Myths About Gambling

“Young people don’t gamble.”

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We’re not necessarily talking Vegas-style casino gambling, but despite the age limits the gambling still goes on. A recent study by the University of Otago of young people between the ages of 13 to 17 found that on average between $3 and $10 was spent on gambling per week. Half of those who reported gambling was less than 16 years of age.

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“Yeah, well they don’t have gambling problems, they just do it for fun.”

Most teenagers who gamble do so for fun and only spend a little of their money on it. Others spend all their money gambling and report feeling worried and unhappy about it. There is a higher incidence of problem gambling amongst teenagers than there is amongst adults. International studies have shown that somewhere between 4 and 8 % of teenagers have gambling problems and a further 12 to 15% are at risk of developing them. More and more studies are showing that adults with gambling problems started their gambling at an early age.

“The more you gamble, the more likely it is that you’ll have a big win.”

The more you gamble, the more money you lose. It’s as simple as that. Each time you gamble, the outcome is entirely independent of any other bet you’ve ever made. The Lotto ticket, rugby team, pokie machine, or set of cards don’t know how many times you’ve gambled before or how much money you’ve lost.

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“If you keep playing for long enough, you’ll eventually win all your money back.”

Nope. How do you think the gaming industry makes so much money? It’s not by making sure that everyone wins their money back in the end. Like it says above, the more you gamble, the more money you lose. The odds are stacked against you from the start. Losses from gambling in New Zealand in 2003 were over $1.8 billion dollars.

“Knowing a game well has got to increase your chance of winning.”

Knowing the rules of Poker inside out or knowing everything there is to know about your favourite team and their opposition won’t increase your chance of winning. It might make it seem easier to decide who to bet on, or what plays to make, but all the knowledge in the world can’t anticipate the cards you’ll be dealt or players’ actions on the field.