Is Matched Betting Gambling? Logic vs Luck

Woman with dark brown hair on her laptop gambling

You’ve heard about matched betting and want to give it a go but are hesitant because it sounds too good to be true. Maybe you’re worried that it’s a form of gambling and you’re not interested in doing that.

It makes sense. The whole concept of dealing with online sportsbooks and placing bets might raise red flags about potential risks. It's totally understandable to have reservations, especially if you're not familiar with the ins and outs of matched betting.

The key is to realize that matched betting isn't a roll-the-dice kind of situation. It's a carefully calculated strategy where you use sportsbook promotional offers to your advantage. This article will clear up any misconceptions and explore why matched betting is more about logic than luck.



  1. Is matched betting gambling?
  2. Benefits of matched betting as a side hustle
  3. Are there any disadvantages to matched betting?
  4. Conclusion: logic wins

1. Is matched betting gambling?

This is an easy one to answer: No. Matched betting is not gambling. If you’re completely new to the concept of matched betting, it can be a little more difficult to explain why. Let’s start with a definition of gambling and an explanation both of what matched betting is and how it works.

What is gambling?

“Gambling” is the act of wagering or betting on an event with an uncertain outcome. The aim is usually to win money by correctly guessing the winning outcome. In gambling, the outcome of the event is often determined by chance, and participants usually risk something of value (such as money) on the outcome.

Examples of types of gambling include sports betting, casino games and state lotteries. While some forms of gambling involve skill and strategy to varying degrees, chance is a significant factor in determining the outcome.

How matched betting works

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at what gambling is, and in particular its reliance on luck, it’s time to explore matched betting in more detail. This will help to explain why matched betting isn’t gambling.

Matched betting is a clever technique that allows you to cancel out the risks associated with traditional gambling. How does it do that?

matched betting overview

By covering all outcomes of a sporting event, you unlock a promo offer (such as a free bet) from an online sportsbook entirely risk-free. Once you've done this, you then repeat the process using your promo to guarantee profit, no matter the outcome. 

This process is why matched betting is also commonly known as free bet conversion

Read More: What is Matched Betting? A Beginner's Guide

2. Benefits of matched betting as a side hustle

In recent years, it’s become increasingly difficult to avoid side hustles. Everyone seems to have one. And why not? Side hustles offer an awesome opportunity to add a second stream to your main income.

Speaking of which, matched betting has emerged as a lucrative alternative for those looking to boost their income. And it looks like 450,000+ people across Europe agree, having used matched betting platform OddsMonkey. The team behind OddsMonkey have adapted their service for the US market, recently launching ProfitDuel; designed to help Americans achieve matched betting success.

The hustle is already hard enough, so make sure you have the right tools at hand when you embark on yours.

Flexibility and convenience

Unlike traditional part-time jobs, matched betting can be done from home, giving you flexibility to choose your ‘working’ hours. This adaptability makes it an ideal option for those with busy schedules, enabling them to fit matched betting around their existing commitments.

Potential for consistent profits

Matched betting relies on a totally legal and legitimate approach to secure profits from online sportsbooks' promotional offers. The level of income generated can vary based on factors such as the amount of time invested and the number of available promotions. However, it is possible to earn a steady, supplementary income.

04. How much can you make matched betting section

What kind of profits can be made from matched betting?

The profits achievable through matched betting are contingent on various factors, including the starting bankroll, the number of promotions taken advantage of and the level of time commitment.

While some beginners may start with smaller profits, experienced matched bettors often scale up their efforts to generate more significant returns. It's not uncommon for individuals to make several hundred or even thousands of dollars per month through consistent and strategic matched betting.

Low risk compared to traditional gambling

Perhaps the key thing that sets matched betting apart from traditional gambling is that it is inherently low risk. Traditional gambling involves a substantial element of chance, where bettors stand to lose their entire stake if they pick the wrong outcome.

However, in matched betting, the risk is mitigated by placing multiple bets to cover all potential outcomes and leveraging free bets and promotional offers. This ensures a guaranteed profit regardless of the event outcome.

3. Are there any disadvantages to matched betting?

Now, you’re likely to hear matched betting referred to as ‘no-risk’. And it is, in terms of not being gambling and therefore, not carrying the same risks that traditional gambling does. However,  as with most things, there is always the potential for human error.

Is there any risk involved in matched betting?

Unfortunately, mistakes can happen, especially when you’re new to something or you rush to place your bets without double-checking the odds. 

However, with proper attention to detail and following the right strategies, the risk of making mistakes can be minimized. Human error is avoidable if you take your time, check odds before placing bets and make sure you understand the terms of the offers you're using.

Is matched betting against the law?

Matched betting is currently available in around 30 states, with more states opening their doors each year as an increasing number of Americans discover this profitable side hustle. With this in mind, it’s probably worth checking if you can access matched betting before getting started.

The availability of matched betting in the US varies from state to state, reflecting the decentralized nature of gambling laws. For example, it is possible in states like New York and New Jersey, where traditional sports betting and casino activities are regulated.

In order to do matched betting, you need access to online sportsbook operators and this may vary based on your location, so check first.

Note: You do not need to be a resident of a state to claim their sportsbook promos, as long as you are physically located within the state borders, you can make profits from that state's offers. Learn more about out-of-state betting here.

Read More: Can I Do Matched Betting in the USA?


4. Conclusion: logic wins

Matched betting sets itself apart from traditional gambling by employing a strategic and calculated approach to minimize risk and maximize profit. The methodical use of free bets and promotions ensures a guaranteed profit by covering all potential outcomes, contrasting with the chance-dependent nature of traditional gambling.

The popularity of matched betting as a side hustle speaks for itself, offering flexibility, potential for consistent profits, and a lower risk profile compared to many traditional part-time jobs and side hustles.

While often deemed ‘no-risk’ in comparison to traditional gambling, it’s important to acknowledge the potential for human error. However, careful planning, attention to odds, and understanding offer terms will minimize these risks. Additionally, it’s important to understand the state-specific regulations on online gambling.

In summary, matched betting is a fantastic way to make money online from betting whilst avoiding gambling, and it’s no doubt one you’ll be hearing a lot more about in the coming years.

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*DISCLAIMER: We're legally required to state that there is no guarantee of specific results each month. The amount of money that you earn can vary dependant on the time and effort that you commit each month.