Matched betting has turned into a big earner for me, having made over £12,000 tax-free since in my first year of matched betting. I talk to everyone I can about matched betting, I love it that much. It leads to one simple question – if matched betting is so good, why isn't everyone doing it? There are plenty of reasons why some people hold back from starting matched betting – some of these reasons are easily solvable!
What is matched betting?
Matched betting is a tax free way to utilise bookmaker offers to make money from free bets. It can be really lucrative and a great side hustle for those looking to boost their income.
How much money have I made from matched betting?
You can see all my previous matched betting income below. Please note that from January 2017 I have been focusing on growing my business with a provable income, with a lot less time to dedicate to matched betting:
- Month 1 earnings – £1,430
- Month 2 earnings – £1,619
- Month 3 earnings (including a Q&A) – £849
- October 2015 earnings – £1,105 (Remember that month 3 also overlaps into October 2015 as I switched to reporting it per calendar month.)
- November 2015 earnings– £915
- December 2015 earnings – £1,347
- January 2016 earnings – £777
- February 2016 earnings – £393 (on holiday for 2 weeks)
- March 2016 earnings - £701.64
- April 2016 earnings - £622.36
- May 2016 earnings - £1,019.16
- June 2016 earnings - £447.18 (away for a week)
- July 2016 earnings - £689.52
- August 2016 earnings - £491.86
- September 2016 earnings - £279.29
- October 2016 earnings - £691.85
- November 2016 earnings - £773.74
- December 2016 - £0.00 (took a break)
- January 2017 - £473.43
- February 2017 - £514.97
- March 2017 - £214.12
- April 2017 - £394.76
- May 2017 - £481.25
- June 2017 - £249.68
- July 2017 - £158.73
- August 2017 - £301.58
- September 2017 - £427.61
- October 2017 - £203.83 (away for 2 weeks)
- November 2017 - £45.84 (away for most of the month)
- December 2017 - £187.24
- January 2018 - £349.54
- February 2018 - £223.39
- March 2018 - £493.01
- April 2018 - £189.31
- May 2018 - took a break
- June 2018 - took a break
- July 2018 - £139.32
- August 2018 - £301.65
- September 2018 - £121.94 (on holiday)
- October 2018 - £328.51
- November 2018 - £459.31
- December 2018 - £258.45
- January 2019 - £148.37
- February 2019 - £199.84
- March 2019 - £579.54
- April onwards - paused for a mortgage application
It sounds too good to be true/it is a scam
This is one of the biggest setbacks that anyone has – it simply sounds too good to be true so it must be a scam. That is normally a massive red flag for me too and how I usually spot a scam.
What I really liked about matched betting was that no one was asking me to pay them to get started, or promising me a life of riches if I signed up under them, much like a pyramid scheme. Instead, I was able to take out a free trial and decide for myself if it was worth it.
Of course, I read about matched betting a lot before taking the plunge and even spoke to my family about it. There are plenty of people making a significant amount of money every month from matched betting.
It seems too hard or it is too much effort
Matched betting can be difficult to get your head around, especially if you aren't a sports fan and you don't place bets. I first learned about it around 10 years ago and it has taken me that long to get to gripes with it. I read countless articles online but I found that nothing really resonated with me – instead I was getting myself more and more confused. It wasn't until I sat down and watched some videos (I am a visual learner) that it clicked for me.
In total it took me an hour – an hour that I dedicated to watching the training videos (once to grasp it then a second time to start placing my bets whilst referencing the videos) and trying to understand it. And I did! I knew nothing about sport (more on that later) and still don't know too much. I certainly didn't know anything about placing bets (also more on that later!) and yet even I have managed to make a success of it.
I know I talk about Profit Accumulator a lot and that is because they break down everything for me. There's no doubt that there are cheaper, or even free, alternatives out there. However, with Profit Accumulator I get:
- A completely free trial
- Training videos
- A support forum with over 10,000 members sharing their own tips or helping to answer my questions
- Offers are spelled out to me in any easy to understand format so I don't have to trawl through terms and conditions, I can just easily see what I need to do
- A star rating telling me how good the offers are
They don't know where to start
I get asked this a lot – “where do I start?”. My best advice, even if you aren't prepared to pay out monthly for a service such as Profit Accumulator is to try out the trial. Sign up, watch the videos and decide if you want to go any further.
If you understand it and want to give it a go then you can continue with the trial to earn yourself £45-£60. There are many betting exchange sites to search from so you have a huge range of options when it comes to Matched Betting. After that, you will have got a feel for matched betting and at most it will have taken you two hours! Now you can decide whether it is something you are likely to want to continue with, or if it isn't for you.
If it isn't for you then that's no problem at all, at least you tried and you've got enough money to cover a nice meal out or some extra holiday spending money.
They are scared of losing money
Matched betting is mostly risk-free! When you place a bet you will make a small loss on that bet, but then you are given a free bet to use. This bet doesn't rely on a particular outcome – for example, if you bet on Liverpool to win, you would also lay Liverpool to win – which is saying “hey, Liverpool aren't going to win this”. Either way, you are covering both sides (Liverpool winning, and Liverpool not winning which includes them having a draw or losing).
