Multi-accounting is the practice of registering multiple betting accounts in order to maximise profits or strike bets when you have been restricted by a betting operator.
Bookmakers hate multi-accounting with a passion, although in many respects, they only have themselves to blame. Multi-accounting is a murky topic among matched betting and arbitrage communities. So in this post, we’re going to answer a few common key points.
- Is multi-accounting legal in the UK?
- How would somebody multi-account?
- Tax implications of using multiple betting accounts
- Is it a worthwhile practice?
Is Matched Betting Under Multiple Accounts and Names Legal?
Placing bets with multiple companies is common, and not what we mean by ‘multi-accounting’ throughout this article. Specifically, we are talking about placing multiple bets with the same company under different identities.
In terms of legality, it’s a grey area. A few personal thoughts are shared within this YouTube video.
However, one thing is for sure; the majority of bookmakers explicitly state multi-accounting is a direct violation of their terms and conditions. If the bookmaker suspects you are multi-accounting, it’s likely your account will be closed permanently.
A fair and reasonable term to have when you consider the bonuses and promotions they offer on a per-account basis. Although when you consider companies like Bet365 will limit your account for winning, it’s not all that hard to see why people might want to do it.
I mean, what’s in having a betting account if you’re only allowed to lose?
Disclaimer* I am not advising anyone to multi-account and this is not legal advice. Certainly not. I’m just highlighting the issues.
Setting Up Multiple Accounts for Matched Betting:
Creating a new account is simple when they’re your own, although the use of others brings extra problems…
Firstly, you’re going to need the support and permission of the other person for multiple reasons. If you’re matched betting with their bank account and identity, it’s highly likely you’re going to need to be able to prove that at some point with a bookmaker. It’s one of their favourite tricks to delay or avoid paying matched bettors.
Also, it’s only right that the other party understands what you’ll be doing, and the risks associated.
It’s probably worth formalising some kind of agreement. What’s in it for them?
Getting organised and being one step ahead is important for people who choose to multi-account. Bookmakers use ‘anti-money laundering’ and ‘affordabilty’ rules to their advantage sometimes. I’ve heard many stories where somebody has been asked to provide a bank statement for such reasons, pass the checks and then have their betting account closed shortly after. Presumably because one of the recent transfer identifiers was “matched betting”.
How Do Bookmakers Identify Multiple Accounts?
Bookies have been known to identify multiple accounts from the same person via the following:
- Address details (multiple accounts at one location)
- Multiple account deposits from the same bank account
- Bank transactions & statements (as mentioned above)
- Shared IP addresses when placing bets
There may be more though, so if I’ve missed something, please share it in the comments section below.
The easiest way to overcome these issues is to pick up a spare smartphone or laptop on its own internet connection whilst depositing from the account owners bank. In some cases, people have set up spare bank accounts with their friend or family member for complete transparency. Collecting the relevant ‘Know Your Customer’ data from the account owner and filing it away somewhere safe is also a smart move before starting.
Again, we’re not telling you to do this, we’re simply explaining how it could be done.
Potential Tax Problems:
Matched Betting isn’t taxable in the UK because all gambling returns are tax-free. However, using multiple accounts under different identities could be a little bit different.
I say ‘could’ because it’s another grey area. To my knowledge, HMRC hasn’t made an official statement although it’s fair to assume that by multi-accounting you could be deemed as providing a service to the account owner, which may be a form of ‘business’.
It’s important to explain and discuss this with anyone that maybe be looking to provide details for multi-accounting purposes.
The obvious way around this perhaps would be to have the account owner sat next to you clicking the buttons, whilst you guide them.
Is Multi-Accounting Worth It?
Last month we published a short video that gets straight to the point. Is matched betting worthwhile for you?
You may notice the comments section on this video turned quickly towards using multiple accounts…
Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh up the pros and cons for yourself. Each individual situation is unique.
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