Don’t take a gamble when it comes to online betting

3rd April 2019

The big race is a time-honoured tradition that sees millions of us dipping into our pockets while bookies try to attract customers with the best odds. Nevertheless, where there is money to be made, fraudsters are usually not far away with fake online betting sites popping up offering ‘unbelievable’ odds.

Of course, it’s always worth remembering that if something looks too good to be true, odds are it is. But how can you check out the legitimacy of a betting site, and what are your legal options if your online bookie won’t pay you out?

Jenny Niblett, Solicitor, DAS Law, gives you the inside track on online betting…

I have seen online betting sites with amazing odds. How can I check the credibility of the site and make sure it’s not a scam?

The first thing to do would be to check that the organisation that you plan to gamble with is licensed by the UK’s Gambling Commission.

Every online gambling business that is licensed is required to display a notice saying that they are licensed by the Gambling Commission with a link to the Commission’s website. On the Commission’s website there is a license register where you can see what activities a company is able to offer.

If a gambling business doesn’t have a license, it is acting illegally and you would be wise to avoid placing any bets with them.

The sites often ask for lots of personal information and an ID to join. Should I share this with them?

Online gambling sites are required to confirm the identities of their customers to comply with regulatory and legal requirements. But it is wise to be wary of providing your personal details to third parties for use in opening online accounts.

If you are concerned about the amount of information or ID being requested, it is best to err on the side of caution.

What recourse do I have if a winning bet is not paid?

Gambling businesses are obliged to offer a complaints procedure. If a winning bet is not paid out, the first thing would be to lodge a complaint. Under the gambling commission’s guidelines, this should be resolved in a maximum of eight weeks.

If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, the matter can then be referred to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. If the ADR provider then doesn’t resolve matters to your satisfaction, legal action is an option and in the case of a winning bet not being paid out, a breach of contract claim.

If I placed a bet using a credit card and my winnings are not paid, can I claim my money back from my provider?

Ordinarily, if you buy goods or services on a credit card, of a value between £100 -£30,000 and something goes wrong, then s75 Consumer Credit Act 1974 may assist because the law states that a credit company will have equal liability for any breach of contract.

So if a gambling business is in breach of contract and payment was made on a credit card, then it would be good advice to contact your credit card provider as well as following the business’ complaints procedure.

What happens if I have a complaint? Is there an official body I can complain to?

If there is any concern as to whether a gambling business is licensed, for example, concerns should be raised with the Gambling Commission. Otherwise, it would be advisable to follow the complaints process (as described above).

Disclaimer: This information is for general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities and is not formal legal advice as no lawyer-client relationship has been created.

An online review could land you in hot water with the law

Could sharing thoughts and experiences online turn into an unexpected legal dispute?

March 2019 Learn more

Read more from the DAS Law blog

Goods and services disputes , Professional services disputes , Employment disputes Is the customer always right when it comes to alcohol and pregnancy?

A recent Reddit post sparked debate on personal accountability and the rights of serving staff when it comes to alcohol. Larna Mason explains what the law says.

August 2019
Goods and services disputes Summer holiday clubs: your rights explained

What can you do if a plan to send your child to a summer holiday club goes awry due to sickness or cancellation? DAS Law investigates.

July 2019
Goods and services disputes Ticket scams are on the rise – these are your legal rights

Do buyers have any legal recourse when it comes to purchasing counterfeit tickets? What are the risks when buying tickets from resellers, and what is the best way to protect yourself from ticket scams?

June 2019
Goods and services disputes Don’t take a gamble when it comes to online betting

Jenny Niblett gives you the inside track on how to check out the legitimacy of a betting site and your legal options if your online bookie won’t pay you out.

April 2019
Goods and services disputes An online review could land you in hot water with the law

Could sharing thoughts and experiences online turn into an unexpected legal dispute?

March 2019
Goods and services disputes What can you do if you don’t meet the person of your dreams when using a dating service?

What can people do if they feel that have not received the services they have paid for? Can they ask for their money back if they asked for a prince and all they got were frogs?

February 2019
Goods and services disputes How to escape your gym contract in the new year

Gyms are prepared for a New Year’s resolution rush and every January, millions of people rush to sign expensive gym membership contracts. But how fair are these contracts and can you terminate them if your situation changes?

January 2019
Goods and services disputes 7 questions Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers should ask

If you are waiting to see the myriad of deals that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will offer, you need to know your rights when it comes to buying online.

November 2018
Goods and services disputes What you need to know to buy a puppy responsibly

Larna Mason, legal adviser at DAS Law, gives us the key facts on the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

September 2018
Motorcycling , Goods and services disputes Motorcycling-related disputes – what to do if you buy a dodgy bike

Our expert motorcycling solicitors have answered some of the most asked questions around common biking-related disputes.

August 2018
General advice , Goods and services disputes Weddings – what to do if your big day doesn’t have a fairy-tale ending

What happens if your wedding plans end in disappointment because of problems with your dress, your hair or the food?

August 2018
Goods and services disputes Cancellation: “Hi, Domino’s? Yeah, I’ve changed my mind, keep it.”

Can we cancel when buyer’s remorse occurs? The answer is often yes, but it can turn on some surprisingly arbitrary points.

March 2018
Goods and services disputes Six top tips to making sure you get the best deals this Black Friday

With many eager to get the best deals possible, we have put together some tips to ensure you get the best bargains without paying the price later.

November 2017