What to do When a Bookmaker Won’t Pay up…

Inevitably we will all find ourselves worried that a bookmaker doesn’t want to pay us. Hopefully it will be because we made a mistake ourselves (which we can easily fix) and not because the bookmaker doesn’t have our money any more! (or worse, DOES have our money and simply wants to keep it). So lets look at how to resolve this problem…

Check YOU Aren’t the Problem

Before anything else, you really have to make sure you haven’t made the mistake which has led to this problem. Don’t start off with the assumption that the bookie is a crook and they are trying to steal your money – it will only make this process harder.

First, read any information that you can find on the bookmaker website that describes the steps you need to take before you attempt to withdraw. For example, many bookmakers will require scanned documents to be sent to them to prove you are who you claim to be, and that you live where you claim to live. They might want a scanned copy of photo ID, a utility bill (at the address where your betting account is listed at), a scan of the credit card you used to deposit with (if you used one), or sometimes all three of these.

In other instances, you may be expected to have bet all of your deposit at least once through, or reach a rollover requirement for a bonus you had claimed – the bookmaker shouldn’t hold your money in these cases, but most will not provide your withdrawal straight away but instead ask you if you are certain you want to withdraw early and pay some associated fee or forfeit your bonus – so check your email spam box and your in-house bookmaker message system to see if this has happened.

If you are confident that you have everything in order to enable you to withdraw, then you need to check to make sure you have provided them with the right withdrawal information. You can’t always withdraw using the same method you have deposited with, so make sure you are able to withdraw via the method you want, and make sure you have entered your account number, or whatever, correctly.

Check for Miscommunication

Many withdrawal problems may come from the fact that a bookmaker has requested some information, or some action, but either they have not been very clear with the request or you have misunderstood the request. The result of this is to leave you waiting for them to do something, while they are waiting for you do something – they forget about the situation and you assume they are avoiding paying up.

If in doubt, always go back and read through all of the emails you may have exchanged with the bookmaker in question. Also do a search of your spam inbox if you have one to make sure no crucial emails were missed.
If no emails have been exchanged at this point, be sure to remember this point as you begin to exchange emails – always ask for clarification if in doubt. Don’t try to guess.

Open a Friendly Dialogue


Assuming you have given the bookmaker a reasonable amount of time to make the payment (most good books will make the payment within a few days, but about a week is a reasonable amount of time to allow room for errors or genuine problems), you should send an email to customer service and explain your situation (calmly), and ask for someone to help resolve the situation and settle your account as soon as possible or explain the delay. Don’t demand anything or be rude about it, give them an opportunity to deal with a pleasant customer who they won’t mind helping out.

Persist with the friendly dialogue as long as is appropriate. If they offer a good reason, then take their word for it, and give them an appropriate amount of time to resolve the genuine problem before writing again and asking if the problem has been resolved and if you should be expecting your payment. Exactly how to handle this stage will vary completely from situation to situation, but if the bookmaker offers bad reasons, then try to call them out on it. If they repeatedly offer different reasons and seem to be stalling your payment, then you need to decide when the ‘friendly’ has gone on for long enough and move on to the next stage!

Make an Ultimatum

If you get to this stage, then you may have a real problem. If you have done everything right, been really nice about it and given the bookmaker plenty of time to fulfill his end of the bargain, then it is time to let the bookmaker know that if you don’t receive your money within the next 3 days, then you will go to the various major online sportsbook review services, and any appropriate governing bodies with your complaint.

Give them a specific period of time to make your payment and/or reply. Let them know that if no money or adequate reply is received, you will be contacting the appropriate governing body (this will very from bookmaker to bookmaker) and all of the major online bookmaker review sites to seek their assistance and lodge a general complaint about the service provided by this bookmaker.

If no money has arrived in the designated period of time, move on to the next step.

Contact the bookmaker review sites and any governing bodies

Exactly which site to contact will depend on where the book is registered, and which bookmaker review sites acknowledge its existence. Sports Book Review and The Online Wire are both very large well established websites that have a lot of influence over US facing books. Bookmakers Review and World Online Sports Bookmakers have a more global outlook and tend to get more of the smaller European, British and Asian books in their ratings guides. So if your bookmaker isn’t rated at SBR, it is not likely that SBR will be much help to you, nor would BMR be much help if your bookmaker isn’t rated with them. If your bookmaker isn’t rated at any of these rating websites – you really shouldn’t be betting with them in the first place – what were you thinking?!?

Dispute Resolution

See FAQ Should I bet with this bookmaker?

Exactly how you contact the bookmaker review sites can be done one of two ways, and you will have to decide this based on your circumstances. If you think you still have a chance of getting your money (because the book is well known, has a reputation to maintain and/or has a C or better rating on average), then usually the best thing to do will be to go to the most appropriate bookmaker review site and submit a complaint/assistance request form or email the site owner with your problem. Then see if they are able to negotiating on your behalf with their stronger position of power.

