One of the more common complaints submitted by players involves how sports betting websites handle their accounts after restricting their wagering limits.
Players are often unhappy to find out that they can no longer place a bet for the amount they wish, and believe the practice of being limited to be unfair.
The reality is, online sportsbooks are free to do whatever they want to a player's account ... up until a certain point. There comes a time when the best course is simply for the sportsbook to cut the player loose and send him or her on their merry way. The problem is, many sportsbooks abuse this power and think that they have a license to steal balances, as well.
This is where the line gets drawn in the sand. Online sportsbooks cannot confiscate winnings for no reason.
A player being too sharp or sophisticated of a bettor is NOT cause for winnings to be confiscated. A risk manager being so baffled that a female actually can compute how to simply flip a coin and win some wagers is NOT cause for winnings to be confiscated. A player who can barely speak English not agreeing to be video Skyped and prodded like some sort of cattle on an operating table is NOT cause for winnings to be confiscated.
So, that begs the question - What is a situation where a player's winnings deserve to be erased? It's simple: Clear and undeniable fraud. A player opening 5 accounts in a row to redeem the starting bonus and thinking that he can get away with it by using some friends names is an example of this type of fraud.
A player making an insufficient deposit is another example of fraud where a player gambles on funds that for one reason or another the sports betting website hasn't received.
However, in the aforementioned scenarios, player still are entitled to their deposit. Sportsbooks cannot profit off of fraudsters or keep custody over possibly ill-gotten funds, so what reputable sportsbooks do when there are clear examples of fraud is refund the deposits and close the players' accounts.
When a sportsbook simply wants to kick a player out
It's not always so grim. When sportsbooks legitimately decide accepting more bets from a player will harm their bottom line, they are certainly free to restrict the wagering size or cut a player loose. This begs the following question - What happens to the bonus?
The industry standard way of resolving the matter is to pay the player his rightfully earned winnings - every cent - and then to simply prorate a portion of the bonus.
For example, if a player has rolled over 50% of his $200 bonus and has accumulated $2,000 in winnings on a $1,000 deposit, the player should get the $2,000 in winnings and receive $100 of the bonus.
To confiscate the player's winnings and the bonus would suggest that the player only had a chance of losing and never winning, which is what is known in the industry as a freeroll, and is a practice typical of scam sportsbooks.