Matched betting is the process of betting on every outcome of an event (like a football match or a horse race) so you can’t lose. It uses gambling sites and the free bets they offer to earn profit on the bet placed.
I’ve tried matched betting myself and did make money, about £20 with two bets. Not a bad return and it’s certainly not a scam, but there are specific reasons I hate matched betting and won’t use it to make money going forward.
You can read a full explanation of how matched betting works here.
Reason #1: Matched Betting affects future mortgage and other lending applications
Gambling sites sometimes use a ‘soft’ credit search to check your identity. These searches don’t show on your credit file… so they likely won’t affect any lending applications.
When you have tens or even hundreds of deposits and withdrawals showing on your bank statement, then it can become a problem.
We are currently going through a mortgage application and buying our first house. Banks generally ask for 3-6 months of previous bank statements and the likelihood they’d be happy of seeing lots of gambling site transactions isn’t too high.
Reason: Hundreds of gambling site transactions on your bank statement is bad.
Reason #2: It does not pass the Grandma test
I’m a firm believer that whatever I do to make extra income I want to be proud of it, and I can’t say that for matched betting. Would I tell my Grandma about matched betting? Hell no!
I can imagine trying to explain that I put various bets on per day, money goes in and out of my account constantly, but it’s not gambling and 100% risk free. I can’t see it happening.
Reason: I’m not proud making money this way.
Reason #3: Matched Betting affects the relationship with your bank
I used to work for a bank (a really big one) and they use ‘internal scoring’ of how you manage your account.
They use lots of factors to score you; how much money goes in and out of your account, how much lending you have, how long your in your overdraft for per month, whether you gamble and how long you’ve been a customer to name a few.
So having a gambling site show up every other transaction doesn’t look good. This also ties into reason #1 about affect lending application.
Reason: Affects the customer score with your bank.
Reason #4: It can be dangerous if you have an addictive personality
Everyone knows gambling can be addictive. I personally don’t have that problem but many, many people will. It can be all too tempting to place an extra bet with money already sitting in your account.
For example, I had some winnings in my Coral account when I was testing matched betting and was very tempted to place extra bets on, which would completely ruin the point of matched betting.
I can completely understand how people could lose money if they didn’t have total control over their gambling.
Reason: Too closely aligned with gambling.
Reason #5: It’s just not fun
I enjoy exploring ways to make extra money. Surveys, blogging, freelancing etc.
I just don’t find matched betting fun. Nothing about it excites me and in turn have no motivation to be really good at it (where you could make some good money).
To help you find the best opportunities for matched betting, it’s also advised to use either Profit Accumulator or OddsMonkey. Both of these are matched betting aggregators and help you find free bets and opportunities.
Both of these are either monthly or yearly subscriptions which I’m not a fan of. You’re replying on someone else finding these deals. What happens if they go under?
Your income collapses.
Reason: There is no enjoyment from it therefore makes it tiresome to learn.
Reason #6: You have to lay ‘mug’ bets to avoid being banned
Matched betting is a pretty simple process, and it’s relatively easy to spot if you’re a bookie. It’s very easy to get your account banned from the major bookkeepers essentially wiping out your income stream.
This is why advocates of matched betting advise placing ‘mug’ bets to hide your trail. This not only costs more money, but also emphasises how sneaky matched betting can be.
Reason: You have to spend money covering your tracks.
Reason #7: Simple mistakes can cost you
Matched Betting can take a while to get the hang of. Because of this it’s to make a mistake such as place the wrong bet, at the wrong odds or on the wrong thing.
This could potentially lose the pot you’ve built and lose you a good amount of money. I know everyone says matched betting isn’t gambling, but there are risks involved.
Let me know your thoughts on matched betting in the comments below. Whether it’s good or bad, I’d like to know!