Do you gamble? Why?

I’ve just watched (the first half) of the Superbowl LV (55) and in one of the many breaks (which is a shame, since the adverts are half the spectacle of the event) I was wondering about those who bet on sports, and then more generally - cards, lottery, etc.

I wonder, since we’re talking about Investing and creating long term security here, how many also bet?

If you do, what do you gamble on, and what drives you?

1 Like

I dabble in matched betting.

It’s tricky to find an account these days that won’t block gambling eventually (I only ever use a separate account).

My aim in October 2019 was to cover all my monthly housing costs, excluding mortgage, with matched betting, referrals and other untaxed rewards, just as an experiment. It worked until betting effectively stopped during lockdown and has only recovered. I think that’s as close as you can get to betting being part of a good financial strategy! :joy:

“Real” gambling though is a different matter. I know people who say it’s for the thrill, but given it’s a mathematical certainty you will eventually lose against the house, I don’t see where all the excitement is. Maybe betting for your team or player, but even then, you’re just giving money away to some shady outfit on Jersey or wherever.

I would love dozens to come out and simply ban all gambling on its platforms (a bit like lots have done for crypto). It would reduce risk (and presumably costs?), create complete clarity for customers and send a great message about the dozens approach.

Surely the only reason other institutions allow it is because it generates income, not for customer-first reasons.

thanks for being so open @Gaoler

I should point out that this was driven by a desire to understand people’s different risk profiles, and how sometimes they might be different in separate areas of the same person’s life (such as a risk-averse investor still keen to go to the races).

This is not directly for Dozens, though the team does like to read the threads to get insights into customers’ views and preferences

So, for clarity, this thread is not about Dozens (I’d be happy to have a separate thread on account blocks if you want) but about your views of the benefits, and risks of (legal) betting and gambling-related activities (including friendly games of poker, the National Lottery, etc.)


Ah, OK! I suppose my reply is then basically “err, what benefits!?”

The National Lottery is probably the most respectable and all it does is transfer even more money from the poorest into benefits typically used by the wealthiest… While taking a bite on the way.

If the amount you could wager was subject to a credit check, the whole industry would fold in no time

1 Like

that’s a very rational point of view (I may potentially agree … but for the sake of the discussion I will remain neutral for now)

I’m sure there are those out there who might have an emotional or other reason and see some benefits?

Gambling on sports is usually a way to feel more engaged - for example, what is the point of watching horses you know nothing about and care even less about racing against each other unless you have a stake in the result?

Yes, the lottery is seen as “harmless fun”, but given how much is spent by those who can least afford it, it may not be as harmless as that. They console themselves by tellin themselves they are giving to good causes when they don’t win.

The betting companies offer “free” bets for the same reason casinos lavish hospitatlity on their best customers, ie they know it will all come back to them in the end. They aren’t charities and the house invariably wins in the long run.

By all means, bet on the things you enjoy with money you can afford to lose, because the chances are that you will. Getting an adrenaline rush when you win isn’t enough to make up for the pain of losing money you can ill afford.


I would love to see a betting crypto… Maybe force punters to apply and run through financial checks, then allow them to convert a specific amount of annual income into a crypto, which can only be used for betting, then skim tax off the crypto (as I’m sure a government would want) and auto convert unused funds/profit back to the source account at end of year! Gamifying it would keep the “adrenaline” with none of the crazy downside (destitution…)

You could even force a percentage system, so no one sees the real value of their bets, only their bets as a percentage of that year’s crypto. So you should say “I put down 0.3% and came out 50% up”

Never going to happen

interesting … but why crypto? That’s like gambling twice?!

Or do you mean that this would be some dedicated currency for the purpose?

Crypto created by a central bank would not be the same thing at all…

Crypto really is a technology, not a “thing”, so it can fulfill all kinds of purposes.

The role of a central bank crypto I’m suggesting for gambling would just be way to control the financial impact, while maintaining and improving the “gamification” angle.

It would also remove some of the burden on financial institutions, as checks would be more like credit checks

There’s a fine line between regulating the gambling industry and a nanny state. Also, over regulation often leads to increased illegal underground activities. It’s all about finding the right balance.

This is often repeated in the context of gambling with very little evidence. What examples are you thinking of?

Imagine that you are a regular gambler, and like betting on your favourite sport. Everything was fine, but one day you are told that the rules have changed, and you can no longer place the bet. How do you feel? What if one of your friend tells you that they have been betting via a new website and it works just like the old days? Do you give it a try?

As of hard evidence, look at countries in which gambling is illegal. Have they managed to prevent people from gambling?

I agree with your general point that tighter regulation will tend to increase illegal gambling. You’re certainly not going to stop determined gamblers/criminals.

For me, it’s more a question of proportionality, ie what level of increase in illegality is acceptable for what overall decrease in problematic, legal gambling.

The Labour regime on gambling has been in place for some time, so there’s plenty of discussion about how it could be improved. What with all the discussion about ads in sport, it seems the tide is turning again to more restrictive laws.

Yes. It’s all about finding the right balance.

1 Like