It’s common for people to want to place a bet, but not everyone has opened a betting account. When that is the case, they might know someone who does have a betting account and ask them to let them use it to place a wager. In short, this is not allowed and it is specifically written into the terms and conditions of betting websites that letting someone else use your account could end up with it being shut down and any winnings withheld.
There are numerous reasons why it’s problematic to let someone else use your account, not the least of which is the possibility of disputes over any winnings amounts. Imagine that you’ve let your friend use your account, their bet has won and you’ve suddenly got £50,000 sitting in your account. The temptation to take that money for yourself might prove too much, so bookies would prefer it wasn’t there in the first place.
Obviously that is at the more innocent end of the spectrum, there are other reasons people may want to use your betting account such as to launder money. It is a legal responsibility for betting companies to prevent this and therefore they have stringent terms that state only the account holder can use an account and bet through it. Find out more below. If you want to read about whether it allowed for someone else to give you money to bet with see our dedicated page.
Why You Can’t Let Someone Use Your Account
One of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission’s biggest fights is against fraud and money laundering. It is because of this that companies signing up to be licensed by the UKGC have to sign up to a set of rules and regulations aimed at stopping both things from happening. Part of that includes the various betting companies knowing who it is that is depositing money and placing bets with their site.
This is why companies have it written into their terms and conditions that you will not allow anyone else to use your betting account. The second that you do, the bookmaker or casino that you bet with doesn’t know who the bettor is nor where the money has come from that was used to place the wager in question, meaning that they’re breaking the terms of their gambling licence.
When it is spelt out like this, you can understand why it is that a betting company would sooner close your account than potentially lose their own licence. It’s vitally important that they’re able to say with confidence that they know where all money they accept is coming from and who it is that is using their accounts, with large fines handed out to bookmakers that fall foul of either of these important aspects of their licence.
A Legal Obligation
Gambling companies are watched extremely closely by the Gambling Commission, with the governing body for the industry keen to make the UK’s betting market one of the most trusted in the world. A big part of that involves companies having a legal obligation to identify who it is that is placing bets with them and where the money wagered is coming from. It’s not just that they like to make things difficult for punters.
Bettors not only need to prove who they are to a betting company but also that they are of a legal age to allow them to place bets. If it wasn’t against the rules to let someone place a bet using your account, there’s nothing to stop someone letting a minor place a bet, say, or someone that has already self-excluded from having a betting account of their own. That’s why bookmakers and casinos need to know who is using accounts on their sites.
Money Laundering Is A Problem
The other big thing that the UKGC is trying to avoid happening on licensed betting sites is money laundering. Those that have acquired money illegally need to do what they can to ‘wash’ that money so that it appears as if it was gained legally. One way to do this is to place a bet on a both outcomes in a two-way market with roughly even odds, meaning that they’re all but guaranteed to get the majority of their money returned back to them by a bookmaker.
When the money is returned to the punter, it is ‘clean’ and no longer the result of ill-gotten gains. If it was legal to allow someone else to use your betting account, you could agree with someone to ‘wash’ their money in exchange for a small fee. The Gambling Commission needs to avoid this from happening wherever possible, with the best way of doing so being to not allow people to use accounts that aren’t their own.
A Case In Point
There was an example of a company refusing to pay out on winnings that they thought had come from a third-party back in 2016. In that instance, a 19-year-old student named Megan McCann had opened a betting account and placed a wager of nearly £25,000 on 12 horses, which won. The Lucky 15 should have paid out just shy of £1 million, but the betting company refused to pay out, saying the funds had come from a third party.
McCann actually ending up taking Bet365 to court over the incident, with the case being discontinued before it was due to return, leading some to speculate that there had been an out of court settlement over the issue. Regardless of whether that was the case or not, it’s easy to see why it is that it’s really important not to allow someone else to use your account. In this instance, McCann might have lost out on hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Why Would You Want To Use Someones Account?
The obvious question still to ask about this particular topic comes in the form of why you’d want to let someone else use your account anyway. Given that you’re at risk of having your account shut down if it gets discovered that someone else has been using it, it is a big risk to take for very little reward. The answer in most cases comes in the form of a betting company’s decision to discriminate against successful punters.
It is well known that betting companies and casinos will often limit the accounts of customers that are particularly successful at placing bets, even going so far as to shut them down altogether. When that happens, said punters will often ask family members or spouses to open accounts for them so that they can carry on betting. It makes sense to allow them to do so, but it comes with a wealth of risks involved.
Obviously betting with someone else account is something that happens with innocent motivations for most. One of the most common reasons is for something like the Grand National where you might have an account and place bets for friends and family. This kind of one-off situation is unlikely to land you in trouble but if you are discovered you are still breaking the terms of the betting company and could face a closed account or worse. The best thing to do is to help someone set up their own account if they want to bet but don’t know how (assuming they are over 18 and can legally bet in the UK).