Matched betting with BonusBank; is it worth your time?

This article contains an affiliate link to Bonus Bank for Captain FI readers – for a 20% discount on Premium use code “CAPTAINFI”

I was highly suspicious and very dubious of matched betting or ‘Dutching’ when I first came across it – but I have learned that it is real, it does work and it is kind of the same concept of ‘counting cards’ at the casino or credit card churning for sign up points. Basically you are ‘Playing with FIRE’  here – Bookies and online gambling sites offer bonus bets, sign up bonuses or matched bets to try and entice customers to gamble more frequently, because they know that in the long run the house always wins, right?

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An Introduction to Matched betting with Bonus Bank

The House always wins? Well not anymore! Bonus Bank is a tool that was created by Aussie’s Nico and David who bucked the system; between full time work and getting banned from countless online betting sites they somehow found time to create this useful FIRE tool. Bonus Bank now provides a subscription service with all the tools you need to make actual money by casually placing ‘stacked’ or ‘Dutched’ bets.

You effectively bet on both sides winning in a proportion determined by the bonus bets available, to try and extract the maximum value of the sign up bonuses the bookies give you. You wont make millions, and average bonus extraction rates are usually around 60% to 80% of the ‘gifted’ bonuses, depending on how efficient and skilled you are at matched betting. Most people should be able to get at least $20 per hour (tax free) if they can afford to ‘invest’ at least $1000 into matched betting, but with a bit more capital and skill you could be making more like $50 an hour and a couple of thousand per month with this sneaky side hustle.

Lurking my way through the online forums and chatting to people about Matched Betting, it turns out some people actually even do this as a full time job – David from Bonus Bank even pointed out one bloke who had made over $20,000 from his matched betting side hustle which blew my mind.

So it turns out, matched betting is real and does actually work. It is not gambling – it is a form of mathematical arbitrage (technically called promotional arbitrage) that allows you to take advantage of bonus offers and bet matching that many bookies use to try and lure in new customers or repeat business. You are effectively draining their promotional budgets, and I kind of see this as a form of ‘internet justice’ since bookies do promote problem gambling and ‘help’ ruin thousands of peoples lives.

Matched betting is not passive money, but it is fairly easy. The Gambling industry is worth Billions, and they want you to play (and lose!), so they spend millions on bonus schemes to keep people hooked. Matched betting is very similar to credit card sign up churning in concept. However, if the Bookies find out you are doing matched betting – they will BAN you – just like how a casino will throw you out if they know your counting cards!

I have now interviewed dozens of people who have successfully used this to make between a few hundred to a couple of thousand of dollars per month. How much you will make will depend on how much capital you have to play with (bet with), how much time you are willing to invest and how much you actually care about doing this. I am actively experimenting with this now, and will report back once I have made some ‘winnings’!

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Betting on the trots is more challenging, but can be done with Bonus Bank

How much do I need to bet with Bonus Bank

To be honest, you can bet with as little or as much as you want; you can start with as little as a few hundred dollars. If you want to get serious and make a good side hustle income though, $2,000 is going to give you the best return on your time. It does require a fair bit of time to learn, and then go out and research and implement the bets themselves. Investing $2000 should let you net an hourly rate of around $50 per hour, and obviously the more you are willing to put up as capital to start with, the more you are potentially going to be able to make by distributing it amongst the various bookies to secure bonus sign ups (until you start reaching the match caps and upper bonus limits).

The best part – Gambling winnings are entirely Tax free, so this $50/hr side hustle does not need to be declared to the ATO! I personally now have $2,000 set aside that I am playing with.

Betting with Bonus Bank?

This is probably the best aspect of Bonus Bank; as an educator and premium match finder they provide detailed guides and walk throughs about exactly how to go out and actually do matched betting.

Basically, what Bonus Bank will do is provide you with a list of the best bonuses and matched bets on offer at the moment, as well as where you can use them. You will need to then go out and start up an account(s) with multiple online bookies, for example TAB, Betfair or LadBrokes.

Signing up to the bookies can be tricky, and my advice is potentially even create yourself a new separate bank account for doing this. Just trust me, you want to try and keep this as separate from the rest of your personal life as possible.

When you sign up to these bookies, they might give you a pretty lucrative sign up bonus of a few hundred dollars (some are up to $500!) with various criteria like it you must make a minimum deposit yourself, and place a bet within a set time frame. You can’t just withdraw the sign up bonus without actually ‘winning it back’ in a bet.

