1 in 3 now have a side hustle to increase their income; are you missing out?

betting online on a laptop

The pandemic saw a vast rise in the number of people looking to make money online, and with the cost of living crisis and geopolitical events now gripping the UK, and Christmas fast approaching, having a money making side hustle seems to have become the new normal.

1 in 3 in the UK¹ are now reported to have a side hustle, with over half of these set up during the pandemic.

With the cost of household staples like milk and butter almost twice the price² they were the year prior, whilst pay increases for many people aren’t keeping up with rising prices, you can see why so many are looking to increase their income. For Brits looking to boost their income amid the growing economic downturn, there are plenty of opportunities out there and our side hustle series¹ has shown just how lucrative moonlighting can be.

In reality though, fitting a side hustle in around a 40 hour a week job and running a busy household can be tough, and factoring in that you have to pay taxes on most additional earnings above £1,000³, is having a side hustle really worth it?

One tax-free opportunity growing in popularity has been the rise of matched betting. Despite its name, unlike normal betting, it offers a risk-free method of increasing your income – without having to understand the offside rule, or having any other sports knowledge. In fact, just search on sites like Money Saving Expert or Mumsnet and you’ll see threads dedicated to the topic.

Matched betting works by exploiting the free gambling offers given out by online gaming companies. For example, Betfred and Coral both offer a free bet when you place your first wager which means you can make £40 from two offers. These might take you a few hours to complete, meaning the £20 hourly rate doing this is higher than the £14.77 average hourly rate in the UK⁴. And you don’t have to leave the house to do it.

Whilst many may be put off for fear it is gambling, or a scam, you only have to review some of the matched betting companies who have built technology to automate the matched betting process to see how popular this side hustle has become. There are over 2,000 advocates of the matched betting process on Outplayed.com’s Trustpilot⁵ alone. They are so confident they can make you money, they have a free trial on site which only requires an email to signup and get instructions on how to make the £40 from the Betfred and Coral offers.

In fact, Outplayed.com, the biggest matched betting site in the UK, founded by Sam Stoffel said “‘Ours really is a Robin Hood business and we’re proud to have helped so many customers over the years. In times like these, we can really make a difference to anyone who needs to make some extra cash.’

Stoffel’s site boasts over 150,000 members, with a Facebook group of over 50,000 people and has seen exponential growth since lockdown in 2020 with Stoffel explaining “we saw a huge increase in members during lockdown, where people were looking to use their time and energy to make some extra income. This momentum has continued right through to 2022, and is showing no signs of slowing as we continue the cost of living crisis into the new year”.

So is this really too good to be true, and how much can you make? Outplayed.com offers step-by-step tutorials, and after the free trial £40 profit you can make from Coral and Betfred, there is another £700 of profit in the signup offers alone. You will need as little as £50 to start, but when you can make £40 tax-free profit in one afternoon, you can see why this side hustle is getting a lot of attention. Whatsmore, it is a sustainable side hustle, and once you understand the fundamental elements of how it works, the potential profit is only limited by how much time you put into it and your bankroll (the more bankroll you have, the more offers you can do which means you can make money faster).

With research showing one in ten bettors are likely to increase their betting spend⁶, with the World Cup a reason for doing so, the bookmakers have been enhancing their offers to new customers. Where you may have previously been offered £20 from a welcome offer, some bookmarkers are now doubling this. For matched bettors that means double the profit for the same amount of effort. What’s more, this is pure profit, with nothing going to the taxman and can be done at any time around work and families.

With the recession forecast to last well into 2023⁷, having a lucrative side hustle now has become the norm, and with matched betting offering £700 tax-free cash before the festive period, if you’re willing to follow instructions and put in the effort, this seems like one of the most lucrative ways to make money online, fast


  1. “More than half of side hustles started during the pandemic.” Simply Business, 11 November 2021, https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2021/11/over-one-third-of-people-in-uk-now-run-a-side-hustle/.
  2. Jones, Lora. “Soaring food prices push inflation to 40-year high.” BBC, 19 October 2022, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63301383
  3. Anderson, Elizabeth. “Want to get paid for your opinion? How to earn money doing online surveys.” iNews, 23 February 2019, https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/money/want-get-paid-opinion-earn-money-doing-online-surveys-261447
  4. “Low and high pay in the UK: 2022.” Low and high pay in the UK – Office for National Statistics, 26 October 2022, https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/lowandhighpayuk/2022
  5. “OUTPLAYED.com Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of outplayed.com.” Trustpilot Reviews, https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/outplayed.com
  6. “World Cup Betting Intentions Survey .pdf | Toluna and Harris Interactive, 2022, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wd0GelytKq-nX_X0nu06M-CLGvK25yph/view?usp=sharing
  7. “UK economy expected to be in recession until summer 2023.” EY, 17 October 2022, https://www.ey.com/en_uk/news/2022/10/uk-economy-expected-to-be-in-recession-until-summer-2023