It’s easy to assume matched betting is gambling. You do need to sign up to online bookmakers and place bets, after all. For those against gambling, this can be an immediate red flag. But is matched betting gambling? Keep reading to get the answer.
Is matched betting gambling?
In a word, no. Matched betting isn’t gambling as it eliminates the usual associated risks. Neither is it illegal or a scam. Because of the word ‘betting’ people automatically assume that it must be gambling. Or at the very least, have something to do with exposure to some kind of financial downfall. That’s just not the case…
What makes matched betting different to gambling?
The simple answer: gambling involves risk and matched betting doesn’t. When you gamble, you place a bet on the outcome of an event with a bookmaker, sit back and hope that it wins. It’s a speculative business. However, with matched betting, you still place a bet with a bookmaker to win, but you also place a bet at a betting exchange for the same outcome not to win. The bets cancel each other out, meaning that you can neither win or lose. Now, that doesn’t sound too profitable. But at least there’s no risk involved.
So how can you make money from matched betting without risking your own funds? The matched bet mentioned above is known as a ‘qualifying bet’. And whilst it doesn’t win or lose you any money, it unlocks a free bet. This is where the profit comes from. You use this free bet to extract a profit without risking a penny of your own money.
Is matched betting advantage gambling?
Advantage gambling involves a range of methods to increase the odds in the player’s favour. These methods can be legal or not (looking at you, card counting…). The potential advantage depends on the game. Advantage gambling is used mainly in casinos but can also be used for sports betting.
Whilst matched betting does give you an edge in that you can make money without risking your own, it can’t be completely defined as advantage gambling. It’s more about exploiting a loophole to extract a profit from a bookmaker rather than gaining an advantage by increasing the odds.
So, is matched betting gambling? Absolutely not! Yes, you do place bets at a bookmaker, but by sticking to the matching process, you eliminate the risk.
Download OddsMonkey’s introduction to matched betting to find out more.