SIMON NOTT: The Perfect Match

Students Making It Pay, Their Way …..

We visited my sister a couple of weeks ago and had an afternoon sat in the sunny garden. She’s the mother of glamorous 19-year-old twin girls, both at university studying but were home for the weekend. The chit chat was as expected until one of my nieces mentioned ‘her bets’. My mum, nearly 80 but clearly remembering me losing my cash wages every Friday in the local betting shop when their age, looked aghast. Clocking her obvious disapproval my niece laughed and reassured her Grandmother that it was OK as it was ‘Matched Betting’ and that it wasn’t gambling as she couldn’t lose. My mum didn’t look convinced, as far as she is concerned betting always has been and always will be a ‘Mug’s Game’.

I was more curious, working in the industry I’ve been aware of matched betting, I’ve even written a blog on it in the past. This was different though, a 19-year-old drama student with absolutely no interest in betting at all was earning herself a few quid from the bookies to help fund her way through university. Me being me, I did a bit of digging. I asked how on earth she’d got into it. She told me; ‘I found out about it on Instagram. I was following a few pages about making money online and budgeting tips etc. I’d already started doing a few survey sites for a few extra pounds. I saw someone who was posting her profits for ‘Matched Betting’, so I messaged her and asked about it. This wasn’t someone I know, just a page I followed. I then did some research and watched YouTube videos on it and make around £80 a week average. Some weeks I’ve made around £150 but others I don’t have time to do anything, so I don’t have any profits for those weeks’.

I had a look at Instagram, a search for ‘Matched Betting’ revealed loads of accounts just with that in in their account name. It appears that apart from my Matched Betting niece, there are matched betting mums, matched betting travellers, matched betting ninjas, matched bettors all over the place. Not just in the UK but all over the world. One account appeared to be travelling on a gap year funded by matched betting, I even found a ‘Save The Student’ newsletter that includes the best matched betting options and deals.

Facebook appears to be equally as proliferated with aficionados of free bookmaker’s money, just one random group I found, ‘Team Profit’ have nearly 35,000 members.

Next up, just Google it, there appears to be the one ‘Go To’ website for helping people relieve the bookies of their generous sign-up offers, I’ll let you find that one, it shouldn’t be hard. Then there are the tutorials on YouTube, apps for your phone, subscriptions, a guy that broadcasts an hour a day, five days a week highlighting the offers available to be snapped up and the best markets to use. There are calculators, untold on-line tools and tutorials to help everything you need to get started. A lot of what’s available does seem to be subscription or affiliate based, I’m guessing that’s the only avenue left for the original matched-betting pioneers who’d have exhausted their accounts by now.

Who’d have thought it, after years of listening to professional punters and form students learning how to beat the books only to get accounts closed down and restricted after all that hard work. We’ve been doing it all wrong all along! You can have the bookies by the cobblers when still at university, with no risk. If those students and stay at home mums play the game well, and there are tutorials on how to keep your accounts too, they can earn themselves a very decent four-figures before being restricted and closed down. There’s also the tempting prospect of dusting off those matched betting skills on a regular basis when a new bookmaker pops up with an offer too good to resist.

There is a quote on the Wikipedia page dedicated to match betting from an unnamed source from a major UK bookmaker ‘indicating’ that the industry doesn’t have a problem with this use of free bets. I’m guessing that they probably do. But while they are happy to lob free bet offers all over the place to attract new customers, and until they can come up with a better marketing ploy, they won’t be able to stop it. Of course, everyone is going to use their free bet, there’s no way of the operator knowing if that punter is matching it or if they’ll ever be back.

There are options for ‘dutching’ with various bookmakers, but general strategy requires a betting exchange account to lock in a profit. The exchanges are at least one side of the betting spectrum that are going to benefit bagging their 5% whatever happens.

The final and most surprising find as a result of my digging was the best discovery of all. One that I’m thinking about having a go at myself. Sites that advise on taking advantage of those dastardly on-line casino offers. Who wouldn’t want to have a go at playing them at their own game?

The game’s not gone, there’s plenty of new blood betting with bookmakers, but sadly for the layers they are no mugs, just cleverly playing for free money, risk free. What’s not to like? Aye Aye.

Simon Nott

Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.

Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
… available now on Kindle