What is gnoming in betting?
Gnoming, or multi-accounting, involves players creating new betting accounts under someone else’s name after a betting platform has either banned or placed restrictions on their account.
Matched bettors seek to take advantage of the various bonus offers the vast majority of sportsbooks provide. Once players have taken advantage of a welcome offer, for example, they can’t do so again, so creating a new account using a family or friend’s personal details benefits them. Although matched bettors can make money with reload offers (offers for existing customers), taking advantage of welcome offers is generally considered the easiest part of matched betting.
Gnoming is a controversial subject in the gambling world. How acceptable the act really comes down to personal opinion. However, this activity is typically discouraged in sportsbooks’ Terms and Conditions if not wholly discouraged.
Such strategies can significantly affect a betting operator’s profits. In matched betting, bettors rely on bonus promotions to lock in a guaranteed profit. This is problematic for betting sites because this skews the odds in favour of the customer.
Professional gamblers are bound to run into situations whereby sportsbooks gub their betting accounts, keeping them from accessing them, let alone using the offered bonuses to their advantage. This leads some to engage in gnoming to continue betting at their preferred platforms. Some might not be gubbed, however, and just want to increase the amount of money they are making.
Fraud is a concerning issue among gambling operators, with a Ravelin study in 2022 showing that 71% of iGaming merchants reported an increase in bonus abuse in the past 12 months.
Is gnoming in betting beneficial for bettors?
Gnoming is particularly interesting to gamblers who use matched betting to make a tax-free income. It gives players more opportunities to take unfair advantage of a sportsbook’s bonus offers. Furthermore, some bookmakers consistently price up specific markets poorly or run price boost promotions allowing gnomers to take advantage of that.
Some people make considerable incomes from matched betting. This is becoming harder to do since sportsbooks are becoming increasingly wise to the process but presuming players aren’t gubbed at every sportsbook, it can be lucrative. Especially if players have access to multiple accounts.
What is gubbing?
Gubbing is the process of bookies restricting or closing accounts. Professional bettors often maximise their profits with matched betting by creating multiple accounts under different names. Any restricted or gubbed accounts are usually rendered useless regarding matched betting. Online sportsbooks gub players who they believe are matched bettors.
What are the reasons for gnoming in sports betting?
Matched betting allows professional bettors to earn a tax-free income. Therefore, some players seek to increase their profits with their preferred sportsbooks. By creating multiple accounts with the same bookmaker, matched bettors can raise the money they make from an offer since they can claim the promotion more than once.
Big sports events such as the FIFA World Cup attract a large influx of online gaming activity, making them vulnerable to multi-accounting or gnoming. This is when one person opens multiple accounts in order to gain an unfair advantage over other players by manipulating odds and taking advantage of bonuses. The sheer volume of activity during these times also makes it difficult for operators to detect this type of fraudulent behavior.
How gnoming in betting works
First, Matched bettors learn or realise they can increase their winnings based on the number of betting accounts they sign up for. Typically, they have run through all of the promotions offered at the sportsbook they have signed up for and have wondered if it would be possible to do the process again.
Matched bettors then create multiple fake accounts in their chosen online sportsbook, often pretending the accounts are run by their family members or friends. These matched bettors use these new accounts to claim welcome bonuses and any other promotions they deem worth their time.
The multiple accounts, in turn, skew the sportsbook’s marketing analytics, damaging its bottom line. In theory, most matched bettors use an exchange site to place a lay bet (against) the outcome they have selected at the bookmaker. Therefore they are not actually concerned if they win with the bookmaker or at the exchange site, as the match’s outcome doesn’t impact the money they make.
The legal and ethical considerations of gnoming in betting
Gnoming is not strictly considered illegal, but such a practice proves detrimental to sportsbooks, causing them to lose significant amounts of money. This is among the main reasons why gnoming is strictly prohibited at many sportsbooks and can lead to winning withdrawals and even accounts being blocked.
While the legal status of gnoming is vague, the act is fraudulent because it often involves bettors betting with fake or stolen identities, in which case, the act can be considered illegal. The strategy also consists of deceiving the sportsbook for financial gain, again making it illegal.
The risks of gnoming for operators and players
Gnoming is almost always against sportsbooks’ Terms and Conditions because it causes them to lose significant money.
If a bettor is suspected of gnoming, they could be blocked from withdrawing their winnings or even see their accounts closed (gubbed). Moreover, the gnomer can also be held liable for fraud if the person whose name they are using for creating betting accounts claims they have not permitted them to do so. The gnomer is not the legal owner of any money they win; the person they are posing as is.
How to detect gnomers as a betting operator
Below are a few indicators how betting operators can detect gnomers:
- The multi-accounting fraudster may create all of the accounts using just one device
- Well-practised multi-accounting fraudsters may deactivate cookies and use spoofing tools. Manipulating data can also leave a trace for operators to pick up during their investigation.
- Gnomers also use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). They do this because players can not play from the same address.