by Max Bellamy
Gambling is an addiction for some, but many others generally gamble for fun. It can both be fun and profitable, depending on the bettors' attitude.
Gambling is a game of chances with skills and risks involved. Gambling typically refers to wagering money or something of material value on something whose outcome is uncertain in the hope of winning more money or other material things. Its primary intention is to place a bet to win more money or material goods.
Situations wherein the possibility of winning more money or material goods is only secondary and incidental (such as in buying a raffle ticket as support to a charitable cause) can also be considered gambling, although in an indirect form. Starting a business, in some light, is also a form of gambling, since time and effort are placed on line while the outcome cannot be determined within a short period of time.
Gambling has four dimensions. The first is the wager or bet - whether it is money, material goods, information and even experiences. The second dimension is the amount being wagered. This is fairly easy to estimate in straight-up gambling (how much money is on the table) but can be hard to determine if the wager is not conventional (such as sex, for example).
The third dimension is the predictability. For instance, in games like lotteries, slot machines and bingo, the results are both unpredictable and in random order. Neither skill nor system can provide undue advantage. But in other gambling forms such as horse racing and sports betting, there is some sort of predictability to the outcome. Here, a bettor with greater skill and knowledge has a better chance of winning compared to other bettors with lesser knowledge and skill on the subject of the wager.
The last aspect of gambling is the expected value of winnings, which can either be positive or negative. As in assessing the amount being wagered, it is also hard to weigh up the ‘value' of the wins and the losses when the gambling form is not conventional.
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