Ok, so this is the second update describing how I got on with my first week using the arbitrage software and live bets.
Firstly, the bookies. The software offers up bets from over 70 bookies. I have accounts with 26 bookies, and I was not going to open any more accounts. I figured the 26 accounts I already have should be enough. So my first decision was, which bookies should I put some money in. I have been monitoring the bets over the last few weeks and already have a list of the bookies that were appearing with the most arb opportunities. 2 bookies in particular, were always coming up. Unfortunately, neither of them I had an account with. Bugger! Ok, I’ll scrap my rule that said I won’t open any new accounts and just go and open accounts with both of them. Well, it turns out that one of them doesn’t offer sports betting to the UK, it only does it to Euro denominated countries! That was really annoying to learn. The other I had a problem opening the account with. That was nothing to do with this product, but it was a frustrating start to the week. So, I went back to my list of 26 accounts and chose 5, deposited some money in each account and then set the filter to only provide bets from those bookies.
I then proceeded to click the refresh button repeatedly in the arbitrage software, but simply had no bets appear. I am not sure whether it was a combination of being a Monday, the bookies I had chosen, or the time I was doing it. But I was getting no bets. It is fair to also say, my attention started to drift after 10 minutes of getting no bets, so I perhaps started to press the refresh button less frequently. Eventually I started to see one or two bets, but they were all with a rating around 102 or 103. That meant only a 2% or 3% return which I didn’t think was good value.
The next day I did it at a different time but I used the same bookies as I already had money in those accounts. Over my hour I did get a few more bets up, but again the ratings weren’t very good. Always 2%, 3%, etc. Nothing much higher. So, again no bets placed in my hour.
Wednesday started a little better. I saw several arb opportunities that I thought offered better value – 6%, 9%, 8%, etc. These were all horse racing bets, nothing else. Strange as there was a lot of tennis during this week. The software provides direct links to the event on betfair, but the bookie link is not a direct link to the actual event, it simply takes you to the bookie website. This is a bit of a pain if I am to be honest. You have to manually go through the bookie site, set the bet type to decimal (if it has defaulted to fractions), log in with my credentials and then find the bet. If you are using the link from the arbitrage software, then quite often this can take up to a minute, and sometimes a little longer if you are unfamiliar with the bookie website. That might not sound like a lot of time, but in several cases it meant that by the time I was ready to place the bet, the opportunity had been lost.
I quickly realised that I would have to leave my 5 bookies websites all up in my browser, all logged in, so that I could more quickly access the bet, and this did help. Finally I placed my first actual bet! The rating was 108, so a pretty high potential 8% return. The odds were 4.5/4, so neither too high nor low. I had decided that I would only place small bet values – £20 was the bookie bet in this case, and the lay bet was calculated at 22.78, with a liability of £68.34. I placed both bets with no problems and the next day (the race was the following day) I secured my profit of £1.66. Now £1.66 is obviously only a small amount of money, but it is an 8.3% return on my initial bookie bet of £20. It required me to invest a total of £111.12, if I include the lay bet and associated liability.
It is worth mentioning that there was actually just over £300 available on the exchange for this bet. If I was trying to maximise my profit here, I could have had a £260 bookie bet, with a lay of £296 and a liability of £888.60. This would have returned me £21.40 (with a total £ requirement of £1444.60).
Over the next couple of days I took several bets. Here are a few examples. The first is the small bet I placed, the second was the maximum as limited by the availability on the exchange:
rating odds bet lay liability total £ reqd profit
102.31 3.5/3.3 20 / 21.54 / 49.54 £91.08 £0.46
– – 300/323.12 / 743.10 £1366.22 £6.91
106.29 8/7.2 20/22.38 / 138.76 £181.14 £1.24
– – 250/279 / 1734.26 £2263.26 £15.74
109.29 6.5/5.7 20/23.01 / 108.15 £151.16 £1.85
– – 250/287.61 / 1351.77 £1889.38 £23.23
107.39 6.5/5.8 20/22.61 / 108.53 £151.14 £1.47
– – 125/141.30 / 678.24 £944.54 £9.26
One issue I did notice was that despite being as quick as I possibly could be, there were several times where I placed the bookie bet, then went to betfair to lay it, and the availability had reduced significantly. I was fine because I was only placing £20 bets, but had I been placing larger bets, maybe £100, £200, £300 or more, then I would have got to the exchange and found that there was insufficient money for the lay.
Now that may or may not be a problem. It might be that once my money is on the exchange, others will come and hit my bet and fill it all, but this wasn’t something I was explicitly testing out.
So, what do I make of it so far. I have to say it was initially a little frustrating, for a few different reasons. The accounts at the beginning of the week, waiting for bets. There is also the faff involved – transferring money, timing the bet placement, waiting for the event (and not being able to place any more bets unless investing more money) etc, etc. However, it definitely works. There are some caveats that need to be considered, but I successfully made a risk free profit, on all the bets I placed.
I am going to keep monitoring it and in particular see what happens this week as it is Ascot, so I am anticipating that there might be more opportunities available.