If matched betting has caught your interest, then you are probably wondering if this technique is legal. After all, it is a chance to earn free profits from bookmakers by using promotional free bets and betting on both eventualities to cover all outcomes so that you do not lose money. It is hard to believe that this is in fact 100% legal in the UK.
As long as you are over the age of 18 and are a UK resident, match betting is perfectly legal and although the betting industry does not have a problem with it, it may be looked down on by some bookmakers. This is understandable, as bookmakers are there to make money from bettors, but with match betting, no money can be made
Matched Betting UK Law
The law in the UK has nothing against matched betting and even Graham Sharpe from William Hill said “There’s no illegal element. It’s a free bet and you can do what you like”. One bookmaker did attempt to make match betting illegal but fortunately did not succeed. See the latest William Hill betting offers here if you’re interested in this brand.
The only thing that is definitely not legal is creating more than one account with the same bookmaker or using different names to match bet – this is 100% illegal and will get you in trouble for fraud.
How do Bookmakers View Match Bets?
Bookmakers are a business, and no business likes losing money. This is why bookmakers do look down on match bettors, yet the win does not always come from the bookmakers because of the lay bet that’s placed at the betting exchange. However, it does not really affect them, they just don’t like the idea that you are walking away with something for nothing.
Over time, it is possible that bookmakers may become annoyed with matched bettors who are abusing the bonuses and taking too much value. If they do notice that you are taking advantage of their free bets, and only seem to be holding an account to take advantage of said free bets, then they could close down your account or stop offering you the promotional free bets and they have every right to do this under the law.
However, all is not lost if a bookmaker decides to shut down your account. There are plenty of other sites out there offering free bets, so it will just be a case of moving onto the next one. Just remember to avoid making multiple accounts with a single bookmaker – this fraud, and of course as mentioned previously, is illegal. There are plenty of sites offering football betting so make sure to check out the latest welcome bonuses.
Is there a Punishment for Match Betting?
It is very unlikely that the bookmakers will be able to identify which accounts are genuine gamblers and which belong to matched bettors. However, the longer you are with the account, the more obvious it will become to them.
There are many bookies that have access to top of the range technological features that provide accurate and clear information regarding account activity that is not only used to identify fraudsters but also may use it to identify match bettors.
In short, there is no legal punishment, apart from the possibility of your account being shut down. This is known as “gubbing” and is quite a high possibility if the bookmakers believe you are taking too much value. You will be notified by email and will have time to withdraw any funds from your account before the limitations or shut down of your account can proceed.
It may be that the bookies decide to enforce a max stake restriction which will prevent you from placing bets over a certain stake, or they will provide you with limited odds – odds that are lower than other bookmakers.
The bookies may also enforce promotional restrictions to your account, which will prevent you from accessing promotions and free bets, which is probably the worst-case scenario, as it is these free bets that would normally allow you to take full advantage of the bookmakers and make a profit.
How Can Gubbing be Avoided?
Gubbing can be avoided by occasionally “mug betting”; making yourself look like a regular customer. Account activity for a match bettor will be flagged up because the account is constantly making a profit, even though it is legal.
Mug betting may include placing a few bets per month in the casino (where there is a high chance you will lose your bets) or placing regular bets on the same team and wagering money on popular events. These small tricks will help blend your account into the regular punters and not stand out like a sore thumb.
Some match bettors find the simple process of placing at least three mug bets for every promotion taken the best version to follow, however there are many other tried and tested versions out there. Mug betting is worth learning about and there are extensive sources of information online to be accessed.