Sports Betting for a Living? Is Earning Money from Gambling possible?

Whether it is possible to earn money from gambling and make a living from betting are questions which seem to bother many punters.
To give the short answer…

Yes, it is absolutely possible to make money with sports betting.


Man jumps from word Impossible to PossibleImage: Gualtiero Boffi (Shutterstock)

Bookmakers make money; sports analysts make a living from gambling by compiling odds for bookies; some of my own income derives from sports bettors using this website. Programmers earn a living from gambling by developing various betting applications. Manufacturers of gaming machines make money from people’s gambling habits.

I could certainly continue this list as the betting business is a big industry providing many, many people with jobs.

But this is probably not a satisfactory response for sports fans who bet themselves and pursue the dream of supplementing their income, or becoming rich from gambling one day.

However, for these hopeful punters, the answer is also clearly positive…

  • Yes: it is possible to develop long-term profitable betting strategies.
  • Yes: it is possible to find betting odds which hold value and provide a mathematical edge.

Nothing is Impossible!

The big question is whether you will manage to join the minority, the tiny crowd of betting enthusiasts who finally become successful.

Another question is whether you have the patience (and time) for acquiring the necessary knowledge to win more than you lose, because only knowledge is power; without knowledge there is no chance.

Reliance on luck is not a foundation for lasting success. With luck alone nobody can build a house – only a handful of lottery millionaires can claim the opposite.

Successful Sports Bettors – Examples

In September 2005, in “Expert Betting Advice” forum, a young woman named Maria Santonix started publishing horse racing lay bets. I followed her thread at the time, and I must say that it came across as very authentic. She published daily picks (except Saturdays) and in only 303 days, her initial bank of £3,000 increased to £100,603.78.

The thread has since been taken offline by the operators of the forum, but if you google “Maria Laying System” you will find a plethora of articles referring to her experiment. Naturally, doubt breeds skepticism and most of the responses are quite critical.

It is difficult to find really credible information about betting success on the Internet. In the majority of threads you will read statements such as “I know someone who knows someone who makes his living from betting”.

The only website I am currently aware of which has published quarterly betting results for several years is Alan Seymour’s Sports Arbitrage Review. Alan writes about his experiences as a professional arbitrage trader and has been arbing since 2002.

Famous Last Words

If you have anything substantial to contribute to this topic please leave your comment below. It will warm our hearts and be absolutely great!

As I continue to develop betting courses and tutorials, I would be very keen to learn which specific content you are interested in most.

I thank you in advance for you valuable contribution! Every thought helps to develop this website into a sparkling source of knowledge in the often far too confusing worldwide web. 😛

learn to think like a bookmaker!
deciphering bookmaker mathematics

Last Update: 18 February 2016

Categories:Betting Advice Betting Guidance Responsible Gambling

119 Responses to “Sports Betting for a Living? Is Earning Money from Gambling possible?”

  1. topgun
    2 October 2015 at 11:36 pm #

    May I respectfully request comment from far more worthy minds than my own, I have been trialing football goal totals in blocks of 3 parlayed to return around $1.90 / $2.00 when one drops i martingale to recover the lost unit, (i feel the shrieks) it seems to be working fine. I handicap the totals myself from statistic data and feel comfortable with my selections, has anyone been here before ? and is the devil waiting to take me down in a long losing streak.

  2. JC
    4 October 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi All

    I am new to this forum I have been reading most of the posts here, I am new to betting.

    I am so interested in everything that involves risk but for the past few months I have been betting on horses and football. I use only one betting company William hill and is it allowed to open accounts with more than 2 betting shops.

    I am sure everyone ask this question , I want to know if its possible to make profit on betting and what amount is reasonable to deposit into a betting account just to be safe.

    I am also interested in Forex Trading I managed to open a demo account but I am sure there is someone here who can help with by just mentoring on how it works and if its possible to make money too with forex trading. Professionally I am an accountant and I am always eager to venture into new things and experiment.

