Unpopular Opinion: Gambling Edition

What do you think about Betting?

In the midst of the rubbles betting thrives. | Photo taken by me

The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling, 2011

Gambler’s Fallacy

Roulette table

In the summer of 1913, something incredible happened in Monte Carlo. Crowds gathered around a roulette table and could not believe their eyes. The ball had landed on black twenty times in a row. Many players took advantage of the opportunity and immediately put their money on red. But the ball continued to come to rest on black. Even more people flocked to the table to bet on red. It had to change eventually! But it was black yet again — and again and again. It was not until the twenty-seventh spin that the ball eventually landed on red. By that time, the players had bet millions on the table. In a few spins of the wheel, they were bankrupt.

…People believe in the “balancing force of the universe.” This is the gambler’s fallacy. However, with independent events, there is no harmonizing force at work: A ball cannot remember how many times it has landed on black.

Excerpt from The Art of Thinking Clearly, Rolf Dobeli

While trying to decide the direction this write up should take I ask a friend, “What do you think about betting?” He replied “I think it’s bad…errm but that’s what FOREX/Stock Market trading is…you’re betting that it would rise or fall based on certain information”

I interject “but do people get addicted to FOREX/Stock Market trading?” We both reply we’re not sure.

Nigeria’s Gambling Growth Insider, 2018


I take out time to think, What’s the issue with Gambling? The issues seem to be that because most gamblers can’t influence the outcome of the result so it’s wrong or a lazy (Wo)man’s sport. Isn’t it an educated Guess? