Today I want to talk about my experience and results with Matched Betting.

In the process, I hope to answer all your questions surrounding Matched Betting as a method of earning some extra cash. From my experience this is far from a sustainable income stream. That being said, if you are looking for a way to get some all important tax free start-up capital – this is a great way to get started.

Students of the world – I would highly recommend this strategy. You most likely have a lot of free time on your hands and are short of cash (unless you are blessed with the bank of mum and dad). If so, this strategy is risk free (unless you screw it up – the guide will aim to stop this) and you require only ten pound to start (you’ll get this back – if you don’t have this check out our savings challenge).

Betting on an Arm-Wrestle

What is Matched Betting?

Before we dive into this side hustle, I want to point out that this is not “betting”. If this was the case, I would be telling you to stay as far away as possible.

There is only one winner in gambling – the bookies (there a business at the end of the day).

So I hear you ask, how (if the above statement is true) do we not only beat the bookies – but do so with no risk?

Through the leveraging of free bets, bonuses and promotions that these businesses use to attract new customers.

We do this by placing opposing bets (with separate bookies) to cover all outcomes of an event. One bet is placed at the bookmaker with the promotion (a back bet) and another at a betting exchange (a lay bet).

Back Bet = the outcome will occur.

Lay Bet = the outcome will not occur.

This process is carried out twice. The first is known as the qualifying bet (to receive the promotion with the aim to break even) and the second the free bet (where we make our profit from the promotion).

The Process

1. Firstly you will need to find a free bet promotion.

2. Next you will need to place a “qualifying” back bet with the bookie to qualify for the promotion.

3. Now place the opposing lay bet with a betting exchange.

4. Wait until the event has been played. Once this has happened you will have broken even (or made a small loss depending on the bet). You will also have received your bonus.

5. You will now repeat the process, this time placing a back bet with your bonus. Alongside this you will place a lay bet on the exchange.

6. Once the event has finished – you will have made a guaranteed profit from converting the bonus into cash (usually 80% of the total bonus).

Lay Bet Calculations

Now moving onto the technical stuff. You have two choices here (unless you want to do the maths yourself):

Firstly you can use one of the many free matched betting calculators. These will tell you the exact value of your lay bets dependent on the type of bonus you are using.

Using this first method increases the chance of error – so if you don’t feel comfortable I would suggest the second option (I took this route).

Secondly you can signup to one of the many matched betting services that will provide you with:

  • A definitive list of the current promotions.
  • Calculators and tools that speed up the process.
  • A profit and loss tracker.
  • Easy to follow video tutorials.

My Experience and Results

I personally used Profit Accumulator that has a seven day free trail. This allowed me to test the process before I paid for the service (I was sceptical at the time). Once the seven day free trial is over this becomes £17.99 a month (which I made on my first promotion).

Within a month I made a grand total of £676.76 (after paying the £17.99 subscription).

I cancelled my subscription after the first month – as the remaining promotions (in which there were plenty) were no longer signup bonuses (the low hanging fruit).

At this point, I believed my time was better spent working on more sustainable income streams. However, if you have a lot of time on your hands – I don’t see why you couldn’t make £1000 a month.

Roulette Table Chips

Risks of Matched Betting

To finish off – I just want to cover some of the risks and frequently asked questions surrounding the topic.

Firstly, I would not recommend this side hustle if you require a bank loan or mortgage within 6 months after your final promotion (12 months to be on the safe side). In these circumstances, banks will often carryout bank statement checks – and these “betting” transactions will negatively impact your application.

Your credit score will not be effected.

Secondly, when using betting exchanges, try to stick to highly publicised events. This will reduce the chance of your bet being partially matched. In this situation you will be required to quickly re-run your calculations and place another bet until the bet is fully matched. Again you can avoid this with sticking to events that have a large number of transactions.

Finally, I want to clear up that this is 100% legal. The money you receive is also 100% tax free (the government take their cut from the bookies).

However, (as you can imagine) the bookies don’t like people exploiting this loop hole, and as such, will apply sanctions to your accounts. This is referred to as having your account gubbed. When this happens – the bookie will reduce or even stop sending promotions to your account. This will mainly effect individuals that are looking to squeeze every penny out of this side hustle (using all the promotions one bookie has to offer).

Now go and make some money…

Not sure where to start with investing your time and money in assets?

Check out the Invest area of The Long Commute.

Need to free up some extra cash and gain a secure foundation before you start to invest in assets?

Check out the Saving area of The Long Commute.

Need to increase your income and build another stream of income?

Check out the Hustle area of The Long Commute.


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