Sky Bet Addresses Racing Fans’ Backlash with Minimum Bet to Win Limit

Sky Bet has become the largest online bookmaker to offer a minimum bet to win guarantee on top-tier horse races.

 Horse racing.

Racing fans will now have a minimum bet to win limit of £500 on top-tier races at Sky Bet. (Image: Virgin Experience Days)

Following a growing wave of discontent from punters, the operator will allow everyone to place any sized wager so long as the potential payout doesn’t exceed £500. Announced on September 3, the move is designed to quell the recent backlash against bookmakers restricting winning customers to small stakes bets.

Better Betting Conditions for Top-Tier Races

As per the new rules, Sky Bet’s minimum bet to win feature will be available for from 10am on the day of all Class 1 and Class 2 to races. Additionally, the guarantee only applies to singles or the win portion of an each-way bet.

Finally, the offer won’t be applicable to multiway bets. In practice, this means bettors can stake as much as they like as long as their potential return on a single win isn’t more than £500.

For example, if a horse is priced at even money (1:1) the maximum bet would be £500. Conversely, if the horse is priced at 5:1, a customer’s wager would be capped at £100.

Commenting on the new feature, The Horseracing Bettors Forum said it was glad to see changes being made but more could be done.

“While not as comprehensive a provision as some, it is a further step in the right direction, and another operator prepared to allow previously restricted customers to have a reasonable bet on some races,” the representative body tweeted on September 3.

It’s Good but It’s Not Enough

Coral and Ladbrokes have implemented a similar system in recent weeks, with a bet to win guarantee up to £500 on Class 4 races with provisions to increase this to £5,000. However, while those deals are available to betting shop customers, Sky Bet is the largest online operator to make the move.

The main issue for racing fans over the last decade has been increased restrictions on their betting activities. Although anecdotal, a number of high-volume bettors have reported having their maximum stake limited to less than £1, while others have had their accounts closed.

Although UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) licensing conditions permit operators to handle accounts as they see fit, critics have called for the regulator to investigate the situation further.

“Bookies are slowly waking up to the unfairness and bad publicity that surrounds banning every savvy punter. Crucially, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Gambling Commission haven’t, thus punters will have to wait a long time for truly fair trading,” Justice For Punters activist Brian Chappell told The Guardian.

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