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What happens to your money if a gambling business goes bust

Information on what happens to your money in the case of insolvency or a gambling business going bust

Published: 23 September 2020

Last updated: 5 October 2021

This version was printed or saved on: 23 February 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/public-and-players/guide/what-happens-to-your-money-if-a-gambling-business-goes-bust

Overview: Money staked or deposited with a gambling business is not protected by the Commission or government the way that personal bank accounts are.

Any gambling business you make a bet with must tell you whether your money has any protection in case they were to go bust.

This guide will tell you about the three different ways a gambling business may treat your money, where to find this information, and what we require of gambling businesses. This should help you to make informed decisions on which gambling businesses to gamble with based on how they treat your money.

It is important to note that although online gambling businesses licensed by us must keep customer funds in a separate account, there is no guarantee that this will ensure that customers get any of their money back if the business runs into financial difficulties. Those using gambling businesses do so at their own risk.

What we require of gambling businesses

We require gambling businesses to:

When we license a gambling business we look at suitability, including their financial circumstances. We do not oversee their businesses on a day-to-day basis or monitor the financial health of companies directly in real time.

Information on customer funds (your money)

The following bullet points explain what is considered to be your money (or 'customer funds').

The type of money that is covered by protections (if any) offered by gambling businesses include:

Open bets

An ‘open bet’ is where the customer has paid money for a bet and the event on which the bet has been placed has not yet occurred.

Money staked within open bets is not considered to be customer funds and is therefore not covered by any arrangements the gambling business has in place to protect customer funds if it goes bust.

Gambling businesses must select one of these ratings:

Where you can find this information

The gambling business must make it clear which rating applies to customer funds in their terms and conditions.

Are operators required to hold my money in a UK bank account?

Gambling businesses are legally allowed to hold your money in overseas bank accounts. However, this does not affect your rights. Money in your account will be treated in line with any protection in place.

If your money is not protected

Any money in your account would be classed as part of the gambling company’s assets if it went bust.

You would likely lose any money in your account.

What you will see in the terms and conditions

It should be clear from your company’s terms and conditions if your money is not protected.

The exact wording varies from company to company. However, an example would look something like the following.

Example of a statement for no protection:

"These funds are not protected in the event of insolvency: not protected segregation."

If your money has medium protection

The gambling business has made arrangements to protect your money if they go bust. There are different ways to do this, for example, by having insurance.

However, it is not absolutely guaranteed that you will get your money back if the business goes bust.

What you will see in the terms and conditions

It should be clear from the company’s terms and conditions that your money has the medium level of protection.

The exact wording varies from company to company. However, an example would look something like the following.

Example of a statement for medium protection:

“Customer funds are kept in accounts separate from business accounts; and arrangements have been made to ensure assets in the customer accounts are distributed to customers in the event of insolvency. This meets the Gambling Commission’s requirements for the segregation of customer funds at the level: medium protection.”

If your money has high protection

Your money is held in a separate account, and is legally recognised as separate from the business. The money in your account is controlled by an independent trustee and is also checked by an external auditor.

You have the highest level of protection and the best chance of getting your money back if the business goes bust.

What you will see in the terms and conditions

It should be clear from the company’s terms and conditions that your money has a high level of protection.

The exact wording varies from company to company. However, an example would look something like the following:

Example of a statement for high protection:

"Customer funds are held in a formal trust account which is legally and in practice separate from the affairs of the company; and is verified by and subject to controls by an independent trustee or external auditor. This arrangement meets the Gambling Commission's requirements for the protection of customer funds at the level: high."