Can You Sell or Trade Bets Legally?
In 2018, a Las Vegas start-up launched their brand new betting product which, while not available in the UK, floated the idea of selling off bets. Sounds interesting right? But the idea is not as revolutionary as you might at first think. Afterall punters have been trading bets for years and is there a really a difference between bet selling and trading?
In finance you can trade off debts, futures, liabilities, etc and these are, when boiled down, really just bets and wagers by another name and if these can be sold away then why can’t actual bets?
Cash In Or Trade Out
The short answer is that most bookies will forbid the selling of bets and will list it in their terms and conditions. But there are cases that offer something similar.
When you place a bet with a bookie both sides of the wager have entered into a deal, an agreement where the bookie agrees to pay out a certain amount depending on circumstances.
In theory at least, this contract could be traded. But while your bookmaker may not like the idea of you selling on your bet, they can buy it back from you in the form of a cash out.
Betting exchanges offer trade outs which is pretty much the same thing and closely related to arbing. Both of these are, essentially, the trading of contracts with your fee coming from the reduced payout of the cash out or backing the alternative outcome.
Lay Betting And Arbitrage
Then, of course, there is the laying of bets and trading against outcomes offered by betting exchanges. With lay betting, bettors can play the role of the bookmaker. This is done by offering odds to sell on a bet, hence why you find these betting options on betting exchanges.
Punters back and sell bets on the same event, each mathematically calculated in order to guarantee winning back some money at a profit in a frowned upon, but still legal, betting move known as arbitrage or arb betting.
While these moves are legal, the outright selling of bets to a third party is not allowed and you cannot sell on a bet. If you want to go down this route then consider Betfair, as the worlds largest sports betting exchange they have the most options.
Back in Vegas, PropSwap, the brilliantly titled start-up floating the idea of selling off bets, is looking to change things.
This comes after one of the founders placed a $100 bet on New Orleans Saints to win in the Super Bowl, before contacting a friend in the business about selling the bet on at a profit. Between the two friends, the concept for the new business venture in which punters put their live bets for future events up for sale was born and, although likened to cash out and trade out, there are a few differences and ones that we hope will find their way to the UK soon.