Is Matched Betting Legal?

Is Matched Betting Legal?  If i had a pound for every time i was asked this question i’m sure i would not need to be matched betting!  But jokes aside this is a fair question and one i get asked allot.  The short answer is yes, matched betting in the UK is completely legal, providing you are at the legal age to bet.  For the longer answer please read on where i will break matched betting down to it’s simplest form.

Matched Betting Explained

Essentially, broken down to it’s simplest form, all matched betting involves is placing bets.  Placing bets with bookmakers.  The difference between normal betting and matched betting, is when matched betting you bet on all outcomes of the event.  This is called placing back and lay bets.  The second difference is when matched betting you use bookmakers free bet promotions, this is how a profit is made.  For more information on this follow the link.


The betting industry is one of the most competitive industry’s out there.  And there are over ninety bookmakers online all try to win over your custom.  They do this buy giving away free bets throughout the year on sporting events to keep you engaged.  A matched betters job is to take advantage of these free bets to make money.

Coral free bet matched betting

Bookmakers and Matched Betters

Now when it comes to the relationship between bookmakers and matched betters, the best way to describe it would be a love-hate relationship. Matched betters love bookmakers, and bookmakers hate matched betters.  

Although matched betting is legal, If a bookmaker suspects you of matched betting, they may either restrict your account or ban you from receiving free bet offers.  Imagine it being like counting cards in a casino…  Is counting cards illegal? No! would you get kicked out if they suspected you of counting cards? Yes!  This is exactly the same with Matched Betting.  But don’t worry there are plenty of ways to stay under the bookmakers radar.

Declaring Matched Betting Income

The good news?  Any income made through matched betting is tax free, so no need to declare this to the tax man.  Betting duty was abolishing in 2001 by Gordon Brown in an attempt to deter UK bookmakers from moving to offshore. This means that all winnings from sports bets, casino play, lotteries and other forms of gambling are completely tax free.  Thank you Gordon!  Even better, matched betting does not effect your credit rating.

It All Seems Too Good To Be True

With all this said matched betting does seem to good to be true.  I can understand why people ask is matched betting legal? or a scam?  The reality is that’s it’s neither.  One thing i do want to make clear before i finish though, is that matched betting is not a get rich quick scheme.  You will not make hundreds of thousands by matched betting.  It is simply an additional income source.

I personally make around £500 a month averaging three hours per week.  Some people make more and some people make less depending on how much time they can put in, and how they prioritise this time. 

When Can I Get Into Trouble?

Unfortunately at some point in a matched betters life the penny drops… “if i had two accounts with the same bookmaker, surely i would make twice as much profit”.  Although this statement is correct, it is whats known as multi accounting or “gnoming” and could get you into allot of trouble.  Bookmakers have ways to track multi accounting and may consider it as fraud if you were caught which could land you in court.  Avoid at all costs!

Making A Start With Matched Betting

I hope this article has cleared up that Matched betting is legal, It is simply a different way of betting.  If you are interested in making an additional income in your spare time, there’s no better time to start matched betting!  Check out my beginner advice before getting started or get in touch if you have any questions.  It would be great to hear from you.

Happy Matched Betting!


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