Bad Bet? How To Get Your Money Back

One of the risks of putting money where your mouth is that sometimes, you’re going to be wrong. This was amazingly illustrated recently by a series of screen-captures showing a punter boasting about their bet on Le Pen in the French election. After the National Front candidate lost, he came back to Ladbrokes with cap in hand blaming the punt on his son. Unfortunately, having bragged throughout the blogosphere, the company soon shut down his request and rightly so.

While that story was eventually proven to be a hoax, there’s not a punter alive who hasn’t – at one time or another – mis-clicked and put money down where they shouldn’t have. Or worse.

So, What Is The Best Way To Go About Getting Your Money Back?

First off, it’s important to note that, betting sites are run by people that have heard them all. If you’ve lost £40 on Chelsea and want to claim that your cat walked across your keyboard, you’re probably out of luck. But if you have a legitimate, honest reason to request your money back and claim an online gambling refund, there are many channels to help you.

When pursuing the return of your cash, there are generally three distinct strands to claiming a refund:

a) Money has been added to your account by accident,
b) The money has been added to your account and staked, or
c) Money has been fraudulently taken from your card and staked without your knowing.

Money Has Been Added To Your Account

If you have added cash to your account accidentally and it has not been wagered, it can often be returned to you with little hassle. Many sites have pay-out functionality, and a quick email to support should help clarify any confusion where this is the case. However, most companies have a transactional waiting period for the refund that’s beyond their power to expedite. So, if you need the money now, you may just have to wait.

Money Has Been Staked From Your Account

If money has been taken from your account and then either staked or lost, this is much more difficult to resolve. To help streamline this process and make sure that you’ve done all you can, you can carry out the following steps:

  1. Review the T&Cs: Before you start the process of contacting the company, take a thorough look through their terms and conditions. Make sure you take note of the rules that apply to you and cite them when drafting your initial contact email. Once you’ve identified this, detail your issue in full to the company, breaking down a timeline wherever possible. Make sure your email is reviewed in full before sending off. Aim to provide any screenshots or relevant information that they need – obscuring sensitive data where required.
  2. Send the email: Most companies will have a specific email address for support issues and a standard process for dealing with complaints and issues. Make sure you follow this and send your detailed correspondence. If you need to make sure your issues are escalated, the UK Gambling Commission has a list of head offices in all firms. A direct call to follow up can be extremely helpful, especially if time is a factor.
  3. Await a response: The company will then conduct its own internal complaints procedure and aim to resolve the issue for you.
  4. Follow up if unsatisfied: If the issue is not resolved as expected, you are perfectly within your rights to pursue if further. Under UK law, all companies are obligated to provide you with a channel to contact an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) company which can enter arbitration on your behalf. While useful, remember that the ADR can only be contacted once you have fully gone through the company’s internal complaints procedure. If you still feel that the issue has not been resolved fairly, you can escalate it to the UK Gambling Commission for specific key advice and information on what actions you can take.

Money Has Been Fraudulently Taken From Your Account

If you discover that money has been debited from your account without your knowledge, it is important to act quickly and decisively. First, contact your bank, report the fraud, and ask them to put a temporary freeze on your account. Then contact the gambling site or company and request a freeze to be placed on the account and, if necessary, alert the authorities.

Luckily, as more banks are online and the regularity of fraud increases, you should receive a warning text or call to inform you about irregular payments or billings from your account. If you are not sure if your bank offers this, it is strongly recommended that you get in touch and apply for this protection.

What Should You Bear In Mind?

Set up Protection:  It is impossible to be too careful online and, even with a wealth of programs and services to secure your data, the best protection is common sense. Use strong passwords for sites, avoid direct card payments and use a pay-as-you-go online wallet to fund your activities. Always make sure the site you are using is secure and fully vetted and reputable And never EVER give your online details to another individual, no matter how much you trust them. Make sure you also regularly update your passwords and review your bank statements to make sure there are no suspicious transactions.

Get Help: Unfortunately, a proportion of the claims that come through to companies are from individuals who have staked their own cash and had regrets, or had family members that have stolen their details. Gambling addiction is a real, serious problem and there are several sites that have been set up to provide help for those afflicted.  Self-exclusion offers can be easily made with your regular brick and mortar betting shop or online site.

Pick a Reputable Site: Many complaints that are passed through to UK sites are related to offshore gambling, which has been and will continue to be a risk in a market that is changing due to a shift in the online sphere. UK and EU sites are answerable to EU and UK law. No matter how tempting, stay local or you won’t have a leg to stand on.

If All Else Fails: Regardless of whether you legitimately misclick or your errant ‘son’ bet €400 on a proto-fascist, it’s worth remembering that you’re dealing with another person at the end of the line. No matter how frustrated you are, nothing will be gained by ranting and raving. No business likes to lose a regular customer, and a little respect goes a long way. If you want to apply additional pressure, traction can be gained by posting against the site’s social media profile and calmly stating your case.

