A far higher percentage of gamblers believe that they can make a living through what is supposed to be purely a form of entertainment, however. If you’ve had even fleeting thoughts of quitting your day job to gamble full time, there’s a very good chance that you are a problem gambler. Widespread and popular though it may be in the UK, gambling is risky. Relying on it as a sole source of income is a surefire way to end up in way over your head.
A wealth of information regarding problem gambling has been published through the years. According to the Gambling Commission, which pulls data from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, or DCMS, problem gambling is defined as gambling “to a degree that compromises, disrupts or damages family, personal or recreational pursuits.” The Office of National Statistics has reported that around two-thirds of adults in the UK will have a bet each year, but most of that betting occurs in the National Lottery. Minus lottery betting, 46 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women have a flutter at least one time per year. Fewer than one in 100 are considered problem gamblers.
Don’t Rely on Gambling for Running Your Household
There are many signs that a potential gambling problem is developing. Perhaps one of the biggest red flags, however, is believing that you can gamble as a means of earning a living. If you’re seriously considering this as a viable option, chances are that you are already experiencing other warning signs of problem gambling, including:
- Lying about your gambling habits when asked about them by friends or family
- Constantly thinking about gambling
- Borrowing or stealing money in order to gamble
- Being questioned by loved ones who are concerned about your gambling
- Gambling even if you don’t have the money to spare
- Disregarding your financial obligations in order to gamble
In many ways, attempting to earn a living through gambling is a natural extension of the above symptoms. As a gambling problem evolves into full-fledged addiction, a problem gambler may skip work in order to gamble. Their on-the-job performance may suffer too, and they may even be sacked. Rather than seek a new, gainful form of employment, many gambling addicts tell themselves that if they focus on gambling on a full-time basis, they should be able to support themselves and their families that way. Needless to say, this never works out well.
The Truth About Gambling for a Living
It’s one thing to gamble for fun; it’s another to gamble as a means of earning a living. Consider this: According to the Wall Street Journal, data from a two-year-long study concerning online gamblers revealed that on any particular day, they can expect a 30-per cent chance of winning money. This sounds fairly promising, right? There’s more. Only 11 per cent of those who continued to bet on a regular basis were “profitable” at the end of the two-year period–and most of them were only up by around £115. As this study clearly demonstrates, earning appreciable income through gambling is not only impractical–it’s positively impossible.
As mentioned previously in this article, the New York Times published data from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey stating that only half of 1 per cent of all gamblers are professional gamblers. These professionals are heavily regulated, and they have to win a great deal in order to earn decent livings. Professional gamblers approach gambling as a job, and they employ precise money management skills to achieve their goals. Even then, they must win an average of 53 per cent of the time just to break even.
The Impact of Recession on Gambling
If you’re thinking about gambling full time to earn a living, it’s natural to assume that many people gave it a go during the recession, when unemployment was high and money was scarce. However, the gambling industry as a whole experiences slow growth rates during recessions, and the most recent economic downturn is no exception. Most people feel the need to hold onto whatever money they have during such times, and the idea of gambling it in the hopes of hitting the jackpot is fairly preposterous. Problem gamblers, of course, suffer from actual addictions that cloud their thinking. In their minds, gambling regularly is a viable way to overcome economic uncertainty.
The Reality of Gambling for a Living
Taking even a low or modestly paying job is vastly preferable to gambling as a source of income. Even if you are up one day, you can lose whatever profits you made in an instant. Meanwhile, your usual bills and other obligations still must be tended to. Like many problem gamblers, you may max out all of your credit cards and could even turn to payday loans. As a result, you sink deeper and deeper into debt. Before you know it, you’re in a hole that’s far too deep to dig out of–without bringing in money consistently, the problem will only get worse.
Gambling is a form of buying entertainment. Should you engage in it, you should do so with a decent grasp of this reality. Casinos and other gambling institutions sell hope for money. Winning gives you a rush that is highly addictive. It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement and end up in trouble.
If you are seriously considering switching to gambling full time to earn a living, you are suffering from a gambling problem or addiction and should seek help. You won’t do yourself or your family any good by gambling even more than you already are. Earnings from an actual job are consistent and dependable; earnings from gambling are anything but. Quitting gambling and working a regular job full time is the best way to improve your financial situation.