Sports betting has increased over the years. There’s more live coverage of sporting events, more online bookmakers, and an increase in advertising. This has all led to more and more people gambling. This increase has also seen a rise in people opposing this fairly harmless pastime. Protesters against gambling use several myths to try and put people off doing it.
Yes, there are dangers to gambling if it isn’t done responsibly. However, there are certain myths which just aren’t true. Here, we will tell you the biggest sports betting myths and the reason why they shouldn’t put you off having a punt every now and then.
You Will Become an Addict
Perhaps the biggest myth of all is that every person who places a bet is, or will become, a gambling addict.
The definition of a gambling addict is a person who continuously has the urge to gamble, and cannot stop, despite it having negative consequences on their life. If certain criteria are met, a person may also be diagnosed as a pathological gambler. This is an impulse control disorder, with similarities to substance abuse.
While people can, and do, become addicted to gambling, most people who place a bet are not addicts. They are people who increase their enjoyment of a sporting event by having a punt on its outcome.
These are people who set themselves a betting limit, only bet what they can afford to lose, and realise that it’s just a form of entertainment which they can take or leave. Addiction is an illness, whether it’s alcoholism, drug addiction, or problem gambling. Doing a five-fold football accumulator every Saturday doesn’t make you an addict. However, if betting does become a problem for you, it’s no longer fun, and is having a negative impact on your life, you need to stop and seek help. Sports betting should only be enjoyed as entertainment in a responsible manner.
People Will Steal Your Money and/or Identity
Reading stories about identity theft and websites being hacked, can lead people to believe they will be at risk by placing a bet online.
While there’s a risk involved when you sign up to any type of website, you should be safe if using a reputable online bookmaker. A professional and reputable online bookmaker will keep your information safe and encrypted. Also, secure links will be used when depositing or withdrawing funds.
There are measures you can take to increase online safety, such as regularly changing your password, but the site itself will have its own increased security measures. The only reason you read, or hear, about big corporations being hacked is that it doesn’t happen very often. The chances of having your information stolen is extremely slim, and sports betting doesn’t put you at an increased risk.
Sports Betting is Fixed and Only the Bookmaker Wins
There are people, especially those who are anti-betting, who will say that sports betting is fixed to ensure the bookmaker makes a profit. They believe, or at least say they believe, that bookmakers have the power and connections to fix sporting events if they fear big losses.
This is a ridiculous myth, which would be nigh on impossible for the bookmaker to pull off. It would also end up costing the bookmaker a lot more money in the long run, in fines when found guilty of betting fraud and in lost revenue when their business is banned from trading.
While there have been many examples of match fixing and betting fraud over the years, most notably the Pakistan cricket team spot-fixing scandal in 2010 and the 2013 football match fixing scandal, this isn’t usually down to the actual bookmaker. It is also an extremely rare occurrence.
Some believe sports betting is also just a scam, designed for the bookmaker to always win, with winnings not being paid out and other underhand tactics used. This is simply not true. When betting, you are entering into a legal agreement between yourself and the bookmaker. Therefore, they are legally bound to pay you if you win and have stuck to the rules.