Whilst I’d never completely discourage anyone from online betting or in play trading and would actually go as far as to say it’s up there with my favourite hobbies, I do think that it has opened up a can of worms as far as Gambling addiction is concerned. I’ve been thinking about this for a while after seeing various family and friends get into betting and after watching this sad BBC3 programme
Each time I see a new blog of some young person who has discovered the exchange and think’s it some kind of golden ticket, it saddens me slightly. Some have quit their jobs or stopped trying to find work in their long quest to try and profit from the exchanges. There are a few people I know who have wasted thousands gambling but in many respects I feel more for those addicted to in play trading as for some it’s going to be a lot of wasted hours that they will never get back. Money is important but time much more precious. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate trading all of a sudden and will certainly not stop doing it myself but it has dawned on me that the introduction of in play betting in particular leads to a certain type of addiction which we haven’t experienced before where hours, days, weeks, months, years are wasted instead of the usual hundreds or thousands of pounds. For those of you who have played championship manager, I’m pretty sure I surpassed the don’t forget to wash phase a long time ago.
For many Gambling is an escape from something in their own lives and due to the fact that never before has it been more possible to make a living from betting, people feel that they can control their own destiny by doing something that they enjoy. Little do they realise just how much the odds are stacked against them and even if they do succeed at what cost will it be? Certainly at the cost of their social life, unsociable hours and putting other lifer goals and experiences on hold. At times I myself have traded matches to earn money when I could have done some overtime and earned three or four times as much in the same time and thinks when you think about it, it just doesn’t make sense. I guess trading is a hobby and it is enjoyable and this is part of the reason I made that particular choice but I think it’s also about proving it can be done or that one day your bank will grow or you can scale up because you have proven your results as if that means they can guarantee future profits. For nearly all, this day will never come and for those it does come for I am pretty certain it doesn’t feel quite as special as they imagined.
Of course addiction is not just a problem where gambling is concerned. Some people are addicted to sex, the internet, even work but in play betting is a bit of a honey trap that makes addiction all the more possible. Thinking about this recently that has made me recognise just how precious time is and that as much as I enjoy betting it’s time I toned it down, particularly where in play trading is concerned. Everything in moderation as they say!
On a final thought, here is a video I saw posted on a blog a while back showing a lecture on time management by Randy Pausch a US professor of computer science who knew he had only a few months to live and died shortly after this was filmed.