Matched betting is a technique that involves placing bets on both sides of a sporting event, or on multiple outcomes of a single event, in order to take advantage of the free bets and other promotions offered by bookmakers. It is not considered traditional gambling, because the goal is not to win money from the outcome of the event itself, but rather to profit from the promotional offers of the bookmakers.
Matched betting is generally considered to be a legal and legitimate way to make money, as long as it is done in accordance with the terms and conditions of the bookmakers and within the limits of the law. It is not considered dirty money, as it is not obtained through illegal or unethical means. However, as with any activity involving money, it is important to be aware of the risks and to act responsibly and within your means.
Still not convinced? Read on as we delve into the politics of matched betting and why it's not actually gambling and the money earned is legitimate.
In this article we will cover in more depth:
- Is matched betting gambling?
- What is matched betting? Why isn't it gambling?
- Matched betting made easy
- Is matched betting a gateway to gambling?
- Is matched betting dirty money?
- Are you a gambler without realising?
- Is matched betting ethical?
- Is matched betting legal?
- The truth about matched betting
- Is matched betting risk-free?
- Is matched betting for you?
Is matched betting gambling?
I was recently questioned for my ethics on Twitter when promoting the matched betting company I use and told, yet again, it's gambling. This is usually from people who have not tried matched betting and don't understand exactly what it is.
Many people instantly and mistakenly think matched betting is gambling. It's not.
Matched betting is, in fact, a legit way to make extra cash at home by taking advantage of the bookies offers using a mathematical equation to extract profit. It's been featured in the biggest newspapers, tried and tested by the Sun, the Guardian, the Telegraph, Vice, Daily Mail and Money Saving Expert as well as numerous trustworthy bloggers and more!
I personally tried and tested it for two years and I can confirm I did not become a gambler! Now I am no longer matched betting, I have no interest in ever placing a sports bet again. The only reason I'd place a sports bet again is if I start matched betting again to extract the profit from free bets!
If you read my matched betting blog then you'll see I made over £5600 cash in my spare time over two years.
You'll also be able to see my breakdown of profits every month for two years, read real life matched betting stories and bust the matched betting myths (such as it being the same as traditional gambling... spoiler, it isn't!)
Matched betting is a great way to make extra cash on the side at home.
I also don't think it's wrong. I was told it is a gateway to gambling and it's dirty money.
Read on to see why I disagree and support matched betting as a great way to make money from home. Learn why it isn't the same as gambling and why the money isn't dirty.
First, what is matched betting? And why isn't matched betting gambling?
When you gamble you are placing a bet on one outcome, usually for your favourite team to win a sport or achieve a certain outcome in their match. You risk your money if they lose. You do it for the risk and the thrill. There is no guarantee you will make any money.
Matched betting is different.
With matched betting you take advantage of the free bet offers that bookies regularly offer to make money. By using a mathematical equation you can extract profit from the free bet offers. You don't need to know or understand the maths behind it as there is software online that works it all out for you. I used the software at Profit Accumulator, now called Outplayed, and always recommend them as they make matched betting really easy.
Unlike gambling, there is no winning and losing a bet. You place bets on both outcomes. It doesn't matter if they win or lose. You're not supporting your favourite team and rarely even choosing which match or team you are even betting on. You cover both outcomes of a bet and use the Outplayed matched betting software to find close matches in regards to the odds so you can then claim the free bet and extract the most profit from the free bet.
It might sound complicated, but Outplayed have step by step instructions, video guides, forums and a customer service team available by email and phone to talk you through it all. I was able to follow their step by step instructions to successfully matched bet for two years.
If matched betting is done properly then you can't lose. It is generally considered a risk-free bet as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance.
Here's how Outplayed explain it: "Matched betting, or double betting, is a method of profiting by pitting two different bookmakers with varying odds against each other while betting on both teams. By using this system you can wager on an event with no risk of losing. The act of match betting is considered by experts to be a risk free form of gambling if done properly."
