Javier might look like a regular guy. Steelers fan, watches TV, sleeps a lot. But at night, Javier develops an amazing golden arm. Not only does this give him the power to write 1,000 expert sportsbook reviews per hour, but he can throw a football to Neptune and back in just under six seconds.
Matched betting is one of the hottest topics in the betting world at present. The mere concept is undeniably alluring: you place two bets, and then you're guaranteed a profit. There's always the caveat that you need to avoid making mistakes, but should all go to plan, your profit should build.
However, there's a catch — and it's a big one: matched betting isn't currently possible in the USA.
Matched betting involves utilizing free bet offers from bookmakers
Matched bettors place a back bet on an event at a bookmaker, and a lay bet (betting against an outcome) on the same event
The stake is determined by a matched betting calculator, which is used in order to ensure a profit
If both bets are placed correctly and the calculator is accurate, then a profit is guaranteed regardless of the outcome of the event
The downside? No risk matched betting currently isn't possible in the USA
What is no-risk matched betting? No risk matched betting defined
No risk matched betting is a method bettors, often referred to as "sharp" bettors, use in order to secure a profit from every bet they place. Bettors usually take a small loss on a qualifying bet that secures them a bonus bet, which they then use to lock-in a profit by backing and laying the same event. With the right calculation to determine the lay stake, bettors will profit regardless of whether they win or lose.
In Europe, matched betting has soared in popularity, and is often considered a viable second income stream or side hustle. The downside is that bookmakers, whose profit on bets is adversely affected by the practice, frown upon matched betting and will ban accounts partaking. For many bettors, however, the risk of lost accounts is worth it in exchange for a (relatively) stable second form of income, with long-term profits often reaching into the thousands.
Why is no risk matched betting not possible in the USA?
No risk matched betting could easily enjoy the same popularity in the US as it has oversees, but there's a catch: legislation. In the US, the Federal Wire Act of 1961 makes it illegal to bet across state lines — which is why individual states have been legalizing betting since the landmark Supreme Court decision in 2018, rather than betting being available on a federal level.
For matched betting, the restriction to betting within single states is an immediate problem. Matched betting relies on lay bets to secure a profit, and lay bets — where bettors bet against the outcome of an event — are only available at betting exchanges.
Betting exchanges explained
A conventional bookmaker will apply an overround to the betting odds they offer, which is designed to secure their profit for that particular bet. When a bet is placed, the contract is then between the bettor and the bookmaker.
Betting exchanges function differently. Rather than taking bets from bettors, they merely provide a platform for bettors to bet against one another. All bets at exchanges have to be "matched", which means that if one bettor places a back bet, there has to be another bettor willing to place a lay on the same bet. If there isn't, a bet will remain unmatched; if it isn't matched by another bettor before the event commences, then it will be cancelled. At a standard bookmaker, there is no need to wait for bets to "match", as the bookmaker accepts the bet rather than another user.
Betting exchanges are therefore more of a platform that simplifies peer-to-peer betting than a conventional bookmaker. However, despite being common elsewhere in the world, betting exchanges do not currently exist in the USA.
The liquidity problem: why betting exchanges struggle in the USA
Betting exchanges need a reasonably high number of active bettors in order to function. After all, in a peer-to-peer service, bets are accepted by individuals rather than the exchange itself. If there are plenty of bettors using the platform, then the platform can be considered to have good "liquidity" — i.e. there are enough people willing to accept back and lay bets from their fellow bettors in order for the platform to function. If there aren't enough bettors, then the platform has low liquidity, and bettors won't get their bets matched. As we previously discussed, unmatched bets eventually become cancelled bets.
The problems low liquidity causes impact both the exchange and the bettors attempting to use it:
For bettors, low liquidity means that their bets will go unmatched and subsequently be cancelled. Given bettors, naturally, want to actually be able to bet, the prospect of cancelled bets is unwelcome.
For exchanges, low liquidity means no profit. Exchanges, who cannot apply an overround to bets in the manner of a bookmaker, generate income through commission on all successful bets. If bets are being cancelled, then there's no commission, so their single form of income stream is dry.
State lines, low liquidity, and the impact on no risk matched betting
Finally, we can look to draw together all of this information and see how it impacts no risk matched betting's fate in the USA.
Exchanges need liquidity in order to function.
To generate that liquidity, exchanges need people.
The more users, the higher the liquidity, and thus the more viable the exchange is both as a platform for bettors and as a business.
However, due to the Federal Wire Act, betting in the USA is restricted to within individual states.
This quirk of law means that any exchange that wanted to operate would immediately have a restricted userbase, only able to facilitate bets between users in the same state.
Given that sports betting is a relatively new innovation in the USA, it's reasonable to assume the number of bettors wanting to use an exchange in a single state is very low. This is especially true considering the fact that, even in countries where exchanges are well-established, they are still less popular than conventional bookmakers.
So for exchanges, there simply isn't the user base to offer a service within a single state — and without an exchange to accept lay bets, matched betting isn't possible.
Alternatives to matched betting
Unfortunately, there is no true alternative to no risk matched betting in the USA at the present time. There are countless betting systems and strategies, many of which are worth learning more about, but nothing that "locks-in" a profit in the same way matched betting is intended to. Standard betting, however, is becoming ever-more available, and casino, poker, and daily fantasy sports betting have helped to ensure there are still options available for online gaming for those looking to find them.
Matched betting is a fascinating strategy with a strong record overseas. However, due to a federal law that impacts the viability of betting exchanges, it is currently not possible to engage in the practice in the USA. This may change in the future, but for the moment, no risk matched betting is a no-go for USA residents.
No Risk Matched Betting FAQ
💣Is no risk matched betting profitable?
There are a variety of different betting strategies that one can learn and put into use and bet types to place, ranging from dedicated horse betting strategies to placing a double chance bet when appropriate. No risk matched betting is a strategy that many bettors have considered using as part of their general experience. However, it is important to find out how to go about it before it’s possible to make a profit. Read our comprehensive guide to find out more about no risk matched betting and whether it’s possible to make a return.
💡What is no risk matched betting?
No risk matched betting allows bettors to cover all possible outcomes in a bet. At CaptainGambling.com, we’ve created an in-depth guide to no risk matched betting for your convenience. All that you need to do is read through our guide and you’ll be one step closer to understanding how to make use of this betting approach.
🔍Can I apply no risk matched betting on all platforms?
You’ll find that it is possible to apply no risk matched betting on a number of platforms. However, it’s important to take note of any terms and conditions that may apply. To find out how to go about engaging in no risk matched betting, and where you can do so, head over to our coverage at CaptainGambling.com.