Is Matched Betting Legal?

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When people hear I run this website, they always ask me how they can make money online.

And if they’re over 18 and live in the UK, I always recommend matched betting.

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Matched betting is a tax-free way to profit from special offers on betting sites. Typically users earn anywhere from £200-£1000 per month, and some people even do it full time.

Make hundreds of pounds per month, by exploiting the bookies, and you don’t have to report it to HMRC?!

It’s not surprising that many people’s first reaction is that it sounds a bit dodgy.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if matched betting is legal or illegal. So let’s settle this once and for all:

Is matched betting legal?

The short answer is yes: matched betting is 100% legal in the UK.

There is nothing dodgy or illegal about matched betting.

At its core, matched betting is simply opening accounts with various bookmakers, and making use of the promotions that that they freely offer you. There is nothing illegal about that.

(If you’re new to matched betting, click here to get the full rundown on how it works.)

If you need some reassurance, consider how matched betting has been covered by the media:

Many mainstream newspapers and media outlets have written about matched betting, everything from The Guardian, The Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and the Financial Times to Vice and the Huffington Post.  There’s also a Wikipedia page for matched betting.

a screenshot of a Guardian article on matched betting, titled 'free bets mean you can clean up as bookies meet their match'
Source: The Guardian

You can check those links for yourself and see what they have to say. They definitely would have something to say if it was illegal!

a screenshot of a FT article on matched betting, titled 'Can Mumsnet beat the gambling industry' and highlighting the fact that matched betting is legal.
Source: Financial Times

In addition, there are forum threads with hundreds of messages about matched betting on mainstream websites such as Money Saving Expert and even Mumsnet. 

And of course, there are specialist matched betting training sites such as Profit Accumulator.

According to Profit Accumulator’s homepage, they’ve had 120,000+ paying customers over the past 6 years. It’s a registered company and advertises openly. It also has a huge forum, and a Facebook group with over 23K members.

a screenshot of matched betting site Profit Accumulator
Source: Profit Accumulator

None of this would exist if matched betting was illegal!

By the way, if you are outside of the UK I can’t comment on the legality of matched betting where you live.

I’m writing this post for UK readers. Sports betting itself is illegal in some countries. I know that the matched betting service I use is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland. Please do your own research if you live elsewhere!

Is matched betting a scam?

No, matched betting isn’t a scam.

I’ve done it myself and made between £300-£600 a month when I was doing it regularly, which was life changing for me at the time 🙂 

You’re right to be sceptical: matched betting sounds too good to be true, which is usually a fail-safe sign of a scam. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

But in my experience, matched betting is the exception that proves the rule. It’s the holy grail of making money online: decent earnings, fast and relatively simple, with no upfront investment.

For more social proof, I recommend checking out the Facebook group and forums mentioned above. I spent a lot of time reading up on it before I felt confident enough to give it a go. In the end, I read so many success stories that I knew they couldn’t all be wrong!

But the best way to see for yourself is to try it out. You can take a free trial on Profit Accumulator (that’s the site I use).

They don’t ask for any payment details, so there’s no obligation or risk of getting sucked into a subscription. You should make around £40 in a weekend from the free trial. Then you can decide for yourself if it seems legit and if you want to continue.

If matched betting is all above board, why can you lose your accounts?

You may have heard of something called ‘gubbing’. This is when betting sites restrict your accounts, for example, stopping you from taking part in any promotions, or restricting your stakes. This often happens when the bookies suspect you of matched betting.

I think a lot of people hear about gubbing, and they see that as proof that matched betting is dodgy.

Well, bookies don’t like matched bettors because in general they take more value that the average punter – and obviously, the bookies want to make as much money as possible!

Annoying as it is, they’re within their rights to withhold free bets if they don’t think they’ll make a profit from you.

But it’s still not illegal, and the bookies can’t take any legal action against you, even if they had proof that you’re matched betting. The worst that can happen is that you won’t get any more free bets or promotions from that company. That’s all.

You’re still able to withdraw any money in your account, even if you’re gubbed.

Conclusion: is matched betting illegal or legal?

As you can see, matched betting is completely legal in the UK. It’s a real, legit way to make extra money in your spare time.

Want to learn more? See all my matched betting posts here.

Not for you? Check out these alternatives to matched betting, and this list of 75+ other ways to earn extra money in the UK.

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