Sports Betting Arbitrage??


Well-known member
Anyone familiar? Sounds a bit too good to be true to me. There are loads of sites offering an alerting service to arbing opportunities . . . . .

I believe that these opps exist but crucially:

i) How long do the opps exist - ie long enough to place two bets by internet?

ii) How large is the arb opp - ie is it so small that credit card charges eat most of the profit.

iii) Why don't bookies put a stop to it - the explanations on the site are pretty frail.

Anyone any experience of this as a side line -

I'd appreciate any feedback -

Arbing opportunities do exist but never for very long and almost certainly not long enough to be alerted by text and to place your bet. I know a few people who have subscribed to an arbitrage service and they have yet to make a profit from it. Bear in mind that all the bookies are watching each others prices and are very quick to close down an opportunity when one occurs. The only other place you may get a chance it on the betting exchanges where you can act as bookmaker one minute and backer the next. But even then it is not easy to spot the opportunities. Personally I would forget it unless anyone knows of a SB company that offers out of market hours trading ?

As I imagined Paul - thanks for your reply.

There are tens of sites out there offering subscription services. One I read actually addressed this question of time available and was very reassuring about the time being long enough to place your bets . . . but then they would be.

It's the wild west out there on the web - does no one regulate anything??

Shame really cos it makes you dubious of everyone. . .

These arbing opportunities do exist, though I don't know if these pay sites are any good. The biggest problem is it is easy to spot people who arb because you have to place odd sized bets. The betting companies then just ban you.
I used to work with a guy, who spent most of the day with the 3 main SB pages up on his screens, arbing between them. He made some good money last year, but when I last asked him, he said the opportunites had largely vannished.
Yes, I got some excellent results for a short time between 2 SB co's- then the loop hole was firmly shut!
It's a common problem with SB companies. There are good opportunities from time to time (not just arbing) but if they see you making good profits then they may examine what you are doing more closely and alter the instrument spread or bias to suit, especially if they have a monopoly on a particular market!

Hence the rule is make the most of these opportunities whilst you can.
Hi all and thanks v much for yr replies -

To be honest I must confess that (ignoring the philosophy of this board) my post was not about SB arbing but sports betting ie fixed odds.

I can imagine that arbing SB cos would be a v difficult task since there are only a handful of cos making a book.

However there are over 100 UK based fixed odds bookmakers and many more based offshore. These cos make a market in hundreds of sporting events around the world. They often have to make a market even though they might not have a specific knowledge in the event. The best opps from UK based bookmakers are in US baseball, NFL etc (apparantly)

It is here that the service providers claim the arbing opps are to be found.

I dont know - just repeating the rhetoric from their promotional sites. . . it make you wonder though. . . . I agree with mmillar that you might be easy to spot with you odd bets but (and maybe someone could help me out here) I can't really see why the bookies would mind . . . at the end of the day folk are placing one side of a large bet with them and the other with another company. They are just as likely to keep the cash and let the other bookmaker pay out. . .
Just my opinion, but I think sports betting companies would mind because you are actually betting against them - if you lose they win, if you win they lose. They set the odds in such a way that you MUST lose (over time). If you come into the market and start winning you are going to screw them, so they don't want you around.
Point taken and on the face of it agree totally. However when there were a handful of guys in the highstreet all was well . . . it was easy to keep an eye on rivals odds and make sure there were no arbing opps.

No it's harder because the number of bookies on the net is out of control and climbing exponentially. Sure they don't want arbers but can they stop them? And in any case you would never ne able to place both sides of an arb with one bookmaker - so they only ever see one side.

As far as any single bookie was concerned you are a punter who keeps coming in (or logging on) and placing large bets. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose just like any other punter. What he doesn;t know it that when you lose you are compensated by a payout from another bookmaker of more than the stake you lost from the first. Why should any single bookmaker care?? It's all more business for them.

I am well prepard to be totally blown out of the water by anyone who has more than my surface deep understanding of this. . .

