Football match

Student nurse makes £30,000 in three years with “matched betting side hustle”

Students have always struggled for money, and with soaring fees and rents times are tough. Things are particularly tough for those in London, where the cost of everything is even higher, but students are resourceful and “side hustles” can be transformative.

Many young people make use of the extra time they have on their hands at university to make their first forays into starting their own business, while others will spend some evenings working with gig-economy firms like Uber and Deliveroo to make ends meet. Others have explored how to game betting firms’ introductory offers to make some money on the side, or in a small number of cases make a significant amount of money.

According to a story in the Daily Mail, student nurse Carlene Harris heard about matched betting when she found her £500 a month NHS bursary did not cover her travel, accommodation, and living costs in London, and leaving her in debt at the end of every month. She claims to have made a staggering £30,000 over the course of three years by spending around five hours each week taking advantage of matched betting without knowing anything about the sports she was gambling on.

Matched betting works by splitting a bet across all possible outcomes of the situation, for example for a team to win, lose, or draw a football match – supposedly guaranteeing a return on investment no matter what happens. Proponents claim it is simply using mathematical formulas in order to profit from betting offers, and there are numerous guides and forums online dedicated to the topic, such as Matched betting with Team Profit amongst others.

The idea of matched betting has been around since 1999, but with the online gaming market particularly competitive today, bookies are offering every greater welcome bonuses and other incentives to new players, each of which helps with those looking to match bets. Welcome offers of over £100 in free bets are common, and with gambling easier than ever via mobile phone the matched betting has become much more common over the last few years.

Harris has seen huge wins from her “side hustle”, but it can go wrong. Groups like GamebleAware wants people to know that “All forms of gambling carry risk and [they] would not advocate for gambling to be seen as a way to make money.” For those looking for support, there is help available at and via the National Gambling Helpline.

Photograph by Paul

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