William Fox Bregman
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Banking and Finance Litigation
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Date Published:12 Jul 2016 Last Updated:12 Apr 2021

Are the Bookmakers refusing to pay your Winnings? How to claim the winnings you deserve.

Banking & Finance Litigation

More than £12bn was lost in gambling last year, an increase of 33% from 5 years ago, but while the bookmakers are generating more and more revenue, they are becoming increasingly reluctant to pay out winning punters. Campaign groups are now growing in strength to challenge the failure of gambling companies to pay out and there has been an increase in the number of complaints to the gambling arbitration service from 3000 in 2010, to over 4000 in the first half of this year alone.

While there might be a range of reasons that bookmakers may attempt to avoid payment to successful bettors, there is a trend that they are relying on their activation of self-exclusion functions. The activation of self-exclusion functions on a gambling website may help the bettor to prevent themselves from placing too high a stake and / or continuing to gamble online, but the bookmakers have been attempting to rely on the terms of online self-exclusion so that they are not obliged to pay out at all. Not only might this deprive the bettor of their winnings with the website on which they activated self-exclusion, but also for other associated gambling companies aswell. Many bettors are not aware of the terms upon which they are gambling and are losing out due to the hidden, unfair terms imposed by the bookmaker.

Justice for Punters, a campaign and support group for bettors who have not received the winnings to which they are entitled, has suggested that punters might be more likely to recover their debt by pursuing a claim through the small claims court as opposed to by making an internal complaint with the bookmaker or making an appeal to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). Bookmakers are often aware that the terms upon which they trade are unfair and might not be enforceable so the threat of a Court action with the backing of specialist legal advisors can often result in them settling with the bettor.

Bettors are also losing out in other cases where the bookmaker is failing to register an online bet until the outcome of the bet looks to go against the bettor, or where the bookmaker is simply refusing to pay out the winnings agreed at the time the bet was struck. Ellis Jones has a specialist litigation team to assist anyone who feels they have been cheated by the bookmakers. Please call our litigation Partner, William Fox Bregman, on 01202 525333 for advice on a gambling or gaming dispute.