Arbitrage Betting is very popular

June 27, 2023

Sportsbooks have a strongly unfavorable view of arbitrage betting due to its significant impact on their profit margins, leading them to perceive arbitrage bettors as posing a substantial market risk. As a result, most sportsbooks tend to limit or impose restrictions on arbitrage bettors.

Continuing to explore this topic reveals the clever tactics employed by bettors to evade the shutdown or restriction of their accounts.

What Is Arbitrage Betting Again, Exactly?

Are you unfamiliar with arbitrage betting? No problem! Let’s provide a quick overview. Arbitrage betting involves using multiple sportsbooks to place bets on all potential outcomes of an event, ensuring a guaranteed profit regardless of the outcome. Bettors can secure “sure-thing” bets by taking advantage of odds differences. Sports betting sites typically prefer recreational bettors and discourage advanced strategies like arbitrage betting to maintain profitability.

Why Isn’t Arbitrage Betting More Popular?

Arbitrage betting typically yields profit margins of 1-5% on the initial stake, making it easier to make substantial winnings if large wagers are placed. Therefore, if you only bet $10, it may not be worth your time. 

Successful arbitrage betting is usually associated with experienced bettors with the necessary resources and expertise, while recreational bettors and aspiring experts may find it challenging to make it worthwhile.

However, even if you lack the bankroll, time, or expertise of an experienced bettor, you can still identify and take advantage of arbitrage opportunities. For regular bettors looking to grow their bankroll, finding excellent value in betting lines is likely the best strategy, and understanding arbitrage betting can be a valuable addition to your betting approach.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into the intricacies of this sophisticated strategy used by experienced bettors, you can refer to our comprehensive guide on arbitrage betting.

Is It Possible for Sportsbooks to Penalize Me If I Engage In Arbitrage Betting?

In most cases, sportsbooks will penalize individuals engaging in arbitrage betting. Sportsbooks view arbitrage betting as unfair and consider those who use their betting lines to guarantee profits as cheaters.

Although sportsbooks earn a margin through the vigorish, their profits are relatively slim. You might wonder why sportsbooks would be concerned about arbitrage betting, assuming that bettors would evenly distribute their winning and losing bets across different sportsbooks.

In theory, this would be the case. However, in practice, it often only happens that way. Bettors tend to place a disproportionate number of winning bets in one sportsbook. When a bettor consistently wins over 50% of their bets, it cuts into a sportsbook’s profits. Additionally, since arbitrage bettors often place large wagers due to low profitability, sportsbooks remain particularly vigilant.

To combat arbitrage betting, many sportsbooks collaborate through shared security servers to identify and eliminate arbitrage bettors. Similar to how casinos ban professional card counters, sportsbooks can refuse service to individuals (as long as it doesn’t violate their constitutional rights).

Read Your Sportsbook Terms and Conditions Closely

Sportsbooks clearly state that arbitrage betting is prohibited in their terms and conditions, indicating their intent to restrict or limit individuals who engage in this practice. They often emphasize that their services are intended for recreational bettors.

The terms and conditions of most sportsbooks share similar rules and regulations, clarifying that their focus is exclusively catering to recreational bettors.

Sportsbooks generally aim to avoid being associated with welcoming arbitrage betting unless they explicitly state otherwise for a specific group of arbitrage bettors (which will be discussed later).

How Often Do Sportsbooks Catch Arbitrage Bettors?

Obtaining a definitive answer can be challenging as sportsbooks typically keep the specifics of their methods and business practices private. However, there is clear evidence that sports betting sites do take action against arbitrage bettors.

By exploring the sports betting community, you will encounter instances where bettors share their experiences of being shut down by sportsbooks due to engaging in arbitrage betting. One notable case involves bettors exchanging stories and complaints about their arbitrage betting encounters on Reddit.

While it’s unnecessary to inundate you with numerous examples, sportsbooks generally act against individuals involved in arbitrage betting.

There Are Occasional Sportsbooks Who Encourage Arbitrage Betting

Sportsbooks do support and encourage arbitrage betting, although they are rare. These sportsbooks follow a different business model than most online sportsbooks.

Sportsbooks that cater to high-limit bettors are often, but only sometimes, more favorable towards arbitrage bettors. These sportsbooks operate under a distinct business approach, aiming to promote the highest possible betting volume. Their primary focus is not to determine the bettor’s intention.

