When you open a Betfair betting exchange account, one of the great advantages of betting on the Betfair exchange is that they won’t close your account if you are a winner. I’m a long term winner over a large number of years and can confirm that this is a perfectly acceptable outcome on a betting exchange. Phew!
But there are reasons why your account may be legitimately restricted. Unfortunately, most of the Betfair help desk staff won’t understand these issues or discuss them properly on the live chat. So I thought it was worth documenting them for anybody affected.
If you find yourself locked out of your Betfair account, have a read of this blog post, but also visit our forum where you can get help from people who can immediately advise you. If you are worried about your account being restricted or closed, reading the following advice should re-assure you about what you should do to avoid this scenario.
So let us find out the reasons why your account may be restricted and what you can do to avoid it or get your account re-opened or reinstated.
How do I know my account is closed or suspended?
The first you may know that your account has been suspended or closed is via an email or when you try to login with your username and password to your account. At this point, you may be notified that you have either done something wrong, or something is wrong with your account.
Probably your first port of call will be with Betfair customer service and this will resolve certain issues concerning the suspension of user accounts, but not all. If your account suspension is towards the bottom of this list, your standard support person will only get a message and not be able to remedy your issue. You will hit a brick wall.
Therefore, we will list not only the most common reasons for suspension, but also the paths you can follow to remedy them. Especially when you get stuck at Betfair customer services.
Betfair account suspension – Easy to solve
Account pending password change
If you get this message when you try to log into your Betfair account via some API software, this means that your account has been locked because of a failed login. This is easily resolved by attempting to log into your account directly on the Betfair web site.
If you try this and it fails, a password recovery process will start. This will use the information you have previously supplied in your account. If that fails, you would then need to contact Betfair customer services to re-validate.
In some cases, you may have chosen to have a period of temporary or permanent self-exclusion. For the temporary self-exclusion, it is possible to have the account reactivated by contacting Betfair customer service providers. However, if it is a permanent self-exclusion, it is not possible to have the account reactivated. This is permanent and will not be reversed under any circumstances.
If one gambling company merges with another, then it’s not impossible they will try to combine operations. If you have excluded yourself from a connected company, you may find the database matches your exclusion as well and your account defaults to exclusion.
One of the reasons why a Betfair account may be shut down temporarily is that there might be some issues verifying the account. There is an entire section on the Betfair account page when you log in which tells you exactly how to verify your account and what is required to do so. If you are stuck, the Betfair help desk can get involved to nudge the process along.
If you fail to verify your account you will be unable to withdraw any funds and your account is likely to be suspended without notice. So make sure you make the effort to get verified. It’s a pretty simple process and should be the first thing you do when you sign up.
Betfair account suspension – Complex issues
When we talk about more complex issues, these are issues where a quick chat to Betfair customer support is unlikely to resolve your problems and you will end up talking to Betfair at a much more elevated level.
Some are a bit more complex than others, but some there is a clear and obvious process to get the account reviewed.
The account owner and user are different
This is linked to the ‘account verification’ process. If there is a situation where there is ‘reasonable’ suspicion that the owner of the account is not the same as the person running or using the account. Betfair will suspend the account and start an investigation.
There are many reasons why this is clamped down on, one will follow this paragraph. But this is incorporated in their terms and conditions so be aware that you could be in technical breach of terms if this is what you are doing.
Premium Charge Avoidance
This is linked to the previous reason. You may think that a ‘neat’ way to avoid the Betfair premium charge is to simply trade on somebody else’s account. This is what some people ‘claim’ to do. But from personal experience, I can tell you that if you are a moderately sized trader then Betfair with obviously see your profits drop dramatically, only for some random person to suddenly become a brilliant trader. It’s a bit of a dead giveaway that you are using somebody else’s account to avoid paying premium charges.
Your account will be suspended pending an investigation and you will likely forfeit your balance to make up any unpaid premium charge. You have been warned, read the thread on the forum if you want to see this happen in real life.