So – Easy right, just transfer your money, score the sweet sign up bonus and then make a bet (the back bet) on that bookies site – But what happens if your team loses? Well, it doesn’t matter because you have ‘Dutched’ the bet! You’ve placed another bet (the lay bet) on the opposite outcome on either a competing Bookie site, or on a matched betting exchange like Betfair – so no matter what happens, you’re in the Black, baby!

Of course, transaction and exchange fees, occasional human error, ever changing (real time) odds and of course slight differences in odds and rates between the Bookies and exchange mean these bets are never perfect; usually you will never be able to extract a 100% yield of the bonus unless you get really lucky.

Beginners will be lucky to get 75% out, and more experienced ‘Dutchers will be able to snake home upwards of 80%. Do it long enough, and your going to be able to make a nice little side income thanks to Bonus Banks training and tips

How much does a Bonus Bank subscription cost?

Membership to Bonus Bank is free, which gives you a baseline level of beginner educational content and should be more than enough to get started. To be honest though, if you want to get serious you will need the extra tutorials, calculators and software that only the premium subscription gives you – this is how Bonus Bank’s business model works.

Signing up for a premium membership gives you access to everything on the site, which is over 25 detailed tutorials and 10+ actual matched betting calculators, an online forum for the matched betting community to pose questions and answers, as well as ‘Todays Plays’ and ‘Future promos’ live feeds. The Bonus Bank software includes ‘The ATM’, ATM alerts, Dutching, Horsepower and 2UP.

The premium subscription is currently about $47 bucks per month, or $225 if you sign up for a six month block – you could easily make that back in a couple of bonus trades.

My Experience with Matched Betting

I am still actively playing with Matched Betting to see how much I can make and what return for my time it brings. I decided to go ‘full throttle’ and have opened up a number of accounts with various bookies, as well as with Bonus Bank and the Betfair exchange. I am distributing cash into each of the Bookies and trying to figure out how to effectively play this game. I will let you know how my first few bets go, but so far I have spent around 10 hours reading, researching, starting accounts and of course, writing this article for you. As a natural skeptic I am expecting to somehow screw this up, but I am cautiously optimistic about the outcome and hope to at least make back all my capital, and then just keep playing around with my ‘extracted bonuses’.

A word of warning about Matched betting

Before even considering this side hustle, if you have an addictive personality, have ever had an issue with gambling, or are trying to secure finance like a home loan, you might need to give this a miss. I spoke to the team at Bonus Bank (Nic and David) and they reiterated that problem gamblers need to give it a wide berth, but also that their members hadn’t been discriminated against by lenders. There is actually a pretty big forum on this exact question and many of the Bonus Bank forum posters have said it didn’t effect their mortgage applications – but its worth checking with your lender just to be sure.

Bookies are also generally just terrible things to get involved with – which is why I personally love the idea of snaking away some of their promotional and marketing budgets… it just gives me a sense of justice. In a previous life my (ex) partner suffered with parents who were gambling addicts, and they lost their family home as a result. It can seriously destroy lives, so be cautious. Also realise that this is NOT a passive side hustle, this is money for time and you will likely be able to earn around $20 to $50 per hour from the research I have done.

After a few months of successful Dutching, the Bookies will eventually weed you out and either ban your account or remove any bonuses you might be eligible for – so you will need to get creative with making new accounts and to be honest, this all sort of blurs the line between what is legal and what becomes illegal (for example using a fake profile or using family members profiles). If you start doing illegal stuff like making fake accounts, it can become a fraud and legal matter and could be referred to the police by the Bookies – they seriously don’t like any one gaming the system and will take great delight in seeing you charged.

Summary of Bonus Bank

Matched betting is not for everyone. It is potentially a lucrative side hustle for those willing to invest the time needed to learn the new skill, sign up for all the various accounts and, front up a bit of capital (ideally you need $2000 or more to make it worth your time) and then spend the time actually setting and reviewing the bets. Be warned, a sudden spike in transfers from your bank account to online betting sites could work against you if you are planning on a loan application anytime soon, so make sure you speak to your mortgage broker or lender beforehand or just avoid this until after settlement.

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If you think you might have an addictive personality or have had issues with gambling in the past, please stay well away from this side hustle, as it could potentially drag you back down into the weeds. If your willing to put in the time, effort and money, then you could potentially make between $20 and $50 an hour from this lucrative side hustle thanks to Bonus Bank.

CaptainFI

This article contains an affiliate link to Bonus Bank for Captain FI readers – for a 20% discount on Premium use code “CAPTAINFI”

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