I stopped gambling several years ago but I wasn’t an addict. I used to work for one of the world’s largest betting companies. It was normal to have a flutter on a horse or a football match because we were surrounded by screens showing sports every day. I only lost what I could afford to lose but I was shamed after I looked at my betting history on my account before my redundancy – I was ashamed. The money I wasted on pointless football matches could’ve gone towards a deposit on a house or paid off my university fee.
Problem gambling is on the rise because it’s never been as easy to part ways with your money. You can download an app, deposit money and win or lose in a few minutes all from sitting on the sofa. It’s an epidemic which is a long way from recovering. The government like to preach they’re tackling the issue by throwing money at different services or encouraging charities within the industry to take more action but at the end of the day, it’s the government who continue to fill their pockets as they get tax from the companies exploiting their customers.
I hope in the future they make a law where gambling commercials are only aired post-watershed times. Young people see these commercials during a football broadcast and think it’s normal. We don’t want to encourage our younger generation to a potential early death due to severe depression or suicide – two of the biggest symptoms with addictive gambling.
I cringe when my friends post pictures of their winnings after a Saturday afternoon at the football like I’m supposed to envy their success. I always ask them to show me their profit-to-loss ratio but I rarely get a reply. Every profit you win is only replacing the money you’ve already lost. I wish I could have said this to my younger self. You’ll always lose more than you win unless you're lucky enough to purchase a winning lottery ticket. We live in a society where people want to be rich without putting in the work. We’re becoming a lazy species.
Set your limits, monitor your behaviour and be sensible with your money. If you want your money to grow over time then invest it in different ways such as index funds, stocks or real estate. Stop throwing your money away at the bookies because they’re only laughing at your ensuring defeat.