Introduction to Gambling.
Gambling is a controversial subject.Is it a sport,hobby,way of making money or a curse which destroys lives.In 1985 while I was walking along the streets looking for a job,vacancy display caught my eye.Expecting the shop to do with books I walked in and realised that it has something to do with horse racing.I was offered a job as board marker after an IQ test.That is how my association with gambling started.I had to do 6day week from 11 to 5.After 6 months I found job in Construction industry.The recession in 1989 made me unemployed.Luckily I found a job overseas and the rest is history.
Board marker was an important job during the pre computer era.My job was to enter the prices on the racing cards which are displayed on a board and keep updating the changes,enter the results.I enjoyed my work and I was able to find a link between the price variation and the winners in some races.That knowledge is with me to date.
Evolution of High Street Betting
High street betting hours have increased from mere 6hours to 14 hours and more.Now slot machines are the main attraction at these places.Signs are displayed about responsible gambling but it has little or no effort on the punters.High proportion of them leave the shop with no money on them.The slot machines have turned into casinos.Every shop has 5 machines with a limit of 100 pounds per spin.There are more than 9000 betting shops in u.k. The planning permission cannot be refused for it being a betting shop.
Something interesting happened today at this betting shop in Edgware which is worth mentioning here.One punter found a 20 pound note on the floor and informed the management.Couple of punters thought it could be theirs but were not too sure.They decided to place a bet for 20 pounds and share the winnings.They were lucky to have a winner and the winnings was shared and the winnings was shared among five people.
This event is a clear demonstration of the honesty and the interaction among punters in this betting shop .For legal reasons,the shop cannot be named without the permission of the company.
On the subsequent day ,a similar incident happened at a betting shop ,about 5 shops away from this shop.One punter had a print out of 20 pounds from slot machine and two of them are arguing over the ownership .I am at a loss to understand the contrasting behaviour between two shops which are not so far apart.The manager was struggling to resolve the dispute.
Is it down to the staff,company or the punters.Who create the conducive atmosphere.
The people gamble mainly for the following reasons:
*To make money
Substantial percentage of punters want to make money ,but only a very low percentage are successful in winning money.Punters lose money due to lack of discipline.
There are number of ways to make money at betting shop.It is possible to win the money you need but not possible to win what you want.I made a list of do's and don'ts .They are:
*Do not withdraw money from bank.
*Start with money as little as 10 pounds.
*Never believe in good days and bad days.
*Stop gambling as soon as you win any money .
*Pay your winnings into bank every day.
*Only gamble the winning and not the capital.
*It is not possible to become rich by gambling.
If you can walk out of the shop with more money than you walked in,you are a winner.
These conclusions were arrived at by studying the gambling patterns at betting shops for the last three years.
Gambling to win
Since 2011 January I registered a social enterprise with the intention of promoting community projects.One of the project was to help those with gambling addiction.The path I chose was controversial. I employed a homeless gambling addict with the intention to rehabilitate him .The deal was that he was provided with clothing,food and accommodation and 5 pounds a day for other expenses. This arrangement ended in failure as this individual started steeling from the enterprise to feed the gambling habit.
During the same period I invited five others with different level of gambling addiction.This time I offered 10 pounds each and if they came back with the 10 pounds,a bonus of 10 pounds was offered.All of them lost the money gambling away.
Last 3 years I have been studying the behaviour of the punters in the betting shops.It can be divided into the following categories:
*Punters who are there for gambling only
*To pass time as they are either unemployed or retired.
*Addicted to gambling
Emotions run high in the betting shops.Those who lose large sums of money become angry and become violet and resort to violence.Violence include spitting at the slot machines,breaking the machines,swearing at staff and other rude behaviours.
On the other hand those who bet on horse racing celebrate the winnings and chanting using slogans such as" go go go" ,you can do it" or shouting abuse at the jockeys when they lose in a humours way.
Interaction among the punters is very interesting in particularly one betting shop in Edgware. The punters belonging to different communities,cultural background,all age groups ,sharing food and drinks,offering cigarette to each other,lending money for food and drinks even sharing the winning is very common site.
It is not an exaggeration to say that 90% of punters enjoy gambling at this betting shop.
The government has introduced new controls as follows:
a.First question "Do you want to set limit."The options are yes /no.Practically the answer is no to go ahead.
a.The maximum stake is set as £50.The alternative to use £100 stake is to either pay at the counter to load the machine or to obtain a membership card.In practice the controls become ineffective.
b.From time to time following note will appear on the screen:
"Do you want to continue the game."The punters will give an affirmative answer and continue the game.Apart from causing a little inconvenience ,there is no difference .
The Government as well as the gambling industry display warning about the dangers of gambling just to satisfy legal requirements without any genuine interest in reducing gambling habits.Recently government has increased the tax on gambling with the motive to increase revenue.
The intention of this hub is to promote people to enjoy gambling without losing large chunks of money chasing losses.It may sound unrealistic but it is possible.