    Many thanks

    • Matthew
      19 July 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      you should check out Mike Cruickshank’s software, start with bonus bagging then move onto profit maximiser. They have lots of training videos and use all the online bookie sites, so to answer your question yes you can have accounts with more than one bookie, however some are owned by the same company just be aware of this e.g. Paddy Power and Betfair. I would use his methods for 80% of your total betting but come up with a 20% system where you appear to be like every other punter. Bookies have software which can tell if your constantly taking bets above the Betfair lay odds, this is arbitrage betting but for a sustainable long term income you need to mix it up a bit. I learned this the hard way after being banned from many sites and excluded from promotions on even more.

  3. super83
    8 November 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi everyone, Pls I need a tip for successful betting,I’ve been playing matchbet for sometime now and have not won.pls somebody help me I need money for a serious project thanks and God bless

    • Christos
      26 November 2015 at 11:22 pm #

      Super83 where are you from?

  4. Christos
    28 November 2015 at 12:28 am #

    I want someone who bets into a betting exchange site to cooperate with.

  5. Craig
    7 December 2015 at 5:11 am #

    Hi soccerwidow,

    Scanned through this thread and am new to the site, what has brought me is an interest to start making a decent amount of money on the side as I know its possible through sports betting.

    Now I have had a few accas up and won a bit but mainly lost and wasted money on rather stupid bets, overall though I am a complete rookie. I came across free football tipster on facebook who does betting challanges, he starting usually from £20 to £1K, £10K, £50K etc. his system is that he puts a the ‘safest’ bet of the day on at odds around 1/3, usually Asian handicaps, or alternative goal lines, he also does some inplay bets on over a certain amount of goals or teams to score before a certain time.

    Now I believe this is an okay system to use could be better. The tipster though continues to put on the full stake on every bet the orignal 20 + winnings in order to get to his challenge target after 10-30 bets. I have followed him for a around a week and he hasn’t got past bet 6 yet and usually doesn’t make over £100, maybe a con ? He has mentioned on his page that he has just won two 10k challanges, I think this is also due to the tipster rushing the challanges, originally saying one ‘safe’ bet a day but in reality putting 1 pre bet a day with maybe another 2 inplay bets on the same day. What the tipster also doesn’t tell his followers is that he gets money promoting bet356 and commision for bets put on (I believe) through an autoload slip and pays a percentage for every time the bookmaker gets beat ( again so I believe).

    My question to you is that is this a viable system, do you think this is a good system to use and how would you yourself change it any way ? Not putting full stake + winnings on ?

    I believe this system could work and is a rough copy if you will of what I am thinking of doing, I want to calculate my true odds for matches and take my time building my war chest as you said, before trying different techniques like Tony’s multiples, (which I still don’t all understand its all still a bit confusing). I also like your advice on signing up to different bookmakers to get and utilise their free bets offers and I will start my venture through these. Any other tips for a novice as myself moving forward using this kind of system ? Or do you think it is bound to lose over the long run ?

    I do think I could hit big money and would not be scared putting large bets with money that has been won and not out my own pocket, but a great quote that caught my eye is this my ‘ignorance’ getting the better of me by thinking I know how the bookmaker system works ?

    Thanks, Craig.

  6. Right Winger
    7 December 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    Dear Craig,


    That’s a lot to take in.

    Firstly, our view on Tipster services is that they are unnecessary and in most cases, with moderate Excel skills and access to historical statistics, you can usually do the job better yourself.

    I mean, would you trust any service where you have no access to their method of bet selection?

    Most Tipsters rely on affiliate income if they are promoting a bookmaker. They don’t care if you win or lose. In fact, they would rather you lose so that they get paid their percentage of the bookmaker’s earnings. Your perception of getting paid ‘when the bookmaker gets beat’ is entirely the wrong way ’round.

