Matched Betting In The UK: A Full FAQ Guide

When you say to someone you make money matched betting, you usually get one of two responses.

Response 1: “Oh right, so you gamble” (whilst their underlying thought is - ‘what a terrible idea’)

Response 2: “Yes, I’ve heard of it, seems like a scam”

When I first heard about matched betting last year, it sounded like gambling and then when I read more into it, it sounded like a con. The reason it sounded like a con to me was that it sounded too easy. Money that you could make using your laptop and the income that was tax-free too?

It turns out, not only is Matched Betting a legitimate way of making tax-free income, it’s actually pretty easy, especially when you use the right software.

Understandably, this is a topic that raises a lot of questions. So, I’ve taken a list of FAQs, according to Google, and I’m going to answer them here:

What Is Matched Betting?

Bookmakers like to incentivise new and existing customers to make and continue making bets. For example, you might see a sign-up offer that says something like this:

“Bet £10 and get a Free £10 Bet”

They do this because, overall, they profit from it. They entice you in with an opening offer and then they hope you stick around and continue to bet using your account.

With Matched Betting, all you’re doing is taking advantage of these offers in two ways.

First, you bet on either outcome (using a betting exchange) so no matter what happens, you profit from the offer.

Second, you treat it like a business. You take your profit and you move on. You don’t gamble your winnings.

Matched Betting Terminology

Before matched betting, I had never placed a bet in my life. The industry is full of terminology that is useful to know before getting started. So here’s a nice compact list:

  • Stake (a.k.a Wager) = The amount of money placed on a bet.

  • Fractional Odds = Ratio between the stake and the potential winnings (Eg. 3/1 odds would give £3 winnings for every £1 bet).

  • Decimal Odds = Similar to fractional odds but the stake is already included in the winnings. (Eg. 4.0 odds would give £3 winnings for every £1 bet).

  • Betting Exchange = Platform allowing members to play the bookmakers role, allowing customers to bet with each other. Where you’ll place your lay bets.

  • Back Bet = When you stake your money on an outcome to win.

  • Lay Bet = When you stake your money on an outcome to lose.

  • Liability = The amount you pay when a lay bet loses.

  • Gubbing = When a bookmaker restricts bonuses on or closes your account.

  • Mug Bet = When you place a non-offer bet to make your bookmaker account appear normal to the bookie.

Completely, all you’re doing is taking advantage of offers from bookmakers/casinos. The bookies are aware of matched betting, because it eats into their profits. So they do use tactics to try and clamp down on it. Tactics like ‘gubbing’, a.k.a. restricting access to bonuses.

Is Matched Betting Income Tax-Free?

In the UK, gambling winnings are tax-free. So the profit you make from matched betting is tax-free.

Is Matched Betting Sustainable?

Bookie and Casino sign-up offers are generally the easiest to make money from. Thankfully, there are a vast number of bookies and casinos in the UK. And you can go through these offers, one-by-one, locking in profit (I recommend using Profit Accumulator software to do this).

After the sign-up offers, you’ll be able to continue making money from reload offers. Bookies and casinos continue to incentivise customers once they’ve signed up so you can take advantage of these too.

But, the profit per offer will likely be less. It will be up to you to decide what offers you think are worth it. At the start, it’s quality over quantity and as you continue it’s more quantity over quality.

Is Matched Betting Risk Free?

It is, if you don’t make any mistakes. I rely on 2 things to ensure I don’t make any mistakes. Matched betting software and an easy-to-use spreadsheet (more on these below).

Should I Use Matched Betting Software?

I would recommend using matched betting software.

Profit Accumulator is my recommendation. You can use PA to find offers, calculate bets, track profits, etc. You can sign up for a free trial (no card details required, no purchase obligation) and complete a few offers, earning over £45 in the process.

After that, if you decide matched betting is not for you, you can just take your profit and enjoy. But if it is something you want to continue with, you can sign up to PA Platinum and get full access to the website and the PA Forum.

How To Track All Your Matched Betting

I keep track of everything in one spreadsheet (download here) and unlike some other matched bettors, I keep everything really simple. You can see the full spreadsheet template and guide below:

I have two tables. One for keeping track of back bets/lays/profit and another for keeping track of pending withdrawals.

Keeping track of Back Bets/Lays/Profits

In the example above, Bookie A had a sign-up offer: “Bet £10 and get a free £10 Bet”.

I wrote down the event I bet on, and I ticked the ‘Bet?” box when I made the back bet. The back bet was £10 and that bet lost.

I had a lay bet in a betting exchange (Company B) on the opposite outcome at £9.90, which won. So the overall profit/loss of the qualifying bet was -£0.10.

I received a free £10 bet so I placed that bet and a lay bet of £9.90. The lay won again and since I used a free £10 bet, I’m up £9.90.

Overall, I made a profit of £9.90 - £0.10 = £9.80.

Keeping Track of Pending Withdrawals

When you get into matched betting, you’ll have a lot of open bookie/casino accounts and pending withdrawals from those accounts. I like to keep track of all these pending withdrawals so I have a really simple table on my spreadsheet where I can do this.

I input the company I am withdrawing from (eg. Company B) and I then make a note of the transaction (eg. £10).

When I see the money in my account, I put a ‘Y’ for ‘Yes’ in the box next to it. Withdrawal confirmed.

How Easy Is Matched Betting?

Some offers are easier than others and some offers require more experience. Thankfully, the sign-up offers are generally really easy and they’re very profitable.

One of the reasons I use Profit Accumulator is that it really walks you through each offer, step-by-step, with attached video guides in most cases. And if the video guides aren’t enough, you can talk to other users in the PA Forum (only available to Platinum Members).

How Much Money Do I Need To Get Started?

I’d say you need a float of at least £50 in order to get started. But the larger your float, the better. Here’s why.

When you place your back and lay bets, your money is effectively locked into those bets until they’re settled. The larger your float (your available cash), the more bets you can have ongoing at the same time.

Your float is effectively your matched betting speed limit.

Will Matched Betting Affect My Credit Score?

No, it won’t. Hard, not soft, credit checks affect your credit score. And when you deposit money into a bookie/casino account, you aren’t applying for credit so there won’t be a hard credit check.

Bookmakers do, however, carry out anti-money laundering checks which you will see on your credit report. These are soft credit checks. You can see them but lenders can’t and they won’t affect your credit score.

Will Matched Betting Affect A Mortgage Application?

The answer to this question is ‘possibly’ so I would play it on the safe side and imagine the answer is yes.

When you’re applying for a mortgage, most lenders will ask for 3-6 months worth of bank statements. If a lender sees that you’re depositing money into bookmaker/casino accounts, this could affect your approval chances.

I wouldn’t risk it so here’s what I would do.

Cease all matched betting 6 months prior to any mortgage application. Once approved, you can get back into it.

Is Matched Betting Really Worth It?

Matched betting takes time and effort. There are those making a few hundred pounds a month and those making thousands of pounds a month. You hear stories of people having paid off large mortgages matched betting.

The reality though is that you can be either. If you just want to supplement your income by matched betting every weekend, that’s great.

If you decide that you love it and you want to be in the ‘thousands’ club, that’s great too.

I find that I become fully invested every now and then. But at other times I focus on other ventures. Matched betting offers flexibility. Not only in time but in location. All you really need is an internet connection and the will to do it.

Conclusion

Matched betting is a great, flexible and tax-free side hustle to get started with if you’re living in the UK.

The two resources I would recommend are Profit Accumulator and a spreadsheet, like this one.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask in the comments down below. I respond to each and every comment.