Sports betting has been a part of human civilisation for centuries. The Romans were known to wager huge sums of money on chariot races, but simpler forms of sports betting may have existed among the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the civilisations of Mesopotamia.
The modern sports betting world, of course, looks vastly different. The internet revolution has seen an explosion in the sports betting industry. There is a huge number of sports betting companies operating online along with expert platforms such as Legalbet and some others providing useful information about bookmakers and betting.
But despite the changes that have occurred in the world of sports betting, the essence of the pastime remains unchanged. To those who don’t bet on sports, it may seem a strange occupation, so in this article, we will try to explain some of the joys and pleasures associated with sports betting.
There are very few people who make money from sports betting in the long term. The effort, resources, skill and time involved in successful professional sports betting make it impossible for all but a tiny handful of betting players. For most sports betting fans, it is all about entertainment.
Perhaps you want to have an each-way wager on a big horse race. Maybe you try to pick a few winners on Saturday when the majority of the football action takes place. Sports betting can therefore add an extra dimension to the business of watching sports. It provides a different way to interact with your favourite sport and may even lead to you taking a deeper interest in the minutiae of the action.
The excitement and joy of cheering on a horse or celebrating a goal for your favourite team can be enhanced when you’ve also had a wager on the outcome. Sports betting is therefore a leisure pastime like any other, and the money you bet should be regarded in the same way as the cost of a cinema ticket or the price of a restaurant meal.
Another pleasure to be gained from sports betting is the satisfaction of being right. Sports fans like to feel as though they know their sport in depth and having a bet is a sure way of proving that one way or the other! The satisfaction of a successful bet is its own reward, particularly if you’ve taken a controversial or unpopular position in a sports event. In this way, sports betting is just an extension of the ongoing debates and discussions that take place in every home, workplace and pub.
For some sports bettors, betting on their favourite sport is no different from taking part in office sweepstakes or a friendly fantasy football tournament. Often, the prize for winning is small, but the pleasure in carefully weighing up a football match or a Test match and then being proven right, particularly if you’ve discussed the bet with friends, can be its own reward.
What About Winning Money?
Different gambling activities offer the potential of winning money, but when it comes to sports betting, there is a key difference in that, unlike the world of casinos or the lottery, sports betting is not completely a question of luck – this is the field of skills, expertise and prediction abilities.
We should be clear about the differences. The odds are still weighted heavily against you when you are betting on sports. Bookmakers have a huge advantage when they set their odds on a sports market. They can arrange the odds in such a way that they can make a profit whatever happens. They also have access to information and resources that are out of reach for the average sports bettor.
Yet, unlike the casino, which has a guaranteed house edge on all casino games, a bookmaker cannot be 100% certain that they will always profit in the long term. That means, at least in theory, that there is some scope for the shrewd sports bettor to have some winnings.
For most sports betting customers, though, this will not be the case. No one should regard sports betting as a way to earn a living, solve their financial problems, or as a shortcut to riches. The vast majority of sports bettors know this.
Remember The Golden Rules
For all the pleasure that sports betting can bring, there is no doubt that there are risks attached to this leisure activity. It is a sad fact that a significant number of people become addicted to gambling every year. For some, a betting addiction is just one more symptom of an addictive personality. For others, what begins as a harmless leisure activity develops into something toxic and dangerous.
Like all addictions, a gambling addiction can creep up on people without them realising it at first, and often the instinct for denial rather than facing up to their problem is strong. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that could indicate that your sports betting is out of control:
- Betting more money than you planned
- Betting for longer than you planned
- Using money for rent, bills or repayments for gambling
- Hiding your gambling from others
- Stealing or borrowing money to continue gambling
To avoid ending up in this terrible situation, there are some simple rules that you should keep in mind, thereby protecting yourself and those around you from the risk of gambling addiction:
- Never gamble with money you cannot afford to lose
- Never chase your losses
- Never drink and gamble
- Always set clear limits to your gambling
- Never regard gambling as a shortcut to financial security
In addition, all bookmakers with licences from reputable regulators such as the UKGC have to provide a full range of tools and helpful tips to those who are worried about their own or someone else’s gambling, and there are many gambling organisations who can help, depending on your location.
In conclusion, it’s worth saying that sports betting can be a pleasurable, enjoyable way to spend some leisure time. It can enhance your enjoyment of your favourite sport, bringing you a certain level of satisfaction from displaying your sports knowledge. As long as you approach sports betting in the same way as any other leisure activity and remember the golden rules, you should find that sports betting can be a fun and harmless pastime.