Once considered a taboo, sports betting has grown exponentially since the turn of the century to become one of the fastest booming industries in the world.
In truth, sports betting can be traced to Roman and Greek history, when the audience would wager directly on the outcome of athletic events and gladiator battles. In today’s day and age, the rise of betting companies has been unparalleled with sports betting expanding its horizons to cover numerous sporting events around the globe.
In recent years, sports betting has evolved into an activity of leisure where potential and seasoned bettors place wagers on sporting events to match the excitement of the on-field action with more at personal stake depending on the outcome of games.
Sports betting has become more dynamic since the advent of technology has enabled bettors to place bets from a variety of portals rather than visiting a bookmaker or an arena by themselves.
While betting has been a source of joy and entertainment that has enabled several people to prosper, naysayers still claim that its drawbacks far outweigh the positives, which isn’t true by any stretch of the imagination.
Over the years, media coverage has frequently highlighted the cons or negatives of sports betting and has in turn ended spawning several myths about the activity which aren’t true.
With that in mind, let us dive into some of the most prominent sports betting myths that are still prevalent and used to push prospective bettors away from the activity.
Bookmakers fix matches
The myth of sporting matches being rigged by bookmakers is one of the most common fallacies and one can pin down the source for this to those sports bettors who end up losing their bets and money. Basically, it’s a case of sour grapes where losing bettors throw their toys out the pram after losing a bet with the intent of maligning bookmakers and exchanges.
Truth be told, bookmakers are only interested in the marginal value they can get out of a winning bet. Hence, they don’t really have to fix any match as there is absolutely no benefit for bookmakers by doing so.
Bookmakers, in fact, strictly hate a match being fixed as most of them work under a regulatory organization with a ‘fixed odds’ policy, which essentially means that the odds are predetermined as opposed to pool systems or a starting piece. A fixed match, if anything, can result in a heavy loss of money for bookmakers.
Betting on sporting events is open to corruption
Sports betting is often brought up in the news for the wrong reasons, mostly because tax officials and government bodies find players and authoritative figures among others indulging in spot-fixing and match-fixing. This is the reason why several football players and athletes from other sports are banned from betting on their own games which they’ll be involved in.
The ESSA (European Sports Security Association) is one of the regulatory outfits which monitors any unusual betting patterns within each sport. With advanced technological tools and tracking systems, it is possible to narrow down fraudulent activities in real-time.
Hence, betting on sporting events isn’t necessarily open to corruption unless there is a hidden agenda to stock money in black by powerful figures with vested interests who are involved in the event from close quarters.
Fixed odds give fewer rewards
Fixed odds are those odds that are offered by a bookmaker without any variation on the payout. This means if you are betting on fixed odds, the potential profit or loss is fixed. With the operations being transparent, there is no evidence to prove that having fixed-odds won’t yield any returns for either the bettor or the bookmaker/exchange.
There will always be a winner in sports betting regardless of the odds set. Betting on any market for a game requires knowledge and skill to place a correct wager. If a punter wins, they are rewarded as per the conditions earlier set by the bookmaker or a betting exchange and vice versa.
You can win if you bet more money
If anything, this myth is arguably something often passed down to novice punters who lack confidence after a couple of rounds of betting.
In reality, this thought triggers a gambler’s downfall in sports betting, as the probability of winning a bet for one specific market is low. Rather than spending 10,000 INR on a single market, a smart player should instead test their luck at winning small bets worth 50-100 INR and spend their money in a judicious manner.
A big purse to spend is a double-edged sword of sorts for punters. On the one hand, they will want to save as much as possible after placing bets and returning with either a win/loss. On the flip side, the punters will be mentally tested to continue placing bets on a winning run if they are confident of the wagers they ought to place.
However, overall, spending big doesn’t mean one can win big rewards, so gambling in a smart manner is crucial to winning big as opposed to just spending more money with hope rather than conviction based on diligent method.
Online bookmakers will ban you if you win often
Who loves losing? Well, nobody does. Bookmakers, though, covet players who lose rather than the winners in online sports betting for obvious reasons as it means more gains for them. Those who start winning regularly are kept on the radar to monitor their momentum.
If it becomes too frequent, bookmakers will start imposing a limit on bettors to maintain a window of loss, which is a prerequisite for their successful function and sustainability. Should it be proved that the player is cheating, only then will the bookmaker or online platform suspend or ban the punter based on substantial and irrefutable evidence in black and white. Hence, being punished for being successful isn’t true as long as your methods for winning are legitimate.
Online betting is illegal
This is partly true. Not all countries have adopted a policy to carry out sports betting activities under the law.
In Europe, especially in England and in countries like Malta, companies are issued licenses to carry out sports betting. In fact, the success of online betting companies/exchanges sees them strike sponsor/ambassador partnerships with teams, leagues and players to promote a responsible and healthy environment for sports betting.
The sudden burst of sponsorship deals and partnerships which several bookmakers and exchanges have with top brands is perhaps the biggest indicator towards the legitimacy of online betting today since no successful brand would want to be associated with illegal betting activities.
All bookmakers provide the same odds
This myth is a lie, as different bookmakers wouldn’t operate with the same set of odds.
Every betting entity maintains a competitive nature and will provide those sets of odds that appeal to punters and will be beneficial for the former to preserve some window of winning opportunities.
As a thumb rule, every potential gambler must compare the odds provided by multiple betting entities (bookmakers) before venturing into placing a bet for a market of a sporting match.
You might get cheated
This myth is not true as online betting websites are now heavily encrypted to prevent fraudulent activities.
Punters will find that most online betting websites today operate with the same protocols as shopping websites, where users are redirected to a secure link to proceed with digital payments.
At first, it is imperative to check if the websites are secure and certain softwares for antivirus and anti-hacking are installed on the respective operating devices.
In case someone is indeed found to be a victim and is cheated, it is now easy to track down the source of the fraudulent activity via the IP address (network connection) and MAC address (device location) before getting them punished under the relevant sections of the law. While the apprehension for first time bettors with bookmakers and exchanges is natural, it must be said that sports betting now is more safe and secure than ever before.
Author: William Paul
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