by Gareth Cotten on 06/08/10 at 8:10 am
Sports betting. With the Soccer World Cup having recently wrapped up, there’s been a lot of debate about, and coverage of, all the different forms of sports betting around. As with any form of gambling, there are always plenty of people lamenting their losses, so I thought it useful to have a quick look at the topic.
One of the cardinal things to do when going into betting is to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Do you just want to make things a bit more interesting? Show your patriotism? Or try to consistently make a profit? If it’s the latter, I highly recommend you stop yourself right where you are – if you’re looking at growing your money, you’re much better off taking the amount you were going to play with, and putting it into a solid investment somewhere.
The betting houses are too good at what they do, understand human thinking and emotion, and if there were people who were consistently beating them all the time, do you think there would be so many of them?
Now, once you’ve decided that it’s just going to be a bit of fun (which is what gambling should only ever be treated as), approach it in the same way that you would your other forms of entertainment. Only play with money you can afford to lose; set a budget and stick to it; and don’t be swayed by peer pressure or last minute emotions.
Very importantly, know when to get out. If you wanted to bet on one or two games, and you’ve been lucky enough to make some money on them, don’t be tempted to go back and extend your winning streak. Casinos and betting totes will always try and get you back into the game to win their money back – don’t let them.
Remember, there’s an inherent truth in the saying that ‘the house always wins’…
Gareth Cotten is one of the growing breed of SA entrepreneurs with that ‘world-domination’ look in his eyes. Gareth runs the coaching and consulting practice 'Good Advice'. Gareth is also the 'course convener' for the University of Cape Town (Law@Work) Start and Manage a Small Business course and the University of Cape Town Basics of Financial Management course. View more articles by Gareth Cotten.