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Sports betting is a lot more than a pastime to a lot of folks and the reason is pretty obvious. With some decent analysis and a bit of luck, one can strike it big off a single bet. Making a wise investment in sports betting could help massively when it comes to reducing debt. But there’s just as much risk and, oftentimes, it works out to be just the opposite for some people.
An emotionally attached gambler will likely find themselves in more debt than they had to begin with. Gambling could be addictive and the thrill of a win, no matter how minuscule, could prompt one to throw unreasonable sums on various sporting events.
One such ex-gambler recently wrote a column for the BBC in which he revealed having accumulated over £250,000 in gambling debt. A former professional cricketer, Patrick Foster got into gambling after an injury abruptly ended his career
“I watched a guy playing on a roulette machine and I was transfixed. He stormed out and I jumped his chair. I had £2 in my pocket and decided to put it on green zero. It came in and my life changed forever,” he wrote.
“I walked out that night with £250. I thought: “Do you know what? I can make loads of money from this.” And it gave me an unbelievable rush.”
Things took a wild turn after he won close to £35K on an accumulator. It was all downhill from there.
“I was feeling pleased with myself and put £500 on a football accumulator. I won £34,988,” he continued.
“The feeling it gave me was like nothing else. It totally changed my relationship with gambling. Every time I placed a bet, I thought I would win £35,000. If I didn’t, I thought I would win it again at some point. The worst thing was that smaller wins didn’t give me the same buzz anymore. So I started putting £2,000 on a horse to try and get that feeling.
“I lost that money in five weeks. When it had gone, I wanted it back. I started to chase it and I told myself I would stop gambling if I won it again, but I never came close.
“By this stage, I had taken out two bank loans, maximised my overdraft and missed my last month’s rent. I realised things were spiralling out of control.”
Of course, Foster could have made a lot more than £35,000 had he taken a wiser approach to gambling. Perhaps the best bit of advice when it comes to punting: Do not gamble any more than you’re willing to lose – and if you lose it, cut off right there.
By that measure, £500 was probably too much, to begin with, but he did luck out and should have kept things together from there. Nowadays, the best sports gambling sites will provide you with almost everything you need to make the best selections. From tips, blogs and various other bits of expert advice, you’d really have to go out of your way to go bust.
Apart from spending well within your means, other strategies such as hedging could take you a long way. If you’re new to sports betting, take some time to learn the terms, the ins, and the outs – this should go without saying but, do your research. It would also help to bet on sports you’re a fan of or at least familiar with.
It’s hard not to get emotional over a win or a loss but it helps to try not to get too confident over a win or too disheartened over a loss. You are going to lose some of your bets, no one gets this completely right, though you could have a nice streak from time to time.
Also, it would be best to avoid being biased. Your favorite team is not necessarily the best team and you might even find yourself betting against them at times.
Sports betting could be a pretty worthwhile investment, but only if done right.
In Patrick’s case, it took a lot of work to get out of the hole he dug himself into. His family put him into rehab and he’s on a different path now, but that’s done little in the way of erasing the sums he owes.
“I really want to get the message over to young people in particular, who have such easy access to gambling online. If I can make a difference to one person then it will all be worthwhile,” he wrote in conclusion.
“Gambling has had a huge impact on my life. I will be paying off my debts for the next 15 years.”