February 21, 2022 3 min read

Exposé by The Guardian Shows Stake Factoring Still Alive and Well

Several years ago, it was determined that gambling operators employed stake factoring in their daily activity. Through it, operators assign a profile to their customers that determines how much they can stake. Those who regularly lose, according to the reports, are able to gamble more, while winners find their activity restricted. Operators asserted at the time that the practice was no longer in use, but a new report by The Guardian shows otherwise.

Stake Factoring Alive and Well

The Guardian reportedly spoke to insiders from firms including Paddy Power Betfair, Ladbrokes and William Hill. These individuals confirmed that stake factoring is still in use. The media outlet learned from one former William Hill employee, “As soon as people start winning or losing, that gets adjusted. It starts with 50% and if they keep doing it [beating the bookie], it’ll keep going down. At William Hill it went down to 25% to 10% and eventually down to 1%.”

It goes further than just winning or losing, though. Another anonymous source, who reportedly still works for a sportsbook, explained that the team would make decisions in view of what work bettors do and who they’re companions with on Facebook. Stake factoring was also deployed for virtually all accounts with a female username, since these, the source explained, are typically only individuals using a relative’s account.

A manual, distributed to representatives of Paddy Power and seen by the Guardian, provided additional details. It was reportedly used within the last six years and encourages staff to limit clients who “resemble terrible business” and to expand stake factors for “all clients that are routinely hitting their maximum [maximum bet].” Those clients with a stake factor over one can bet over 100% of the typical largest figure.

The guide likewise recommends characteristics that “Eastern European clients” should have stake factoring applied to their accounts. This, according to The Guardian’s investigation, was because these clients could be considered “bad business.”

Common Practice Among Operators

One ex-Paddy Power worker showed The Guardian a menu of stake factors that recommend the organization was glad to confine individuals who were just shrewd. New clients were set at 1.0, the report said, regular winners clients at 0.3, and “warm” clients at 0.1.

The source who provided the documentation asserted, “The people running these businesses are answering to shareholders. The guys in the trading room didn’t want to be answering on a Monday morning why they didn’t close an account that was winning.”

One gambler provided the media outlet with data directly from operator Coral. He had requested his history with the company in accordance with legal doctrine, and it showed he had won only £38 ($51) in four years. This was after the platform changed his level when it realized that he had beaten Coral’s listed odds 73% of the time.

Paddy Power Claps Back

Paddy Power acknowledged that stake factoring takes place, but said its “safer gambling checks” would supersede stake factoring choices.

A representative for Paddy Power owner Flutter said stake factoring was normal practice across the business yet that it didn’t wish to limit clients unreasonably. The individual said the practice is “critical” for the protection of the integrity of sports where the operator feels a gambler may have inside information before placing a wager.

Other operators contacted by The Guardian didn’t respond.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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