Cashing Out – sometimes described as Cashing In – is where a bookmaker makes an offer to effectively buy back the bet you placed at an earlier stage.
Different bookmakers have different methods for displaying cash out offers. If a customer wants to accept the offer, they have to click on the cash out value and – usually – click another button to confirm the deal.
Most disputes IBAS receives about cash out come where customers have wanted to cash out but been unable to. Perhaps, because they have tried pressing the button but found it unresponsive. Sometimes, because the bookmaker has made no cash out offers at all relating to the match in question.
The Panel view a cash out transaction almost like a bet in its own right, a second, follow up bet. The first (original) bet is a prediction that something will happen. Cashing out is much like betting again that you have changed your mind and it won’t - or at least that you're less confident about the outcome than you originally were.
IBAS doesn’t believe that anyone should rely on cash out being available. It is a helpful option for some bettors to have, but no bookmaker does – or really should – guarantee that it will always be available. Some bookmakers complicate the situation by advertising that you can ‘cash out whenever you like’ but we accept that this claim relies on the technology working.
Unless there were exceptional circumstances we would not agree that a bet should be cancelled because it was struck on the basis that cash out would be available. We would usually say that once the bet has run its course and you have had the chance for it to be a winner, you can't reasonably ask for a full refund afterwards.
Nor would we usually accept that a cash out request should be honoured if it isn’t processed. If the website or app told you that a cash out request had been processed when it actually hadn't we would see that as a reason to intervene, but if you have not been told that your cash out request has been processed then we would almost always say that your original bet stands. By the same measure, we wouldn't accept an unconfirmed cash out attempt as good reason for the bookmaker not to pay you out in full if the original bet went on to be successful.
In many ways, cash out disputes are similar to complaints that a bookmaker has failed to accept your bet. The principles are the same, if the bet had lost the bookmaker would have no right to claim the stake money from you afterwards. So equally, the bookmaker can’t reasonably be forced to owe you winnings if a bet you tried to place, or cash out you tried to accept, was never processed.
If the dispute is about whether the cash out value is the correct one you accepted, or a fair one, or if you have accepted a cash out offer that the bookmaker subsequently claims was made in error, then our Panel would look carefully at the facts and circumstances of the situation to reach an adjudication.