There are tonnes of misconceptions about sports betting that will make you wonder what it’s like to be in this field. One thing’s for sure though, it’s not a piece of cake.
One thing certain in life is no matter how good you are at something, there will always be ups and downs. You cannot savour the sweet taste of success if you haven’t experienced what it means to fail.
This is also the reality of sports betting.
However, it’s not about how many times you failed and succeeded, but rather how you handle this rollercoaster between the inevitable ups and downs if you are to have a chance to thrive in this industry.
Now, despite the good and the bad outcomes of sports betting, there are still hundreds and thousands of people who willingly take the plunge. So, here comes the big question.
Why Do Some People “Love” to Bet?
They say that love is a strong word… but so is an addiction.
Depending on how skilled a bettor is, chances are they’ve dealt with losing at least once in their betting history. Despite that, have you ever wondered why some of them keep going even when they’ve lost so much — sometimes even more than just money?
You can find countless psychological studies all over the internet to answer this question. So, to break them all down for you, here are three major reasons why people get addicted to betting.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences focused on wagering as a form of risk-taking, and the “individual differences in personality, risk-accepting attitudes, and behavioural preferences for risk.”
In the study, they examined whether risk-propensity, personality traits and self-reported behaviours toward risk had any relation with a person’s involvement in betting. The result? They confirmed that betting, indeed, represents an expression of risk-taking.
Meanwhile, a study focused on betting and risk-taking behaviour among university students was published in the Journal of Substance Use & Misuse. The results of the study showed that excessive bettors are, in fact, greater risk-takers than casual or social bettors.
Regardless of winning or losing, the anticipation involved with the risk provides a high or a rush, which makes betting so entertaining and pleasurable. This, therefore, suggests that the greater the risk, the greater the rush that a person experiences — and it’s that rush that makes them want to bet.
Now, taking risks may be a big motivator for bettors, but for some, it can become a way to escape their everyday life.
In a study from the Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, they examined the role of betting in the lives of pathological punters and how they may have used it as a coping mechanism.
After interviewing 50 respondents aged between 18 to 63 years old, they found that “to escape” was a primary contributor to why they kept on betting. They used betting as a way to “fill the void” or to “avoid problems.”
In a way, the feeling of an “escape” can become addicting for some people. However, for some, they’re in it for the glamour.
A study published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction concentrated on the impact of betting advertisements on adolescent betting attitudes and behaviours. From there, they mentioned that childhood exposure to betting increased the chances of betting in adulthood.
In advertising the betting industry, you may have noticed that betting and betting destinations are often marketed with a stylish, “high society” image. However, in reality, this is far from the truth. Hence, glamour as a motivator, in general, is prevalent for those who wish to have instant wealth.
The High: Winning is Heaven
While all of the motivations we mentioned a while ago sound morbid and may frighten you from starting a betting career, know that the people who become addicted have mental issues.
So, should you choose to become a professional sports bettor, you have to ensure that you’re of sound mind and doing it for the right reasons.
Now, let’s talk about heaven.
Naturally, it’s human nature to feel happy whenever you win. It brings out all kinds of positive emotions in us.
Neurological science found that our bodies release “feel-good hormones” or dopamine when we have euphoric experiences. So, when you’re winning, it can actually feel like you’re high on drugs. In fact, both drugs and betting rewire the neural circuits in our brains in similar ways.
However, the pleasure that comes from winning can greatly affect many facets of our lives for the better.
We all know that sports betting is a great form of entertainment that you can share with your friends and family.
Playing the field can also make you become more critical and analytical. Apart from this, you can meet a lot of people to do business with you which maximises your opportunities to become successful in the field. You might even be recognised as someone who won a significantly large amount of bet.
On top of that, sports betting gives you the ultimate convenience. You get to enjoy watching your favourite sports on the telly while making money.
Therefore, it all comes down to your attitude towards betting and how it contributes to your wellbeing. As long as you’re doing it for the right reasons, then you don’t have anything to worry about.
The Low: Losing is Hell
Just like winning gives a sense of euphoria and indestructibility, losing can feel like a punch in the gut — or worse, it can feel like the world is ending.
