Bookmaker News – Protection of Punters’ Funds

How safe are your betting funds?

Bookmaker News

How safe are the funds in your betting account?

The Horse Bettors Forum has a league table of bookmakers which indicates with firms have safeguards in place to separate punters’ funds from company accounts and guarantee no customer will end up out of pocket should their bookmaker collapse.

The coronavirus pandemic has virtually ended all sports betting and placed the majority of bookmakers in peril with no discernible income, apart from casino.

When a punter opens a betting account, it’s not usual for him or her to consider how safe their money is in the event of that layer suffering financial difficulties – you may be surprised!

An estimated £5.3 billion was gambled online in the United Kingdom between March 2018 and April 2019. Most will believe that any winnings are fully protected, allowing them to be retrieved in their entirety should a bookmaker go bust. However, that is far from the case with many firms, including some well-known names, offering no strict protection on customer funds and that is a worry in the current emergency.

The Gambling Commission’s guidelines suggest betting companies categorise their safeguarding of users’ funds into one of three levels – not protected, medium protection or high protection.

It is largely up to bookmakers into which category they place themselves and their revelations will be an eye-opener for some.

At a high protection firm, money is held in an account totally distanced from the bookmaker. It is controlled by an independent party, while medium protection makes use of measures such as insurance to provide pay-outs in the event of collapse

However, unlike protected customers, punters who use sites which have no protection in place would have their money considered as part of a bookmaker’s overall business in the event of it ending operations. They would face getting just a fraction back of their holding or nothing at all.

It may be advisable, in these extraordinary times, of considering one of the high protection companies – Betway, Betvictor, Paddy Power or Coral – if about to open a new betting account or even transfer funds from a bookmaker who is offering no protection.
Research conducted into 63 prominent bookmakers by the Horseracing Bettors Forum showed only a third of the firms offered protection whereby customers were certain to get their money back in the event of an insolvency.

HBF Register of Protection of Funds