To make sure you do it properly, you'll need the assistance of a matched betting company like Outplayed who show you exactly what to do.
Matched betting made easy
Watch this video from Outplayed to hear matched betting explained simply.
If done correctly then matched betting is a legit way to make extra cash from home, online in the UK. It can be squeezed into a busy routine, in evenings, daytimes, at weekends, lunch breaks, you name it. Once you get your head around the Outplayed match betting software, and used to finding and placing the bets, then you become much quicker.
Now you know it's not gambling, you might still have some other ethical concerns, like the Twitter user I mentioned at the start.
So matched betting isn't the same as traditional gambling and is considered risk-free when done properly, but could it be a gateway to gambling?
And isn't any money made 'dirty money'?
Read on to discover when matched betting isn't actually a good idea and why calling money 'dirty' is complicated.
Is matched betting a gateway to gambling?
Yes it may very well be for a very small minority, just like anything can be a gateway to something; alcohol a gateway to alcoholism, sugary foods a gateway to obesity, a store card a gateway to a shopping addiction, a bank loan a gateway to debt and so on.
But does that mean we should all stop doing these things because they can have a dark side for some people?
Most people I know drink alcohol, for example, so I expect they’d say no, even though the availability of it can cause death to some people. Everything has another side.
If you've had a problem with alcohol then you might avoid pubs and any environment with alcohol. If you've had a problem with gambling then you probably want to avoid matched betting as you'll be in the environment and it might spark temptation. You should know your own self.
The entire purpose of matched betting is to make money, not to lose it.
The opportunity to gamble and place sports bets is always there. It was there before I started matched betting, yet I never felt tempted by it. The only reason I started matched betting was to make money, not lose it, so it wasn't a gateway to gambling for me.
Important - if you think you'll gamble or you've had an addiction, then don't start matched betting! The same as if you don't know when to stop drinking or have been an alcoholic - don't start drinking again! If you had a shopping and debt addiction then stay away from the store cards!
While matched betting is different to gambling, you will be using bookies sites. If being on them will tempt you to gamble then don't do it.
However if you simply want to matched bet to make money, then as I said above, if matched betting is done properly then you can't lose. It is generally considered a risk-free bet as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance.
There are thousands of testimonials online and it's even been shared in huge publications such as the Guardian and Telegraph where they tried and tested it with success.
Is matched betting dirty money?
I like to believe the majority of money that bookies make is from responsible adults. Money that adults have agreed and can afford to lose, just like myself if I ever do gamble such as playing the lottery or taking part in a raffle.
Calling it dirty money gets complicated. Yes some of it may be, but that’s not my fault or responsibility.
People can gamble responsibly and many do enjoy it as a pastime or every once in a while without developing an addiction or getting into financial difficulty. In fact, most of us have gambled as adults in one way or another, and most of us would say we are responsible.
Dirty money is everywhere if you really want to look and trace the source of every penny.
Many banks have greatly been funded by wars and still continue to make money from weapons, etc. Yet I borrow money from my bank for my mortgage and loans, most of us do. Some of this must be dirty money too.
Should we all feel guilty about this or never use a bank again?
If winning a bet gives you 'dirty' money, then playing the lottery has to be the same. It’s gambling and I bet many people with an addiction take part in their games. But nearly everyone I know, without a gambling addiction, plays the lottery and wants to win. Many lotteries also give vast amounts of cash to charity and good causes.
Does this mean all these charities are funded with dirty money?
Again, I’d like to think not and assume the vast majority of the money comes from those who gamble responsibly.
Are you a gambler without realising?
If someone asked me if I was a gambler, I'd probably immediately say no. But actually, I am.
I am not a gambler because of matched betting, because as explained above that is not the same as gambling, but I am a gambler in other ways. You probably are too.
