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Is Arbitrage Worthwhile Pursuing? Is Arbitrage Legal?


Arbitrage is ‘Sure Betting’

In the world of sports betting the art of arbitrage involves wagering on both or all sides of an event with the right combination of odds and stakes in place to make a profit whatever the outcome of that event.

Illustration - successful arbitrage bettingImage: 3Dmask (Shutterstock)

The principle of arbitrage is ‘sure betting‘, supposedly with minimum risk (for the seasoned arbitrageur) and long-term, guaranteed profits.

Surely this is the closest you can come to attaining the “Holy Grail” in betting? Or maybe not?

Despite the apparent rewards on offer the number of worldwide professional sports arbitrageurs is in the low tens of thousands, not more. In comparison, the German stock market employs over 3,200 staff, whilst one of the largest providers of automated arbitrage services, RebelBetting has even fewer subscribers than this number (as we write).

So, why such a relatively small group of customers taking advantage of the so-called ‘guaranteed’ gains averaging between 1.5% and 3.5% per bet (a typical ‘arb‘ provides around 2.5%), with perhaps 15-25% potential profit on the capital employed each month? That’s a far higher reward than any bank, building society, or share dividend offers!

Is Arbitrage legal?

There is no question that arbitrage is legal because the arber is simply exploiting price differences in the market, effectively buying and selling (bets) as any trader does. There is nothing illegal about this.

However, it is understandable that bookmakers are not fond of arbers. Every company has the right (even arbitrarily) to decide who their customers should be and many bookmakers prohibit arbers from their books. As soon as suspicion is aroused bookmaker accounts are quickly limited or even closed.

High Capital Requirement and Personal Characteristics

Successful arbitrage betting ultimately guarantees small returns but the sacrifice is that the process requires large funds. The money is tied-up in the venture for a potentially long period of time.

Pursuing an average 2.5-3.0% profit per betting round and targeting a return of 15-25% of the capital employed per month, the ‘arber’ needs, for example, a starting bank of at least 25,000 € in order to make 5,000 € profit per month.

Wow! A lot of money required at the start to make it worthwhile, and entering the arbitrage arena on these terms will be impossible for many.

Of course, arbitrage betting is a pretty safe investment, but in addition to substantial funds it requires not only great expertise but also some strong personal characteristics to make it possible at all:

  • Many time-consuming calculations must be performed. Ouch, lots of maths!
  • Clear and complete records of every transaction must be kept. How boring!
  • Discipline and consistency has to be maintained at all times. Far too unsocial!

And lastly, a really stable, reliable and fast internet connection is essential, without any limitations to any bookmaker or exchange worldwide.

However, the average punter is perhaps not such a ‘professional’ investor, but bets for fun and/or the excitement of watching an event knowing that money is riding on the outcome. Of course, he hopes to profit from the wager but his are gambles, not investments. Is that the reason why there are so few ‘arbers’ out there and active in the market?


Last Update: 12 March 2017

Categories:Arbitrage Betting Advice Most Popular



80 Responses to “Is Arbitrage Worthwhile Pursuing? Is Arbitrage Legal?”

  1. don rees
    16 November 2015 at 1:39 am #

    hi do not particularly like being the only one who answers questions in this forum , but as no one else seems to want to, i will offer “bclones” an answer .

    well sir you have just about run through all of the ” mickey mouse ” UK books , suggest you only need blue square ( are they still going ? ) betway . paddy ( irish i know) and a couple of the same Euro books and you will have used up the lot of them. and good riddance to them too.

    i would say that if you still have bwin going then there is only one reason for this , you have either made very few arbs trades with them or the ones you have made have been the losing bets in the arbs .

    i swear this to be true , bwin limited me to $25.00 , BEFORE i had ever made a single bet with them and if any one would like to know the rest of this boring story please ask , they limited me BEFORE i had made a single bet with them .

