This is a question we get asked all the time. Is matched betting legal? The answer is of course YES!

If you don’t know what matched betting is then take a read of this blog post first.

You aren’t doing anything wrong by matched betting. You are simply placing bets with various bookies and taking advantage of the free bet offers they are handing out to customers.

What do bookmakers think of matched betting?

Officially they say they have no problems with it. The free bets are yours to use as you would like. Secretly though they hate matched bettors and will actively look to restrict the accounts of matched bettors. Don’t let this worry you though, the worst they can do is stop offering you free bets and bonuses. They can’t take your money or anything else drastic like that.

You would think that someone placing a lot of bets with them would make them happy but it doesn’t. They see that you are taking too much value and don’t see you as someone they can make a long term profit from.

Obviously if you are a matched bettor you want to avoid getting your accounts restricted as you want to keep profiting from the offers. To do this we need to make ourselves look like a “mug punter” so the bookies are happy to keep offering us freebies.

Why do bookies offer free bets then?

There are hundreds of online bookmakers out there these days. The industry is extremely competitive so they have to offer their customers incentives to bet with them rather than the competition. So free bet offers are unlikely to dry up anytime soon. Bookmakers are a business at the end of the day and they will do what they need to do to keep people betting with them.

What about Arb Bets?

Bookies also hate arb bets but there’s nothing wrong with placing them either. An arb is where the bookies odds are higher than the exchanges meaning you can lay the bet off for a quick profit.

Bookies will quite often lay off the bets you make with them at the exchange in order to make a guaranteed profit. Quite ironic seeing as though they dislike their customers doing it so much. If you take an arb, they can’t make a profit from the bet. Taking arb bets is a quick way to get your account restricted. Bookies will usually restrict the amount you can bet with them in order to prevent you taking value if you are a repeat arb bettor.


Gnoming is the term used for someone who has multiple accounts with the same bookie. The reason for doing this is to take advantage of their offers over and over again. Gnoming while not illegal is against bookies terms and conditions and this will get your accounts closed and any money in your accounts will be forfeited. So I highly recommend not doing this.


Matched betting has been mentioned many times in the media. There are various newspaper articles out there on the practice. Martin Lewis of fame has mentioned it television before and there is a large section of his website dedicated to people discussing the practice. So feel free to keep matched betting without fear. It’s a great way to earn some extra money on the side, many people do it as a hobby. It’s perfectly realistic to make around £1000 per month or even more from matched betting so you would be daft not to get involved. Especially if you are into sports betting to begin with.

In the next blog I will talk about what tactics we can use to stop our accounts getting ‘gubbed’ or restricted.