What is Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage betting is a betting method that makes use of the different odds offered by different bookmaker accounts in order to make a profit. Also known as arbing, punters who do arbitrage betting are known as “arbers”.

Arbing works best on events with a definite outcome. As such, betting on tennis matches and football matches is popular among arbers. If done correctly, arbers are guaranteed profit with every bet they make.


How it Works

This works by placing two bets on different outcomes for the same event. For example. On one online bookmaker, Bookie A, you place a single bet that Rafael Nadal is going to win the Australian Open. You then place a lay bet or a counter bet with a different bookmaker, Bookie B. The lay bet is betting that Nadal is going to lose.

No matter the outcome for Nadal, win or lose, the punter is still guaranteed profit, as long as the math has been done correctly and the odds calculated properly.

Is Arbitrage Betting Legal?

Yes. Traditionally bookmakers have been known to crack down on arbers. Betting accounts would immediately be canceled if an arbitrage bet is suspected.

But in recent decades, especially with the advent of Matched Betting on Betting Exchanges, bookies are a lot more lenient to arbitrage betting.

Gambling, in general, is also considered legal in the United Kingdom and it is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.

Arbitrage Betting vs. Matched Betting?

Arbitrage betting and match betting are technically the same things. The only difference between the two is that with matched betting, you use free bets to place your back bet and lay bets. With arbitrage betting, you use real money. Both of these use the same betting markets. They also make use of betting exchanges as it is easier to place lay bets for a sports bet on this type of online gambling betting system.

If you want to start arbitrage betting, you will need an account on a betting exchange site.

Can You Use Free Bets to Arbitrage Bet?

If you use free bets to place your back bets and lay bets, then that is technically called Matched Betting.


Arbitrage Bet vs. Matched Bet

The two are more or less the same, the only difference is that free bets are the traditional sports betting currency of choice in matched betting. But you are still free to use your free bet credits stake to make your first bet or your arbitrage bet. In arbitrage sports betting, you use your own money.

Free bets can come in the form of a casino bonus, sportsbook bonus, welcome bonus, etc.

Keep in mind, that online bookmakers may subject free bets to restrictions. This includes wagering requirements on your qualifying bet settlement. They may also impose min odds to any bets made with free bet stakes, instead of getting competitive odds.

Why Use an Arbitrage Betting Software

There is a bit of computation involved in arbitrage betting. This is why many punters prefer to use arbitrage betting software.

The software is designed to calculate the potential profit. All you have to do is to check the odds on the betting sites. All you have to do is input your back odds and lay odds before you place your arbitrage bets.

Different bookies do not offer the same odds. These present a lot of arbitrage betting opportunities for punters.

There are many great arbitrage betting software out there that you can choose from. For example subscription services such as Surebet or BetBurger. You can also use a matched betting software too.

Betting FAQ

  • Is Profit Guaranteed With an Arbitrage Bet?

    If the math is done right, then yes. You can make use of an arbitrage betting calculator or arbitrage betting software to get a better idea of the potential profit. If it is not done right, instead of being able to make a profit, you may end up instead with bet losses. Most of the time, large amounts of money are used in arb betting. The losses can be potentially big too.

  • Are Winnings from Arbitrage Betting Tax-Free?

    Yes. If you are a resident of the UK and gambling in the UK, any winnings from gambling, including arbitrage betting, are going to be tax-free. All earnings from gambling are tax-free in the UK. However, that also means that any bet losses you may incur cannot be deducted from your income tax either.

  • Is Arbitrage Betting Legal?

    It is legal. But it comes with risks. If you do not calculate the odds well enough, you can end up losing a lot of money. The main reason for this is because usually, Arb betting requires punters to put in large amounts of money. If you do not calculate things correctly, you could end up losing instead of having guaranteed profit. In general, betting and gambling are legal in the United Kingdom and it is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. For your safety, make sure that you only bet on betting sites that are registered with the UGC.

  • Do Betting Sites Mind Arbitrage Betting?

    Some do. Some don't. Some bookmakers allow this while others will come down on it hard. Betting exchanges technically do not have an issue with arb betting because whatever the outcome, they still get their fee. Bookmakers like William Hill have stated in the past that they don't mind practices like matched betting and they encourage their customers to make use of their free bets. Arb betting is very similar to match betting, the only difference is that punters use their own money with arbing. Go ahead and arb bet, just keep in mind that online bookmakers can block your account at any time they feel you've violated the rules.