    if you bet mainly on the US sports . plus tennis F1 etc i suggest you go to the US books , 5dimes , betcris ( bookmaker.eu i think in Europe ) , the greek , sportinteraction , and many others ( go to , sportsbook review.com or goonersguide , you will see the A class US books there ,) they are not strong on soccer and i was actually limited by a US book ,IN SOCCER ONLY, ( they made it plain at the time that the limitation did not apply to the other sports ) and it was one my favourite books too , hollywoodsportsbook.com, i liked hollywood , they only have a C rating on SBR i think , but i was always paid when i asked for a withdrawal. and to me that is very very important.

    if you bet mainly on soccer i suggest you go to the asian books , i have been told they do not limit or ban anyone , they consider that if you win often then there must be something wrong with there system !!

    a few A class asian books , 12bet , 188bet , M88 , (Mansion88 i think ), bodog88 , 138bet , and there is another one who is supposed to be the daddy of them all , you have to open an account with them through an ” agent ” or is it an ” affiliate ” ? ibc.com.

    hope this helps a bit and good luck , donar

    • Soccerwidow
      16 November 2015 at 6:50 am #

      Many thanks, Don, for sharing your valuable knowledge! This is very, very, very appreciated! 🙂

      • don rees
        17 November 2015 at 11:24 pm #

        hi i forgot one , both pinnacle and SBO used to advertise on an arbs website , the owner of this site is very strict about who advertises there , has to be arbs related , so i assume , sbo.com are ok with arbers , regards don

    • arberhunter
      9 January 2016 at 10:15 pm #

      Hi Don, An interesting read — re your arbing on US sports…are you based in US? Or are u able to have US based accounts, whilst residing in UK? And if so, do you trade in USD or does their site have a facility to trade in GBP?

      • don rees
        9 January 2016 at 11:34 pm #

        hi , how are you going ? no i am australian and i have never lived anywhere but australia, i have not done an arbs trade for quite some time , in total i have made 2704 of them , but since i started developing my own arbs program , i have not traded at all , and because i now own an arbs program and a saverbets program ( much better than arbs ) i will not be doing another one either ( i do not think it is right ot ethical if you own and are selling an arbs program that you should use it yourself , there is always the doubt that the owner could be delaying the sending of the arbs tables to his customers until he gets the pick of them himself , you can be assured that i am not arbing or using the saver bets program either , nor is anyone associated with me , that is a given .
        when i was trading yes my transactions were in USD , if you use skrill ( moneybookers ) and neteller you nominate the currency you want to use and if i remember correctly same with your account with the bookies, you nominate your currency when you open your account .
        why do you need a US account ?, just open your account with a US bookie , using your UK address , the only one’s they can’t accept is a US based account , they have prohibition again , you would think that after the absolute shambles the VOLSTAG ??? act caused in the country from 1920 to 1932 they would know that prohibition dores not work , good luck , regards don

        • Arberhunter
          14 January 2016 at 10:52 pm #

          Thanks a lot for your info Don.

  2. Mark
    19 November 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Donar when is your saver software coming up?. And thank you guys for all the info.

    • don rees
      20 November 2015 at 9:24 pm #

      hi mark , just as soon as i get the website problems sorted out , i seem to have an unhappy knack of picking the wrong guys to do my work , maybe 6 of these ” experts ” has had a go at my 2 websites in the past 6 months , to get one of them to intergrate skrill as a recurring monthly payment option is totally alien to the ones i have picked .
      it looks like i will have to go with paypal only to begin with , maybe the end of next week .
      if you do your arbing similar to Leroy in the message below , my program will be of no use to you at all, you will never find an arb in my program that is ” live betting ” i would not touch live betting ever , my biggest fear when i was trading was not being able to get all of the , say 3 , wagers on before the odds changed , and this did happen quite a few times too , when this happens it puts you in the position of being a straight out gambler and i do not want to be a gambler in any form.

      my program is deliberately set to find arbs in matches as far in the future as possible , i am sure that the odds are less likely to change if the match etc is not to be played for say 7 days , i have seen arbs in my tables that have not altered for days and days and that is no exaggeration.

