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What Does It Mean to Be ”Backed off” by a Sportsbook?


So, you get an email saying,”We appreciate your previous business, we have decided to no longer maintain our business relationship with yo” and have no idea what just happened. You have been “backed of” – meaning you can no longer conduct business with this sportsbook.

How does this happen, and what can you do to fix this incredible mistake the sportsbook has made?

I mean, don’t they know who I am?

And how dare they do this?

You may want to take up the cause and contact them (continuously) until you get an answer and reinstated.

Sorry to say but good luck with that.

Why Did This Happen to Me!

The simple truth is that I am in a game with another entity that makes all the rules, and I have no input in the structure of said rules. They have their reasons for all of their rules, and one thing that has never been an obvious reason is that I am losing too much money.

Generally, these things occur after a series of unusually big wins, whether I am operating in the red overall or not. Some of the reasons are valid, but they will never give me the specific reason – no matter how often I ask.

This sounds like my last bad relationship where she left when I was utterly content. The best thing for me to do is to accept it and move on. If I know what I did, it is wise that I discontinue doing it – or at least find a way of not getting caught.

Screen Scraping

For you computer savvy guys, screen scraping is screen capturing the odds from numerous sites and then converting them from visual to text formats. I use these odds to wager quickly into a site that is lagging. This allows me to stay ahead of the game without tons of research into specific events or players.

It also allows me to look at numerous types of sports bets involving games that I know little to nothing about. The reasons this type of behavior is frowned upon may be obvious, but I need to realize that the average gambler, who is doing tons of research, has a clear disadvantage, and the sites deem this as an unfair advantage. Plus, I am winning more than the others.

While it may seem the book will be upset with having to pay the scraper off, the money, in this case, is not the prime reason for being backed off.

Look at how poker rooms look for bots. These bots have ruined many poker rooms to the point that there are some I will never play again.

They catch scrapers by looking at multiple requests from each individual IP address and putting them into an exception report. If you want to do scrape, you better be using a proxy server to route your requests through multiple IP addresses. This will prevent your original IP from being unrecognized for numerous requests, and I will not end up on an exception report.

Sharing Accounts

While sharing an account is certainly not illegal, real money sportsbooks have extreme disdain for people sharing accounts. Sportsbooks have specific dialogue in their terms stating that only the account holder may place bets, and I signed this agreement before using the site.

Bookmakers have created algorithms that issue exceptions reports to a department that continuously evaluate customer risks based on betting patterns related to multiple users.

These same departments attempt to dictate through exception reports accounts at high risk for professional management of accounts. When the accounts are determined to be shared, they can take several actions. And the first action may be stake limits on my action. They may also begin to refuse specific bets and can even close the account if they believe the evidence is strong enough.

This again is to not only reduce losses but also to keep the game fair for the rest of us who do not have a professionally managed account. If they discover by some weird chance that you have someone using your account that has been “backed off,” they will close the account no questions asked.

I Won Too Big

First of all, saying “I won too big” is not part of my vocabulary, but I guess from the bookmaker’s side, “I lost too big,” might be something I can understand.

If you are a professional at sports betting and tend to win big and frequently, you are in jeopardy of getting “backed off.

To avoid this, you have to play the game a little bit differently to get the most overall return. You can make sure to keep bets under the limits and place a few long odds bets. This will deflect from the fact that you are professional, and your wins will seem more along the lines of a good novice gambler.

Promotions and Bonuses

If I only bet on promotions and bonuses, there is a chance of repercussions from the sportsbook. These items are in place to bring in new business, and once I am in the book, they tend to frown on me placing a majority of my wagers using promotions and bonuses.

I have to also place wagers on events that are not tied to bonuses, and then I can still place wagers using the bonus offers. There is no specific percentage from a monetary standpoint, but I tend to keep bonus bets less than 50% of my total wagers.

Using More than One Account

If you want your account closed quickly, set up a couple of accounts and use both for betting bonuses. Sportsbooks hate this and will close you quicker than you can read the email. One of the methods they use for tracking this is your IP address.

However, there can also be many duplicate items in your accounts that can easily be matched using a deduplication algorithm. Once spotted, your accounts will be flagged for detailed monitoring, and if found to be used by the same owner by bet timing or wager size, they both will be closed.

Arbitrage and Weird Amounts

Arbitrage is when I am betting the event both ways based on the large gap between odds from two different sportsbooks. These bets will allow me to cash in regardless of the outcome, and these quite frankly are easy to spot by the sportsbook.

I may be betting weird amounts on each based on my analysis of the gap. Weird amounts in and of themselves are flagged in exception reports as high-risk accounts, so bet round numbers. You may want to spend some additional time looking around the site to avoid timing detection.

If I quickly log on, place a bet, and log out, I am probably not an average bettor. Most non-professional gamblers will look through the site, occasionally watch an event, or make several different bets. To avoid being flagged in the exception reports, I need to look around a little and perhaps do some research.

Excessive Use of Account Funds

I am not talking about excessive use of betting through the sportsbook. I am talking about continually adding and removing cash from my account. When I add or withdraw money from my account the site has to pay a fee to the payment processor.

These costs may not seem trivial to me but can mount up for the sportsbook, and when we are talking a few points here or there, we are talking about their livelihood. This means that I should facilitate these transactions when needed and make these transactions when really needed, and this means not anything close to a daily basis.


I hope this gave you some insight to successful wagering and keeping your account in good standing with your sportsbook. If your account gets closed because you raked in a couple of huge bets, I guess you will at least be able to accept it.

This might have also given you some great ideas about how to trick the system, but believe me, they will be only temporary tricks. Doing these things will land you on an exception report and labeled as a high risk, which, if it’s anything like the real police, means bad news for your account.

It is always best to keep a personal log of your wagers so you can identify any of these patterns building, and you want to know any sucker patterns you have been falling victim when losing bets. Hopefully, you are profitable and not needing to add and remove resources regularly to your account.

Try to keep within limits, take care with arbitrage, only use one account, do not share an account, limit resource transactions, try not to bet weird amounts, and please don’t abuse the bonuses.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. …

View all posts by Michael Stevens

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