What’s The Difference Between Gambling And Investing?
Published on 26/08/19
Many people have debated the differences between gambling on sports and investing on the stock exchange, but is there that much difference?
The truth is there isn’t. They’re both markets in which those that play can win or lose, but those that make the time and effort to acquire the right knowledge and skill set and apply them in the correct way normally come out on top.
Both Industries Are Heavily Legalised
The stock exchange and the betting ring have been the basis of many famous fictional and non-fictional stories of corruption since they began. But both are now so heavily legalised that neither are no longer exploited by shady characters with brown paper envelopes full of cash.
Instead, both are now the domain of tech savvy professionals that use statistics and algorithms to predict outcomes and source the value in the markets.
Put simply, the world of global sports betting is a multi-billion industry which generates wealth for professional punters and their followers, just like the stock market generates profit for the best traders on Wall Street and their investors.
Why More People Are Betting on Sports
Stocks and shares used to almost guarantee a higher than average return on investment, but that hasn’t been the case in recent times. With interest rates low and the property market almost stagnant, traders have struggled to guarantee a decent yield for their investors.
That has meant some investors taking a chance on more volatile stocks, but that’s why all investment companies must now state “your investment may go up or down”.
Low yields from stocks and shares and the increased chance of losing some of their investment has seen more investors willing to take a chance on sports betting.
That doesn’t mean these shrewd people are blindly gambling their money in the hope of winning. Instead, they’re taking professional advice to find value in a variety of betting markets and making long-term investments using the expertise of professional punters that have proven their ability to make a decent long-term return on investment.
Sports Betting Is A Competitive Market
There’s no doubt that the online betting revolution has helped professional punters. Not only do they have betting exchanges where they can bet on and lay selections, but they also have an army of online bookmakers competing with exchanges for their business.
This means professional punters have never been in a better position to exploit the value that many of these online sites are offering.
Many bookmakers even offer incentives like free bets for punters to sign-up, whilst offering other promotions to existing players as a reward for their loyalty.
That’s the complete opposite in the world of stocks and shares, in which there aren’t even the same amount of opportunities there were 20 years ago.
Competition Has Increased Liquidity
Many years ago, punters would have had a choice of taking early prices, the starting price, or an on-course price. But you no longer need to take on one bookmaker head-to-head. Instead, you can shop around and get the best odds on offer. You can even spread your money around if more than one bookie is offering value prices about the selections you want to back.
Even better, lots of people still bet for fun, placing bets with their hearts rather than their heads. This means that markets are seldom one-sided and shrewd professional punters can seriously exploit the value.
Football markets are a prime example, as many fans will bet on their team just because they want to double their excitement if their team wins and they win money at the same time. It’s the same with horse racing, with many punters happy to back horses that have done them a favour before rather than working out which horses offer the best value in the race.
Understanding The VIG
The VIG is a term that is often used to refer to the “bookies cut” or the percentage that’s built into a betting market and understanding it can help you find value bets.
Hypothetically, in a horse race with 10 runners, the bookies may price up each horse at 8/1. Those odds sound quite enticing, as a £10 bet at 8/1 would net you a profit of £80. However, if the bookie takes £10 on every horse, he’s guaranteed a £10 profit whichever one wins.
Betting markets aren’t quite that simple, as prices tend to be much more varied. However, bookies will still price in the VIG, which also allows them to alter prices in and out under the demands of the money that comes for each horse.
This is where a professional punter uses his vast experience of finding value. If he thinks a horse that he fancies should be 2/1 to win a race and it is 3/1 – it’s a must bet. However, if the 2/1 shot is only offer at 6/4, he won’t have a bet as it offers no value.
Backing a horse at a lower price than you think it should be is crazy. Do you think stock exchange traders buy stocks when a company is at the peak of its popularity?
Accessibility of Information
Because sports are so popular, you’ll find there is usually plenty of accessible information about the kind of statistics you might use to formulate a sports bet.
Football punters may look at past head-to-heads, injury lists, and a wealth of other information before formulating their bets.
Meanwhile, horse racing punters may consider statistics such as going conditions, distance, times, jockey bookings, and trainer form to name but a few. There are also new trends such as studying stride patterns to work out a horse’s potential optimum conditions.
That’s the total opposite to stocks and shares, where it’s very hard to find out useful information. You can even get done for insider trading, if someone leaks something to you before anyone else knows about it.
It’s Not Wrong To Pay Someone For Their Expertise
For years, stock exchange traders have earned their money by charging investors commission, but of course, you can pick your own stock and shares.
Sports betting is no different. You can pick your own selections and, if you’re a good judge, you’ll make a profit. But if you find yourself making a loss, don’t despair, Betting Gods has many professional punters that are willing to share their expertise for a reasonable fee.
You’ll also find that their long-term return on investment compares favourably with those offered by stocks and shares – which is why we think our gambling tips will be a good investment!
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