Beginners Arbitrage Lessons

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ARB211: Setting up and funding bookmaker accounts

Let’s assume that by now you have setup a Skrill Moneybookers eWallet, and deposited your bankroll into your Skrill Moneybookers account. Let’s also assume that you are using the free BetBrain alert service (or paid BetOnValue alert service) to paper-trade arbs, have become comfortable with the whole paper-trading process, but have yet to register an account with any bookmaker.

So now you are ready to bite the bullet and start ‘real-money’ arbing. Your alert service should be finding arbs for you, and you should be identifying patterns so you know which bookmakers are more prevalent in your alerts.

Step 1: identify which Australian bookmaker(s) you want to register with

We suggest you setup just two or three bookmaker accounts to start with. Pinnacle Sports MUST be one of them, because it is the best sharp bookmaker and almost all arbs will have one or two legs with them. The other bookmaker(s) can be any of the Australian ones which we recommend in the table below:

Australian (soft) bookmakers that produce good arbs  Offshore (sharp) bookmakers and exchanges that produce good arbs
Bet365 Pinnacle Sports
Centrebet Matchbook (for experienced arbers only)
William Hill Betfair (for experienced arbers only)


There is no preferred order of bookmakers with which to register new accounts, it all comes down to your preference and what arbs you seem to find more of through your alert service. It will be different for everyone. Decide on the Australian bookmaker(s) you wish to start arbing with, then move to the next step.

Step 2: register with Pinnacle Sports, and deposit 50% of your bankroll there

Almost every arb has one or two legs with Pinnacle Sports. If you don’t have 50% of your bankroll with them then you are missing out on profits. You should register a new account with Pinnacle Sports, making sure you use the same email address as per your skrill eWallet account – this is important.

Pinnacle Sports don’t offer sign-up bonuses so there is no need to search for any offers or promotions, just register and deposit 50% of your bankroll with them directly from their website.

Step 3: search for the best sign-up bonus with your selected Australian bookmaker(s)

Before setting up new soft bookmaker accounts, be sure to search the internet for the absolute best sign-up bonuses available. There is no website that has all of the best bonuses, and bonus amounts also change frequently so it’s recommended to search again before registering a new soft bookmaker account.

Take careful note of the bonus conditions so that you can make the most out of it – read the lesson on bonus scalping for more information.

Step 4: register for a new account with your selected Australian bookmaker(s)

Registration is a matter of filing in your personal details, the same as you would for most websites. Again, make sure that you use the same email address as per your skrill eWallet account – this is important. Don’t fake any details, it will only cause problems down the track.

After setup, you should verify your identity with the bookmaker(s) as soon as possible. Usually the verification screen is presented to you upon first logging in, and a link to the verification process is also included in the bookmaker’s welcome email. Verification can be performed online by way of the usual 100 points of identification (drivers licence, Medicare card, passport, or Australian Electoral Roll). Verification removes any withdrawal restrictions that are otherwise placed on your account for anti-money laundering purposes.

Step 5: deposit your remaining bankroll into your Australian bookmaker account(s)

Depositing your remaining bankroll into your new Australian bookmaker account(s) should be a gradual process (i.e. drip feed the deposits into your account), but make sure that your initial deposit is large enough to take full advantage of the sign-up bonus that you found in step 3 above.

If your bankroll does not allow a large enough initial deposit to secure all of the sign-up bonus, then you can either:

  1. deposit a smaller initial amount and accept that you won’t get the full sign-up bonus; or
  2. leave this bookmaker until later in your arbing when you have a larger bankroll and are better able to take full advantage of their sign-up bonus.

Please bear in mind that when depositing your remaining bankroll into soft bookmaker accounts (i.e. all Australian bookmaker accounts), Sports Arbitrage Australia suggests adhering to the following three guidelines to help delay limitation of your account:

  1. Initial setup deposit: deposit enough to obtain the maximum available sign-up bonus and no more. Pocket the bonus, arb through your deposit and your bonus bet(s) – read our lesson on bonus scalping for details of extracting maximum value from bonus bets.
  2. Small withdrawal: if there are funds in your bookmaker account (likely) after your initial deposit and sign-up bonus have been bet through, then you should make a small withdrawal ($300 or less is fine) from your bookmaker account back into your eWallet.

This is a very important step for delaying bookmaker limitation because it will ‘validate’ your withdrawal method at the bookmaker and allow larger withdrawals in the future to be processed automatically without being alerted to the bookmaker.

  1. Subsequent top up deposits: when a bookmaker account becomes low in funds you will need to replenish it to continue arbing. Be aware that large deposits can be a red flag for bookmakers so limit your deposits to $1,000 per day if possible.

Step 6: keep a register of your skrill eWallet and bookmaker accounts/details

As you progress through your sports arbitrage experience, you will setup and fund additional Australian bookmakers, one at a time, according to your activity and limits imposed by existing bookmakers. There will be many usernames, passwords, and other pertinent details that you should record somewhere secure. Staying organised is paramount in sports arbitrage.

Step 7: trade the arbs and make use of the sign-up bonus

We discuss this in considerable detail later (refer the lesson on bonus scalping), but in short this step involves monitoring your alert service, being ready when new arbs are alerted to you, meticulously investigating arbs ensuring that the odds are real, the lines exist, and that placing the suggested bets will cover all possible outcomes of the match, and then placing the bets at both bookmakers.

BE SURE NOT TO RUSH so as to avoid making mistakes, but also don’t dawdle because the odds can move and the arb can disappear at any time. When placing the bets make sure to place the riskiest leg first, then the safest leg second – read the lesson on placing the bets for more information on this aspect of betting.

Step 8: withdraw from overfunded bookmaker accounts, replenish low accounts

As you continue arbing it can happen that more bets with one bookmaker will be winners, thus transferring excessive funds into that bookmaker account, while leaving other bookmaker accounts with insufficient funds to place bets.

If this happens then you need to withdraw funds from the overfunded bookmaker account into your eWallet (funds transfer should happen immediately), then redeposit funds from your eWallet into the underfunded bookmaker account(s).

Step 9: repeat the bookmaker cycle

As you are gradually limited at soft bookmakers, and open new bookmaker accounts, you will be continuously going through the above cycle, one bookmaker at a time. All the while adjusting your techniques, improving your speed and accuracy, reducing mistakes, and continually learning.

Offshore sports bookmakers

 At some stage you will exhaust the list of Australian bookmakers (this is the end of the easy, early phase) and you need to consider your future path in arbing.

One option is to look for new reliable offshore bookmakers – read our lessons in the ‘post-arbitrage advice’ section for more information. There are well over 100 reliable offshore sports bookmakers and therefore substantial profit to be made there, but this comes with additional risks, including using a non-AUD currency and using bookmakers that are not licenced in Australia. You need to do substantial research before heading offshore – refer to our links page for some good websites to kick off your research.

There are a few alternative options for transforming your arbing into a long-term experience, as explained in the lessons in the “post-arbitrage advice” section of our website.