How Much Can You Make From Betting

Whenever you tell someone that you bet on horse racing for a living, the first thing they say is “Really?” followed by “How much can you make from betting?”.

This is a question that also haunts those who are working towards making profits from their betting but haven’t got there yet. Tipsters are also often asked this question by their clients and so I thought that I would address this today!

My reply to the question is always the same, “How much can you invest?”.

The first mindset you have to jump over is that you are investing not gambling. As a professional sports bettor you are not in the business of gambling, you are in the business of making knowledge based risk investments.

The question that should be asked is “What is the potential return on investment?”. This shows that whoever is asking you the question is actually taking it seriously and can understand that sports betting is a form of investment.

So back to the question at hand. How much can you make from betting?

In my experience there are two types of bettors. The first type is a form studier, they get up early in the morning and as the papers settle down to work. They specialise in certain races and horses and they only work on those races and may spend an hour or more on each of them each day before the meeting begins. Then they settle down to work out how best to bet them when they can see what odds they get.

The form studier bettor is going to be placing only a few bets a day, maybe two or three at most, and is what most people imagine when they think of professional horse racing bettors. There is something slightly romantic about this image. These bettors can easily make 20%, 30%, 40% and more return on investment from their bets. They need more money in the bankroll because they are placing comparatively few bets and so these bets need to be larger.

The second type of bettor uses advanced statistics and automation. They spend months and years developing complex strategies and ratings. Once developed all these strategies are managed by computers that find the selections and bets very quickly. Whatever anybody says, computers cannot predict races as well as humans. But they  can do it well enough and a lot faster. This means that these bettors can be placing 10, 20 or more bets per day but they are only make 5%, 6%, or 7% return on investment.

How can we use this knowledge ourselves?

We use this information whenever we are looking at our own strategies, systems or even if you are considering buying a system or using a tipster. It doesn’t matter what they quote in terms of odds or winners. The only things you need to ask are…

What is your long term ROI?

How many selections do you average a month?

With that information you can figure out if it is a good fit for you. For example if we have a service that is £30 per month, averages 100 bets and makes a 20% long term ROI then we know that…

We will be betting 100 units per month and making an average profit of 20 units. The service charge £30 so we need to be betting at least £2 per unit which will give us £40 profit per month, that is our £30 service charge and £10 profit.

If you ask the right questions then you can get the right answers!

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. If people who study form can easily make 20%, 30%, 40% and more on investment how does this square with what Patrick Veitch says in his book ‘Enemy Number One’ where he quotes Harry Findlay as saying no pro. bettor on earth makes more than 8% ROI. Veitch goes on to say that he makes 16.7% ROI and that he is not out of this world or some similar comment.
    If these top pros are quoting these figures how can you say that 20%/30%/40% is EASILY achieved?

    1. Well no ROI is easily achieved from betting. But in my experience there are 2 types of pro bettors, high turnover and low turnover. The low turnover bettors are usually form readers due to the amount of time it takes to analyse the form. If you are making 8% and placing just a handful of bets a month then you will need to be betting very large sums to make it worthwhile. In the current markets this is going to be very hard to get on even betting favourites on Betfair. You need to be making more than that to make it worthwhile. I also believe that when Veitch said this the markets were very different.

      I personally know of pro bettors making 35%-40% ROI but they are only betting 4-5 bets per month. Personally I make nearer 5% but am placing more like 20 bets or more per day. This is the high turnover model which is much more preferable to me and on a high turnover I would completely agree with Veitch’s statement.

  2. I found that FL Software was very good today, I had to use it as the CSV file was corrupt for Newton Abbot and Carlisle. I could not trust the figures for my 52 /78 contender spread sheet.

    I ended the day being very cautious and only £87.00 in profit.
    No support and no forum, skype had one person and he did not know what was wrong with the download either.

    Happy Easter I saw there was a race named after M. Wilding today So Happy Birthday if that was you.

    1. You should always post in the forum or email if there is a problem, the members chat is not specifically for support more general discussion. Send me an email with the details of the problems with the file, I am getting it without an issue.

      Happy Easter 🙂

  3. You scorn 5% ROI. I am developing a system to earn only that on a daily basis. By betting daily starting with a bank of £100 a return of 5% per day would increase the bank to £1million (!!!!) in only 8 months!! Tax free!! The beauty of compound interest. However my systemoutperformed my expectations and grew my bank 260% in the first week, so I may be a millionaire sooner!!! I am refining and developing it at the moment, but once the system rules are consolidated I will be happy to share it.

    The only problem I have not yet overcome, is how to get all my bets on as towards the end of the programme each beting point will be £10,000!!! Just hope I am brave enough when I get there. Any suggestions welcome.

    1. I most definitely don’t scorn 5%, as I mentioned above that is around what I make. Unfortunately I don’t know your strategy so can’t offer any advice. If you would like some advice then please feel free to get in touch using the contact form.

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