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 Online shopping in the time of Covid-19

Thomas Pertaia, Legal Adviser from DAS Law, explains what you need to know about your consumer rights.

May 2020
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 2020
Employment disputes , Goods and services disputes All you need to know about tipping

Are we legally obliged to tip? Does that money actually go to the staff or is it kept by the business owner? Thomas Pertaia has the answers.

December 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 2019
Protecting your business , Goods and services disputes What businesses need to know about selling products

By law, any goods that you sell must be as described, of satisfactory quality, and fit for purpose. If the product fails to meet any of these criteria, the buyer is entitled to a refund.

October 2019
Goods and services disputes Your right to a refund for an unauthorised payment

No matter how careful you are to keep your identity and personal details safe and secure, you may still have your bank details stolen or other personal details compromised through no fault of your own.

October 2019
Goods and services disputes Making complaints in restaurants and food outlets

Going out for a meal should be an enjoyable experience, but if it falls short of expectations you should be aware of your legal rights and how to exercise them. DAS Law’s Samantha Jenkins explains.

October 2019
Goods and services disputes What to do if a faulty product causes damage to your home

What happens if a faulty product results in damage to you or your property? Is the manufacturer liable or will your insurance cover it?

September 2019
Employment disputes , Goods and services disputes , Professional services 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 , Family 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
Protecting your business , Goods and services disputes What new food allergy rules mean for consumers and businesses

New laws are to be introduced to help the two million people in the UK who have a food allergy. Jordan Brown explains what the new legislation will mean.

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