Matched betting is a risk-free way to earn money on the side and has become a huge source of income for thousands of people around the world. It’s easy to get involved with and you don’t require much money to start your journey. Nevertheless, many people have some concerns about the ins and outs of matched betting and want to know more before they get started.
With that mind, here are some frequently asked questions:
Matched Betting FAQ’s
If It’s So Good, Why Isn’t Everyone Doing It?
There are several reasons why people don’t take part in matched betting. The first one is the most obvious – they don’t understand how it works. However, people also worry that it isn’t legal, believe it’s not worth the effort, don’t know how to get started, believe there is risk involved, have no cash to get started with, and are worried about credit implications.
Thankfully, most of these worries can be explained away easily, and a short trial run on a reputable matched betting service will quickly show you that it is certainly worth your time.
Is Matched Betting Legal?
We’re often told that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. To be fair, this kind of thinking does help to prevent people from getting caught up in scams and illegal activity.
When it comes to matched betting, you can understand why people may have reservations – you’re taking free bets and turning them into withdrawable cash. It sounds a bit dodgy, but it really isn’t.
So is Matched Betting legal? Yes, it is 100% legal and bookmakers have confirmed that you can do whatever you want with your free bet. It has also been covered by major news outlets such as The Telegraph and The Guardian as a legitimate way to earn some extra cash.
Should You Use a New Bank Account?
This is entirely up to you. If you’d prefer to use your existing bank account to deposit and withdraw then that is fine.
However, there are advantages to using a new bank account. Matched betting involves a lot of incoming and outgoing transactions, and it can be difficult to keep track of where your money is when these are jumbled up with your day to day banking transactions.
Opening a separate bank account solely for matched betting helps to keep things tidy and easy to track, freeing up valuable time to earn more money.
Will Matched Betting Affect Mortgage Applications?
It depends. Before deciding whether to offer you a mortgage or not, banks do some checks to assess how much of a risk they consider you to be.
Many people place bets from time to time and this is to be expected, but you are likely to be considered an increased risk if your bank statements are filled with hundreds of deposits to bookmakers. Sadly, many people don’t understand how matched betting works, and banks tend to fall into this category.
However, there are a couple of things you can do to help the situation. Firstly, you could consider opening an eWallet to use for your matched betting deposits and withdrawals. Many bookmakers accept this payment option, but this may not always be the case. Nevertheless, the more appropriate course of action would be to plan ahead. If you know you are going to be applying for a mortgage, then you could stop matched betting for a few months. Banks usually only require 3 months’ worth of statements, so halting your matched betting activity in advance could make a big difference to your application. It’s important to note, however, that this isn’t guaranteed as you’ll sometimes be asked for more statements, and your current account provider is likely to be able to view historical transactions beyond this point.
Do You Have to Pay Tax on Profits?
Gambling in the United Kingdom is tax-free. As matched betting profits are classed as gambling winnings, there’s no tax for you to pay on them and you don’t even need to declare them.
It’s all yours to spend on whatever you like.
What Are the Risks with Matched Betting?
One of the best things about matched betting is that there aren’t any risks involved in the system itself. As you’re betting for and against a single event, there’s no chance of you losing any money. Worthwhile matched betting companies will also provide all the tools required to calculate your stakes and track your profit.
However, there is one risk to be aware of and that’s human error. If you don’t follow the instructions properly or type in the wrong stakes, for example, you could expose yourself to potential losses. That’s why it’s so important to take your time and re-check things before placing any bets.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t take part in matched betting if you have a gambling addiction. Bets placed outside of the guidelines are, of course, open to the usual risks associated with gambling and should not occur.
Will Matched Betting Affect My Credit Score?
Matched betting does not affect your credit score, but you should be prepared to see some activity on your credit report in the recent searches section.
This isn’t anything to worry about. Bookmakers sometimes do a soft search to confirm your identity and prevent money laundering, but a soft search does not affect your credit score and other lenders cannot see this activity.
Why do Bookmakers Allow it?
Ultimately, there’s not a lot that bookmakers can do about matched betting. Once you’ve been given your free bet, you’re free to use it however you please, within the promotion restrictions.
Bookmakers will continue to hand out free bets because they’re in direct competition with each other and know that freebies are what entice the regular punters to part with their cash.
However, the small amount of control that bookmakers do have is that they can block your account from receiving free bets in the future. This is known as ‘gubbing’ and it tends to happen if you’ve already received lots of free bets.