Unfortunately for us punters, bookies (on the whole – there are exceptions out there) are no longer willing to bet all comers.

Nothing is done in cash – it’s all on account – and if the account profit/loss record tilts too far in your favour, you may soon be the recipient of a ‘Dear John’ letter, bookmaker-style.

To be fair, things have improved a little in recent years. There was a low point for these types of shenanigans by bookmakers, and it would appear we’ve passed it. Some of the bigger operators have grown in size to the point where they’re seemingly a little more willing to take a bet. Nevertheless, it continues.

So when is it time to do some planning for life without your favourite bookie? How do you know when they’re about to give you the flick? There’s a few signs that your account might be on borrowed time…

‘Your Stake Has Been Referred’

This is an obvious tell from a bookie. Hit submit on a bet, and instead of ‘Bet Accepted’, you get a message that your stake (or part of your stake) has been referred to the traders for approval. You face a short wait before the bet is accepted. This is a definite sign your account has been flagged as too profitable, and they want a human to review your bets before taking them.

No More Promos

Before giving you the ‘lemonade and sars’ completely, plenty of bookies will first take away your promo privileges – no more bonus bets or cash back deals. While this can often just be the result of you targeting promo markets and doing little other betting, it’s also a way the bookie can cut down your profit margin overall. Whatever the reason…. If you’ve copped this, you’re getting the wrong sort of attention.

If you’re not targeting promos to make a profit, but rather are just a regular punter, this doesn’t have to affect you greatly.

Random Limitations

If you suddenly have the bookie tell you that you can’t do certain things that you’ve always been able to, then you’re probably under the spotlight. ‘No more use of phone betting’ is a common one – taking your bets online only makes it easier for them to consider and reject them.

Making Life Difficult

Has your bookie suddenly requested a heap of additional identification information out of the blue, even though they’ve been taking your bets for ages? They might tell you it’s for KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations.

Unfortunately, for some bookies that’s clearly just a convenient excuse. They don’t really think you’re a money launderer… it’s simply a way of making it harder for you to bet with them and collect your money. It’s a stalling tactic – hopefully it turns you off dealing with them and drives you elsewhere, to where the whole process is easier.

There are of course legitimate reasons a bookie may request additional ID information. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it happen far too many times out of the blue, simply when the punter has been winning, for it to be a coincidence. For example… a bookie informs a customer they will be closing their account. When the punter requests their minimum bet rule rights, the bookie suddenly requires a whole heap of extra information for KYC purposes before they comply. Funny timing.


  • Some racing jurisdictions have minimum bet rules. Bookies cannot refuse your bets up to the limit, or close your account completely, on these markets. That doesn’t mean they won’t do it and then rely on your ignorance on the rules. So if they try to, tell them otherwise. Min bet rules have been implemented by:
    • Racing NSW, Racing Victoria, Racing Queensland, Thoroughbred Racing SA and Tasracing (thoroughbred racing)
    • Harness Racing Victoria (harness racing)
    • Greyhound Racing Victoria (greyhound racing)
  • Some bookies operate on low margins and (hopefully) high volume, and are far happier to take bets from winners. Unfortunately, the ban on Australians betting with foreign-based bookies have closed the gate on many of these, such as Pinnacle. Of the local bookies, TopSport are the most accepting of all punters: make sure you have an account with them
  • Betfair wants winners: use them as often as you can! Even if you’re still on good terms with the other bookies… the more of your wins you have on Betfair, the less you have with the bookies, and the longer you’ll stay in their good books.
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