If this first option still yields no results, or if you don’t think you have a chance in the first place based on your ‘friendly dialogue’, the only thing left to do is to contact all of the ratings sites and submit your complaint to all of them. Hopefully, this will create enough negative publicity for the book that they will really regret screwing you around and find themselves heavily pressured into apologising and paying you your withdrawal in an effort to reduce the negative publicity.


  1. SBR Sportsbook Complaint Form
  2. BMR Complaints Page – information and directions for contact
  3. WOSB Sportsbook Assistance Contact Form
  4. TOW Dispute Assistance Page – email contact provided


There is no way to guarantee payment, but this is the best way I know of to give yourself the best chance of receiving payment. If the bookmaker is genuinely suffering from financial hardship, then unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to help – they can’t pay money they don’t have. If you are really lucky, they may find the money after some time and still complete the payment – but this is rare.

How to Avoid the Problem to Begin With

The reality of the situation is that some online sportsbooks and casinos are run by criminals who will have no problem stealing money from people. Your job as an arber is to minimise your risk by avoiding books that might fall under that category. As well as that, some honest books will go bankrupt from time to time. Again, you need to minimise that risk to the best of your ability by never allowing too much of your bankroll to end up in any one bookmaker, to watch out for warning signs of bookmaker collapse (watch chatter on forums, postings on bookmaker review sites, and any delays in payment processing etc.), and to stick with highly reputable books (well regulated ones too – for example Australia has strict regulations ensuring no bookmaker will ever close down and not be able to pay all of its players).

Everything outside of those two scenarios though, you just have to deal with to the best of your ability, along the lines described above. By doing so, you should usually get your money back by just being patient and diligent.

17 thoughts on “What to do When a Bookmaker Won’t Pay up…

  1. Hello,
    I have a big problem with The Greek Sportsbook. On 7th december 2011 I made 2 same wagers with total 494.89EUR for under 3 goals on the soccer match Excelsior vs AZ Alkmaar from Nederlands Eredivisie on odd 1.59. The first half of this soccer match have been played on 20th November 2011 with the result 0:0 but the second half was postponed for 7th December because of a fog. The Greek Bookmaker knew this fact because they offered so low odd for under 3 goals /1.59/. Their average odd for under 3 goals in any soccer match in Nederlands Eredivisie is about 2.2. The match finished with result 0:0 so I checked my account and there were 786 EUR. After a few days I entered in my account and there were 494,89 EUR!!!!! Immediately I sent a mail to their support and they answered me that they have canceled my bets because they didn’t know that the first half of this match have been played on 20th November???? How it is posible? This is a great lie of their part. Please check their odds for under 3 goals in Nederlands Eredivisie in their sait and you would not find such a low odd. How can they cancel my bets after the end of the soccer match and after their transfer of the money in my account??? I think I am a victim of fraud on their part!!!If they had canceled the bet before the start of the match I would have the opportunity to make the same bet, but with other bookmakers and then there would be no problem. Even they allow to their customers to cancel their bets, but ALWAYS BEFORE THE START OF THE GAME.

  2. I have placed many bets with William Hill, normally an ew canadian on there super plus betting slip. This advertises that a free single for only one winner (must be first selection on ticket) and all selections must run. On numerious occasions I have had only the first section as a winner, with other being placed. The last bet had the first selection a winner at 20/1 with one placed at 12/1. All at 1/4 odds. I was offered £2.40 back.

    1. William Hill are themselves a scam bookie, I know this as I won 600 and they stole it from my account. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT deal with them under any circumstances

  3. BWIN! worst bookies EVER!! I deposited £100 and won £65, I tried to draw it out and was asked to send picture i.d so I sent a pic of my passport. it was refused as they said it was too blurred, i sent another but same response. I then sent a perfect picture but that was then refused as they said it was too large. I made it smaller and the reply was that they have refused it becaus eI have sent too many documents. Not sure I will ever get paid out as when I phoned them I got through to an Indian call centre and the lady couldnt understand me. Anybody got any advice? thanks in advance.

    1. Hello

      My name is Agita Jakubovska,my username on betsafe is darsija5.I registerd on betsafe on 27.04 and deposit 150 eur.I placed 7 succes bets and my winning reach 1780.99eur.I request withdrawl.Henrik Larsson asking for documkents-ID,address bill and payment screenshot(in my case neteller),I sent all this documents(all was OK) and get answer-one more step to verify your account-phone call.On first time when he calling my phonme was out of network.On next day I get call from Latvian support team Janis-he asking 8 or 9 questions-my date of birth,how much I deposit,what was my deposit metod,what is my neteller ID number,on wich game I placed bet on 28 april,what was the odd on this game,what is the league where play this teams and last question was who winning on my last bet on 29.april.On all question I give perfect and corect answers.And Janis sad-OK,than you will get emailas soon as possible.Abaout after one hour I go to my account and I was shocked-all my woinnings was confiscate and deposit (150eur) returned to my neteller account.I go to LIVE chat and asking-whats happen.And Janis answered-You not the one that place the bets and played on the account!!!!
      Perfect busines-if customer lose their deposit or deposits-all OK,if customer win with only one deposit lot of money-confiscate deposit and retun deposit!!

