The Serious Problem With Gambling

The Serious Problem with Gambling

Capitalism is essentially defined as 'working for your money'. How much you put into developing your skills, personality and capabilities, you will get out as money through being able to surpass a job's requirements and attaining that role. Through your skills and experience at doing your job, you may move up the ladder, landing on a better role that pays a bit more. That's the ideal situation by many, however, for some, that ain't reality.

For the majority of those living in relative poverty (having a lower wage or much fewer assets than the general average), money isn't abundant. Sure, there are ways as to get out of this position such as putting in effort to find a suitable job however, in some cases, dreams are merely just dreams due to a very common obstacle that is bound to be in the way, creating a continuous cycle of deprivation, and that is the urge to gamble. Yes, gambling could be interpreted as just taking risks or worrying decisions, no money involved, however, in this case, it is to be risking money upon chance through various games and matches.

This vice is considered one of the most deadly, being able to negatively affect more than one people such as a family, however, it is legal in nearly all countries in some sort of way, be it gambling (betting) on matches or even just playing on slot machines. This legality is stretched by gambling organisations, allowing the country of host to take a portion of the profits as to be considered regulated as well as be advertised very openly online and on the television. However, it has come to a point that in nearly all areas of 'ghettofication' within the UK, there will be at least one betting shop / bookmaker (services that are used as to risk a bit of money on the outcome of anything but generally sport matches) making their mark upon the people living there; there will be adverts proclaiming 'free bets' if you were to deposit or make a bet with them (bookmakers) and there will be people who become drained of money to the point that their livelihood or social life will crumble into a cycle of deprivation.

The way that gambling is openly advertised implants a message into the minds of those who view it to believe that gambling is a potentially successful way of making money, shifting away from the actual purpose of gambling which is to risk a little bit of money for fun and enjoyment. However, with the 'deals' that bookmakers offer, people continue making bets and this is certain to lead to gambling addictions.

One thing to take from this is the fact that this is how gambling organisations make money off their consumers, through the use of advertising 'deals' such as a free £10 back when you make a bet upon a certain team however, there will always be an asterisk as to force people to undergo hidden circumstances, such as requiring a minimum wager for the offer. The way that these adverts draw people into gambling is that the good side of gambling (winning) is always brought up, however, the humiliating bad side (potential behaviour changes, abundance of financial loss) is never shown to the audience, and thus, makes them believe that gambling is a profitable and easy way of making money. No matter if one person wins a bet, one should take note that the odds a bookmaker offer means that she / he / they will always win and profit, hence forth the phrase:

The house always wins.

The gambling organisations (house) that operate these 'bookies' know how to always make money through odds. As an example of this usage, here is a case scenario with people betting on football / soccer teams:

Team A (3rd team on a league's leaderboard) vs Team B (7th team on the same leaderboard)
The Bookie will offer 1.15x return on Team A if they win. (Higher ranking)
The Bookie will offer 1.6x return on Team B if they win. (Lower ranking)

For our first scenario, £1,000 was placed in total on Team A to win and £1,000 was placed in total on Team B to win so £2,000 being held by the Bookie for the duration of the game. This is merely theoretical, however, there have instances where 2 teams may be viewed as being skillfully equal as each other and either team could win and thus, nearly equal amounts of money wagered on both teams to win. If Team A was to win, £1,150 in total would be given back to those who betted on Team A. Those who made a bet on Team B will not have any return and the Bookie would be able to take the rest of the money (£850) as profit. If Team B was to win (a bit unlikely but is plausible), £1,600 would be returned to those who wagered money on Team B to win and £400 would be taken in by the Bookie.

Another scenario could potentially be £1,800 placed on Team A and £1,200 placed on Team B and thus, £3,000 in the hands of the Bookies. If Team A was to win, £2,070 would be returned to those who made a bet on Team A to win and £930 was the profit for the Bookie. If Team B was to win, £1,920 would be given to those who made a bet on Team B to win and the £1,080 made would be for the Bookie.

There is one very rare case that a Bookie may potenitally lose money, when exceedingly more money is placed on Team B to win (to a point where the expected return if Team B wins exceeds the total amount placed on Team A and B) and Team B wins. For example, £1,000 placed on Team A to win and £4,000 placed on Team B to win, with the same odds as above. If Team A won, £1,150 would be returned, with the £3,850 going to the bookmakers. If Team B won, the Bookie would need to return £6,400 in total to those that made a bet on Team B to win, requiring £1,400 from their own reserves as to help pay that off. However, this situation is very unlikely and favours the bookies, as Team A has shown that they are the more skillful team by being ranked 3rd, compared to Team B being ranked 7th.

As you can see, it is very rare for the Bookies to lose money but certain for a select portion of consumers that indulges in this activity to lose. One has to be exploited of their ignorance and 'poor prediction skills' as for this gambling operation to work successfully.

Through the advertisation of gambling, sporting viewership has gone up, which could be considered an advantage by the channels that host them however, the viewership that wasn't pre-existing is just filled with people watching the match as to know whether they've won money or not, being entertained by the potential outcome. In some occasions, this has developed to viewers grunting at the losing team for making them lose money, which is not sportsmanlike. The fact of the matter is that people get more and more involved in gambling from this experience of winning or losing and sooner or later, it becomes a habit to gamble recklessly for profit and disregarding that gambling is meant to be just a form of entertainment through wagering a bit of disposable money however, the taboo of most types of gambling or appropriate individual consumer regulation has yet to be considered.