Sports Betting Guide
Addiction to gambling
Sports betting and gambling activities overall are for some a good way of spending their money and an interesting hobby. In most cases, it is just a fun way of having a good time and occasionally winning some money. But there are cases, that this hobby turns into a passion, and this passion ends up being an addiction. At that moment, the hobby that once brought joy and sometimes additional money, can bring a disastrous consequences such as financial and family problems.
Is sports betting a gambling activity?
Sports betting is thought to be one of the types of the so-called gambling industry. We believe otherwise and differentiate sports betting and gambling as two separate things. Gambling includes primarily relying on luck. You have to admit that hoping that you will choose the correct spot in roulette or get good cards in poker differs greatly from thorough analysis and substantial knowledge as well as reflexes that sports punters posses.
In sports betting, it is not all about luck (which of course plays some role, as it is in every aspect of life, for example in business), it is mostly about the mentality, knowledge and skills of a particular punter. We think that sports betting is more similar to investing in stock exchange than gambling and we have not heard about stock-brokers being called gamblers.
Nevertheless, it is worth to mention few things. Different sources provide various statistics, but it is commonly thought that approximately 90% of people who bet on sports are amateurs without proper knowledge and experience of professional punter. In case of this vast majority, we can consider sports betting as a gambling activity as they rely almost entirely on pure luck.
It is very differently when we look at professional punters. In their case, luck and randomness are less important and they base their success on the hard work, experience and knowledge. Therefore, it is difficult to speak about gambling in their case as they only use their knowledge to predict the outcomes of sporting events and hope to outplay the bookmaker.
Phases of gambling addiction
- Winning phase - You all must have heard about the old saying: the beginners luck. We do not know how it happens, but in some cases, even the novice punters or gamblers have very good results at the beginning of their betting adventure. Let’s face the facts - winning with the bookmaker is one of the most pleasants feelings, especially for the beginners. At that happy moment, our brain produce tons of endorphins that cause our euphory. Easy win only makes it better. That is why, our organism starts to demand more and more of this ‘happy’ substances. As a result, the relation between feeling happy after winning a bet is the same as that of taking drugs. After all, gambling is harmful addiction.
- Losing phase - Right after the winning phase, we are struck with our first loss, which in many cases can start our losing phase. This process is unavoidable and cannot be stopped by anything. After initial success, the effectiveness of the punter drops due to various reasons and therefore his financial situation starts to worsen. At that point, a gambler or a punter, blocks all his problems and lost money and wants to get back to the winning phase. He will do everything to start winning again.
- Desperation phase - After a period of losing, there comes the desperation phase in which the gambler will do everything just to recoup all his losses. Unfortunately, it happens very rarely for a punter to turn the tables in his favour and get back to the winning phase. For most, it is almost the end of their gambling or betting journey. The more punter or gabler bets, the more money he loses and his financial situation becomes very bad. He becomes aware that he has a huge problem and seeks ways of escaping his situation, which is in most cases futile. Many gamblers or punters borrow money from other people, often criminals, to have funds for betting, in hope of compensating for all their losses.
- Withdrawal phase - Very critical phase. The gambler or a sports punter understands his very bad situation but he used out all the possibilities and he does not have anyone to turn for help. Sadly, during this phase, the gambler may abuse alcohol or use drugs to cope with his problems. What is more, some gamblers or punters, who do not see a way out of their situation decide to end their life. To prevent such tragedies, always reach out to people with such problems and if You are one of them, remember: there is always a way out.
The symptoms of gambling addiction and tips how to get better
Not many addicted gamblers can identify they have a problem in time to get necessary help. Most of them, till the very end, claim it is just their hobby, and do not mind losing some money in order to have fun and relax for a little. There is, however a list of symptoms that a person addicted to any type of gambling or betting may show, especially in the later phases of their addiction.
- constant financial problems (borrowing money)
- not taking care of oneself, especially the physical appearance
- troubles with focusing
- losing interest in other hobbies and passions pursued before gambling
- problems with family and friends
- constant lied about own financial and mental situation
Where to find help? If someone have admitted he has a problem, that is a first step towards getting appropriate help and there are chances he can get better. In the most extreme cases, the only solution is a gambling addiction rehab facility for the most troubled ones. There are a number of organisations and places such as Gamcare.org.uk or Begambleaware.org that offer free help for any people with gambling problems that offer a free, anonymous hot lines and support.
But before we decide to use such an extreme measure, few things can help. We can fight the addiction on our own, or with the help of our loved ones, which we definitely advise. Especially in the first few days and weeks, it is essential to have the support of the family and friends. As it was mentioned before, gambling addiction do not differ much from alcohol or drug addictions - at the moment of the withdrawal, our body, especially brain, feels empty and lacks something that was an important (in this case, the endorphins that were produced after each win as well as the adrenaline after each placed bet overall).
It is best to close all betting accounts and give the authority over our finances to a trusted person. It is also good not to be involved or watch any sporting events if we are a sports punter or enter any casinos or make any sort of bets if we are a classic gambler. Last, but not least, if someone has become a gambling addict once, there is a very high chance he will become one once again, therefore, to complete our treatment, we often must lose all ties with the world of gambling and sports betting - forever.
How to bet without getting addicted to gambling?
Sports betting can be a very enjoyable activity. Full of emotions and excitement, for many people it is the perfect type of entertainment. For some, it is also a part-time or even full-time job that helps them financially support themselves. As we mentioned at the beginning, it is difficult to classify sports betting as a gambling activity, of course as long as we do it professionally or treat it as a hobby. What is more, we need to remember about few essential things that both beginning and experienced punters need to implement in their betting.
- Single bet stake should not be higher than 2-3% of our overall budget. In some cases, it can raise up to 5%, but not more.
- Have a cold head, think rationally
- Monitor your own statistics
- Place bets only on events that you have substantial knowledge about and there are good chances of winning
- Thorough betting analysis of a particular event
- Do not try to forcefully recoup after every lost bet