Is Sports Betting a Game of Chance?

Is Sports Betting a Game of Chance?

Gambling is a term generally used to describe all forms of activities, online and in real life, in which people can win or lose money. But that's nothing but rough generalization. The only "games of chance" covered by the term are casino games, where people have no way of influencing the outcome of any wager. When it comes to poker - which has been officially recognized as a mind sport in 2010 - and sports betting, the term does not apply.

Let me explain.

Casino games, no matter if they run in a brick-and-mortar establishment on the Las Vegas Strip, or from an internet server hidden inside a huge data center, rely on chance, and chance alone. The games themselves are completely random. Players can employ strategies to bend the odds a bit in their favor - especially to counter similar actions from the casino - but there is no way for either of them to influence or predict the outcome of a round.

When it comes to slot machines, the most widespread and popular casino games in the world, the odds of winning or losing a round remain the same no matter what the player does. The only way a player can be sure of not losing is by not playing at all. While the odds of winning are real - you can get more info here about the game itself and the establishments where you can play it - there is no way to either predict, or influence the outcome in any way.

Sports betting is completely different, and - in my opinion - it doesn't deserve to be counted as a game of chance. The odds for one athlete or team or another to win a certain game are not influenced in any way by chance. Of course, there is a certain level of randomness implied - unexpected conditions, injuries and other factors can change the odds at any time. But even with these factored in prediction the outcome of a boxing match or a basketball game is possible.

People who specialize in evaluating the odds of a certain outcome - based on hard evidence as opposed to gut feeling - are called handicappers. These people can evaluate the chances of an athlete or a team to win a certain event. Handicappers are most of the times working for bookmakers. Some of them, in turn, provide the general public - punters like you and me - with tips about the possible outcome of upcoming matches. They are called tipsters, and most of the time they offer their services for money.

As you can see, sports betting is in no way another game of chance. While punters sometimes bet based on their feeling, or possibly out of enthusiasm, most of the times they don't take any chances.