Online Sportsbook Rules | Prohibited Practices

Every sports bettor is always looking for an edge against the online sportsbooks they bet with. It is part of the game and an accepted practice in the overall sports betting industry. Sometimes you can catch a bad line on a game or gain an edge on a late scratch from the starting lineup. Creating an edge against the books are subtle tactics that slightly tip the scales in the betting public’s favor.


Gaining an edge through collusion, cheating, fraud and actual criminal activity is obviously not a subtle tactic and there are certain rules in place that define this type of activity. Every online sportsbook takes prohibited practices extremely seriously and they are dealt with in a fast and usually harsh manner.

At the very least the offending betting account will be immediately closed along with the confiscation of any remaining funds. Accounts can also be suspended upon an investigation into any suspected foul play.

One of the most common forms of account fraud is the abuse of any bonus offers and other promotions. Players have often tried to ‘game the system’ when it comes to the normal rollover requirements associated with every online sportsbook bonus offer.

Some of the most common examples of this prohibited practice include:

– Making a deposit to receive a bonus without any betting activity of those funds

– Making a withdrawal for the sole purpose of re-depositing those funds

– Betting both sides of a single event to achieve rollover requirements

– Fraudulent account referrals

– Denying any deposits made to an account with the credit/debit card company

A more obvious form of fraud would be the use of any stolen, cloned or unauthorized credit/debit cards for making a deposit into a betting account. That is considered to be theft and it could result in criminal charges as well.

One prohibited practice that may be much more commonly employed by sports bettors is the use of any type of third-party computer software for making bets. Online sportsbooks are not all that keen on players using “sports betting systems” to make their picks just like the casinos are always on the lookout for card counters playing Blackjack.

If you do employ any third-party betting software or any type of betting system, you will probably want to consult the specific rules on this matter at the book where the bets will be placed. Some online books will also address the use of professional handicapping selection services when placing bets.

If you're considering a handicapping service, we strongly recommend Game Advisers

If you’re considering a handicapping service, we strongly recommend Game Advisers

These types of practices are much harder to detect, although an excessive winning streak or several high-unit hits may raise the book’s level of suspicion. Most books will refer to this practice as causing an “unfair advantage”.

The following is a direct quote from a prominent online book covering “prohibited practices” in a rather broad stroke:

“Any actual or attempted act by you which is reasonably deemed by us to be illegal in any applicable jurisdiction, made in bad faith, or intended to defraud us and/or circumvent any contractual or legal restrictions, regardless of whether such act or attempted act actually causes us any damage or harm.”

Also Read – Online Sportsbook Rules | Online Account Security

There are other rules in place covering a bettor’s conduct in terms of abusive or offensive language when it pertains to chat areas or open forums on the site as well as when dealing with the book’s customer service staff. Using a site’s chat area or player forum as a means of advertising any third-party products or services is considered to be a prohibited practice.

The typical online sportsbook caters to recreational sports bettors looking to place some action on the games. When a book suspects it is dealing with a pro or someone aided by a third-party source you can guarantee it will be closely monitoring that betting account and suspend the account without notice.

Posted May 26th, 2019

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