Sunday, 11 January 2009

Nanny - It's Not My Fault!

Back to the subject of the morality of gambling. John the (former) Gambler has posted again, comparing gambling with alcohol and saying about gambling that: "I now think it is bad, and should be controlled, especially on the internet. When you see friends lives deteriorating, it is is very difficult not to draw this conclusion."

When you drink or take drugs to excess, you lose your health. When you gamble to excess, (or invest in a rogue hedge fund), you lose money. Which is worse?
Anyway, the conclusion that I draw is that your friend is the problem, not Betfair.

John goes on to say: "Then the betting exchanges came along. This is good. The average savvy punter can make a few quid on Betfair. Then the exchanges like betfair evolved. Bots, Poker, Casino. The average savvy punter can now lose lots. Not so good."

A savvy punter would never get involved with on-line poker or casino games. Only an idiot will play those games. And before someone says that they only play them for small sums for 'entertainment' I would suggest that they need to get out more as there are far more entertaining ways of spending your money and time.

As I said before, it's up to the individual to control themselves - no one else. It really is quite pathetic when people do not take responsibility for their own actions.

Betfair (for all its faults) provides a wonderful opportunity for the truly 'savvy' punter to make money if they are disciplined - i.e. have self-control. It seems that this lack of discipline in someone's life is what causes them so many problems, be it alcohol, narcotics, sex or gambling.

From a rather selfish point of view, I'm glad that such people do continue to lose their money on Betfair. As John says, for every loser there is a winner. 

It's up to the individual to decide which hat they want to wear.

A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. ~James Allen


John said...

"When you drink or take drugs to excess, you lose your health. When you gamble to excess, (or invest in a rogue hedge fund), you lose money."

For most people losing money that is needed causes stress and is bad for your health.

I 100% agree that a savy punter doesn't get involved in with whatever the game if it wasn't at his/her advantage to do so.

Anonymous said...

I recall being in a betting shop about 10 years ago in one of the less affluent areas of South London.

Most of the punters senior citizens male and female were betting small stakes, wasting their pensions on online bingo, virtual racing, or whatevever crap the bookies were coming out with at the time. It is Ok for me and you Robert. But how do we protect more vulnerable members of society.

If an elderly person or even a younger one starts suffering from mental disorder or some othe illness, how do we protect them?
Is it not part of our moral responsility, or do we just take their money and run?

Cassini said...

I would suggest that anyone who cannot gamble responsibly already suffers from a mental disorder. For with the minority who can't handle acohol responsibly, it is up to them, or those close to them, to seek help. The answer is not prohibition. I should not be denied a beer or a bet just because a minority can't handle them responsibly.

Anonymous said...

Not suggesting for a second that you should not be allowed aa beer or a bet.

Just raising a few other issues for the betting blogosphere to consider other than I won 5 quid on the snooker and lost ten quid on the darts.


Philip H said...

Gambling IS a serious problem and it can, and does, RUIN lives in many ways. Just think about all the slick city traders (gamblers) who have been part of the GLOBAL downturn. It's quite horrendous, in my opinion - but the genie is out of the bottle and will be impossible to lock him up again.

"Short selling" was thought to be part of the present downturn. What is short selling if it is not plain GAMBLING? Just one example of how "clever punters" operate.

Betfair is not to blame of course; they are just using their initiative to expand the ways the punter can be parted from his dosh. It's our "Nanny" who's lost the plot!

Cassini said...

Philip H: I’m not suggesting anything you say is wrong, but I would say that there’s a big difference between regulating publicly owned financial institutions and regulating individuals. The former certainly need to be controlled, and I agree that the regulations currently in place appear inadequate. As for the individual, whilst I agree that there are a minority who have a problem, I believe it is up to them, or those close to them, to deal with, not the bookies or exchanges who are offering a service that brings pleasure to many.