Restricted bookmaker accounts: How to keep making money after gubbing

James McMath

26 May 2017

Updated: 23 Nov 2023

Is it possible to make money matched betting with restricted bookmaker accounts? Being "gubbed" is every matched bettors worst nightmare and, while there is plenty you can do to keep your accounts open, there are times when your account will be limited.

However, even for those who have had multiple bookmaker accounts restricted, matched betting is still possible.

Chris, who has been a member of PA since March 2015, is testimony to that fact. The firefighter, who lives in Hertfordshire, is gubbed by 26 bookmakers, but still manages to earn a sustainable extra income from matched betting.

Here's a bit about Chris and his advice on matched betting with restricted bookmaker accounts.

Tell us about your gubbings

My first gubbing came after four months and was Betfred, very quickly followed by 888. There was then a steady trickle. I am gubbed by 26 now.

It has been difficult to work out the impact as a lot of the bookies have gone through stages of few offers. However, the recent Will Hill racing and football offers have been particularly painful to watch especially as I feel that was one of the harshest gubbings.

Bet365 is obviously a painful one to lose. The others such as Sky, Lads, Paddy, etc are mainly a loss for horse 2nd place offers and the odd football bet x get x offer. The smaller bookies haven’t been a great loss as I never really used them for a lot of their offers although I often read that some of those are quite lucrative (888 and Betway for example).

At the beginning of last year I made a steady amouth for three consecutive months, mainly due to the Coral BBL offer so that was painful when they fully stake restricted me, especially as I had just got VIP status.

Overall, I would say that my income is about a third of what it would probably be if I was gub-free.

How are you managing to keep earning money despite restricted bookmaker accounts?

To be honest it is probably best for you to have a read through my forum thread as I have listed my main income for the last year or so.

Basically I do practically all the risk-free offers, risk-free or low-risk casino, free spins, horse refunds for the bookies I have left (even bet365), Paddy 2up (I had actually closed that account but opened it up again when it was clear they were paying gubbed accounts), price boosts (sometimes underlaid).

I spend an unhealthy amount of time on the forum so generally pick up on what offers come up that I can do.

Have you ever been un-gubbed?

Like most people only by Coral, but that is now gone after they restricted my stakes to 0. I asked Bet365 and Will Hill for a review but with no success.

What would your advice be on avoiding restricted bookmaker accounts?

Well, I guess I can speak from a position of authority on this one, but as it isn’t an exact science and different people have different theories it won’t be definitive. I think there are different reasons for getting gubbed, some you can help yourself and others that will happen regardless.

Taking too much value or taking up too many offers is probably the one everyone will agree on and the one you have the best chance of avoiding or at least delaying. This was without doubt why I lost Betfred and Bet365 and although it was of my own doing, at that time the advice was sketchy at best and I often just took the prices that others posted - big mistake and one which I would definitely do differently.

Mass gubbings: there's absolutely nothing you can do about this in my opinion. If it happens, take it on the chin and move on. Examples of these are Sky (probably my best looked-after account, many in-play mugs, mug accas, some poor value mugs) Paddy, 21bet (they actually told me that they gubbed en masse after 90% of the people who took up one of their horse festival offers used 100% the same horses) and a few others usually just before or after big events (Cheltenham).

Idle accounts: Absolutely gutted, looking back, that I followed the process of "sign-ups, wait, then do reloads". I did the 888 sign up, left it a few weeks, did a couple of mugs and another offer, left it again and then got gubbed. I would suggest that the accounts you want to use, do the sign up then do a mixture of mugs and offers, just to let them know you aren’t just doing the sign up. I have lost a few others that I hadn’t used for ages.

Linked bookies: Let's face it, whether or not they should be sharing info, they do. I lost Winner and Titan the same week - not just gubbed but closed. The same went for the Boyles group, although they separated anyway I think. Again not much you can do about these.

Quick-to-gub bookies: Again not much you can do with the like of Racebets and Betway, so if you get gubbed just move on. Make the most of their offers while you have them.

I think most of the tips are already out there to help avoid gubbings and it really comes down to your outlook and how long you want to hang around. For the long-term, then mid-week horses isn’t going to help you. The occasional day is fine but who really would bet on 8-10 races a day, every day, taking close matches and only on-offer races?

If you just want in and out for the biggest gain, then just smash everything, but that is a little short-sighted, unless you don’t have the patience to hang around. I would also avoid jumping on all the close matches that are posted, as bookies will notice mass bets being put on the same event at the same time (as I have stated with 21bet), so just delay or take a different option, this may mean missing out but it may help.

What about people who have restricted bookmaker accounts?

  • Lower your expectations to a realistic level, decide if it is still worth your time. For some, it won’t be.
  • Don’t worry about what others are earning as there is nothing you can do about that and envy is not a good quality in any aspect of life.
  • Be prepared to adapt, for example, the Paddy 2up offer, don’t give up as there are still new bookies appearing regularly and some of those have decent offers.
  • Don’t dismiss free spins as I won £300 from one free spin.
  • Take up every risk-free offer as you never know.
  • Keep up to date with the forum - how many people missed out on the Paddy 2up offer because they didn’t know that it paid on gubbed accounts?
  • Finally just remember that whatever you get it is tax-free, enjoy the process and see it as a hobby that you get paid for, use your free time to do it rather than being tied to it. I have found it much more enjoyable just dipping in and out as opposed to being tied to the laptop when I was making more. I became obsessed trying to get and keep Coral VIP and as painful as it was getting gubbed, it was actually a release. If it happens, stay positive, become a possibilitarian - the possibilities are out there, you just need to find them.