Sportsbooks Start Refusing More Bets From 'Wise Guys' Trying To Win
Sunday August 26, 2018. 06:04 AM , from Slashdot/Apple
Sportsbooks have closed 50,000 betting accounts just in the U.K. -- and placed strict limits on 50,000 more, according to gaming experts contacted by ESPN. 'Bookmakers from London to Las Vegas are refusing to take bets from a growing number of customers whose only offense might be trying to win.'
Banning or limiting sophisticated players has been a regular part of Las Vegas sports betting for decades, and, like in the U.K., there's absolutely nothing illegal about it. Bettors say the practice is increasing and has even occurred in some of the new states (such as New Jersey) that have entered into the now-legal bookmaking game in recent months. 'Americans should be worried,' said Brian Chappell, a founder for the U.K. bettor advocacy group Justice for Punters. 'It's coming.'
In Nevada, refusing to take bets from any customer, from card counters to wise-guy sports bettors, is completely within any casino's legal rights. From Caesars Palace to the Venetian to more local spots like Station Casinos, every bookmaker in town will tell you -- albeit somewhat quietly -- that they've 86'd customers for one reason or another. Seasoned bettors are concerned, though, that the practice of banning or limiting accounts is not only increasing, but the reasoning behind the decisions is becoming more and more suspect. Many believe that the only thing betting intelligently will get you at some shops is a one-way ticket to being thrown out...
In shooting for commercial success, should bookmakers be allowed to refuse to take bets from customers who take steps to try to win? On the other hand, should a business be forced to take on a customer they fear will repeatedly damage its bottom line? The debate is getting ready to play out in state legislatures across the U.S. In May, the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting. Full-scale, legal sportsbooks have since opened in Delaware, Mississippi and New Jersey, and many more states are expected to pass sports betting laws and set up regulations in the coming months and years.
'In the end, you have two professions, each trying to increase profits, but only one side gets to make the rules,' concludes ESPN.
One London-based veteran of the international sports betting industry even suggests a peer-to-peer betting exchange which simply pairs people betting on opposing outcomes -- thus taking a commission, but not facing any risk.
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