      i suppose something like this depends on your bank and there is not much i can do about that , i do know though that if in say a HAD match in soccer , you get your wager on the favourite and then the draw ( this is the order in which i used to do them anyway ) but when you come to put your wager on the underdog the odds have dropped and killed the arb, so you do not make any wager on the underdog at all , and the underdog actually wins the match , and they sometimes do , then it is going to take you a long while to get back the stake monies you just lost on the favourite and the draw .

      you can of course put something on the underdog at the new odds to try and soften the blow if they do win and for what it is worth i suggest that if you are ever in this position , you do try and cover your 2 stakes already made somehow.

      i have always regarded arbing as a trading program , you need a bit a patience , you are not going to get rich overnight , ggod luck , don

    • don rees
      9 January 2016 at 5:51 pm #

      hi mark , a belated reply i know but my saverbets program will be available in about 7 days i hope , it will be $65.00 a month , i will send details to Robert first just to make sure i can put the website address in a post.
      the past 9 weeks delay has nothing to do with the saverbets program , it has been web site problems , i seem to have an unhappy knack of picking the wrong guys to do work for me , one guy 32 days did nothing , the next guy was worse 34 days then disappeared i finally found a guy who is great , he is just cleaning up the stuff the previous 2 ” experts ” left .
      in my opinion Mark , saver are much better than arbs and i am not saying this because i only have a saver bets program , i also have my arbs program finished , it is $50.00 a month so it does not matter to me which one anyone subscribes to, i just think savers are better, anyway you get a 2 day trial on either or both , regards don

    • don rees
      14 January 2016 at 10:43 pm #

      hi mark , both the savers and my-arbershop are finished , i have sent robert a message asking him if it ok if i mention both addresses in a post in this forum , he has previously said i could do this but i thought i should ask again.
      both programs have been running well for weeks now , an arbs program requires constant maintenance , bookies very often change their web site etc and when this happens my program does not recognize their site and does not scan it, betdaq have just changed theirs and caused me a lot of trouble , regards don

      • Luca
        20 January 2016 at 11:34 am #

        Hello Don,
        I’m a new surebetter. I start about 1 year ago. I look every day some forum and news about surebet. Now I use the program betonvalue. I’m from italy and it good because have many bookmkaers .it .
        Is possible have some information about your programs?
        Thanks

      • Luca
        20 January 2016 at 12:09 pm #

        Hello Don,

        can I know how to subscribe at your program?

        Thanks

        • don rees
          20 January 2016 at 8:11 pm #

          hi luis , i was waiting on a reply from robert regarding putting the program names in a post but he has not answered , i thought he might still be on holidays .
          please wait a day or so , i will send him another message , i do not like advertising in his site without getting an ok from him first , thanks don

          • arberhunter
            20 January 2016 at 9:44 pm #

            Hey Don

            You’re a wealth of knowledge on this site Don, and appreciate by myself and others … have u ever considered getting your own site? There cud be some AU$ in it?! A moderator for the site + separate advisory service, linking to your programmes?

          • Luca
            26 January 2016 at 10:39 am #

            Hello Don,
            Can you give me some info about the program at this mail ivanobucci01[at]gmail[dot]com

            I have other question, for the moment I use betonvalue..that’s good for the italian bookmakers also. But I received today a special promotion from Rebelbetting. What do you think is the good software?

            Thanks

  3. Leroy
    19 November 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    I have been using RebelBetting and OddStorm only. I can say that OddStorm is much better than Rebel. OddStorm also have navigation and the most important thing is that they have the fastest surebet delivery. Also I don’t know how you are making much money with Rebel because they are supporting only PreMatch. OddStorm is supporting PreMatch and InPlay. For InPlay you don’t need to wait days to gather your money. You place the bet and few minutes later your money are in your pocket. For me OddStorm is the best sports arbitrage service and I have been using it from two years and don’t think to change it.

