Arbitrage

21 05 2008

Casinos and betting agencies are very good at taking money off people. Often, these people are the people who can least afford to lose there money (or worse, someone else’s money).

The concept is simple, make the game seem fair to the gambler so they think they are in with a shot, but tilt it slightly in your favour so that, in he long run, you are bound to win. Provided you have enough capital backing to minimise your probability of ruin, you will start raking in the profits.

That’s why I don’t particularly believe this offer from a particular betting website advertised on a news site:

“Place a minimum $10 bet on any State of Origin market at [betting website].com and we’ll match your first bet amount with a free bet up to $200.”

If that is all there is to it, then theoretically I could place a $200 bet on NSW to win the SOO, and with the free $200 bet that they give me, bet on QLD to win. Barring an unlikely draw at the end of golden-point extra time, I would have virtually guaranteed a profit. (Depending on the bets available, you could probably even account for the draw)

This concept of a something-for-nothing risk-free profit is known as arbitrage. Well, strictly speaking, this is barely even arbitrage – just silliness. Any self respecting betting agency would know about arbitrage and wouldn’t allow themselves to simply hand out free money.

If I was a betting man, I’d bet there was a catch.

Go the Blues tonight! I think they will get smashed, but I’ll be supporting them anyway.