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16 thoughts on “Bad Bet? How To Get Your Money Back”

  1. I just want to say that your advice is not only very useful, but makes me feel like you are a company that cares about clients (normal Joes, like me). Thanks

    • I have been gambling like an idiot to the point I have no money for my mortgage and Bill’s I hate myself for it….I have sole to someone on live chat who are putting a request for a refund but I really cant see this happening

  2. I was in jail and left my bank details with partner for personal reasons my family needed money whilst I was away she spent all this gambling and had been prosecuted others anything I can do

    • You’d need to speak to the Police Chris.
      If you can prove your money was stolen then obviously you’re a victim of crime.

      As a former Police Officer though I know that it wouldn’t matter what the money was spent on. eg. If she stole £10,000 from you she could spend it on a car, gambling, holiday, anything. The crime would remain the same.

      The problem I suspect would come from you having provided her with the necessary details to access your funds so most likely the bank will be unhelpful unfortunately.

  3. I lost £900 contacted the bank (nat west) and asked them to block my debit and credit card from gambling they instantly stopped the debit card (supposedly) and I was allowed to deposit a further £200 can I raise a dispute with them over that money?

  4. Hi I was playing on William hill my game was glitching a lot and throwing me in and out. I then won around 20,000 and was immediately thrown out. I then went in again and was told you had a Win while you was away of again roughly 20,000 I then quit the internet tab in my iPhone as I couldn’t be bothered dealing with the clothing until I get into WiFi is what I was thinking. I later returned to William hill to find 400 odd pound I think maybe the game continued in the background or something? Doubtful but anything I could do and how could they even allow that much to leave someone’s account? without asking any questions?

  5. Hi I have had my phone stolen which had everything on it including bank details passwords and someone has managed to get into my betting app and deposit money from my account ! I am fummin as just finished work around 6 noticed I had money pending which I didn’t make . I have contacted my bank and hopefully they could help if not what other options do I go down as i want my money back

  6. Hi,

    I just found out that my boyfriend transferred money from my account to his own to gamble online. He stole my login details to make the transactions and lost a lot of money… (around 25,000 euros I had saved).
    I have contacted my bank and changed all my login details, but they cannot do more.

    I then contacted the gambling website and they are asking for bank statements.
    My question is: Is it possible to get a refund (of course after providing all proofs) without it to reach a legal level and get the police involved? We have a kid together and I would feel bad if he was in deep trouble since he clearly has an addiction and agreed to get help.

    • Honestly that’s something you need serious legal advice about, not something we can advise you on really Joelle.

      • I didnt know how to play gambling. I deposited 8000 pounds and I bet slip on cricket but before match stars I was scared and I want to my money out of stakes before that they took all 8000 pounds. Where can I go for help?

        • To be honest if you deposited and bet £8,000 I think in the eyes of most bookmakers the risk is your responsibility.

          • Hi, I know but that was my fault with out knowledge what’s going on but is there any solution get them back… because purely it is not concerned to put that much of money at stake. I always thinking they only take little amount. I was considered it has deposit. Not as stake.

  7. Hi, I am Ashwini I was playing gambling for the first time and and I dont know how to play it so I deposited 17000 pounds in betfair and I bet slip 8000 pounds thinking they will not take 8000 pounds they will only take 200 to 300 if I loose because there was message popped out called cash out in that its saying 7600 I can cash out the rest is at stake I thought and if I win they will add it to my account i was thinking like that and the cricket match didnt started yet I was scared and dont want to play gambling i want to withdraw all the amount but before that they took all my amount from bet slip which i dont know they are going to take i called them but they said they raised the issue with management but I dudnt get any kind of help NHS came time police came time I spoke to everyone but no one helped me how to get my money back which I dont know it was at stake.

  8. Hi,

    I received numerous emails yesterday of notifications that payments have been successful to an online casino company named Playzee. I have never heard of them before nor do I gamble. I’ve had most of my lifetime savings just taken away from me. ( £9,500 ). This was all deposited in the form as follows:

    Then I realised and immediately contacted the company through a Google search I got to their online chat where I noticed it was an online casino.

    They asked me for my name and email address followed by my username. Obviously I don’t have a username as i dont have an account with them.

    They are investigating this as they found my account through my name and email address.

    My question is, this account was obviously not verified properly like all online casinos must do and it does state in the T&C’s that in order to play at the casino the account must be verified. Will they just cancel the deposits and refund my money?

    I spoke to my bank and because the payments are still “pending” they cant do anything right now and said the company will have to cancel the deposits for me to get the money back.

    Thank you for you help on this forum

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