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.

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6 responses

21 05 2008
mattt

That’s pretty clever Guthers!

Go the Blues!

21 05 2008
mattt

Even my little picture pattern is blue!

21 05 2008
SamR

I don’t get it? What’s the catch?

22 05 2008
turns

I imagine the free bet is only for certain events and certain bets – eg they will give you a free $200 bet on a trifecta in a horse race, where the ods of getting it correct are so small that the $200 bet is actually only costing them, on average, next to nothing. I’m only guessing though…

22 05 2008
Libby

For the first time ever, the State of Origin was played at 7:30pm on prime time here in Perth – a very big step forward from 11:30pm last year! – and probably finally a recognition that half the state has come from ‘over east’ and love the game. Yay the blues!

22 05 2008
guthers

Libby – 11:30pm?? that’s a bit rude! You’d think if they didn’t want it in prime time it would be just as easy for them to play it live in the afternoon? Maybe not…

Turns – That’s what we were thinking, but the fine print says you can put the bet on ANY market. There must be a catch though. Maybe there are rules around withdrawing your winnings or something? The only way to find out more would have been to sign up, which I didn’t want to do.

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