There are a few reasons why someone might have placed a bet by accident. Perhaps they were trying to figure out how a new website that they haven’t used before works, for example. Or maybe they added something to their bet slip, changed their mind but pressed the wrong button and placed the bet rather than removed it from the slip altogether.
The simple answer to whether you can get a refund or not is that bets cannot be cancelled once they have been placed, but some bookmakers will allow you to Cash Out your wager. If you realise quickly enough you can often Cash Out for the same amount as your original stake, so it’s essentially the equivalent of getting a refund as long as the event hasn’t taken place.
Failing that you can contact them, if the event has not yet gone live most will allow a bet to be cancelled if they believe it is a genuine error. If you do this regularly though or try to cancel a bet and then place it immediately again at better odds then it is unlikely a bookmaker will refund you again.
Reasons For Placing Bets Accidentally
There are a whole host of reasons why someone might have placed a bet accidentally. We’re not talking silly excuses like ‘whoops, I slipped’ here. Instead, we’re talking legitimate mistakes that happen from time to time. One of the most obvious ones would be a bet on a horse to win a race where you’ve placed it To Win and you intended to place an Each-Way wager.
Or how about an ante-post bet on an event that isn’t taking place for a year when you meant to bet on something coming up in the next couple of days? Perhaps you were meaning to bet on the Champions League but you bet on the Europa League instead by mistake. In the world of football there are loads of mistakes that can be made when it comes to placing bets.
You might wonder why the odds on Manchester City to win the Premier League are so good, only to realise that you accidentally bet on ‘To Win Without Liverpool’, say. Perhaps you’ve placed a wager on the Half-Time Result when you thought you were doing so on the Match Result, such is the confusing nature of seeing loads of different betting options on a game.
Contact Your Bookmaker Of Choice ASAP
If you’ve somehow contrived to place a bet accidentally then the first port of call is the bookmaker that you placed the wager with. Each bookie has their own terms and conditions, so you won’t know if there’s any leeway unless you ask them. One thing we can tell you with a relative degree of certainty is that you won’t be able to get your stake back if the event has already started or has finished and you lost.
If you can offer definitive proof that your account was used without your knowledge or permission then there’s a chance that you might have a case for a refund, but it’s unlikely. Equally you’d have to be able to prove that the betting company you placed your wager with had misled you in order to even have your argument heard by those that consider these matters.
The sooner you get in touch with the bookie that you placed the bet with, the more chance there is of them doing something to help you out. Though some bookmakers refer to their legal obligations in not cancelling a wager once it’s been placed, there are some things that they’re able to do. They can declare it void, for example, which will see you receive your stake back in full.
They will also be able to guide you through your various options, including whether they offer a Cash Out option or if you’re able to Edit Your Bet in anyway. Essentially, whatever options are open to you will be known to the customer services personnel that you speak with, so go on the live chat or phone them up as soon as you notice your error.
The Unfair One-Way Street Of Cancelled Bets
The one irony of betting companies making it really difficult for you to cancel your bet once it’s been placed is that they reserve the right to cancel a bet at any time and for any reason. The customer is responsible for ensuring that their wager is correct before placing it, with most bookmakers saying that a bet ‘cannot be cancelled once placed’.
A bet is essentially a contact, you agree to pay a stake and they agree to pay you winnings if that scenario happens. Legally therefore you have agreed to the terms of the site when you joined and entered into a contract with them, even if you did not mean to. Therefore, unfortunately, operators are within their rights to refuse to cancel a wager.
Whilst you can’t change your mind about a wager placed, most companies will have something in their small print that declares that they reserve the right ‘to void and/or reverse any transactions made’. It feels unfair, but it’s the problem of dealing with companies that can essentially set their own rules and if you don’t like it then tough luck.
There are a whole host of legitimate reasons why they might cancel your bet, of course, including the odds offered being incorrect, the event that you bet on being considered ‘suspicious’ or even an event being difficult for them to grade. Ultimately, though, it still feels unfair that they’re able to cancel bets willy-nilly and you’re not, so it’s not unheard of for punters to feel aggrieved.
Using The Cash Out Function
The one and only definite way that you can get your stake back, even though it’s not technically the same as cancelling the bet, is by using the Cash Out function. If a bookmaker offers this then it allows you to Cash Out your bet and take what’s offered to you instead of letting the bet ride. In the vast majority of cases the Cash Out amount will be the same as your stake if you are trying to cash out immediately after placement.
There are some things that will stop that from being the case, however. One of the most obvious is that the event has started before you attempt to Cash Out. In this instance, everything will have changed with the market and this will mean that you’re unlikely to get your stake back in full via the Cash Out method. It makes sense when you look at the possibilities. Even if the event has not gone live if the odds have changed it can mean the cash out amount will drop lower than your stake before you’ve managed to cash out.
Let’s imagine that you’ve accidentally placed a bet on the home team winning at half-time when you meant to bet on them winning the match. The away team scores in the first 5 minutes of the game, therefore making the bet on the home side winning the first-half more unlikely. The offer you get for your Cash Out will be far lower than your original stake.
Sometimes events are not eligible for the Cash Out function. This can be due to things such as the odds changing, the event starting or a suspension of the market. In this instance, you’ll almost certainly just have to let your bet ride and hope for the best. All in all, though, using Cash Out remains the best way of ‘cancelling’ your bet, albeit by another name.
Even if you cannot get your whole stake back with cash-out you can at least get a proportion and something is better than nothing. There are also cases when you place a bet and the odds then decrease meaning your cash out value can be higher than the stake, in this situation you may even get more than your stake back.