      1. have you followed the advice in this article already? Have you tried everything else to get your winnings back? Naming and shaming a bookmaker should be the last step after they have refused to pay what is rightfully yours.

  4. Bad practise from BET365 on abandoned match.

    I am contacting you because I made a bet on Bet365 :

    1 Dayrout Dayrout v Magagh
    (Fulltime Result) 28/11/2012 None 1.05 Lost

    and the match was abandoned yesterday with fans on the ground. By chat, they confirmed me that the match was abandoned (the was no “whistle signal”). After 24 hours, I still have seetle for this match. It was currently 3-3 at 97 minutes, when the fans enter in the ground.

    On other website,the settled the match abandoned with the same rules as Bet365 (I have have the sportrules on bet365.


    See the result for this match on Ladbrokes :


    But today, Bet365 did not settled the bet VOID but it settled LOST.

    How to solve this issue ?

  5. Do not use Sportspread spread betting bookmaker, based in Dublin, unless you are happy for them to keep your funds and ignore you or give you inaccurate timescales as to when you will receive withdrawals. They are hanging on to nearly €5,000 of my funds. You have been warned!

  6. I placed a bet with will hill’s 5 min markets in football match between 00.00 and 4.59 for a corner in that time. I watched the game and have it recorded. Sunder land win a corner against stoke on 4.45. But William hill says there records show 5.04. I’ve watched it a dozen times and know they are wrong but they are refusing to budge from the result. Usually I wudnt care but when I contacted them about it and explained wat happened I kept hitting a brick wall. I know I’m 100% right. This is not the first time I’ve had to query there in play betting with me actually getting a result changed that they declared lost a week ago. Wat are my next steps when they refuse to budge?

    1. Follow the same steps laid out in the article above. If you know you are right, and can prove it with your recording, then take it up with some regulatory bodies, and then if need be, post it on BMR and SBR and get their help too. Make Will Hill know that you have proof, and are planning on pursuing that until they pay.

  7. hi i hopened ancount with marathonbet & put a£1000 pound in i have won £1500 so far i tryed to make a withdrawer but had too send 3 items of id i have sent it 6 times now its now two weeks later & still no joy & now they have suspened my acount cos off id no way please can you tell me my next step

  8. I have a account with 365 I decided to withdraw £85.20 Whitch I had in my account .i though my funds would be payed into my private account within a couple of days but I was wrong. I started the transaction on the 09/01/2014 I have been in touch by phone and email about 6 or 7 times asking about my funds.customer service support 365 payment seem to have put my funds into card I had registered when I signed up with them,I got in touch again with customer service 365 again and told them the card I registered with them was cancelled by my bank and I had registered my new card I received from my bank with them customer service then sent me a email asking me for my username my security number the first 6 numbers and last 4 numbers on my debit card I had registered ,they also wanted my name .the date of transaction the amount withdrawn.i have given them this information about four times and they still haven’t resolved where my funds have gone. What do I do next to get the funds they Owen.

  9. I went into my local Ladbrokes made a £2 quick slip football bet you pick home draw or away I picked the teams I wanted they all won and at bottom of the slip it says if all selections are correct you win £4860 Ladbrokes said I done a competly different bet and I’m a loser phoned customer services they said nothing they can do said there machine printed wrong bet how do they get away with this?

  10. I placed a quad pot with ladbrokes but due to issue with there tote the bet was not taken so as you do you keep trying it so as I had not luck due issues with it the race went off and didnt get my quad pot on so as I sat down for the race about to put a bet on I found that my money in my account was down £31.50 and could not find where I had gone as my statement showed nothing apart from my single bets placed so as I carried on through the day still £31.50 down I tweeted ladbrokes care to find out if he could put an light on this so I got a reply that there was pool bets made he told me if I was not happy with this connect customers support but the problem was I was happy as the bet won and I just waited for it to be in my account so I waited and still no money in my account so the next day I phoned them and asked them but they had no record of the bet so it must of been night time by now and still no payment so I spoke to someone on there online chat told yes got your bet in front of me told it won and I put it on 14 times I said I can’t believe it how lucky was that so she said sorry for your wait and credit my account with £31.50 so as I told her that the bet came to more than that her reply was you didn’t mean to place the bet 14 times so my reply was but you took the money so I was fuming with this and phoned customer service and they had there investigation team looking at it so a day past and they phoned me while I was out and told me the bet never won and we give you your stake money back as a good will so I got home check my selection and they where winners so I phoned them asked them to tell me my bet and I told them the results and he said yes It won they are now telling me that I am only getting paid out on one and all the others are void

  11. Hi,

    I have a big problem. I have some money on sirbobet and it has been 3 months to withdraw. they told me that the company is going to close and will effect payment in the order of priority. how can I make this company withdraw my funds since I need them.


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