The word gamble conjures up something bad and an addiction, but many of us are gamblers. Here are a few ways I gamble, and you might too:
- Raffles – yep charity raffles, school fete raffles, it’s a form of gambling – you might lose your money!
- National lottery – I play every week and most people I know play regularly
- Money pools – I’ve taken part in these at either work or with friends to guess a baby due date, for example
- Owning shares – I have shares in the company I used to work for and there’s the risk they could lose their value and I could lose some money or all of it
- Buying scratch cards – I rarely buy scratch cards, but every now and then, like twice a year, I get the urge and grab a couple for Ben and I for fun
- Visiting the casinos in Las Vegas playing slots and roulette
- Having a go on the 2p machines on the pier at Weston Super Mare
Many people I know also enjoy going to the races, especially as I am from Cheltenham, and betting money on horses for fun once a year! Don't agree with horse racing, but want to matched bet? Just don't place any bets on horse racing.
Is matched betting ethical?
Whether or not matched betting is ethical is a matter of personal opinion. Some people argue that it is a form of "cheating" or "taking advantage" of bookmakers, as it involves exploiting their promotions in a way that is not intended. Others argue that it is a legitimate form of risk management, and that bookmakers are aware of the potential for matched betting when they offer promotions.
It is important to note that, as long as it is done within the terms and conditions of the bookmakers and within the limits of the law, matched betting is generally considered to be a legal and legitimate way to make money. However, it is up to each individual to decide whether they believe it is ethical or not.
Is matched betting legal?
Matched betting is generally considered to be legal as long as it is done within the limits of the law. However, there are some potential risks and consequences to consider when it comes to the legal aspect of matched betting.
One risk is that some bookmakers may consider matched betting to be a form of arbitrage betting, which is generally prohibited. This means that if you engage in matched betting, you could potentially be in violation of the terms and conditions of the bookmakers, which could result in the closure of your account and the loss of any funds you have deposited with them. It is not against the law, but bookmakers don't like it and they may 'gub' your account if they realise you are only using it for matched betting. That's one risk to be aware of when you start matched betting.
Otherwise, yes, it is legal to matched bet in the UK. The winnings are even tax-free as they are considered gambling profits.
The truth about matched betting
There are a lot of myths floating around when it comes to matched betting, such as it being the same as gambling or dirty money. So what's true and what isn't true about matched betting?
- TRUE: It's a proven way to make money on the side
- TRUE: All profit is tax-free
- TRUE: It's not traditional gambling
- FALSE: You need to have knowledge about sports or bets
- FALSE: It's hard to learn
- FALSE: You need luck to make money matched betting
- FALSE: Matched betting is illegal
With the Outplayed match betting software you don't need to know a thing about sports or betting. It's not illegal and profits are tax-free! Their software and methods don't require luck or any knowledge. They'll walk you through everything and will even show you the bets you need!
Is matched betting risk-free?
Matched betting is often advertised as a risk-free way to make money, as the goal is not to win money from the outcome of a sporting event or other type of event, but rather to profit from the promotional offers of bookmakers. However, it is important to understand that there are risks involved in any activity involving money, and matched betting is no exception.
One risk is that you could lose money if you make a mistake while placing your bets. Another risk is that you could violate the terms and conditions of the bookmakers, which could result in the closure of your account and the potential loss of any funds you have deposited with them, the loss of a free bet or the loss of winnings.
Overall, while matched betting can be great side hustle and easy way to make extra money, it is important to be aware of the risks and to act responsibly when engaging in any activity involving money.
Is matched betting for you?
If you want to make money and have no intention or interest to gamble, then yes matched betting is a great way for you to make extra money from home.
However, if you have any doubt that being around bookies and the temptation to gamble could spark a gambling addiction for you personally, then no, it's not for you.
Interested in learning more? Check out the website Outplayed who I used for my matched betting journey.
A list of matched betting blog posts
My matched betting journey:
Matched betting blog posts + FAQs
Article originally posted in 2017 and updated in 2020 and 2022.