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“Gnoming” might sound like some sort of obscene act that you’d find in the Urban Dictionary. In fact, it is in the Urban Dictionary, but citing the stealing of gnomes rather than referencing operating multiple betting accounts, as it does in the world of betting.
Perhaps one reason for the use of “Gnoming” as a euphemistic code name for multi-accounting is the seriousness with which bookmakers view the practice. And who could blame them? They are in the business of stumping up the collateral that we can win at the merest few clicks of a mouse. What if we had five accounts, or ten accounts, each placing the same bets at odds of 50? What if all those bets came in? We would be taking a serious gulp from the bookmakers’ liquidity.
In fact, every single bookie inserts clauses into its terms and conditions disallowing the practice of holding multiple accounts. Unibet, for example, forbids punters from “acting on behalf of another party”. William Hill goes a step further, stating that
Duplicate accounts will not qualify for this offer. Only 'one new account offer' per person, household address, email address, debit/credit card number, or IP address is allowed.....
William Hill, Terms & Conditions
Most bookies will have similar clauses inserted in their terms when we sign up and accept any promotional offers.
So holding multiple accounts is very heavily against the Ja Rules. Not only that, but there are certain practices that could get you flagged as a multiple account holder, even if you’re not.
Using Distinct Identities To Create Multiple Accounts
Look again at that quote from William Hill’s Ts & Cs. “Only 'one new account offer' per person, household address, email address, debit/credit card number, or IP address”.
So, let’s say that you’ve been matched betting for for a few months. You’ve been spending 30 minutes per day making bets, matching them off and seeing your profits rise steadily. You’ve been telling your mates down at the pub how easy it is, and how free bets from bookies are paying for the drinks you’re enjoying right now.
A few of them are interested. I mean, why wouldn’t they be? Matched betting is a growing trend. If your friends haven’t heard about it already they’ll no doubt be excited to find out.
Billy, your best friend, is eager to start matched betting. You kindly offer to show him the ropes. Follow the OddsMonkey tutorials, their pages and blog posts are superbly compiled, but, as the proverb goes, there’s nothing quite like hearing it from the horse’s mouth.
So Billy comes round. He brings pizza and beer. Liverpool v Everton is on Monday Night Football and you’ve decided to make a night of it.
But if you log on to, say...Ladbrokes, for example, you may find them refusing to let you create an account for Billy on your computer. He might have a different name, postal address, phone number and debit card, but because you are using your laptop Ladbrokes can see it is the same IP and MAC address, so bars it from opening another account in a separate name.
Changing I.P. Address
Partners across the land raised eyebrows when Google launched its Incognito service. Suddenly we could browse the Internet without having to cover our browsing tracks. Why would we possibly want to do that, if not for nefarious purposes?
Though, as we know, Google markets its Incognito service at people wanting to hide nice surprises from their special someone. Other browsers, by the way, also offer private windows.
So you might think that opening an Incognito window might be enough to allow you to show Billy the matched betting ropes. Sadly not. Unless it is a completely new IP and MAC address, the bookies will still give you the old heave-ho like a grumpy bouncer who doesn’t like your shoes.
So what you would need is Billy’s laptop - it will be his betting account, after all. You can show him on yours, he can do it on his. So to speak. That would be the MAC address sorted.
But you would still have the issue of the same IP Address, which would also raise a red flag for whichever bookmaker you would be looking to bet at. (Just in case this is all sounding Greek to you, an IP address is a unique address that all computing devices such as computers and smartphones use to identify themselves and communicate over the internet, usually tied to the location they’re accessing from.)
You could use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, to connect to another server elsewhere in the country to fool the bookie’s system that you’re coming from somewhere else. But some VPNs use shared IPs, meaning that this wouldn’t work either. Bookies have cracked down on the use of VPNs because some punters used them to create multiple accounts to try and fox the bookmakers out of their promotional offers.
As you can see, bookies go to some lengths to ensure you don’t take them for a ride. It is their liquid we’re sipping, after all.
Forget Billy for a second.
You live in a shared flat. There are six of you. You love the idea of matched betting and you’d like to give it a go. But if one other person in your shared accommodation has already signed up for a score of bookie accounts this will mean you won’t be able to.
This is surely unfair, right?
Some VPNs do offer unique UK IP generation as part of their VPN service. Such unique VPNs don’t guarantee the anonymity of their users like shared VPNs do, sharing hundreds of IP addresses at a time, but they do give you the unique IP you need in this case. It’s not only bookies that have cottoned on to users connecting via shared IP addresses. Media services such as Netflix and BBC have systems to identify shared IPs and blacklist them from accessing their services. Bookies do too.
Now, if you conducted your matched betting activity via your desktop computer, and you had a laptop that could connect to the internet via your smartphone or a dongle, it would be a different story. You have ticked the boxes of a site’s tracking services thanks to your laptop having a completely unique MAC address and your phone or dongle having its own IP address, courtesy of your mobile network.
But guess what? The bookmakers can still track your movements.
Iesnare Tracks Your Betting Moves
Unbeknownst to many a punter, bookmakers actually install tracking software on our computers when we sign up for a bookie account, under the blanket of checking for fraudulent activity.
“What!” you exclaim. “Are you serious?”
Is this a breach of privacy? According to the bookies it isn’t. Largely because, they argue, this software doesn’t capture any personal details, just electronic data such as the kind of betting websites you’ve been visiting and whether or not you have used a betting exchange. It’s like the Matrix, with the bookies cast as agents trying to weed us out as freedom-seekers.
However, just like Neo and the rebels, we can fight back to retain our privacy. There are ways to remove this hidden software. Yesbets provides the step-by-step procedures to its members to help them retain their privacy and avoid being shackled by hidden software that users didn’t ask, want or grant permission for.
Is Gnoming Fraudulent?
This is a much bigger question than the fairness or unfairness of bookmakers placing restrictions on multiple accounts, or actively monitoring and tracking how we are accessing their services like the cyber police.
Helping a friend learn the matched betting ropes is one thing. But actively seeking to dupe the bookies into believing you are different people is another thing altogether. And it could be called fraud. The bookies don’t like it, and neither do the police. The real ones too, never mind the cyber cops.
Not only that, but if you were providing betting services and betting on the behalf of other people you should be paying tax on any earnings you made. Which would get HMRC involved. Though you would think that they had bigger fish to fry in the shape of multinational corporations avoiding paying tax by squeezing their murky profits through systemic loopholes, tax avoidance is tax avoidance.
Not only do most bookmakers restrict multi-accounts, no industry fulcrum - an accolade of which Yesbets is in receipt - recommends or condones multi-accounting, or gnoming.
That said, some bookmakers do allow partner accounts. Sky Bet, Ladbrokes and Bet Victor all allow partner accounts, while some others like Bet365 allow accounts at the same address but officially only allow one of those account holders to access any promotions.
Given that promotional free bets are the main tools of bagging profits from matched betting, this last is kind of a deal breaker.