Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Sports Betting Arbitrage Legal?
  2. Should I pay for an E-book on Arbitrage Trading?
  3. Do people really do this?
  4. Why are you providing this information for free?
  5. How much money can you make by doing this?
  6. If I start with $XXXX, can I make $XXX per week?
  7. How much money do I need to get started?
  8. If I am going to get limited, why bother?
  9. Can I arb from the USA?

Also see the Advanced FAQ‘s in the “Arbitrage Trading” Section of the Guide.

  1. Which Alert Service Should I Use?
  2. How long does the average arb last?
  3. Should I use bookmaker X/Y/Z?
  4. Why use a major currency?
  5. What can I do – Bookmaker X won’t pay out/allow me to withdraw?
  6. How can I avoid bookmakers cancelling my bets under their Obvious/Palpable Error rule?

And finally, check out our blog section “Visitor Questions” where we post all good questions emailed to us, along with their answers of course:

Is Sports Arbitrage Betting Legal?

Arbitrage is 100% legal and well practiced in every sort of financial market around the globe. The only way in which Sports Betting Arbitrage is different to other financial arbitrages is that it involves betting. Is gambling legal in your location? Is online gambling legal in your location? These are the two questions that you actually need to worry about. The USA has some legal issues with online gambling, but otherwise, most of the major countries around the world are completely open to online gambling, and therefore arbitrage trading is completely legal. You will also find that not only is it legal, but often ‘gambling winnings’ are completely tax free. The laws here definitely vary from country to country, and you should speak to a real accountant before deciding whether you should declare your profits as taxable income or not.

Should I pay for an E-book on Arbitrage Trading?

There are a number of companies and organisations which offer E-books, DVDs and other stuff which is supposed to teach you all that you need to know about sports betting arbitrage. I have never used any of these E-books, so I can’t say with certainty that they aren’t worth having. I can however, note that not having them hasn’t adversely affected my trading, nor have I heard any of the other full time/professional/skilled traders I’ve met ever talked about any of these books helping them out at all. By spending enough time looking around the internet, I believe you can find everything you need to know for free.

The very purpose of this website is to provide a complete guide for Sports Betting Arbitrage. This website is intended to replace the need for those E-books.
Many people have told me that they wish they had found SAG before they paid for “X” E-book, because SAG covered everything that was in the book. The second advantage the free internet and this website has over an E-book, is this website (and many others) is interactive. We have Forums where many users ask questions, exchange stories, and provide help for each other. Arbitrage trading is an experiential learning process. No static text will ever provide you with everything you need to know.

Nonetheless, in the interest of provide a complete guide which covers all aspects of arbitrage, SAG still provides links to all of the arbitrage E-books which are known of on the E-Books page.

Do people really do this?

Absolutely. Some people do it casually, in their spare time in order to make some extra money. Other people invest a lot of money and trade as a full time job so that they can work from home. Sports Betting Arbitrage is not an underground secret society activity, it is well known, well practiced and very public. To meet people who actively trade, just visit our forum, or check out ArbForum.co.uk for one of the more well established communities. Even online gambling forums regularly have conversations between the veteran gamblers about arbs they have placed.

Why are you providing this information for free? What’s in it for you? Why should we trust what you say?

I provide it for free in the hope that you appreciate my work enough to use the links from this site to the bookmakers, the arbitrage alert services and to the websites advertised in our “sponsors” panels. We have affiliate relationships with many of these programs (not all offer them) and we earn a commission upon sales, registration, deposit or betting revenue. All of these can be done without any cost to yourself, often include a bonus or incentive to use our link, and will earn you my greatest appreciation.

So that is my motivation. In order to facilitate that outcome we are doing our best to provide the best website we can. If you appreciate the information we provide, then please consider supporting SAG by simply registering your interest with one of our sponsors, providing a link to the site from your own blog/website/myspace/forum, or simply telling your friends about the site. We promise to continue to provide complete access to all of the information in this site free, which we will continue to improve upon, while maintaining it in an unbiased objective manner.

How much money can you make by doing this?

A very appropriate question for the frequently asked questions page – the question everyone wants to know the answer to. Well, the answer is $10,365.24 per month.