There is no process to appeal this and you will contacted, probably by the pricing team, at Betfair.
Suspected Money Laundering
Betfair and other betting companies are legally obliged by the governemnt and regulators to be red hot on money laundering.
Most bookmakers have very advanced fraud preventions systems which are also geared to spot unusual activity. So if you are thinking of swapping money between accounts by taking advantage of thin markets, watch out! It doesn’t mean you will definitely see your account shut, but it will almost certainly get flagged in a few milliseconds.
You may also send up a flag if you deposit and withdraw money too many times in a short while and other such similar activities. Account reviews in these sorts of circumstances can be long-winded and tough to prove, but if you are innocent then that will shine through.
However it can take a lot of effort to prove exactly what you were doing, so it’s better to avoid any sort of activity that could fall into that trap. But all genuine cases get resolved in my experience.
Account closed due to a commerical profile usage
This issue requires a more in-depth explanation as it can occur due to overuse of practice mode. Why will be explained towards the end of this section. But let us explain what a ‘commerical usage profile’ is.
Betfair considers it’s data and your bets, propertiety information owned by them and they want to protect this. Betfair doesn’t want to share its (your) pricing of its markets to any competitors, as this may confer a business advantage. After all, betting exchange markets are more efficient and often better priced than a traditional bookmaker.
In days gone by, bookmakers would price their own markets. But in order to not get caught by people arbing, or just a gamble in general. All prices in the industry tend to converge and betting exchanges are a key part of that mix. You can bet more on an exchange, so it tends to lead the price action.
Betfair charges commercial organisations large fees to access its data. Therefore if you create an account and just read data from markets and never place a bet, it will look suspiciously like you are just harvesting or relaying data. Therefore your account will be limited so that it fails to function correctly.
This can happen if you use Bet Angel in a practice mode and never place a bet. Betfair has no idea you are in practice mode, so as far as they are concerned you are probably harvesting data. Restricted data or refreshing also occurs if you have no funds in your account.
It’s easy to avoid falling into this trap, as all you need to do is fund your account so you are positively indentified and then make sure you place real bets or Betfair trades on a regular basis.
If your account is restricted in this manner check out this forum thread for how to appeal a restriction – https://forum.betangel.com/viewtopic.php?t=15692
Betfair Account closed on business grounds
This problem is very similar to the previous issue but is slightly more nuanced as it’s more based around your activity against the amount it can generate for Betfair.
Like all businesses, Betfair is, err… a business and if you hammer the exchange, like refreshing it frequently and placing few bets there is little incentive for Betfair to service your account. If they allowed people to hammer the exchange without any revenue, losses would soon rack up and they would go out of business. Nobody wants that!
Before you panic, Betfair don’t close accounts like this lightly, they are only looking at real outliers.
For example, we were recently following a case of a user who accidentally racked up millions of refreshes on top of their usual activity and had his account suspended. But on review, it was fairly obvious what had happened and all was well and good again.
Using streaming on Bet Angel will significantly minimise any chance of this happening. Also using the many features within Bet Angel’s Guardian tool will help you manage your activity and market searching in a carefully controlled manner. Curiously, the Betfair website is much less efficient and more likely, when used with software, to generate a lot of activity while not immediately generating any revenue for Betfair.
The appeal process to this is the same as listed here.
Betting exchanges are the only place in the betting world where you account will not be closed if you are a consistent winner. I opened my account 20 years ago, have been very succesful and still enjoy the many advantages of betting exchanges.
However, there are a number of regulatory hurdles that all betting companies have to adhere to so make sure you are aware of this and fullfil your obligation to be compliant.
Betfair is also a business, and while they can be a bit heavy-handed and clumsy at times, our experience is if you have your account accidentally closed or limited, then it’s very likely this will be reversed. Our discussions with them indicate the number of accounts affected is very small in comparison to the total user base and truly errant closures are often reversed.
But to achieve that, you may need to go beyond the helpdesk as they will not be aware or have the authority to look any deeper.