Are bets legally binding is a question we often get asked and, regarding bets that you place at betting sites that are licensed under the regulations of the United Kingdom Gambling – yes there are!
When you place a bet with a bookmaker, casino, bingo site, or any other form of betting site, you are entering a legally binding contract with that business. It is also the responsibility of betting sites to make you aware of any terms and conditions that may affect any bets you place with them.
Your Consumer Rights As Bettors
The legally binding contract you enter when placing a bet with a UK licenced betting site is governed by laws such as the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. This act is designed to protect you as a bettor and states that any words used by the betting site should not in any way give the betting site an unfair advantage. All terms and conditions must be fair, with all terms and conditions jargon-free and fully transparent.
The Rights Of Betting Sites
Betting sites are businesses, and the regulations set by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission gives these businesses the right to protect themselves. That means all betting sites are free to decide which punters they are willing to accept bets from and on what terms, providing these terms are fair and transparent. That means that betting sites are within their rights to refuse your bets.
A bet is deemed to be a commercial agreement between two consenting parties, so a betting site does not have to accept a bet that you want to place if it does not want to. This means a betting site is also within its rights to withdraw offers or concessions from your account if they wish, on the grounds of reducing risks to their business.
Your Rights To Complain About A Betting Site
While betting sites have the option of refusing your bets, if they are willing to accept bets from you, they must give you a clear way of complaining if you don’t agree with something. It’s a good idea to try and resolve any issues by contacting the betting site’s support team first, but the betting site must also give you access to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
If you are still not happy with how your betting dispute has been resolved, you also have the right to take any unresolved betting dispute to court if you think a bet has not been settled according to the terms and conditions that were readily made available to you.
Gambling Sites Must Protect Your Money
As bets are a legally binding contract in the United Kingdom, and betting sites must also protect all customer funds and must show how they do this in their terms and conditions.
While gambling funds are not protected by the government in the same way that your bank accounts are, betting sites must inform you of what will happen to your money if they go bust. This may help you decide which betting sites you choose to bet at.
All online betting sites in the United Kingdom must keep customer funds in a separate account, though this is not a 100% guarantee that you will get your money back if the betting site goes bust. However, by reading the terms and conditions about how much protection each betting site offers, you can make your mind up about whether you want to bet with a company and how much money you may be willing to leave in your account at any time.
All betting sites must state whether your money is unprotected or has medium or high protection. If the company offers no protection, then all monies in betting accounts would be part of the business if it went bust.
Betting sites that offer medium protection are normally covered by insurance that makes sure that funds that customers have in their accounts will be paid out if the company goes bust. You may wish to check if this is limited to a maximum amount.
If betting sites offer high protection, this means that the money in their customer accounts is legally separate from the rest of the company and is controlled by an independent body or external auditor.
Obviously, the more money you may have in a betting site account, the more thought you should give to how it is protected.