The emotional impact you get from losing bets is definitely the worst thing you can experience in sports betting. A bad streak can take a toll on your health and your bankroll. It can also feel like the losses you might have encountered in the sports betting movies you watched do not do justice to the hell you’re feeling from losing.
Although, there are instances when even losing will not make you want to stop betting forever.
Therefore, losing can also lead to addiction. Let’s say you wagered a massive amount on a match you had no doubt would win, but you lost. You tell yourself it’s just bad luck and you try betting again on another one, hoping it would somehow recover what you’ve lost.
This instance will make you want to bet and bet and bet so you invest more money and time into it but in reality, you just continue adding up to your losses. It would be an excruciatingly painful cycle for you, and when you reach this point, it’s a sign that your betting addiction is already taking over.
With that said, losing is hell. There’s no doubt about that. Though as we said, how you react to the inevitability of the highs and lows of betting is what determines your success and its influence in your life.
Need a little help with your sports betting? Check out these articles:
How Do You Know It’s Time to Stop?
If there’s anyone famous for sports betting, it’s Michael Jordan. However, even a legendary athlete such as himself didn’t grant him immunity from having a losing streak.
Related Article: Six Most Stunning Sports Bets Ever Placed
Jordan suffered a massive losing streak that it came down to him, owing a friend 1.25 million USD (roughly 1 million GBP). On top of that, he was evasive when he was asked to pay up. Although eventually, he negotiated to pay 300,000 USD in instalments. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there, news broke in 1992 that Jordan wrote a check for 57,000 USD to clear his gambling losses.
So, how do you not suffer the same losses as Michael Jordan?
The best way to prevent addiction is to know when to stop. In order to know when to stop, you have to be self-aware if you’re manifesting any signs of pathological betting. With that, here are some of the things that you need to be on the lookout for:
If you notice that you have at least two of the signs that we mentioned above, then you probably need to pause and rethink your situation. Should you feel like it’s starting to become a problem, GamCare can help you overcome your dilemma.
Call their number 0808 8020 133, from 8 AM to Midnight in all the days of the week. You can also visit their website for more information.
How to Stop When It Gets Destructive?
If you’re hesitant about calling for help, there’s always the option of helping yourself.
You can find many sports betting articles on the internet that will make you want to start a career in betting after learning how easy it can be. But when it starts to have adverse effects on your life, no one tells you how to stop.
Fret not! We got you. Here are some ways that could help you get back on track.
- Admit you have a problem. No, it wouldn’t be a shame to admit that. Aside from admitting being the first step, the most important step to recovery is found in the strength of acknowledging that there’s something wrong.
- Reflect. Think about all the instances that led you to your destruction. It may be painful, but revisiting these stuff will make you aware of where you went wrong. You need to take a break to reflect and assess the situation. You can write it down if it can help you analyse more.
- Confide. Though it can be worrisome, one of the mistakes you can do on your road to recovery might be bottling everything in. Confiding in someone you trust about your situation can lessen the heaviness of your suffering. They might also be able to find ways of helping you recover.
- Block all your access to betting. Pathological bettors often experience withdrawal when they try to stop so this step can be difficult to overcome as it might cause you to feel agitated and irritable. It’s hard, but it can certainly be done.
- Look up others who successfully stopped. It might feel like the world is ending and all hope is lost. But instead of focusing on the negativity of the situation, look up other people who successfully overcame this addiction and focus on that.
It’s difficult to break a cycle or stop a routine, especially when your life revolved in it for a long time. However, it’s definitely not impossible. Just keep telling yourself that you’re not the only person in the world who’s suffering through this and like the others, it is completely possible for you to free yourself from destruction.
Take a Break, Reflect and Start Again
Sports betting — or any type of betting — has its ups and downs. So, you have to be prepared both mentally and emotionally if you want to become a professional sports bettor.
If you already are a professional and you’re suffering a losing streak, don’t let it get to you. All you have to do is take a break, reflect on your losses and don’t hesitate to start again with a new betting strategy.