Cheers -

My original reply was applicable to all arbitrage not just SB. As I said I know a few people who have subscribed and none have yet made a profit. On several occasions an opportunity is given and they have managed to back one side of the bet and by the time they go to the second the odds have changed and the opportunity has gone and this was with Online accounts. The most likely opportunities are in 2 event outcomes such as tennis matches, football matches and as you said baseball games where, for example Hingis is offered at 2 to 1 with one bookie and her opponent is 2 to 1 with another. £1 on each gives a £3 return for £2 staked. Personally you will need to be very fast and ahead of everyone else to profit from this.

Good Luck

the best way to go about this is to use national bookmakers. eg in the cricket, say england were playing pakistan. the pakistani bookmakers would offer better odds on pakistan, and vice versa. if u look around u can find these opportunities. i used to bet on sports quite a lot and came out just about even. now its just the odd dabble on sports that i follow. its a dangerous game, and i doubt very many people make a living off sports betting. far too random.
Quite, and to make a decent return arbing the stakes have to be large. . . . I don't know about you but I'd rather not lodge a £5-10K stake with an overseas bookmaker. . . . call me a wuss but there's got to be a better way. . .

I suppose this more-or less brings it to a close - thanks for all feedback


I know you closed this thread but I've been thinking about it some more. :confused: Especially about why a betting firm would not want you to arbitrage. The answer is back to 'if they win you lose, if you win they lose'. On average, if you are winning then all the bookmakers must, on average, be losing.

As an example let's place bets on two seperate events...

Place a £50 bet on Team A to win with Bookie 1 at 2/1 odds and also Team B to win with Bookie 2 at 2/1. Team A wins the game so you have won (2x£50 - £50 = £50), Bookie 1 has lost (£100) and Bookie 2 has won (£50).

Now lets place a £50 bet on Team C to win with Bookie 1 at 2/1 odds and Team D to win with Bookie 2 at 2/1. Team D wins the game so you have won (£50), Bookie 1 has won £50 and Bookie 2 has lost (£100).

So overall you have won £100, Bookie 1 has lost £50 and Bookie 2 has lost £50. Because of arbitrage the only person to win is you. When you place an arbitrage bet the bookie doesn't know if it is them or the other bookie who will lose on this occaision, but they do know that, on average, they will lose. And averages is what this game is all about.

Hope that helps. I can sleep better now knowing I've got that out. :)


Hi mmillar- I agree entirely . . . . in an ideal world it is bad for bookies as a collective entity to allow arbitrage.

However the two points which might allow it to exist are:

i) the exponential rise in the number if on-line competitors all making their own book and offering odds in the same event. They don't send a newsletter around annnouncing that tomorrow the odds on such-and-such event will change. This would be illegal. The odds change depending on moneyflow and to attract punters. There are bound to exist time periods (however short) where one bookie changes his odds and the rest don't notice for a while.

ii) The effect on each individiual bookie is small.

On balance I think that arbitrage opps do exist but I don't believe that they are around long enough to make regular money out of without risking getting caught trying to place the second leg of the arb.

Nice idea though. . .

If you are interested in sports arbitrage opportunities then you should forget about finding 2 bookmakers with wildly differing opinions as 1) It doesn't happen very often and 2) You are by definition confined to match bets i.e. only 2 possible outcomes, like a tennis match etc.

You should however take a look at the sports betting exchanges, in particular (as it is the biggest) where you can be the bookmaker yourself and lay a bet - now you only have to find 1 bookmaker with an out of line opinion instead of two, plus you can play in markets with many 'runners', not just match bets.


There are many vaild points for and against arbitrage. I belong to a club and they arb all the time with millions! No lie and no BS. I started out with £60,000 and now have a small fortune:)

I am going to open up an opportunity very soon that will allow you to piggy back on my weekly options that I get every week. These options range from 3% to 9%. You can only place on 1 side, depending on the option, but if that side wins you gain. If it dosen't win then you don't loose your stake.

Stay Tuned...
great info guys and gals.keep it coming!

Yes, sure it is, 99% says you haven't even read the thread. Just put yet another 1 line post in to get your post count higher leading no doubt to you trying to market stuff (directly or indirectly) sometime in the future.

Ban him......
It does make you wonder why he made 22 post in under 30 minutes and it is certain that he cannot have been able to read all the material on all of those threads in that time.