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Is matched betting permissible?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Assalamu Aleikum,

Is it halal to do matched betting like the one proposed on this site?

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It says that “Matched betting (also known as back or lay bet matching, arb betting, or double betting) is a betting technique used by individuals to profit from the free bets and incentives offered by bookmakers. It is generally considered a risk-free bet as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance. A typical return for a matched bet where the stake is returned is 85%+ of the free bet offer amount, and 70%+ where the stake is not returned. Most free bets are stake not returned.” It says that it is based on an application of a mathematical equation rather than CHANCE (which is haram)

Jazakallah in advance

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

What is matched betting?

Matched betting involves placing multiple bets to generate free bets and bonuses offered by bookmakers. Multiple bets are placed on the same event to reduce the risk of loss. This can lead to the better breaking even. If he breaks even, he will be awarded a free bet. This free bet is used with a mathematical calculation which will guarantee a profit. They are used on another event consisting of multiple bets. Every bet independently has the possibility of being won or lost.

Example: A bookmaker is giving away 10 pounds if a better bets 10 pounds. The better bets on Team A to win and bets against Team A with another betting company. If the odds are in his favor, he will break even and be rewarded a free bet of 10 pounds. This free bet is then used in another event. The better will bet for and against Team A, for example. The mathematical calculation utilized will give him the exact amount he needs to bet against Team A which will guarantee him a positive yield. If Team A wins or loses, he’ll win with one bookmaker and lose with the other. The balance will be positive.[1]

What is gambling (qimār)? [2]    

It is the risking of wealth between two or more parties on an indefinite event. The loser will lose without any recompense and the winner will gain.

The matched betting presented on the site in reference is gambling which is prohibited.  

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Tahmid Chowdhury

Student Darul Iftaa

New York, USA

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[2]

{يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنْصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ} [المائدة: 90]

الفتاوى الهندية (6/ 445)

والمسابقة بالفرس والإبل والأرجل والرمي جائزة وحرم شرط الجعل من الجانبين لا من أحد الجانبين ومعنى شرط الجعل من الجانبين أن يقول إن سبق فرسك فلك علي كذا وإن سبق فرسي فلي عليك كذا وهو قمار فلا يجوز وإذا شرط من جانب واحد بأن يقول إن سبقتني فلك علي كذا وإن سبقتك فلا شيء لي عليك جاز استحسانا ولا يجوز فيما عدا الأربعة المذكورة في الكتاب كالبغل وإن كان الجعل مشروطا من أحد الجانبين

رد المحتار (٦/٤٠٣)

(قَوْلُهُ لِأَنَّهُ يَصِيرُ قِمَارًا) لِأَنَّ الْقِمَارَ مِنْ الْقَمَرِ الَّذِي يَزْدَادُ تَارَةً وَيَنْقُصُ أُخْرَى، وَسُمِّيَ الْقِمَارُ قِمَارًا لِأَنَّ كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْ الْمُقَامِرَيْنِ مِمَّنْ يَجُوزُ أَنْ يَذْهَبَ مَالُهُ إلَى صَاحِبِهِ، وَيَجُوزُ أَنْ يَسْتَفِيدَ مَالَ صَاحِبِهِ وَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِالنَّصِّ، 

جواهر الفقه (٤/٥٧٢)

بحوث في قضايا فقهية معاصرة (٢/١٥٧)

إن القمآر يتركب من أربعة عناصر: الأول: إنه عقد معاوضة بين جهتين أو فردين

الثاني: أن كل فريق في هذا العقد يعلق ملكه على خطر الثالث: إن حصول المال الزائد في هذا العقد موقوف على واقع يحتمل الوقوع و عدمه

الرابع: إن المال المعلق على الخطر في القمار إما يضيع من يد صاحبه بدون عوض أو يجلب مالا أكثر

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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