Bookies Not Paying Out: What To Do If They Won’t Pay?

As ardent bettors, we revel in the entertainment of placing a bet and the fun of winning. Yet, half the battle lies in successfully withdrawing our winnings. 

There are instances when a betting company may refuse to pay out on a bet. This situation can be frustrating and disconcerting, especially when we are uncertain of our rights and the recourse available to us.

This Casino Beasts blog explores the scenarios when bookies can stop payouts, and offers guidance on what to do if you unfortunately find yourself in such a predicament.

Can Bookmakers Refuse To Pay Out?

Yes, bookmakers can refuse to pay out, but only under specific circumstances. 

For example, they may suspect fraudulent activities, like attempting to exploit free bet offers using multiple accounts or a violation of their terms and conditions. It is essential to remember that bookmakers must have a valid, irrefutable reason for stopping a potential withdrawal.

Stopping Your Own Withdrawal: Reverse Withdrawal

Interestingly, there could be instances when you may want to cancel your own withdrawal. This is known as a reverse withdrawal. 

Reasons for opting for reverse withdrawal typically include wanting to continue betting with one’s winnings instead of cashing out. Most bookmakers allow you to cancel your withdrawal within a certain timeframe, typically 24 hours.

However, it is advisable to check the terms and conditions of your specific bookmaker to be sure.

Additionally, as of 2020, reverse withdrawal was and is currently banned in the UK by the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission).

What To Do If a Bookie Won’t Pay You?

If a bookmaker refuses to pay out, it could be an extremely stressful situation. However, remember that you have several avenues open if this occurs. 

Initially, you could contact the bookmaker’s customer service to try and clarify the situation. They are legally obligated to pay out any winning bets, so it’s crucial to understand why they are refusing.

If direct contact with the bookmaker fails to resolve the issue, you may escalate the situation to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).

The Role of IBAS

IBAS is a UK-based dispute resolution service that can mediate on your behalf to try and resolve any unpaid bet disputes. However, you must provide evidence that you’ve met all the conditions and broken no laws.

In extreme cases where both the bookmaker and IBAS cannot resolve the issue, you could potentially consider legal action. While this should usually be the last resort due to the associated costs and time, it has proven successful in some cases.

Do Bookies Have To Pay Out By Law?

In the UK, when a bet is placed with a bookmaker, it’s considered a legally binding agreement. The bookmaker is obligated to pay out any winnings. This regulation is enforced by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which ensures that all bookmakers comply with the law and operate with fair and legal practices.

Yet, there are situations where bookies can refuse to pay out. These usually involve a violation of the terms and conditions, evidence of fraud or manipulation, or a pricing error on the bookmaker’s part.

Why a Bookie Might Cancel a Withdrawal

There are several reasons why a bookie might potentially cancel a withdrawal. Some of these include suspicion of unfair or fraudulent activities, violation of their terms and conditions, or even an error on their part.

For instance, let’s consider an error made with the betting market or the price in question. The bookmaker can’t void bets at will, but they may void these types of bets if there is an obvious error.

An ‘obvious’ error could be when you’ve backed something at odds of 100/1 when all other bookmakers were offering odds of 10/1.


While bookmakers can potentially cancel a withdrawal and keep your money, they must have a valid reason to do so. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s essential to understand your rights and the steps you can take to try and resolve the issue. 

Always remember to gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose.

DISCLAIMER - Offers listed on Casino Beasts are subject to change. Free bets and casino offers are subject to terms and conditions. Please be sure to check T&Cs thoroughly on the relevant websites before taking part in a promotion.

Please gamble responsibly and only play with what you can afford to lose.

BeGambleAware Logo
GamStop Logo
18 Plus Only Icon