As the dictionary defines it, ‘gambling’ – a game of chance to win money –, has changed its form over the years. It dated way back to the ‘Palaeolithic period’, much before written history. With the invention of technology and the Internet, online gambling ’ has gained its popularity.
During this World Cup season, I came across several advertisements that urged everyone to take part in gambling activities, which made me think, “Are these even legal?”, and “aren’t these sport gambling activities an addiction?”. Sports gambling is a rage among today’s youth. To gain more insight and put my curiosity to rest, I interviewed one of my roommates who indulges in such gambling activities. This Q&A session with ‘Kshitij Jain’, a postgraduate student at ANU, proved to be effective and it helped in changing my perception about sports gambling.
- What comes to your mind when you hear ‘sports gambling’?
I would say, a ‘source of income’. It is legal and tax-free in a country like, Australia and across many other countries. I guess if you know the sport thoroughly, it provides you a fair chance to gamble and win some money. In my opinion online sports gambling’ is a pretty good thing.
- Do you take part in such activities?
Yes, I do. I mostly follow all the football matches and keep up to date with every current season. This provides me with the knowledge to understand which team has good players or which team is most likely to win during a football match. So, I occasionally gamble on those teams and win money.
- How does sports gambling work, can you gamble on any sport that you like?
You can gamble on any sports activity that is happening across the world. As I said earlier, it is easy money and it is legal. The government itself encourages betting and there are various websites that offer amazing deals too, like free first bets and bonus bets. The only risk I would say if you don’t know the sport then do not bet, otherwise you end up losing money.
- How probable is it to win money by betting?
It depends from person to person. If someone does not know the sport at all then it could go wrong severely. Like for me, I have never paid attention to horse racing in my life. So, if I were to bet on horse racing, it would just be a random choice.
- When it comes to gambling, do you follow certain strategy?
Yes, I do. If I am not confident about a team, then I will not bet on it. The first and foremost thing, if you know that you’re going to lose then, it is advisable to follow the no-profit-no-loss situation. For example, while the match is in progress, at a certain point of time, when you become aware that the opponent team or player is most likely to win, then you can invest the same amount of money, which you were supposed to lose, on that team or player and get your money back. So, in this case you have a no-profit-no-loss situation.
- Is it just a rumour or is it true that people end up losing money when they gamble continuously?
I would say, if you are going blindly just on faith or if you are too greedy about it, then you end up losing money. But, if you have a strategy and you follow it then you would be in profit. It’s just like investing in the stock market. A good strategy would be to bet small amount of money on multiple matches rather than putting a huge amount of money on a single match.
- How do all these online sports gambling websites gather their revenue from betting? Do they keep some share from it?
Their major revenue mostly comes from the losses. People all over the world take part in such gambling activities every day and there are always people who bet on blind faith and end up losing money. So, all these gambling websites like Sportsbet, CrownBet and Ladbrokes gather their revenue from this money.
- Are there any scam websites when it comes to sports gambling?
I have never come across any scam websites as such, but, there could be. So, before you bet your money you should always check the number of people that are gambling and read the reviews. There are also advertisements that you see on television about these websites. So, this is how you can verify whether a website is genuine or not.
- How do you manage to keep the thin line between addiction and leisure when it comes to gambling?
I guess, you must set your priorities in life first. It is a bad habit when it becomes an addiction. It is easy money and if you know the sports thoroughly, then you can always gamble and gain some extra money.
With the expansion of the Internet, sports gambling has become more accessible to people across the world. Just like stock markets, these online gambling websites provide an opportunity to take risk, gamble money and win or lose in that process. There is a huge rise in the economy of a country because of such gambling activities and the government itself encourages it. Whether is it a good thing or a bad thing? Decide for yourself.