Is Matched Betting Legal in the US?

Is Matched Betting Legal in the US
  • Is Matched betting Legal in the US?
  • Looking for guaranteed Legal wins?
  • Matched betting could be the strategy for you.

Read on to find out the answers and where to bet.

Ever since the United States Supreme Court overruled the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, states across the nation have begun allowing a variety of online gaming platforms for sports betting.

Yet, many punters are still uncertain of which betting strategies are legal—especially whether matched betting is legal in the United States.

Matched betting is completely legal within any US state currently allowing online sports bets.

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It’s a safe, tried-and-true technique to earn profit from your favorite sports events, without the risk of losing money.

By applying simple mathematics, you can turn free bets and incentives into cold hard cash.

Let’s take a deeper look at how matched betting works, its current legal status in the United States, and how sportsbooks feel about it.

If you have any more questions, we’ll do our best to answer them in the FAQ at the bottom!

What is No-Risk Matched Betting?

One of the main appeals of online sports betting is that sportsbooks offer sign-up bonuses, free bets, and other incentives that keep punters coming back for more.

No-risk matched betting is just one of the strategies you can use to maximize these incentives and score guaranteed wins.

Matched betting involves placing two separate bets—first a back bet, then a lay bet.

  • Back betting is essentially just betting for a team to win, e.g., “Team A wins the event”
  • Lay betting is essentially betting against your own bet as well as everyone with the same bet, e.g., “Team A will not win the event”

Lay bets are normally placed on an exchange where punters can play the role of a bookmaker by setting binary odds against their own back bets.

This is where free incentive bets come into play. After placing a bet with your own money, you’ll activate a free bet which you can use to then place a lay bet against your original back bet.

No matter who wins the match, you’ll either win your back or lay bet.

How is Matched Betting Risk-Free?

Compared to a standard moneyline bet, matched bets don’t rely on chance. Instead, they use mathematic equations to determine how much you’ll win from a lay and back bet.

If your stake is returned, you can expect to earn back 85% or more of your free bet.

Even if the stakes are not returned, you’ll still likely walk away with around 70% of your free bet.

For example, if a sportsbook is offering $100 free bets, you can expect to walk away with at least $70 of that free bet as profit.

As long as the odds are correct, you’ll minimize your risk and boost your overall profit from sports betting.

You can then take that profit and grow it up to the limits of your free bets by repeating the process of matched betting.

However, before you try matched betting, you’ll need to find a sportsbook that offers regular incentives.

Many bookmakers use free bets as a sign-up incentive so keep your eyes open for sportsbooks that guarantee frequent perks for existing members.

Is Matched Betting Legal?

Although it may sound as if you’re rigging the system to rake in more money from free online sports bets, matched betting is completely legal within the United States.

After repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, it fell to individual states to decide whether they would or wouldn’t legalize sports betting.

As of 2021, more than a dozen states around the nation have legalized some form of online sports betting:

  • Virginia
  • Tennessee
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Maryland
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • New Hampshire
  • Washington D.C.
  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island

While each state has its own rules and regulations, they all allow matched bets.

As long as you are within their state borders and follow their gambling laws, you can place as many matched bets as you want.

As for how sportsbooks feel about it, they’re a bit ambivalent.

Bookmakers understand that punters use their bonuses and incentives to win more money, and they’re completely fine with it.

After all, their incentives are in place to draw in new customers.

However, bookmakers are less keen on punters who only use their free incentives to win.

They prefer it if you place regular bets along with your matched bets so that the sportsbooks have at least some chances to make a business.

If you push it too far, sportsbooks are completely within their rights to close your account or restrict your betting.


Matched betting might be a smart trick to win some guaranteed risk-free profit but that doesn’t make it illegal.

Even though you are playing with certainty, it’s still a fair and recognized betting strategy.

However, sportsbooks won’t appreciate it if you push your matched bets too far. If they catch on to your never-ending winning streak, they may close your account.

Want to learn more? Let us know at [social media] or continue on to find answers to some of our frequently asked questions


Can you lose money matched betting?

As long as you do it correctly, you’re very unlikely to lose anything from a matched bet.

Because matched bets rely on mathematical equations, as long as the odds stay the same before the match, you are pretty much guaranteed to win a profit.

How much does it cost to start matched betting?

Ideally, you should start with around $300-$500.

Although you will be using free bets to win a guaranteed profit, you still have to back your lay bets with something.

The more money you start with, the more you can maximize your wins.

How do you bet without losing?

By using free bets offered through an online sportsbook, you can place back bets paired with a lay bet to win guaranteed profits, regardless of what happens in the match.

How do you get big on matched betting?

If you have a few friends you can convince, one of the fastest ways to get big on matched betting is to open multiple accounts on the same platform.

This will allow you to double up their offers and maximize your wins.

Be warned, though, if you get caught with more than one account, you’ll likely get shut down.


See our Top Offshore Sportsbooks List HERE

Andy nelson owner of

Andy Nelson

Andy has been writing and posting about offshore sportsbooks for over 15 years. He's also an active sportsbook bonus seeker and seasoned online gambler on US sports.

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