Gambling and Betting – friends or foes?


Mention the words gambling or betting to many people, and the reaction is often negative. However, others get a major kick out of it. Gambling is one of those activities people often have rather extreme opinions. Whether for or against, no one can argue that gambling is a very popular pastime and has been enjoyed since at least 2300BC in Ancient China to today in countless online casinos like Here we look at the main pros and cons to let you make your mind up about gambling.

Cons of Gambling

Let’s start with the bad news, and the con most opponents point to is gambling addiction. This is indeed a valid point and one hugely detrimental to those that suffer from it. If someone can’t stop depositing, chasing losses or wins, unable to stop, then they may well have a gambling addiction. This is a terrible situation to be in, and fortunately, there are many organisations to help problem gamblers and a host of exclusion tools. Gambling is meant to be fun. If it’s not, then stop. If you cannot, then seek help immediately.

Another downside some see to gambling is that casinos are stacked against players, and you will lose your money. In some ways, yes, this is true since all casino games have a house edge built-in. Nowadays, these edges are clearly displayed, so players know what they are getting into. The Return to Player figure (RTP) expresses how much money is paid to players over time. Games like blackjack can have RTPs as high as 99% (or more), while online slots average around 96%. This means that over a long period of time, these slots will theoretically payout 96% of the money fed into them. However, within the life of a game, some players will get back a lot more than that if they win big, while others will get less.

Pros of Gambling

Now for a positive look at gambling or betting. Number one, responsible gambling can be a whole lot of fun. Few pastimes compare to the roller coaster of emotions gambling can produce. Players can socialise, try their luck, and at times win. As long as gambling is seen as a fun way to spend an evening, and players stick to their budget, gambling can be viewed as a form of entertainment like any other.

However, there is one major difference between gambling and other hobbies – players have the chance to make more money than what they put in. One obvious example is progressive jackpot slots which payout multimillion-dollar jackpots. Or poker tournaments that pit the best poker players against each other for million-dollar purses.

Wrap up

Gambling and betting have a long colourful history, and no one is denying there are pitfalls when players cannot control themselves. However, there are positives, and many people enjoy responsible gambling online or in physical casinos worldwide.

Let’s say it again, though, for clarity’s sake. Gambling should never be perceived as a money-making venture or a get rich quick scheme. If you are going to gamble, always stick to budget, enjoy the wins, forget the losses, and as the Kenny Rogers song says, ‘know when to walk away … when the dealing’s done.’