What do limitations mean on Sportsbooks?

Understanding the Industry 

The betting industry works in a different way than most punters think. The existence of limitations also has different reasons and isn’t – always – a cut on losses or practice of risk management.  

But what is a limitation anyway? Betting limits are the maximum amount of stake allowed to each bet. The limits may be different to different accounts, and of course, different operators.  

The nature of a sports wager, in terms of business, is that the bookmaker originally was responsible for physical books in the very distant past. Taking bets depended on people betting on both sides of an outcome, otherwise, the house would be actively betting against the punters, and that isn’t their business. 

Organizing the market is the business of bookmakers. That being said, there are numerous factors related to that activity that can cause profits or losses for the house in the long run. 

League Limits 

The basic form of limitation of the industry is related to the characteristics of each sports event: the most prestigious an event is, the bigger the limits will be. The reason is simple: events that have more sources of information about them allow the odds compiler of the bookies to make better estimations – it’s all about risk management in that sense. 

Bigger punters will usually skip lower leagues because the bookies don’t take major bets there – while the punting syndicates can easily set networks of researchers across the globe to milk as much value as possible from the odds, the major bets usually mean the punter means business, i.e. a good research is underlying that bet or maybe there’s some monkey business going on such as bribes to referees and at times even players – poorer players are always more susceptible to bribes, and that explains the lower limits in general. 

Even considering all the factors above, limits for lower league have been growing in the past years as more sources of free or cheap streaming are becoming available to games of lesser importance and a live streaming usually means the people involved in the game – players, match officials, manager – as well as the punters themselves won’t be tempted to do anything dirty as acts of corruption are lesser likely to happen at televised events. 

In fact, it is interesting to note that some blatant cases of corruption are now easily spotted by keeping an eye at the betting markets: generally speaking, major odd changes in markets like Asian Handicap are only explained by money injection in the market. We had a notable case a few years ago in which the owner of a prestigious betting syndicate called the Daily Telegraph to tell FIFA to act upon a suspicious game.  

Personal Gaming Account Limitations 

There are usually only two explanations to limitations at the account: the house really doesn’t want to pay prizes or they believe the punter may be involved in corruption as we described above. 

Some bookmakers, like the Asian ones, are proud to take bets of winning punters and that is kind of forcing the betting markets of retail operators to take more and more winning bets and focus on taking a cut of the bets instead of just attracting losing punters. 

The competition among operators is always good for the customer and the limitations of accounts are a good example of that. 

If you are restricted by an operator, usually the best thing to do is shift part of your betting volume elsewhere.