Look at virtually any other form of risk in life, such as shares or debt, and you’ll find ways that you can sell that on to someone else if you want to. The same is not true of bets, however, which are yours and yours alone. When you place a bet you also take out a contract between you and the bookmaker, so selling a bet would be in breach of said contract.
On top of that, there’s also the fact that you aren’t allowed to place a bet on behalf of anyone else. If you placed a bet and then sold it you would essentially be trying to find a loophole to get you out of the situation wherein you’re not allowed to do what you’ve basically just done. The obvious question to ask is why, exactly, bets aren’t like any other form of risk?
Why You Can’t Sell Your Bet
Elsewhere on this site you can read about why it is that you’re not allowed to place bets with money that someone else has given you unless it’s a gift. The reasoning for that breaks down to the fact that betting companies have to know where all of the money that they receive is coming from, which is also why you have to confirm your identity and residency when you open a betting account with a bookmaker or online casino.
The same logic is also behind the reason why you’re not allowed to sell a bet in the same way that you might sell shares or futures. In essence, placing a bet involves taking out a contract between you and the betting company that you favour. In their small print it will say that you’re entering into a contract and certain conditions must be met, one of which is that they know how who are.
If you chose to sell a bet that you’ve taken out then you no longer have the associated risk, which means that someone else is now responsible for the bet. This means that the company that you took the bet out with doesn’t know who it is dealing with, which violates their terms and conditions. That is the main reason why you’re not allowed to sell your bet to someone else, even if you have good intentions in doing so.
Ways Around The Rules
Just because you can’t sell your bet to another person doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways around a situation you might find yourself in when betting. The most pure example of this is the Cash Out option offered by most bookmakers. This is, in essence, the bookmaker buying your bet from you. You take less of a profit that you would do if you let it ride and your bet won, but you at least guarantee yourself some profit.
The whole point of the Cash Out option is that you use it whilst the event that you’re betting on is still live. Theoretically your bet could still either win or lose, but you ‘sell’ it to remove any doubt about a possible return. The longer you hold onto it for, the more money you’ll get if you Cash Out if the bet is a winning one. If you Cash Out too early, you might not even cover your stake money.
The Cash Out function isn’t really one that a lot of big bettors would recommend for the simple reason that it essentially hands the bookmaker twice the opportunity to take a cut from your wager. It is the best option available if you want to ‘sell’ your bet, though, because it obviously doesn’t breach the bookies’ terms and conditions and therefore stops you from getting into any potential hot water.
Another option, which isn’t quite the same but still allows you to guarantee a profit, is to use an exchange in order to bet on the opposite result from happening. This sort of ‘hedging’ a bet is common for people looking to ensure that they get a profit and not that bothered about whether the profit is as much as it would be if they simply let their bet ride. Getting constant profit is more reliable then depending on always winnings bets.
Exchange website are regularly used by punters on account of the fact that they allow you to go head-to-head with other bettors directly, rather than constantly taking on bookmakers and having to obey their rules and take out their odds. Of course, whether another punter wants to take on the odds that you offer is a different matter, but presuming that they will you’ll be in a situation where you can effectively ‘sell’ your bet whilst still actually owning it.
In the United States of America, there is a service that will allow people to sell their bets and buy others. PropSwap has been marketed as the eBay for sports betting, launching in Nevada in 2015 with the specific plan being to give people the right to sell their bets before they’ve been settled. One of the founders, Luke Pergande, believes that they idea works there because ‘Americans’ greed…is off the charts’.
People in the States are massively risk averse, which leads to people wanting to sell any risk that they’ve got. The rules with bookmakers are also different in the States to in Europe, so there isn’t the same fear over breaking terms and conditions of bets. The idea for the company was born when Pergande had a bet on the New Orleans Saints to win the Super Bowl and wanted to make a profit from it when they started the season well.
He knew his friend Ian Epstein worked in betting and so called him, asking where he could sell his bet and being told ‘nowhere’. They spoke to lawyers about their idea, with fourteen refusing to help them and only the fifteenth saying that it could be done. Just like StubHub, eBay and other online markets, PropSwap takes a commission for brokering the transaction between the seller and the buyer. Neither founder bets on sports anymore.