    • Johnson
      22 December 2015 at 1:25 pm #

      Hi Leroy!

      On which bookies are you arb betting and have you ever been limited or blocked?

      Thanks! 🙂

  4. Johnson
    22 December 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi Don!

    Could you please tell me which Asian bookies are arb friendly? 🙂

    Many thanks in advance 🙂

    • don rees
      22 December 2015 at 6:44 pm #

      hi johnson , i suggest you try , IBC ( but you have to use an agent to open an account ) SBO for sure , bodog88 ( if you can get them where you live ) 138bet, not sure how you are going to use these however , when your arbs providors tells you that say stan james has odds for such and such and so this makes the arb ( it is generally the odds from one bookie that makes an arb , he is out of kilter with the others for that event ) then this does not mean that when you go to any of these asian books you will get the same odds , if fact you almost certainly will not and so there will be no arb to be had , if you understand what i mean .
      it is my opinion that the US books will not ban you either , OR AT LEAST IN THE 4 US SPORTS , i was banned by my favourite book , hollywood sportsbook in SOCCER , but only in soccer , the US books are not all that strong in soccer and they limited me to 25 bucks .
      of course pinnancle will never ban you and i have never had any trouble with , 5dimes , bet cris , the greek , diamond sportsbook , island casino , and a few others , but who knows their policies might have changed only yesterday.
      suggest you watch this site i may have something to help you in the next couple of weeks , regards and good arbing , don rees

  5. rhaila
    8 January 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    is there any difference between arbitrage computation.and sure bet computation

    • Right Winger
      9 January 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Hi, a ‘sure bet’ is a synonym for arbitrage – they are the same thing.

      Thanks for your question.

  6. arberhunter
    9 January 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    I’ve been arbing for AGES … n very successfully at that. But the dreaded black cloud has come and I have no access to any fixed odds accounts to arb.
    I tried ‘sharbing’ in shops, but gave up, as they made such a fuss whenever u try get on £200 … even anything over £50 with the majority. I got cross-quizzed in coral, asking if Im a regular, hearing the lady talking to one of their ‘traders’ ,, ‘oh no, Ive not seen this guy before in this shop’. And that was over a £100 bet! A Paddy power shop staff member said to me 2yea, we take bet over a £100 in here”, yea right i thought, but at least inspired me with a little optimism. After placing one [losing] £200 bet, i got told by the cashier I can only have SP. The guy was foreign so his dialogue was a bit of a giveaway when he said [pointing], “you, the traders told me have SP only”….shame i couldnt take them to court for dicrimination, but theyre quite within their rights.
    My big question is:
    to open European fixed odds betting accounts—do i have to be a resident there? — the same as in UK, if u were to open an account?
    Or is there anyway u can trade euro, say, through an online wallet, such as neteller, for example? I even had a mad idea to get a caravan in ‘BritCamp’ benidorm, solely just for the ‘address’ and hammer the arbing in eurozone? surely they’d also be a larger selection of firms as so many countries?? any help/advice/experiences would be appreciated, fellow arbers
    We must stand united! On the battle against the bookies!!

    • don rees
      20 January 2016 at 11:25 pm #

      hi arbhunter , i could not get the ” reply ” button to show itself in your last message , thanks for the compliments , i do not mind at all about answering questions about arbing , if i can offer advice i will .
      regarding a web site i do not think i would be any good at all with my own blog ? is that the word , i have had more problems with my 2 web sites , one for arbs and the other for the saverbets` , than i have had in my entire life ( and i am 83 in March and been in business (( building houses etc )) , i have managed to give the work to the ” wrong guy ” i think now , 6 times in a row , one after the other and paid most of them too.
      no i will leave the ” blogs ” to others , what i am hoping is that so many of you guys will subscribe to my 2 programs and i will be so busy counting the money i will not have time to do much else.
      but leaving the joking out of it , i would like to get a few dollars out of it ( USD that is not AUD , 100 USD costs me around 140 AUD when i pay for something or to someone for work done , i want those USD.
      if i get anything out of it i already have in mind a couple of new programs`, one for racing which i was going to do years ago , and the other , i believe i can get an arbs program going with only a “small number” of books ( i have said it previously , you do not want an arb service that scrapes 50 or 100 books , you want one that only scrapes about 10 of them ) and the books in the ” small number ” will be ones who will NOT ban you as an arber , i believe i can do this AND with no soccer in the program either , just the other sports, thanks and good luck in the future ( i have just sent Robert another message asking if i can mention my 2 programs in a post , maybe he is still on holidays ? )