Some people get “gubbed” at a bookmaker which simply means they are no longer eligible to receive free bet offers. You can still withdraw any money you have in that account.
After the Cheltenham Festival, a group of bookmakers panicked and tried to claim that thousands of members couldn't have their money back. They closed down accounts and within days people were getting their accounts back and their winnings paid into their bank accounts. This was a rare occasion and I am pleased to see that people got their accounts and their money back after complaints to the gambling commission.
They think it is illegal
Matched betting sounds as though it could be illegal – tax-free money by utilising bookmaker offers definitely seems as though it could be suspect. However, matched betting is completely legal! Matched betting has been featured on many reputable websites and even appeared in The Guardian.
They don't know what to do about declaring it to the tax man
Gambling in the UK is currently tax-free and because matched betting is classed as gambling winnings, there is no need to declare any extra income you make from matched betting. This means there are no annual self-assessments to complete and no tax to pay. Everything you earn is yours to keep. Still unsure? Check out what HMRC have to say about it.
Whilst I’m on the subject of UK Income Tax, please feel free to check out the Tax Refund Calculator over at QuickRebates. There are so many reasons why individuals are due a Tax rebate, and it happens more often than you think.
They have no spare money to start
Wait what, matched betting costs money? You thought it was tax-free!
It is, but the way that matched betting works is that you need to put money into it to get you started. The money stays in your own accounts at bookmaker and exchange website and you are not handing it over to anyone to “sell you secrets” or anything like that. In an ideal world, you will start with a bigger pot – this is in order to maximise your profit.
However, you can start with around £60. I understand that this amount is difficult for some people to find, but it really is all that you need to get started. If you have a higher goal in mind then you might be waiting longer when Life happens – unexpected bills, etc. It is much better to make a start with a smaller pot than wait until you have more.
You can find some free money offers here with over £300 to be made, so that would be a nice pot to help you get started with matched betting.
They are worried about how it impacts their credit rating or mortgage applications
This is a topic that really deserves a blog post to itself so I will keep it simple. Bookmakers might run soft checks on your credit report – the same as when you use a car insurance comparison website.
The mortgage is a bit trickier – new mortgage applications typically have their bank accounts and outgoings scrutinized and it could potentially conflict if regular betting is seen on your bank statements.
The easiest thing to do here would be to stop depositing into betting websites about 3-6 months before you are thinking of applying for a mortgage. If you have been matched betting then you might find that you have money in the bookmaker accounts anyway so you can continue to matched bet.
They can't see it lasting long
The easy money is definitely the sign-up offers. You can make £1-£2k with those offers depending on how large your starting pot it. After this, the bookmakers also have “reload” offers for existing customers. These can either be free bets they email you to entice you to come and place a bet or offers on big events live we saw for Cheltenham.
I have been matched betting since 2015 and can still do it now, 5 years on!
Matched betting is here to stay!
There are reload offers daily, they're best on a Saturday or for big events. Some examples are “place a £20 bet before a game, get a £10 free bet during the game” where you make about £7 profit.
If you don't want to do matched betting long term then you can easily hit the £2,000 profit mark in 2 months. It can be a great cash boost to pay for a holiday, help you to clear debts or anything else that you would need to spend the money on.
If you are worried that matched betting itself won't last long then I understand! When I started I thought the bookmakers would stop all their offers soon because it is such a great way to cash in. Of course, can't predict the longevity of matched betting, which is why I believe it is important to have multiple streams of income coming in and not rely too much on one income source. It is far better to get in on the action now than to sit on the fence and miss your opportunity.
They are worried about it starting a gambling habit
Traditional gambling is risky and relies on one particular outcome, so you can lose your money. Matched betting is a legal system that relies on the free offers that bookmakers send you and close matches being found. I do not care if my horse wins or loses, because I am using the system to make money no matter what the outcome.
On the few occasions I have spent some money on a traditional bet (such as the Grand National) I have never won! This shows what a terrible gambler I would be, and the thrill for me is to make guaranteed money.
You know yourself, and you will know whether something like matched betting is likely to develop into a gambling habit for you. If it is then of course stay away from it. Matched betting isn't for everyone.
- How to rebuild your matched betting pot
- Bank accounts for matched betting
- How to make £1,000 or more a month with matched betting
They don't understand sports or betting
Nor do I! Before starting I hadn't placed a bet in my life, and even now I can't tell you too much about sports. Um…horses run and sometimes jump, football games last 90 minutes and they stop in the middle for a break and rugby has men with beautiful legs!
The way that Profit Accumulator lay everything out means that they tell me exactly what to do, the only thing left for me to do is to log in and place my bets. The video tutorials taught me everything about placing my bets!
It just doesn't suit them
Matched betting isn't for everyone, and sometimes it is okay to accept that it just isn't for you, for whatever reason. I am not on a one woman mission to convert everyone to matched betting – it is just one way to boost your income.
If you are looking for other ideas to make extra money then take a look at finding the right side hustle for you, my top 10 survey websites, how to become a mystery shopper, how to get started with affiliate marketing or how to make an extra £100 per month.