Sports Betting is Not the Same as Online Gambling

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Online gambling has been among the topics I’ve read a lot about lately. And I have seen that many sources use this term in a way that covers everything from poker to daily fantasy sports—which is wrong, of course. The only thing these have in common is that they involve real money wagers. Otherwise, the very nature of different activities is different enough to deserve different names.

What is gambling?

The definition of “gambling” is to “play games of chance for money”—with emphasis on the word “chance”.

All the games you can play at the All Slots Online Casino rely heavily on chance to decide their outcome. Slot machines—the games you’ll find in the largest numbers at the All Slots Casino, hence its name—are the perfect example. Once you pull the lever, push the button, or click “Spin” in case of an online casino, there’s nothing you can do to influence the outcome of a spin. You’re not in control – the random number generators running on the All Slots Casino’s servers are. And this is not an option, but a requirement: the All Slots Casino, and all other gambling establishments out there, are bound by their licenses to ensure the fairness of their games. And “fairness” means “randomness” in this context.

Online casinos are a very specific form of online entertainment, attractive because of the thrill of risking real money in the process.

What is NOT gambling?

A friend of mine told me that, for a game to qualify as “gambling”, there has to be no way in which you can lose it on purpose. Which translates to the very thing I explained above: there has to be no way to influence the outcome of a game. Which is not true for the bets you place on sports.

Gambling is, by definition, completely unpredictable. Sports betting, although it might seem so for outsiders, is not. The performance of a team, or an athlete, can be predicted with sufficient precision for a punter to place a bet not based on chance, but on information. Outside factors, like playing away from home, having an injured player, even the weather, and the person of the referee, can influence the outcome of the event, and shift the odds of one outcome or another. And all these factors can be taken into account when deciding which outcome to bet on. And, of course, placing a bet based on instinct instead of information can result in a loss.

Poker is in the very same situation. You can lose a hand by folding, even if you have five aces (I know it’s unrealistic, of course). And if you are really good at bluffing, you can win a hand with nothing but a pair of twos. So, I think, poker doesn’t qualify as “gambling” either.

Perhaps these shouldn’t be simply included into a single category of games, as their very nature is completely different…

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