      • Arberhunter
        21 January 2016 at 6:48 pm #

        Haha I hope you’re soon too busy counting the $ to not worry about anything nice–woud be nice, especially involving something you have a passion for.

        My own style of arbing, was the traditional ‘old school’ method … back with fixed odds company >> lay on exchanges (in UK the biggest audience is within BETFAIR). Although very time consuming, and requiring a certain amount of judgement through expertise, this proved very profitable and reliable. I predominantly focused on horse racing; reason being is u have the in-running element on the exchanges, where,say, if your horse got beaten a nose, you would have laid bets at as small as 1.1 and under, which added to profit. Especially when bets placed with fixed odds companies, who offered ‘best price guaranteed’ offers, which most did.

        As you rightly mentioned earlier, the majority of these companies either close your account, or in UK the genral trend is to restrict your ‘maximum’ stakes to sometimes pence, which is a cent in US terms, so useless and as good as closed. I had a good run 2011, 2013, 2014 and almost all of 2015. My downfall was, I was left basically with one sole account, and I got greedy. Placing £2000 bets, regular £1000 and £100 + very often. I was surprised they let me do this …but i assumed this because I was losing in their ‘total’ calcuations–although not losing myslf, as arbed them off at profit…. but then the inevitable happened and I got restricted, but only because there was a large number of consecutive winners within 3 months.

        I’m interested to hear some info re. your programmes. I do not understand the full concept of ‘saverbets’ and other ones you have mentioned….and does the require the arber to actually have a non-restricted account with most fixed-odds companies? And how would you programmes work for a subscriber?

        Maybe you could email me some details, if possible: roy[at]arberhunter[dot]info … I’m in the process of building an advisory service about how to arb fixed odds to exchange and also working on some podcasts to broadcast this. Whether it profits or not, i will get good satisfaction of empowering people how to take money from bookmakers!

        Going back to the blog idea mentioned previously … this site seems very quiet, considering the amount of arbers around nowadays. You’d be better off reaching out to a wider audience and spreading the word of your programmes, which I think would be popular.

        • don rees
          24 January 2016 at 11:32 pm #

          hi arbhunter , i tried a trial to that address but it came back , i am sure i have the .info wrong , is it ,info.com, /also i am having problems with the captcha in the site , i will try and send this message now , using the win10 laptop now , t does not seem to like xp . don

          will reply in full if this message goes ok

          • Soccerwidow
            25 January 2016 at 8:32 am #

            Hi Don, both comments have been logged, XP as well as Win 10. It’s not a Captcha problem, there is some other bug on the site which has to do with the multilingual function. After a user posts a comment, the site redirects. It also happens when I remove the Captcha. So it’s not the Captcha.

            I’m currently trying to find the cause of this error and fix it. However, you can continue commenting and trust that your comments will go through. Sorry for the inconvenience.

