BetFred, which is very well-known UK betting brand name due in no small part to the larger than life billionaire owner Fred Done. Fred together with his brother Peter built up what has now become a household name in the gambling industry.
Even a much-loved company (well as loved as any bookie can be) can ruin its reputation in no time at all with a few bad decisions. Non-pay out of punters money is probably the biggest cardinal sin any bookie can commit.
How did it all start?
When MoPlay went bust recently Betfred bought MoPlay’s customer list and pledged to pay out MoPlay customers outstanding balances, which had been frozen meaning punters could not withdraw their money.
Many opertaors have terms and conditions that state that “in the event of insolvency” your funds are not guaranteed. This always comes as a shock to punters and many were surprised to find this out when matchbook closed to trading while under investigation by the Gaming Board. See a good article about Matchbooks issues here.
However, it seems that BetFred is reneging on that promise.
About one hundred and eighty thousand MoPlay customer accounts were believed to have been moved over to BetFred recently. What is not clear though is how many accounts didn’t get moved over and exactly why they didn’t.
Many of those MoPlay/Betfred punters have been complaining that their account money didn’t get moved across.
For the most part the accounts that didn’t get moved seem to be MoPlay restricted accounts and customers who are already with BetFred but whose account was already restricted by BetFred.
In other words we will help you if you are a consistent loser but if you know what you’re doing we don’t want to help you because we can’t make money from you seems to be the message.
One punter who complained to the Justice4Punters website had £27k in his MoPlay account. I’d be apoplectic with rage if I got stiffed for £27,000.
“We’ve received a fair number of complaints,” said Brian Chappell from the Justice4Punters website and they all have the same problem. “they have restricted betting accounts, be that with MoPlay and/or with BetFred”.
Betfred commented “Our actions to date are 100% in accordance with the terms of the contract with the liquidator and for those customers who did not migrate we are directing them to the liquidator to submit a claim in the liquidation.”
The Gambling Commission needs to stop the practise of allowing online bookies to opt between the three levels of protection when it comes to client money.
Currently the protection they offer can either be high, medium, or not protected when it comes to a bookmaker being insolvent.
Here at AlbionRacing we believe customer funds should always be 100% ringfenced and always offered maximum protection under the law.
For further reading on this there is a very good article in the Guardian about it here.