Is Matched Betting Gambling? 5 Things to Be Aware of
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What is Matched Betting?
Matched betting is a tax-free (UK) way to make money online. If done correctly, with no risk, you stand to make £1,000+ from welcome offers and the main reload opportunities alone, and many make thousands of pounds matched betting.
With matched betting, we place bets on all of the outcomes of sports events. No matter what happens (in the horse race or football match), one of your bets will win, and the other will lose.
In normal circumstances, this would result in a neutral (or slight loss) outcome; however, with matched betting, we repeat this process using free bets that we have earned due to signing up for bookmakers and use simple mathematic equations to guarantee ourselves a profit.
Is Matched Betting Gambling?
First, let’s answer the central question: matched betting is not gambling. Nevertheless, it would be irresponsible not to be clear that both activities are similar and that if you are prone to gambling and are risk-prone, then matched betting could lead to gambling. With matched betting, we are signing up to countless bookmaker accounts, and these businesses will try to entice you to gamble all the time, so you must be on guard.
Essentially, matched betting is risk-free, but from time to time, most matched bettors will make mistakes (see our post here on avoiding common mistakes!), and this is okay, as long as it’s not repeated. Suppose you do find yourself wanting to bet (for example, being tempted not to make the lay bet!) or constantly struggling to stay calm and make the correct decisions given the environment. In that case, you may wish to reconsider whether matched betting is for you.
Why is Matched Betting Not Gambling?
The key difference between matched betting and gambling is that with matched betting, we ensure the overall outcome of our bets is fixed. When doing matched betting, we place back bets and lay bets and using calculators, we know exactly how much money we will make (or what – at the very most – our qualifying loss will be).
The actual outcome of the sporting event essentially becomes irrelevant as our bets are matched! Most often, with matched betting, you don’t even need to check the result (you may only do so to record the exact numbers in your matched betting spreadsheet), and you have the satisfaction of knowing you are essentially a winner before the race or game has begun.
Is Matched Betting a Gateway to Gambling?
Although matched betting is not gambling, you will notice online a real fear that it can lead to gambling.
It’s hard to deny that people who have never placed a bet online or looked into sports betting/signed up to bookmakers will be less likely to start gambling; however, there is nothing to stop anyone from beginning matched betting, earning thousands of pounds and never gambling.
A good analogy is that of a casual alcohol drinker. Are they significantly more at risk of becoming an alcoholic than a teetotaler? There’s no certainty that the activities of matched betting will lead to gambling. However, there is always a possibility that it could do so.
For example, matched bettors might be more tempted to gamble or accidentally be placed in a gambling situation if they don’t lay the bet (as they concern themselves too much with the likelihood of the back bet outcome occurring) or because they forget and also they may misunderstand the offer.
An error rather than an intentional gamble may happen sometimes, and the key is never to chase a loss. If you start to experience issues and feel that you might be placing ‘value bets’, then it might be time to identify this risk before it becomes a problem.
If you worry that you might be tempted to gamble, just avoid matched betting, as gambling is a big no-no since, ultimately, you will not win money from ‘mug betting’ long term.
Ways to Avoid Being Tempted into Gambling When Matched Betting
It’s important to remember that bookmakers want you to gamble, and they will always find offers that purposely entice you to start.
Know that with matched betting, you have strategies to profit without ever risking your money. Resist the urge to gamble at all times!
Of course, you may have turned to matched betting because you need money, and if this makes you feel vulnerable to (what you may consider as) even greater profit from gambling. In this case, matched betting might not be for you.
If you are more vulnerable to gambling than others and feel that you can’t brush off the bookmakers’ enticements, then consider stopping matched betting. You might even look to self-exclude from your bookmaker account or close it down completely.
For professional advice, visit www.begambleaware.org/
Is Matched Betting Gambling - Final Thoughts
Is matched betting gambling? No, when carried out correctly it’s not. As we have seen, there is a temptation from bookmakers to push you into gambling. If you become tempted, then consider whether matched betting is right for you.
It’s always best to be aware of issues in any venture, so we hope this post has been helpful.
Alternatives to Matched Betting: Free Money Offers
If you decide not to start matched betting, or perhaps you’ve completed welcome offers, and many of the easier reload offers and want to add other ways to earn money in addition to matched betting (and the advanced strategies), then we can help.
Free money offers (see our complete guide to these offers here) provide a fantastic way (with no risk) to earn extra money online quickly and easily. We have a new site section dedicated to this; see the button below for all offers.
An excellent option is Cashback.co.uk, where you have the opportunity to earn £5 and then a further £200 with easy-to-complete offers.
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