If you are reading this article, I guess your account was limited or even banned. When I started arbitrage betting, I wasn’t lucky enough to read an article like this. My journey with smart betting strategies started with a lot of my accounts limited or banned in 1-2 months. That was the moment when I asked myself:
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Why is arbitrage betting or on other name arbing bad?
Arbitrage betting is bad only from the point of view of the bookmakers. No legislation is saying that arbitrage betting would be bad or illegal. Bookmakers as profit-oriented companies are defending their income by limiting and banning smart and winning bettors. Keep reading for more details.
Why would you think that arbitrage betting or arbing is bad?
To be honest, when I started sports betting, I never thought about the possible consequences of any smart betting strategy.
The only thing I wanted to know was whether sports betting is legal or not in my country.
After a very short research, I found information that it is legal to place bets at certain bookmakers.
When I started my arbitrage betting activity, I started to notice that my accounts are getting at least limited. In some cases, 1 or 2 of my accounts, were closed too.
My first thought was that it is possible that I won too much. But sadly, after some weeks I got 2 or 3 accounts limited only after a few days of betting.
On those accounts, I didn’t win any significant amount of money, so I started to suspect that arbing is the real problem.
As a naive person, the first thing I did was start searching on google after similar cases like mine. My first thought was that arbitrage betting is something bad, even illegal.
After a short research, I found out that the answer is more obvious.
Why do bookmakers think and act as if arbitrage betting would be bad?
First of all, we need to clarify that arbitrage betting or any similar smart betting technique is legal.
In every country and state where sports betting itself is allowed by the law, there you can place arbitrage bets legally, so arbing is not bad.
So why do most bookmakers penalize every arbitrage bettor?
The best way to understand this, we have to understand how bookmakers are making money.
The basic business model of a bookie:
- They are offering an interface and the possibility to place bets on sports or other kinds of events
- The odds are representing the amount of the payout after a winning bet
- They are offering lower odds than the true chance of winning them, which means a profit margin between 2%-10% (depending on bookmaker). This means that no matter which outcome wins if the stakes are proportionally distributed between outcomes, they make a profit of 2%-10% of total bets.
For a bookmaker, the problem starts when they can’t offer odds that are representing the statistical true probability of an outcome.
For a lot of the time, bookies are missing some crucial information about matches or players. This is causing them to offer higher odds than the real value of that outcome.
An arbitrage bettor is taking advantage of these wrong odds by placing bets on them and covering the another outcome at other bookmakers. In the long run, bookmakers are losing money on these smart bettor techniques.
They are profit-oriented companies and not Red Cross or any humanitarian association, so they can’t let arbers decrease their profits.
The most common action from a bookie, if they flag your account for arbitrage betting, is to limit your maximum stakes.
Most bookmakers are starting to decrease your maximum stake limits only gradually.
Some of them are not thinking too much and they act as if arbitrage betting would be the worst thing to do against them. But there are some other kinds of bookmakers who are not limiting you because of arbitrage betting.
Why do some bookmakers think that arbitrage betting or arbing is not bad?
Some bookmakers have built up a different business model, which is allowing arbitrage betting.
What kind of bookie is allowing arbing?
- Sharp bookmakers
- Exchange bookies
Pinnacle was one of the first bookmakers that were advertised as arbitrage friendly. All arbitrage bettors were welcomed.
How is that possible?
Well, the basic idea was that if they are constantly adjusting the odds after every bet they receive, they will get the sharpest odds.
It seems that their way of generating odds became so effective, that arbitrage bettors were not harming them.
Every time when I used Pinnacle to cover my bets, I ended up losing all my money at them. Or in a worst-case scenario, my balance remained on the same level for a longer period.
But in the end, after hundreds of bets, my balance at Pinnacle was 0.
They were one of the first bookmakers that knew that arbing is not bad for bookmakers if they can treat it well.
Exchange bookmakers on the other side made bettors “fight” with each other. These bookmakers like BetFair, for example, are offering an interface to bet against other bettors.
Their profit comes from commissions on winner bets. No matter who wins exchange bookmakers are making 3% – 6% of profit on every winning bet.
In their case arbitrage bets have no effect on their odds or profit.
I have a similar article about sports betting. Is it bad or good in general?
How do bookmakers know you are arbing?
Bookmakers have several ways of detecting arbitrage bettors. They are having access to the odds from other bookmakers and to arbitrage scanner services too.
But I think these tactics are taking less of a role in their arsenal of catching you.
- If a lot of bettors start placing more stakes on the same event and outcome, while on similar markets the volume is way less – that can be a red flag
- Placing a lot of bets on outcomes and odds that start dropping in a short time – this may flag your account
- Betting on lower leagues and small markets can flag your account
- Placing stakes that are not rounded (36.4 EUR) – one of the most obvious signs of an arbitrage bettor
How to stop bookies limiting you?
If you are placing bets based on smart betting strategies, your balance will grow in the end.
Following basic rules can help you to delay any kind of limitation.
But generally speaking, we have to accept that soft bookmakers won’t allow you to increase your balance to the moon.
I think the real question is not how to stop bookies limiting you, but how to use accounts in the most effective way.
Arbitrage betting is getting harder and harder because bookmakers are getting smarter.
If you can manage to stay under the radar for a while…no matter what you do, your balance will increase. And in the end, you will be limited.
What is the solution?
With an account, there are better ways to increase your income.
One of the best smart betting techniques is value betting.
This strategy is very similar to arbitrage betting, but it includes taking a little bit more risk. With value betting, you are searching odds that are wrong, too high but in this case, you are not covering the other outcome.
Value betting, in the long run, will generate significantly higher profits than arbitrage betting.
From the report of value bettors and my personal experience I can say that the realistic income is 50% – 70% higher than with arbitrage betting.
If you are not familiar with value betting, you can read this article. Or you can read more about this betting technique at RebelBetting.
They are offering software that displays value bet opportunities.
A detailed review can be read here.
Even those bettors with not so much experience can take advantage of this scanner service.
If you are more interested in arbitrage betting, their software is the best to start your smart betting activity.
Bookmakers are banning and limiting smart bettors. You could think that this betting strategy is bad.
Bookmakers have several ways of detecting arbitrage bettors. Their algorithms can spot smart betting activities.
Following basic rules can help you to delay any kind of limitation. These are related to your staking plans and the way you choose your bets.