    You also have no idea if there is any ‘value’ present in the bets that are being recommended for you. In effect, you are putting ‘blind faith’ in someone else’s suggestions.

    At such short odds of 1/3, you must understand that statistically speaking, the bet has an implied chance of winning of 75%. Therefore every bet at this price must also have an implied chance of losing of 25%. One in four bets on average will lose.

    So, to answer your question, ‘is this a viable system’, I cannot say either way as you have not provided enough information for me to judge it objectively.

    I will say that such a service should be avoided at all costs though. If someone has a successful system, do you think they would share it on a widespread scale? These things operate like a fruit machine – paying out just enough to keep you playing.

    Soccerwidow does not offer any system for sale. We only offer products to help you build your own. My advice is to read all you can on this site under the ‘Football and Gambling‘ section, and then to educate yourself further by looking at other gambling advice sites.

    Paper test any theory you may find until it works in practice. Never gamble money on anything you have not seen working at first hand. Trust only your own calculations.

    Oh, and avoid accumulators!!!

    Follow this advice, work hard, and maybe you will make money. If it were that easy, there wouldn’t be bookmakers – the punters would have closed them all down.

    Craig, I hope this helps and thanks for taking the time and trouble with your missive.

  7. James
    10 December 2015 at 11:35 pm #

    if that easy everyone be doing it …so it ain’t easy and I have tried. You need to know a lot, am no football fan but with many people with football knowledge, do they win bets? Not often, if they did, bookies wouldn’t be around. Also looking at the maths, the odds don’t favor the gambler at all. Why do you think favorites have bad odds, it is because they can win, which bookies need to put their odds like that, everyone probably knows that. So you lose more than you win….not easy not easy at all……………

  8. David
    16 May 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    Running a single sports tipster is dangerous! If they have a bad month, then so do you. However, if you research tipsters that have good long term profits and use more of them, your balance and income will grow considerably. If one in three of your services have a bad month, you should make money. The earning potential is much higher with tipsters and takes a lot less time than matched betting. Matched betting can also cause credit-rating problems as each bookie will do a credit and ID check on you which will come up on your report. Some of them will then automatically redo your check. There is a free guide to using tipsters at: Racinghints.com

  9. Simon
    30 November 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    The guys are right, tipsters run on affiliate commission so their tips are pre-determined by the bookmaker making them win every time.

    Free bet bonus bagging has been the only way to really bash the bookies. I’ve been using Profit Accumulator for nearly over 2 weeks and have made £790 profit, not bad only being able to commit much time with my full time job. I learned by this full tutorial: No Risk Matched Betting -Profit Accumulator

    Wish all the fellow matched bettors luck!!

  10. Tony
    2 December 2016 at 7:31 am #

    @Right Winger

    “If someone has a successful system do you think they would share it on a widespread scale? ” you ask in a recent post above.

    May I point out that that’s EXACTLY what I’ve been trying to do for years!!!!!!!!

    I dont know if my earlier posts are still there and dont want to see either way (I’m funny that way)

    Almost everything I read about soccer betting on the internet is wrong or

    The best way to make money from betting on sports is to place a whole series of multiples bets on long term markets throughout the season in such a way that most of them are hedges on each other and employing very good money management.

    There. I’ve just given away my system. But you will say I haven’t given away how to do it.

    But I shouldn’t need to. Long term markets are truly truly truly not hard to beat.

    They really aren’t. And that’s all the information you need.

    That and one other thing. The only way to learn how to do this is to try it.

    But of course you won’t.

    • Jonathan
      2 December 2016 at 10:14 am #

      Tony I know for a fact you’re right because I’ve seen the press coverage about your winnings. I promise I’m going to try this but it’s hard with so little detail.

  11. Tom
    4 December 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    Take a look at mattsmosaic on twitter he wins 4 to 5 hundred a month not a massive amount I know but it’s regular and he has stated he might go full time ,hope this helps

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