This page contains some examples of correspondence received by HBF regarding account closure and, more generally, restriction. It serves as a monument to the fact that ‘recreational’ accounts are being limited, and often with little to no evidence upon which to base the decision.

HBF continues to seek a Minimum Bet Liability commitment as part of its Betting Charter work.

More information on the Betting Charter can be found here.



I have for some time wanted to air my extreme annoyance at being treated like pond life by multiple Bookmakers, who seemingly at a whim, close accounts down without anything other than our Traders have made this oh so hard decision which is non negotiable – No other reason is ever given despite multiple email/telephone requests for explanation.

I have come across your article in the Racing Post and finally I am able to see that I am 1 of many that have had accounts closed.  I am a recreational punter that never bets more than £20 on a horse but i agree that I do take the advice of Racing post tipsters such as Pricewise & Steve Palmer and I am getting the impression it is due to this fact that I am having my accounts closed. I have made a small profit in each of the last 8 years and I take pride in my skill at achieving this record. ((barely pays for a summer holiday so not too exciting a profit!!).

I have been a regular subscriber to the Racing Post IPad edition but am very close to cancelling it as I have very few places left to place a bet.

I appreciate your support to the ‘little people’ in raising such issues to a wider audience and request that I be included in any future surveys/communications that you may conduct/send out.




Dear Sirs,

I read the article “Are bookmakers unfairly closing accounts? Views from Tuesday’s debate”  ( ) in the Racing Post.

I want to add my voice and support to discussion of this issue. I have had various accounts closed by bookmakers for what I consider relatively low stakes betting – most bets were of an average stake of £25 (or £50 with Bet365).

I believe Bet365 banned me as I did well with their offer of: “Back a winner at odds 4/1 on Channel 4/ITV racing and get a £50 risk free bet”. I believe other bookmakers banned me on the horse racing due to their money back second offers – I was either winning or coming second.

The following bookmakers have restricted my accounts:

  • Bet365
  • William Hill
  • Stan James
  • Race Bets

I have had bonuses restricted with:

  • Paddy Power

I can say, of all the bookmakers I’ve used, Sky Bet have never caused me issue, and I have been impressed that they have always refunded my stake when a horse has failed to start.

I pay Timeform for sectional data and use Proform, so this is how I gain an edge over the average punter.

Best regards,



I read online about your purpose and thought I’d share my story.

About a year ago I opened a Stan James account. After about 1 month I got an email saying that they were no longer able to offer best odds guaranteed.

I contacted them to find out why and was not given any valid reason. I think the words used was that the backs or under-writers call the shots and nothing more could be said.

As it stood I was approx £70 in profit after a month. I told them that if I was going to be treated differently than other customers, I would take my business elsewhere. I closed the account and self-excluded for whatever the most length was possible.

At least it made me feel like I was a dangerous gambler that could put a business at high rush 🙂



Hi, HBF,

I was very interested to read your presentation to Parliament yesterday. You presented the punter’s case very well.

I have what may be a new angle on account closures and restrictions – at least it’s new to me! A brief background, I’m 73, have been betting all my adult life, small stakes – normal £5, sometimes £10, max of £20, mostly win bets almost always with best odds guaranteed. 90% my own bets, and also follow Pricewise, Paul Kealy, Ed Quigley, Nick Watts. 90% horses, some football, and golf.

Over the last ten years or so, I’ve become used to having my accounts restricted (totalling 12 in all)- even in cases where I’ve held accounts for over twenty years. However, recently I had a new experience. I attempted to open a new on-line account with SportsPesa whose prices are shown on Oddschecker and offer BOG. I completed the form with basic information, name, address, etc and submitted the form on-line. I was immediately refused – a message appeared on screen saying the the account request was refused for ‘trading reasons’. There had been no trade!

How can this happen? I assume SportsPesa had carried out what they would consider due diligence and somehow obtained information on punters whose accounts have been restricted – but have they also received any information from the bookies where my accounts are unrestricted? I have 13 such accounts including all the major bookmakers. I am disturbed that negative information about me is floating around the bookmaker ether and I have no opportunity to put any positive references to them.

I’m sure there are others who have a similar position to report. I wonder whether bookmakers like SportsPesa should be given licences if they restrict trade on such flimsy grounds.





No doubt  you will have heard this many times before but anyway I’d just like to mention as it’s been in the racing post lately about account restrictions, my experiences with paddy power. Having only had 13 bets over about a month with them i managed a small profit of around £100, then I received  an email from them stopping best price, freebets etc, I phoned them completely gobsmacked but of course a waste of time as no reason is given, just apologies.

I can’t be more critical of paddypower, they flood you with emails encouraging betting on casino etc but as soon as you show any sign of  betting prowess, they aren’t happy.

I must say I’ve been with bet365 for 3yrs but had no problems at all despite making a reasonable profit.





After reading in the Racing Post about restricted/closed betting accounts, I would just like to add that in the last six months I have had three accounts severely restricted, including Sky who had an interview in RP.

I am not a ‘high roller’ with my average bet being about £30.00

Thanks for your work on this and other topics.





I have just read about the HBF going to parliament to discuss the restriction and closing of betting accounts. I have had one closure after placing just one bet for one and three bets on another.

There was little communication regarding these restrictions and closure and no warning.

I can understand why this might be needed on accounts that continuously arb but not after a couple of bets.

I do not feel this the right solution. Accounts should be monitored over many bets. And instead of restricting and closing accounts that are seen as profitable may be these accounts could be charged a commission in some way. Say a % of stake or winnings. This is not an idea I have seen being discussed, but maybe it’s a valid one.

Are there any reasons this would not work as a solution?