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Colin L Wolfenden
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Taking the Gamble out of Gambling
Gambling is to some extent looked on as a negative thing and is often seen for the most
part as a habitual problem among ironically the poorest people of the community.
Although many political leaders and other notable leaders in the media have posed the
questioned “why would the poorest people spend money they can ill afford to loose on a
habit with such a small chance of winning?” the answer is quite simple. When you are
poor and have little or no chance of making a good life simply by your hard work alone
then the only chance you have is that small chance offered by a lottery, jackpot on the
slots, long shot at the races, or some other form of gambling with a high return for a small
outlay. Every one of us has a dream to live a good life and have nice things and this
becomes even more so for the poor with such a wide gap between the wealthy and the
poor of our society making the mental and emotional frustration from knowing that you
can never have those things even more of a driving force for the poor to find some way of
getting those things. Even if that chance is extremely slim.
Gambling Vs Investing
What is the difference between gambling and investing? Most people would think this is
a strange question and respond by saying that investing is increasing your money by
placing it into well known investment vehicles (such as banks, stocks, houses etc),
whereas gambling is putting money into things such as games of chance that have little
chance of returning anything. Would you agree with this analogy? I don’t, because it’s a
simplistic explanation which is somewhat untrue.
This guys crazy I here you say, (well maybe I am just a little :-) but let me ask you this.
What is the difference between someone who buys $1000 worth of stocks in XYZ
company because Joe down at the local pub said he heard their stocks were about to go
through the roof and a guy who places a sports bet on a football team because “the word
is” that they have some secret game plan that cant fail? Answer, absolutely NOTHING.
Both of these scenarios are GAMBLING plain and simple. Even though the stock buyer
put his money into the stock market which is generally accepted as an “investment”
vehicle, what he did is still gambling. Many people invest money on the stock exchange
using methods such as their own ideas or feelings about a particular stock or company
and consider this investing; however in reality they are gambling.
Can Traditional Gambling Mediums Be Considered
Given our previous scenario proving that traditional investments can be as much a
gamble as the lotteries, horse race betting, slot machines etc; can traditional gambling
mediums be considered as an investment? To answer this question let us consider why we
think of the stock market as an investment. One reason is that there are many people who
do make returns from investing in the stock market and some people who even make very
lucrative incomes from investing in the stock market. So part of the reason we think of