The first time is somewhat flattering, the second time mildly amusing but by the third time it’s just annoying.I’m talking about being banned by your bookie and it’s a problem encountered by successful punters throughout the world.While many bookmakers are good at generating publicity for taking large bets, you may be surprised just how quickly they ban winning punters. Some bookies only want the ‘mug money’ and target those who have been long-term losing TAB punters. Winners might be grinners but they are also quickly banned. When deciding whether to limit your bets or close your account, bookmakers will analyse factors such as the following:
(1) Bet size – as a general rule the bigger the bet, the more likely it is for your account to be flagged. But this isn’t always the case as I have known of even relatively small (but profitable) wagers to result in accounts being closed.
(2) Bet timing – if you’re betting just before the jump it doesn’t allow the bookie to manage his risk or exposure as well as they would like.
(3) Backing market movers – bookies are a very quick to take a disliking to ‘steam’ punters who consistently get on at prices that shorten soon after.
(4) Betting ill-liquid markets – wagering large amounts on low-profile events (and winning) will see your account attract unwanted interest very quickly.
(5) Specialising – if you bet exclusively within a certain state (or sport) you’re also more likely to be limited or banned.
(6) Profitability – both in terms of dollars and profit on turnover. Bookmakers run client profiling software over your account to ascertain whether you’re winning at a level that is higher than they are comfortable with, which in many cases is a very low threshold.So how do you avoid being banned, or otherwise find a way to still get your bets on? Well obviously you can take note of the above and try to limit the warning signs. You can also have a few small fun bets to reduce your average bet size and bet across other states and/or sports.Many punters decide to go in the back door by using friends or family and betting under their account.
However some bookies are so wary of winners that they will call the account holder to try and get a feel for whether they are actually doing their own betting. The girlfriend of a professional punter I know got a call from a bookmaker congratulating her on a winning streak, but really he was just trying to find out if she knew anything about racing so he’d know whether it was in fact her placing the bets. She didn’t know one end of a horse from the other and ‘her’ account was closed immediately. Another pro punter I know decided to just be up front with one of the main bookmaker’s he uses when a few questions were asked of him early on. The punter was honest in saying that he was a professional and expected to win. This was a few years ago and the bookmaker continues to take his bets to this day as he can see the benefit in receiving winning information from a pro punter. He simply lays off the bets with other bookies or elsewhere.
Betfair is a godsend for professional punters as they actually encourage you by reducing your commission rate as your bets increase. It’s in their best interests to attract high turnover punters to the site as they don’t have any exposure like a bookmaker, instead they just take a small percentage of all the winning bets. The liquidity at Betfair on Australian horse racing is getting better all the time and this will continue to improve, especially now that the cross-border advertising restrictions have now been lifted. While many people think that developing a profitable approach is the sole ingredient to punting success, many winning punters would argue that their second biggest challenge is being able to get their bets on.