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Sports Betting Shouldn’t Be Considered Gambling at All

June 21, 2016

Last year’s biggest debate for the betting industry was the RAWA (the Restoration of the American Wire Act), which would have seen every form of wagering over the internet – except horse racing bets – outlawed. The bill is on hold for now, and – hopefully – it will stay in the legislative limbo for good, helping the online gambling industry in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, to grow, and other states to follow their lead and regulate the industry on their own terms. RAWA was wrong on many levels (aside from being backed by one of the richest casino owners in Vegas), especially since it wanted to ban all forms of online wagering, even lotteries, treating them all as equals. Which is wrong from the start, since casinos (which are the only true form of gambling) don’t have much in common with poker (which is officially a mind sport since 2010) and sports betting.

The definition of gambling

According to the definition of, “gambling” means “the activity or practice of playing a game of chance for money or other stakes”. And the keyword here is “chance”, a term that implies unpredictability and randomness – the very nature of all the games at Gambling is an activity which belongs to casinos, online or otherwise, a form of entertainment that players engage in for fun, not for the money.

Sports are not slot machines

Slot machines are completely unpredictable – or fair, as the industry refers to them. And this is not only their nature, since the authorities that license and regulate casinos require them to be completely random (or fair, if you like). This means that no matter how much you would try, there is nothing you can do to influence their outcome, or to predict it. Slot machines are completely fair since they give players a 50% chance to win – or lose – any spin. But the same is not true for sports bets, poker, or even fantasy sports.

Sports betting is about informed decisions

Take a look at the odds posted at your favorite bookie, and you’ll see that there is no match, no game, where the odds of either of the competitors winning are equal. One of the boxers, tennis players, football teams or soccer squads always have a bigger probability to win. And, although there are a number of factors that influence the outcome of any game, you can take them into account, and predict the result more or less precisely. Unlike in the case of casino games, that are completely unpredictable, your decision to bet on one party or the other is based on information, not chance.

It doesn’t really matter if the players’ right to play the slots, blackjack, or even craps online is limited. But don’t take away their right to bet on their favorite sports over the internet!

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