When would a player bet a $1.90 exactor? Or a 90-cent triactor?

When an online sports book tells him he can’t bet more than that.

Those are the maximum wagers allowed a bet365 player who says he also can’t bet a horse across the board. He said he is only allowed to bet win OR place OR show and is limited to winning $20 when he wins one of those wagers. If he is betting a 50-1 horse, for example, he is limited to betting 40-cents which works out to the maximum $20 if the horse wins.

The player, who drives a bus in a major Canadian city, started getting restrictions like those, he said, after he had won $25,000 in 18 months of play. He plays “four or five” times a week and he used to enjoy parlaying a race play with sporting events such as football or hockey, but can’t do that anymore.

The restrictions began suddenly, he said. He cited this recent example: “When I tried to make a $2 exactor bet, I couldn’t,” he said. “So I tried $1.90 and that worked.”

He said he phoned the company to find out why he was subject to restrictions and was simply told: “Everything appears to be normal.” But it wasn’t normal, because he found many of his usual wagers restricted.

He’s not a big bettor. In fact, his big wins have come with bets many would consider pocket change. To accumulate the $25,000, he said he did so by betting 50-cent triactors where he would win several hundred dollars. His biggest win was about $2,000 for a win parlay that consisted of a 50-1 horse parlayed to a 10-1 first time starter. He’s just a very good handicapper, specializing in Quarter Horse racing. He said his betting may have drawn attention because he’s not a mainstream bettor; he favours what he terms “C” tracks such as Belterra and Hazel Park. He likes to play Remington Quarter Horses, but it’s not always offered.

Facing such restrictions, other players might simply stop betting. He said he finds it a challenge. “I said to myself: Let’s see if we can work within these parameters.” Initially he said he was losing, but that over the past three months he bet $14,000 to earn a profit of more than $4,000.

He said he prefers a betting service to betting in a race track account because he can get fixed odds. For example, he said he has been able to get 10-1 odds on a horse that might go off at 6-5 odds on-track. “Instead of restricting me,” he said, “they should be looking at my wagers as a way to help them produce better odds for themselves.”

He said a friend was also slapped with restrictions after winning $25,000 over a period of time, so the friend simply stopped using the service — although some time later the betting platform relented and invited him to bet again.

Bet365, which bills itself as “the world’s favourite sports book,” makes no apologies for what it does. When you Google the service, the first thing you read in bold lettering is this: “bet365 reserves the right to decline all, or part, of any bet/wager requested at its sole and absolute discretion.”

It is, after all, in business — just as the casinos are — to make money. What is remarkable is the way they might micro-manage a player’s account when the player is a consistent winner.

Despite restrictions, the player still maintains a positive disposition. “I’m glad there is this type of place [that offers fixed odds].” When he requests a payout from his account, he receives an e-transfer to his bank account “in two or three hours.”

He also notes the company, which was founded in the UK in 2000 by Denise Coates, doesn’t appear to be making exorbitant profits. The company reports its revenues and profits to the Company House (registrar of companies) in the UK and boasts having 37 million “members” worldwide but made just 470 million pounds profit on 2.8 billion pounds of revenue in the year ending March 2021. “That works out to just $20 profit (Canadian) per member,” the player said. But he also noted, according to published reports, that was after CEO Coates had taken a 300 million pound pay package for herself.