Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why I Gave Up Gambling


Well, the short answer to the title of this blog post is an easy one: because I lost money. Duh, right? But there's another reason, and that's that gambling is kind of a downer, and not just for the fact that you're throwing your earned money away. 

The only gambling I now do is when I get a $2 lottery ticket maybe every other month, when the mood strikes me. And I only gamble on online horse races when the site I signed up with gives me free money to bet with, usually only 50 cents or a dollar. The fact that I still lose on those free bets should tell you that horse racing is no better a form of gambling then anything else out there that you can play.

I also gave up going to casinos. Initially I loved visiting one once or twice a year; so much energy with all of those slot machines beeping and buzzing and making other sound effects, and I'd see people winning hundreds or even thousands of dollars. However, I never really came home with a profit; if I was lucky I'd break even and the last couple of times I went I lost money. The last casino I went to with a few friends wasn't so much a casino as a slot parlor -- and the vibe of the place was very depressing. It was mostly senior citizens shuffling around and later in the afternoon, people who looked like they could have been homeless. No one was winning anything. The "energy" the place was giving out just felt heavy and lifeless to me. I lost the $100 I took with me to play and vowed to never return. 

I don't even want to look up and calculate just how much I lost last year on online horse gambling. The site I was using requires a $25 minimum deposit and you can use your credit card or Paypal. If I had to estimate, I can guess I've gambled away $700 or even more -- totally shameful, especially when I've been out of work, but to be honest, it was finally realizing that amount was gone that was the wake-up call for me. The most I ever won was $87 on a $2 bet because one of the horses had long shot odds, and that is what makes the genre no easier to win at than the slots or the lottery. I've watched many races on the site where a horse with 80-1 odds and no race history came in first, beating the odds-on favorites. It doesn't matter what a so-called professional handicapper predicts for a horse race; I'd say only about 25-50% of the time you can depend on their picks. In a race with animals, anything can and usually does happen. 

Plus, I knew it was becoming a borderline addiction for me -- and thus I knew I had to stop. 

The other thing that eventually bummed me out about the site I was playing on were the nasty arguments that took place in the chat box on the front page. Who knew there's a lot of ego among online horse race betters? One guy only played with fake money (which I have to admit now is the best way to play) and he'd be constantly picked apart by another guy who only bet real money. A lot of people liked to brag on there about how good they were with their picks, only to get furious at the jockeys and horses when they lost. 

To make a long story short, gambling was my way of taking action and trying to make something happen...i.e. attract extra money...but clearly it is not what the universe has in mind for me, so I stopped. And now my Paypal account is looking a lot more padded these days. 

Funny how that works. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been playing lotteries for five years. First though it was a harmless entertainment hobby. Actually I have been losing more than winning and even started to play online (see thelotter review) trying to win the biggest jackpots even in the foreign games. All in all in developed in a from of addiction. Now I think I need a professional help or something. Thanks for the post it is very very encouraging.

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