Gambling is, without a doubt, a lucrative business. The gross yield of the global gambling business is estimated by Statista to have exceeded $460 billion in 2017 and is expected to continue to grow further in the coming years – especially if more forms of gambling (like sports betting and online poker) become regulated in the United States. There are many kinds of online gambling outlets, ranging from the online casinos at Gambling Insider to the glittery and massive casino resorts you can find in Las Vegas and Macau. And they generate millions, perhaps billions in revenues for their owners year after year.
But there is something people seem to forget when thinking about gambling: it is not charity. It is a service, like all others, for which those using it are expected to pay – and not the other way around.
Those who think of gambling as a fun way to make an extra buck should be aware of what Las Vegas magnate (and recent unemployed) Steve Wynn once said about the gambling industry as a whole: the only way to make money in a casino is to own one. And that’s OK, really. Casinos, bookmakers, poker rooms, and such are not wrong. You are the one who looks at gambling the wrong way.
Gambling is a form of entertainment and it has been from its very beginnings. Some of its forms are part of the entertainment – think of betting on a UFC card, an ice hockey match or a soccer game, and how much more exciting watching it is when you have some money on the line (even if it’s just a symbolic amount). Poker is a game that requires as much skill as it does luck – some consider it not to be a form of gambling at all – and that’s what makes it an entertaining activity. While in the case of casinos, the situation is clear: it offers its players games that they can play for a real money stake.
Expecting playing games at casinos, online or otherwise, and be profitable is like expecting to go to see the latest Avengers movie and getting paid for it. It is not you who is supposed to be paid – it is the service provider, the movie theater (to stick with the above analogy). You are supposed to have fun watching the movie of your choice or playing the game of your choice, in our case.
Gambling is not a means of making money. Gambling is a form of entertainment. It offers a specific service that caters to a certain category of people who engage in it with every occasion they get, online and in real life.
And as such, don’t expect it to pay you to have fun.