Part-time jobs are the usual thought for those wanting a bit of extra income, gambling is not usually something that crosses student’s minds in the making of a steady income.
There is however a select group of students taking advantage of free bet offers to make thousands of pounds.
Marcus Lanon, 21, student, London, said: “When you tell people you make money from gambling obviously they are a bit concerned and most of the time they either don’t believe you or think you have a problem.
“I was introduced by a friend and I didn’t believe him but there’s loads of calculators online – some are free and some you have to pay for. I think in the last two to three months I’ve made around £2,000.”
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Students are making thousands from match betting
(Image: Stock image)
Matched betting is the name for this technique and it mathematically guarantees a profit for those putting money in.
Almost all bookmakers advertise these offers to entice new customers to place bets with them and encourage regular users to bet more.
It is often mistakenly referred to as match betting.
“It helps fund me through uni and gives me some disposable income,” Marcus said. “You can also do it from home which is a plus.
“It is completely legal but sometimes you will get banned from particular betting sites just because they don’t like you doing it because they lose money. I don’t feel bad because they make enough money anyway.”
The old saying goes, ‘the house always wins’ students have found out how to turn that on its head and support a lifestyle in the capital.
‘Everyone should give it a try’
We’re told there’s no such thing as a guaranteed bet, but matched betting is not gambling because you can’t lose. It’s a system that involves placing more than one bet, to minimise risk by ensuring any losses are covered – regardless of the outcome.
The profit comes from the bookmaker bonus offers.
These are particularly high for first time users of betting companies and include deals such as ‘bet £10 get a free £10 bet if it loses’. The more betting sites signed up to, the more free bets the more money that can be made.
On securing the free bets, online calculators are used by the thrifty gamblers to bet on both outcomes of sporting events so that they can’t lose.
One bet is made on an exchange site e.g. Betfair exchange, where you bet against other people and not the bookies themselves. The other is made on a regular gambling site for the opposite result.
The biggest matched betting site is Profit Accumulator and they have rave reviews from their customers and a 4.6 TrustPilot score.
They charge for the use of their calculator which works out the best odds for you to use your free offers on.
Jake, 19, and a student at UCL, said: “I’d recommend everyone at least give it a try. Although it may be daunting in the beginning, it’s actually really simple, especially when you see it actually works.”
Sam Stoffel is the founder of Profit Accumulator, the largest matched betting site, to his sites users.
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He said: “We’ve had more than 120,000 customers on our site from the UK. It’s only been around for a couple of years so some people just haven’t heard of it.
“For most people it is an easy way to make an extra three, four, five hundred pounds a month and that’s only doing around half an hour a day. If you are really committed it’s possible to make £1000-1500 a month. That requires putting comparatively a lot more effort each month but it does work.
“The main thing to bear in mind is that this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. You’re never going to make a million pounds doing it. For most people this is just a way to supplement their income. It works.”
A spokesperson from The UK Gambling Commission, said: “‘Matched betting’, whereby a consumer uses a betting strategy designed to maximise their return from a licensee(s) promotional offers through methods such as arbitrage, is not illegal.
“We require betting companies to ensure all bonuses and promotions they offer operate in accordance with their regulatory and legal requirements which includes having fair and open terms and conditions. Issues around the cost/benefit of a given promotion are a commercial matter for individual licensees.
“We have issued guidance to businesses and consumers to warn about the potential regulatory risk that can arise where individuals circumvent the terms and conditions of bonuses or gambling websites, for example through the use of third party personal details either consensually or criminally. You can view that here.”