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Matched betting is actually not gambling. U Matched betting (also known as back or lay bet matching, arb betting, or double betting) is a betting technique used by individuals to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers. It is generally considered a risk-free bet as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance. A typical return for a matched bet where the stake is returned is 85%+ of the free bet offer amount, and 70%+ where the stake is not returned. So for example, if you see an advert for a bookmaker and they are giving away a £10 free bet - on average, using the techniques and with the help of software, video guides you will be able to 'unlock' £7 of that free bet as profit. That's real money that you can withdraw and spend on whatever you like. Its a risk free and not gambling. Is that haram in islam??

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Here is a summary of how a simple case of "matched betting" works: You make four bets on two binary events. You make two bets on both possible outcomes of the first event, so that you neither gain nor lose any money, as a win is offset by the loss. Making the first bet unlocks a promotion where you get free money to bet on another event. You use this to bet on one side of the second binary event and also spend your own money to bet on the other outcome. Now, no matter which outcome happens you will be left with a profit since the bet on one of the outcomes was not from your own money.

We can make the following observations:

  1. Individually, each of the four bets are gambling in every respect, it is only when they are combined that you end up with a guaranteed profit.

  2. The only reason you make a guaranteed profit is because you use money gifted by someone else.

  3. You earn because of a trick, you haven't exchanged any real product or service.

  4. The money ultimately is coming from people who lose it at ordinary gambling.

So, I think it should be haram since it is still gambling, the only difference is that you manipulate the system to guarantee that you actually win. الله اعلم

  • 1. In first point u said individually four bets are gambling. I understand but if we see a whole picture. We are intentionally placing four bets to get the profit. Its not a coincidence its planned. So we can get the profit. Gambling is chance but here because we are placing four bets planned so there is NO chance. The result is fixed. So how can we say its a gambling after getting full picture?? 2. U said profit is coming from gifted money. In Islam using gifted money is haram?? – Fizza Faysal Oct 25 '18 at 14:55
  • 3. U said money is earned from trick without exchange of any service. There are many instance where people invest in someone else business and get profit. By just giving there money they get profit and its allowed as well. I am really confused about it when i see a whole picture of matched betting I feel its not gambling. I asked u more questions so that may be u can clear my confusion or points. – Fizza Faysal Oct 25 '18 at 14:58
  • @FizzaFaysal 1. Because Allah has forbidden gambling without placing any requisites for the prohibition. You are still engaging in gambling, it is just that you are protected from one of its negative effects. Suppose you want to do a business, but you do not have capital and no one is willing to invest with you. So what you do is that you steal from someone, use the money to earn a profit, and then you return the original stolen money. Is this haram? Yes it is, because you committed theft, although the victim didn't lose any money in the end. – Marius Oct 25 '18 at 15:34
  • 2. No. But using gifted money to gamble is as much haram as using your own money to gamble. Point is the gambling itself is not risk-free, it is an independent event that makes the end result risk free, if the bookmaker didn't offer you a free promotion there would be no risk free profit. 3. It is exchange of a service. The investor gives the manager a salary for his expertise in conducting business with his wealth. The investor's money itself is earned from effort done in the past. There is no such trade in gambling. – Marius Oct 25 '18 at 15:40

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