These sportsbooks usually have significant capital resources, allowing them to sustain losses from many bets while remaining financially stable. Their underlying philosophy is that, over time, the combination of high betting volume and the commission (juice) charged to bettors will ensure profitability.

What Are the Actual Consequences of Getting Caught?

When suspected of engaging in arbitrage betting, sportsbooks typically notify you by sending a message indicating that they have detected unusual activity on your account. They will state that you have violated their terms and conditions by being categorized as a “professional” rather than a “recreational” bettor.

As a consequence, there is a high likelihood that the sportsbook will void all your existing bets. Any funds in your account, including your initial deposit, will be refunded.

While it might be possible to reactivate your account in the future, if you are deemed a suspected arbitrage bettor, your betting limits will likely be significantly reduced upon reinstatement.

Tips and Strategies Bettors Use to Avoid Getting Their Accounts Locked

Fortunately, there are strategies that bettors can employ to reduce the likelihood of their accounts being flagged when engaging in arbitrage betting. While there is no foolproof method to avoid detection altogether, the following tips can significantly improve a bettor’s chances of preventing account restrictions:

Utilizing a Virtual Private Network (VPN):

One approach bettor often employs to enhance their anonymity while engaging in arbitrage betting is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN enables users to send and receive data securely and anonymously by encrypting their online traffic. It achieves this by assigning random IP addresses from a more extensive network.

Similar to how a firewall safeguards the data stored on a computer, a VPN ensures that the information transmitted over the internet remains anonymous. Many bettors use well-known VPN providers like NordVPN to enhance their privacy and protect online activities.

Rounding Up or Down on Bets: 

When using arbitrage calculators, it becomes evident that the calculations often result in uneven and precise wager amounts. For instance, a calculator may indicate placing one bet for $100 and another for a specific figure, like $102.57.

Sportsbooks are likely to take notice of such specific bet amounts, especially if a Bettor consistently wins. These highly precise amounts can raise suspicion and potentially reveal that the bettor is engaged in arbitrage betting.

To minimize the risk of detection, bettors can occasionally round up their wagers to the nearest dollar (e.g., rounding $102.57 to $103) or even choose a higher-rounded amount like $105. By rounding the wager amounts, bettors decrease the likelihood of triggering suspicions and being flagged for engaging in unusual activity by the sportsbook. The more significant the rounding, the lower the chances of detection.

A Longshot Bet: Placing Losing Bets

In some cases, it can be beneficial for arbitrage bettors to intentionally place bets that have a low probability of winning. This strategy involves wagering on longshot prop bets in sports like MLB or placing bets on distant future outcomes.

Bettors who employ this approach are typically heavily involved in arbitrage betting. However, it is essential to note that this strategy should not be used recklessly in any other circumstances. Each lost bet, regardless of size, impacts the bettor’s bankroll.

Nevertheless, if the bettor stands to make a significant profit, such as over $100, from an arbitrage bet, placing a $10 bet that is expected to lose may be advantageous. While this would reduce the overall profit to $90, it decreases the likelihood of the bettor’s account being restricted or frozen by the sportsbook. The rationale behind this approach is to prioritize having more opportunities for future arbitrage betting over maximizing immediate profits.

Considering the lost $10 as a long-term opportunity cost can help bettors maintain a broader perspective on their overall arbitrage betting strategy.

Managing Deposits and Withdrawals: 

Frequent and alternating withdrawals and deposits to facilitate arbitrage opportunities can raise suspicion within the financial department of sportsbooks. To reduce the likelihood of detection, bettors can consider making a substantial deposit and utilizing those funds to place a series of wagers. By doing so, they decrease the chances of arousing suspicion.

Similarly, if bettors withdraw funds sporadically rather than after each win, sportsbooks are more likely to grant them some leeway and avoid raising concerns.

It is essential to acknowledge that individuals may have real-life financial obligations outside of sports betting, making it challenging to adhere to this strategy. However, it is advisable to limit the frequency of deposits and withdrawals as much as possible.

Ultimately, when engaging in arbitrage betting, adopting practices that help bettors avoid attracting attention from sportsbooks is crucial. Any measures taken to remain inconspicuous are considered good practice in this regard.

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