| Betting Can
Save You Money
|The new UK government reforms
to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are set to take place in April 2019.
The aim is to minimise the harmful effects of gambling by reducing the maximum
stake from £100 to £2. Betting companies and the government itself
have criticised the polarising changes. Recovering gambling addict
Darren Crocker thinks FOBTs are the tip of the iceberg and all
parties should do more to tackle the harmful effects of online gambling.
But the title of this article is How Betting Can Save You Money, so
where does that fit in? There are many ways in which betting can help you save
rather than lose and they dont have to involve actual betting companies
(more on that later).
Anyone with a television and a hankering for soap operas
will have seen adverts for the best
online casinos or betting companies offering
odds. Their welcome offers entice potential customers to place
bets but can be the start of addiction. Unless you're savvy and can guarantee a
profit. Thats how matched betting works.
Guides on matched
betting are all over the internet but Will Haswell from CasinoCircle came up
with a great concept which described betting as a mathematical strategy
used to take advantage of bookmaker offers that give out free bets to new and
You take the bookmakers up on their
offers, and use them against each other to guarantee a profit. But
its important to follow the instructions exactly to avoid losing money
and trying to get it back. Matched betting works but bookmakers will always
have an edge to make their money back so avoid risky bets where the
odds dont match up.
There have been stories of people making
thousands a month, even
saving up for house deposits. Its a popular strategy for
students who use the money to keep afloat as an alternative to finding part
time work. It can take as little as a couple of hours a day and make more than
a Saturday shift if you know what youre doing.
Ive talked about online
betting - how about life betting? Its something I made up! Heres
how it could work:
You need to save up for something, say a holiday, and
you need £700. You might not be proactive when it comes to saving money
(I know Im not). But there are plenty of opportunities in your everyday
life to use to build up your holiday fund.
The weather is a good thing
to use. You can find chances of rain/sunshine on Google but these are only
predictions - so they have a chance of not happening. Say there's a 70% chance
of rain on Monday. As a fractional odd, thats 3/7. In decimal, that would
be 1 + 3/7 = 1.43. You decide to put £5 on it raining that day. If it
rains, you win £5 x 1.43 = £7.15, including the
original £5 stake. If it doesnt rain, you lose the
£5. In this scenario, the bookmaker would be your savings
account (I recommend getting one). You can put the £5 in there and add to
it if you win. Whether you win or lose, youll have at least £5 in
the account and thats a good start.
Of course, with this
strategy, you need to actually have the money to bet and save, so this will
help with financial control - you cant bet what you dont have. It
can also help with decision making. An example would be betting on your bus to
work being early, late, or on time (much like win-draw-loss in football).
Betting on the bus being late and winning is all well and good but it still
means youre late. If its often late, the fictional odds would be
shorter and you might consider getting an earlier bus next time.
may choose to intensify the odds selection with accumulators or
reward yourself with certain spending for every £100 you save. Either
way, this can be a fun way to save money and bet without the financial
Monzo: designed to help problem
Fun and games aside, betting can cause many issues from
financial instability to mental health problems. Online bank Monzo has a
gambling block built into their system to prevent
overspending. It works imilar to betting companies and their self-exclusion
mechanisms. Turning the block on is as simple as tapping a button but to
prevent unblocking when you feel tempted, this requires talking to a customer
support representative and a 48-hour wait.
Monzo say they hope the
added friction gives customers time to think before
they decide to gamble again. The app also comes with
budgeting facilities to show you where your money goes and
help with saving.
The BBC published an article last October about a man called
Danny who had lost more than £50,000 to gambling before he signed up to
Monzo and used their gambling block. Hes now on his way to being
debt-free before he turns 30. Monzos CEO Tom Blomfield said they included
the block into the banks services because customer requested it.
Another challenger bank called
Starling have a
similar feature and they have 460,000 customer accounts as of February this
betting are inescapable. No matter what you choose, you win or you dont.
But the important thing is to mitigate those risks and their consequences.
A way to do this is to switch the mindset of what you do if a bet comes
off. Its possible to save money through the art of betting if you have
the right approach. You can try the stricter strategies of matched betting or
incentivise your life decisions with life betting. And if you need help
recovering from gambling addiction or feel youre falling into that trap,
banks like Monzo and Starling can help with their gambling block mechanisms.
There's also GamCare and Mind, for help with problem gambling and its
effects on mental health. Sometimes, you need to save more than money.