Matched Betting is NOT Risk Free!
Ah matched betting! You sound older then you are when you use lines such as “its not like the old days” and with matched betting it really isn’t. I actually first got involved in the whole gambling and trading game via matched betting many years ago. I came across the money saving expert forums like many other people and followed on from there. For a long time I was banking easily £1+ per month purely from risk free offers and even had some months when I hit £3k. It wasn’t just me as there were plenty of others making that money and some still are. However it really isn’t like the old days anymore as the good offers are much harder to come by.
In my view the risk-reward ratio of matched betting just doesn’t make sense to me anymore.
What risk-reward ratio can there be in matched betting?
It might sound weird that I am talking about any sort of risk in a supposedly risk-free activity but after reading a few horror stories on the internet in the past year I am of the firm opinion that Matched Betting is not risk free at all and is actually a lot riskier then some would give it credit.
I am writing this article on the assumption that you already know what matched betting, or advantage play, is and so you will know that within just a few bets on a large wagering requirement you could easily have a float of £5k+ tied up at a bookie. Something very likely if you are doing a US bookie for example.
That is already a massive risk considering you are probably only trying to extract £50 profit on average depending on the offer. Literally a 1.01 shot!
What if that bookie decided it didn’t want to pay out (i.e Goldvictory) ? What if that bookie suddenly became bankrupt (i.e Bet911)? What if the bookie suddenly changed the terms of the wagering requirement after depositing?
It might sound like a long shot but it can and does happen a lot!
My own close call
Even last April I completed a huge wagering requirement at Bethorizon and had over £6k stuck in there. I requested a withdrawal around that time and I got it in instalments over the next few weeks. This wasn’t great but much better then some who had to wait till October to get similar amounts of money out of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are others still waiting to this very day. The joke of it all was that I had gone through all that to lock in £60ish profit from it. A risk of £6k to win £60? We all know what happens if you continually back at 1.01 odds on Betfair and I don’t see much evidence to suggest this method is any safer.
I soon realised that Bet Horizon could just have easily disappeared with all my money and since they are based in Costa Rica I really wouldn’t have much chance of seeing that money again. So you have to ask, is it really worth it anymore?
Back in the day, I could easily clear over £1k a month on straight forward offers from more legitimate bookies but these days if you want to make worthwhile money you really will have to look to the more “exotic” bookies to make that cash.
So is it worth doing Matched Betting in 2011?
If you asked me this in even 2007 or 2008 I would have said to go for it and it can be a great second income. However, now I would say only go for it and expect to make a little pocket money every month. You can make a nice amount from the initial bookies offers, especially if you wait till Cheltenham in March, but after that things will dry up unless you go abroad. Something which, as pointed out above, is not for the faint hearted!
I still wouldn’t mind doing the odd good matched betting offer when they come along but I am not holding my breath after being “gubbed” by many of the best bookies which is something else to worry about by doing this. I much prefer trading and some would say its more like gambling but at least this way I can literally set my own odds and own risk-reward ratio rather then spending sleepless nights wondering if some Costa Rican gangsters has done a runner with my cash!
Is Matched Betting Risk Free or not?
As an experienced matched bettor I can safely say it is not risk free but it IS low risk. You can make sure you are safe by reading reviews on peoples past experiences but in my view that can still count for nothing as even the top bookies have been known to go rogue suddenly, even Betfair!
If you still don’t believe me when I say matched betting is risk free then just ask these guys!
Would be great to here other peoples views on this!
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Nice article and I tend to agree it is not like the old days. It seems the good offers are disappearing or are only being offered by disreputable books. I also took advantage of a nice offer from Bethorizon last year and I also checked on the books pedigree… which seemed to be pretty good. I was a little surprised when I had to wait for my withdrawal in installments but I was never worried because they had a nice employee named Tommy or Thomas who always responded whenever I made an inquiry and assured me I would get all my funds. He was very helpful. Having been one of the people who got burned by Bet911 with a small balance I was pleased when I got my final payment. So I have to say that even though I had to be a little patient at least Bethorizon paid me in full and didn’t play any other games like we are hearing about now from other books now, and the reports are getting more frequent every month. It seems to me that alot of places are using the excuse of professional play to not pay winners at all now. So if a book pays me in full even with a little bit of a wait then I will keep them on my list of usable outs.