somehow and the company later finds out, they can keep the money.

The company goes bust and your funds have ‘no protection’

It’s important to remember that betting sites are businesses, at the end of the day. And just like any other business, things can go badly, resulting in insolvency/bankruptcy. In this case, if you’ve gambled with a site that didn’t have the right licenses, there’s a chance that your funds will have zero protection. Should that be the case, there’s a chance that your funds are then viewed as part of the company’s assets. 

The reason why betting companies cannot keep your money – in most cases

One overwhelming reason these days leads to a positive answer to the question: can betting companies keep your money? This reason relates directly to the Gambling Act in the United Kingdom. Essentially, before 2007, it was perfectly possible for betting companies to wiggle their way out of paying you or keeping your money, effectively. However, those betting small may have never realized that this was the case. After all, betting companies prefer to go after sharks rather than minnows in this respect.

Yet the tide turned when the Gambling Act became law in 2005. This law didn’t come to fruition until 2007, but it changed the game forever for this specific concern. Let me share the details.

The Gambling Act – the main reason betting companies can’t keep your cash

First and foremost, betting companies cannot operate in the UK without a valid licence issued by the UK Gambling Commission. And in order to get this licence, they must obey all rules set out in something called the ‘Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice’. Within these rules, gambling debts, which relate to player winnings from the company's perspective, changed to become legally enforceable. 

These rules dictate that they could face legal action if a gambling company didn’t payout or give them the money from a legal wager that didn’t violate their terms and conditions. Therefore, if you haven’t broken any rules or violated anything in the fine print, betting companies have no legal loopholes to jump through that allow them to keep your money.

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Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.