Sports betting in the United States has increased steadily since the Supreme Court overturned anti-sports betting legislation in May. While many states (and gamers) rejoiced and prepared for legal gaming to commence, problems are already surfacing. Just as sports gaming is getting underway across the US some sportsbooks have been accused of banning players from betting. Players who appear to win more often than they lose are now losing the privilege to gamble.
The United Kingdom, which has had sportsbooks for a long time, has a history of banning players who win more often than others. This is a serious issue in the UK, to the point that groups are lobbying gaming businesses to stop prohibiting winning players. Research into UK sportsbooks shows that 50,000 sports betting accounts in the last five years were closed due to excessive winning. Approximately 50,000 more users have had their maximum betting limit cut to the lowest possible minimum to discourage big bets.
Casinos in Nevada exercise their absolute right to ban players from their casinos for any reason, without justification. Casinos often ban people for obnoxious and loud behavior, counting cards or cheating, and public drunkenness or fighting. However, some casinos readily admit to banning players when they win too much money.
The Allegations Against William Hill
William Hill is a UK-based company that is expanding across the United States, with locations in Nevada and New Jersey. William Hill, founded in 1934, is the largest bookmaker in the US, with 100,000 customers and 100 locations. However, William Hill has been criticized for banning sports gamers in the UK, and now they are accused of banning gamers in the US. Several media outlets are reporting that William Hill has been banning gamers in Nevada based on their winning decisions. A couple of players have reported that the company has banned them in both its Nevada and New Jersey sportsbooks.
The Other Sportsbooks in Nevada
While William Hill is known for banning excessive winners, not all sportsbooks are as strict (William Hill denies banning winning players). Researchers have reported that some sportsbooks take fairly large wagers from any bettor in good standing with the sportsbook.
Other sportsbooks rank their bettors, noticing when they break even, when they lose excessively and when they win consistently. Sportsbooks observe their players closely to look for irregularities in their betting, and only ban them if they are caught cheating.
Not all sportsbooks are allowed to ban people from betting, unless they can prove players have cheated. For example, New Jersey sportsbooks cannot ban players for winning, but only when cheating is proven. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are also looking to ban sportsbooks from blacklisting bettors for winning more than they lose. However, experts recognize that there is a fine line between businesses making a profit and gamers having rights. Walking the fine line is what gambling businesses are trying to do.
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