According to Legalbet, sports betting as a hobby is gaining popularity all over the world with it being legalized in many places, including some US states where it has been considered illegal before.
But quite often the lure of sports betting is seen as all down to one big thing, life-changing wins. Most often sports betting breaks through into mainstream media when someone has managed to defy some huge odds with a wager.
Whether it was a big win on the horses or it was a prediction made a long time ago about a player winning the Ballon d’Or, the public generally only hears about betting when something remarkable happens.
It can make it seem like treating sports betting with the hope of it becoming a regular source of income is a good idea. But is it?
First things first, let’s look more in-depth as to why betting is so alluring. Essentially the circus masters running the show, the bookmakers, make it that way. Bookmakers are fantastic with their entertaining advertising and media campaigns.
They have to be, they want to push just how great sports betting is. Bookies want to show how anyone and everyone can enjoy the thrills and potentially big rewards that come from placing bets.
That keeps the custom flooding their way, and at the end of the day, a bookmaker is only in business to make money themselves. They provide a service, in this instance running a sportsbook and assuming risk on accepting bets, but they are in control of the prices that are set in the odds to make a profit.
Hitting up social media and sharing details of huge wins, like the £125,000 collected from a £50 bet by the grandfather of Wales and Fulham player Harry Wilson, is brilliant clickbait. Peter Edwards struck a bet that his grandson would represent Wales as a professional player when Harry was only one-year-old.
There was Mick Gibbs who collected more than £500k from a remarkable football accumulator of fifteen-legs at odds of 1,666,666/1. Gibbs, who had previously won £150k from a ninefold acca, had played the fifteen fold behemoth with just a £0.30 stake. The list of big wins like that goes on.
Betting Involves Risk
Those stories of major betting wins are not the everyday scenario for the average bettor. The realistic view of sports betting is smaller stakes on safer bets. No bet can guarantee a win but playing an odds-on favourite wager on Manchester United beating Bournemouth at home in the FA Cup is a sounder option than trying to select the winners of 10 different matches in one bet.
Whenever a player puts down a bet, they are risking money. Because of that, sports betting shouldn’t be seen as a source of income. It’s certainly not one to make a living from, not even a side hustle really. A hobby? Yes.
There’s just no way to guarantee that the income is going to be there. But what about betting strategies and all those sports betting tips that promise so much? Surely they have some grounding in helping players reach the goals of major incomes from betting?
People who have those big money signs flashing in front of their eyes cartoon-style are approaching sports betting the wrong way. It’s often skipped over that to bring a big lump sum of money in from a bet, then you are going to likely have to risk a lot.
The turnover that would be needed to have a sustainable income from sports betting would be huge. Well beyond the realms of the average bettor who only places a few bets each week. It’s having large sums of money upfront that you are prepared to lose that is the backbone of this.
Losses happen. There’s no bettor, amateur or professional who hasn’t taken a hit through a loss. That includes those whose stories of big wins you have heard about. You don’t hear about previous losses that they may have had.
Again this feeds back into the loop of sports being unpredictable with no such thing as a ‘dead cert’. Not even betting strategies or tips can help with this. What chance do you have when you see a fairy tale story like the 2022 Grand National Winner Noble Yeats, who scored as a huge 50/1 outsider?
Betting strategies generally assume an unlimited bankroll. That even after a sequence of losses you will still have enough in your purse to come up with a big enough stake that will cover all the previous losses. Strategies can be poison chalices.
As for betting tips, they are only useful for information that you use yourself towards placing a bet. Tipsters are only voicing opinions about what they have come up with through their research into stats. They can’t guarantee anything either.
Sports Betting Can Be Fun
We’re not here to rain on anyone’s sports betting parade. Far from it. Sports betting can be a wonderfully engaging, challenging pastime. Looking at stats to piece together allows you to keep learning more and more about sports and their markets.
As far as different sports markets go, there’s an endless supply of those. You can introduce excitement by looking at a tournament outright, which provides long-term entertainment. Playing small stakes on big events can be hugely rewarding in terms of fun.
When you are not chasing losses, and not betting with money that you can’t afford to lose, then sports betting can be and is safe and fun. Just never see it as a get-rich-quick scheme or a shortcut to you finding any kind of financial security.