          • arberhunter
            25 January 2016 at 8:56 pm #

            Hey Don
            Apologies about email address, damn email adresses…Try roysrolling01[at]gmail[dot]com, for the info if possible

            Cheers Don

  7. arberhunter
    9 January 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    One thing to beware of on exchanges, in particular, regarding horse races:
    Is people entering in ‘false’ asks or bids for horses in the early evening, the day prior to the meeting around 4/5/6 pm.
    They see a horse is attracting some attention. Lets say the horse is priced between 3/1 & best 4/1, yet there are small orders for 4.7 … someone could go in ‘heavy handed’ on the fixed odds of 4/1 … ‘sell’ it to lay at 4.5 … then entere their own ‘false’ bid of, say, £2000, to make fellow arbers/or just plain backers of backed horses, all jump on the gravy train in a frenzy. Consequently your own [fixed odds 4/1} arb lays…you withdraw your false £2000 order and the frenzy dies, for instance.
    In the trading world there is a similar tactic called ‘spoofing’, which causes the same response, but is considered not entirely ethical

  8. don rees
    24 January 2016 at 11:23 pm #

    trial , captcha problems in xp trying win ten

  9. arberhunter
    11 February 2016 at 11:49 am #

    HEY guys … some of you msy find this of interest–IS NOT A marketing or adveritising tool, just instructionals how to ARB. I hate bookies with a vengeance, and have joy empowering anyone how to milk them. YOU TUBE: arberhunter, FB & twitter the same….worth a look

  10. Keiran Glastonbury
    15 May 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Do any of you actually make decent money and how do you make money from arbs without getting shut down etc, I have 15 grand if anyone wants to point me in the right direction my name @gmail.com is my email

  11. lu
    28 May 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    hey guys I am profesional arber My max profit per mounth was 10k, I know guys making mach more ,+50k mount constantly How thay make it? the first rule is to have a lot of friends How to avoid limits you need to lern by your self, the tactic need to be diferent from bookie to bookie And if you make nice money they will limit you I can avoid limits complitly but it is more profitable to be limited One way to avoid fast limits is live arbing Rounding stakes is not the moste important think No one will tell you how to make this kind of money becouse this are secrets to protect own buisnes I also read that one guy here made around 2k arbs This is very low number of bets But more profitable than arbitrage is that you bet only the wrong odd-one way bet-value bet side For value betting you need bankrool manegnent and you can use limited accounts Some bookies also close accouns and put betting limits to 0€

    • Julya
      2 July 2016 at 11:49 pm #

      Hello! I am arbing only live but I get limited after few bets.. I tried alot of uk bookies and they all do the same… I was reading some forums and tried to aske some questions but people don’t wanna give any advice and laugh at me cuz I am women… if anyone can give me any advice i will be very grateful. Thanks!

      • arberhunter
        5 July 2016 at 4:08 pm #

        Check out YOU TUBE channel ‘arberhunter’ for arbing instructionals. Also ensure you wipe iEsnare, use a different PC for the betfair element of laying and separate device and payasugo dongles, for multiple ID accounts. a different IP address is created wit dongles.good luck

    • Iulia
      3 July 2016 at 11:55 am #

      can you please give me some advice about live betting ?i dont know what to do anymore… i get limited after 1 day… 🙁

  12. don rees
    20 August 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    hi guys , if anyone is interested my saverbets program is running fine , saverbets.com any problems let me know , donar (at) westnet.c-m.au, thanks donar

    • Soccerwidow
      21 August 2016 at 11:13 am #

      Hi Donar,

      Right now we are concentrating on choosing a new theme and moving all our content to it. We want to completely restructure this site, integrate email subscriptions and much more. Sorry, but this is taking all our focus on the task in hand.

      Generally speaking we are not big fans of advertising services of other websites for free. Websites, however promising they are, have the unfortunate habit to disappear over night, and we are therefore required constantly to check if any links on our website are still active and available. The more links we have the more work we need to put into checking.

      Best wishes,
      Soccerwidow

      • don rees
        23 August 2016 at 1:27 am #

        hi i have a snip of the welcome page in my web site , http://www.saverbets.com , i would send it as an attachment but there is no provision to do that.
        soccer widow has been on my saverbets site as a link for at least the past 4 months , this was the arrangement i had with robert admittedly some time ago , thanks don rees

        donar@westnet.com.au

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