Do you play the lottery or enjoy spending time at a casino? While gambling can be a fun activity, when you really think about it, it is an activity that is designed for you to fail. In this case fail means lose money. Why then is the lottery still played by millions? Why is gambling expanding to even more states and becoming even more popular? While there are lots of different kinds of gambling, we will mostly be referring to the lottery and casino gambling. Sports gambling could also apply though.
Why do people even gamble in the first place? A lot of people think it is a fun and harmless activity. You pay some money in the lottery for example in the hopes of getting your money back or winning more. At a casino you play games and use skill (or lots of luck) to win. That rush of adrenaline when you win is hard to match or beat. It is the thrill of winning, the social aspect, and the hope of a better future that cause people to gamble. What if we told you that is all a facade though? That $1 you spend every time you go to the gas station to play the lottery. The $500 you spend at the casino and do not win any of it back. It is short term pleasure, but long term hardship.
The biggest thing you need to do when gambling is to admit that you are spending money and should not expect any return on it. You are doing it because it is fun, but know that the odds are not stacked in your favor and you are most likely going to lose. Don’t try to justify that it is an investment or you can win it back or not lose as much.
We complain about paying taxes, but we seem to not have a problem playing the lottery. Where do you think that money goes to? The state! It is a way for them to collect from us and make it seem like it is a “good” thing. I am not saying you are a bad person if you play the lottery, but again don’t complain about paying taxes and how the government is not helping you out then. You are funding them and not yourself in the hopes that you get lucky and get a large payment. The state wins by taxing you on your winnings too. What if you try to take responsibility in your own hands? It requires more work, but stacks the odds in your favor.
We are not casino experts here, but with computers taking over casinos, we find it hard to believe that the odds are turning towards the gambler. Casinos are programming these games and know exactly what the odds are of winning. At Cents of Time, we think you should control your future and your money. We don’t think that putting your money into a system that has extremely low odds of winning or computer systems that are designed for you to lose is a winning strategy for success. How many times do you hear stories of people who win large sums of money and then lose it all? If you do not have good financial habits built up, when you receive that money, you are unprepared or lack the knowledge to do the right thing with it.
Gambling will not kill you, you may even enjoy doing it, but how many wealthy people do you hear say, “I can attribute my wealth to consistently playing the lottery each day,” or “I go to the casino every Saturday and it is a great way to build wealth.” You will not hear these statements! People who accumulate wealth try to stack the odds in their favor, not against. Do things that have positive long term results and gains. If you really enjoy gambling, try to find that same thrill in something else. Your future self and portfolio will thank you.