Or, more seriously, experienced skilled arb traders can make up to an average of about 10% of their trading capital per month. This varies a lot though depending on numerous factors including your skill, how new your identity is (i.e. have you been limited by bookmakers, and can you still claim sign up bonuses?), and how much capital you are trading with. Often newbies can bring in 20% in their first few months if they get lucky and avoid making any mistakes! This 10% is compoundable only up to a certain volume. Most of the ‘experienced skilled arb traders’ are trading at maximum capacity and will spend their profits as they want to because trying to compound past that maximum capacity is pointless – there are only so many arbs available, so much money bookmakers will accept on those bets, and so much time in a day.

A full time experienced trader can bring in over £8,000 GBP per month (usually tax free) if they really want to. Gaining larger profits than this will usually come from flukes, luck and good sporting events brining in major arbitrage opportunities.

If I start with $XXXX, can I make $XXX per week?

This question is really answered above. I have really just added this question here again because people still email me a lot asking this particular variation of the above question, so I will try to address this variation directly. If you can make 10% profit each month, then $10,000 will yield $1,000 a month. If $1,000 a month isn’t enough for you to live off then you need to start with more capital, figure out how to increase you monthly percentage, or accept that you can’t live off your arbitrage trading yet. I generally suggest no one jumps straight into full time sports arbitrage trading expecting to take an income from it; you are far better off finding a way to do it while supporting yourself from another job or income source while you learn the basics. Spend several months reinvesting your profits while you practice and learn the basics part time around a reliable income source before putting all of your eggs into the arbitrage basket.

How much money do I need to get started?

I would guess the bare minimum bankroll to get started in arbitrage would be around $500, but I wouldn’t want to start with anything less than $3000. Either way you are going to be scrimping, limited to only a few sportsbooks, and you will need to be very very clever with your money management and your bonus hunting. Ideally you would have over $10,000 so that you have enough money to cover all of the major sportsbooks and have a few thousand spare to resupply books as they run out of money.

Starting out with very little money (less than $3000) would be impossible if it wasn’t for one thing – Sign Up Bonuses. These one time offers are the only saving grace you have if you lack initial capital. A very clever arber can quite quickly double their money from all of the 100% sign up bonuses offered by the various bookmakers if they manage their money and bookmaker accounts really well. So if you are in the <$3000 in capital boat, then pay real close attention to what bonuses are on offer. and make sure you get as much out of them as possible without getting your money stuck in a large rollover requirement! (More on this in the Arbitrage Trading section, under Claiming Your Bonus Money)

If bookmakers are going to limit me, why bother?

It is true that some bookmakers will limit you very quickly. They will recognise you as an arbitrage trader, because you are placing bets on arbitrage scenarios – and they know that. But some books take much longer to limit you. Some books will only limit you on certain bets, or to a slightly smaller amount. But most importantly of all, some books will never limit you. Betting exchanges for example, will never limit you. Pinnacle is a well known sportsbook which accepts large volumes with great odds. They aren’t the only ones. It is quite convenient that the best odds in the marketplace come from betting exchanges and Pinnacle, and they happen to be the places where you won’t be limited, don’t you think? :)

For more information on this subject, check out these articles:

You will probably ‘fail’ at arbitrage too…

Questions About Bookies Banning Users

Can I arb from the USA?

US legislation passed a couple of years ago now which deals with financial institutions processing payments into “illegal online gambling” websites has made it very difficult for American citizens to place any bets online. While this legislation specifically shouldn’t alter your rights to gamble online, it will affect your ability to deposit into bookmakers. This alone makes it very hard to arb since arbitrage requires frequent depositing and withdrawing, and usually requires rapid deposits in order to keep books funded on very busy days. Secondly, the majority of online books simply do not allow American citizens to register with them anymore. Not even the American sportsbooks…

So can you? Not easily. Not practically. There are ways around it… moving to Canada is probably the easiest option. People have suggested setting up overseas mailing addresses, and VPN’s and the like, but it is all a lot more work than it probably should be, and open to create more problems than it is worth (are you committing fraud by doing these things?)

Do you have a question about Sports Betting Arbitrage?

Technical questions will be addressed in the “Arbitrage Trading” section FAQ. If you have questions about what arbitrage is, whether you can do it, how to find out more etc, then please send us an
email.

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