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Convenience and Dangers of Online Betting

The Convenience and Danger of Betting in an Online Setting

By Loot, Sports Bettor,

The way we bet has changed over the years. In the days of old, and it wasn’t even that long ago, we would have to actually go into a brick-and-mortar sportsbook or call a bookie to place sports wagers. It took a little effort. For those of us who made bets in a book, we would usually get all our bets figured out, go to the book, and let the chips fall where they may. And we would usually place one call to the bookie. Now, it’s almost too easy.

With online wagering, you literally don’t even have to get out of bed to place wagers. It offers an undeniable convenience, but there’s a flip side to that coin. What we gain in convenience, we may lose in other things. Let’s face it, becoming good at sports betting has a lot to do with selectivity, discretion, and not getting swallowed up by the addictive nature of the action that comes from sports wagering.

Selectivity is always an issue and one of the deciding factors in whether or not you become a successful bettor of sports. It’s especially a big factor when betting on sports is so easy. When we can place bets on our cell phones, it almost becomes too easy for some. It becomes even more important to stick with our best picks and not allow the ease in which we can make bets cause us to make bets we shouldn’t make.

A lot of this comes down to the reasons why you bet on sports. If you’re a person who is guided by entertainment, then have at it. But a lot of us desire to become serious sports bettors for the purpose of profit. That means we can’t be led by our thirst for action. Sure, there’s a certain amount of inherent entertainment-value that comes from betting. It’s a perk, but not the reason we should make bets.

Betting for entertainment means you bet on a game not so much because you think the side you bet on has good value or that it fulfilled your handicapping standards (For more information on football handicapping, click here). Betting for entertainment leads you to do things like bet on a game because it’s on TV, or to bet on your home team, or to bet simply because you want the action that comes from betting. That’s not how winning is done. Whether we place a bet or not should have nothing to do with whether it’s on TV or if we like the team. And we should never bet in a quest for fun.

Let’s face it--sports betting is gambling. And the addiction of gambling is something that has plagued people for centuries. We are the first generation that have been able to basically transform our homes into casinos with the advent of online gaming. Gambling became a problem for people who sometimes had to travel miles in order to do it. It’s important to acknowledge the heightened concern of this problem with the added immediacy of being able to do it online.

We’ve already seen what online gaming can do. After the poker boom, multitudes of hopeful poker players were left searching for answers after losing not only years off their lives, but incalculable amounts of money, as well. And all of us probably know sports bettors that simply cannot thrive when able to bet so easily.

It is the responsibility of the bettor to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s inevitably in our hands how we perceive online sports betting. If we look at it like a free-for-all, we’re probably going to get steamrolled. What we need to do is make sure that only the positive aspects of online gaming are allowed to resonate. And those positive aspects are huge--being able to spend all our energy on the handicapping of the game and not on having to go through circus hoops to place the wager. It’s a wonderful thing. Make sure it stays that way or it could end up being a bad thing.

Before going down the road of online sports wagering, we need to do an honest self-appraisal. Will we benefit from the added convenience or will the added ease lead to something bad? Will the added time you save boost your handicapping or will your standards erode in light of being able to simply log onto a site to place bets? You have a choice and making the right one is what will likely determine whether or not you can do this. Sure, making winning picks is key, but having discretion and showing high levels of selectivity is really what it’s all about when betting online.

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