With online betting on the rise, you can’t help but to think there is a fine line between investing and gambling. The $50 fantasy football buy-in is no longer the only option to wager money on sports from your couch and sports betting is often viewed as a fun and exciting way to engage with your favorite teams. With the introduction of the Washington Post’s sports betting guide and ESPN’s dedicated programs to wagers and odds making, many have come to believe that sports betting is a sure-fire way to make a supplemental income.
When I walk into my apartment and I see my friend’s eyes glued to the TV, watching anything ranging from international pickleball to football, I know they have money on the line. According to a December Morning Consult poll, 18% of Americans ages 21+ said they gamble on sports “at least once a month.”¹ That’s a whopping +80% YoY increase.
Just like any speculative investment, if you want to get involved in sports betting it is important to have a good understanding of what you’re betting on. More importantly, don’t forget that regardless of how much you may think you know about a sports team, or your favorite players, the long-term odds are stacked against you.
Think of it as betting at the roulette table. While you may be able to double your money with a 50% probability, the house always has a 5% edge when you walk into the casino.²
If you like to participate in sports betting, there is a question I want you to think about: Are you doing it for fun or are you doing it for money?
Sports betting should be treated just like a trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. It is impossible to predict the outcome of any particular game or event, so it is best to view sports betting as a form of entertainment rather than a stable source of income.
There’s no need to be afraid of tossing a few bucks on your NFL team to win their play-off game this season, but remember to only bet with money you can afford to lose.
May the odds be ever in your favor,
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