I’ve been into a major argument with a friend the other day. He dismisses any form of gambling from the start, considering them all just another way for losing money. I dared to disagree, saying that sports betting and casino gambling have nothing in common, except the wagering part. We couldn’t agree, and soon forgot about the whole thing. Actually he did – but I decided to look more deeply into the matter. Here is what I found.
Games vs. Events
Euro Palace has a seemingly endless supply of casino games. With a few notable exceptions, all of them rely on mathematical probabilities – or, in layman’s terms, chance. Whenever you place a bet at Euro Palace, you have no way of predicting its outcome. Except maybe for your gut feeling. But in the end every game at Euro Palace is completely random – as they should be, by the way.
When it comes to sports, chance has often little (or even nothing) to do with the outcome of an event. The probability of each competing party to win can be predicted with a considerable accuracy, based on their record, their stats, and even the location of the match. Tipsters do this all the time – they predict the outcome of various sporting events to help others place the right bets. And most of the time their tips work.
Losing on purpose
This argument is not my original – I’ve read it in a blog post a few months ago. It reads: “You can never intentionally lose at a game of chance”. What this means that a game of chance is completely random, with both possible outcomes – winning or losing – having the chance to happen. This means that Euro Palace has at least two games that are not “games of chance” – blackjack and video poker. You can lose at these two on purpose.
This is not the case of sports betting like the one at sports-gaming.dk, though. You can intentionally bet on the less likely result (usually the one with the more attractive payout attached to it). In short, you can intentionally bet on the losing side. And most of the times you’ll lose.
Randomness has its role to play
Chance will always be there in any game, though, just like in everyday life. A star player on the field can suffer an unexpected injury, and be forced to the sideline. The weather could suddenly worsen, ultras can barge in to the field and wreak havoc. Even an airplane, a satellite or an asteroid can land in the middle of the field. And, while these can’t be ruled out, their probability is low enough to not significantly influence the outcome of the game.
So, I will continue to claim that sports betting is not gambling. What’s your opinion on this matter?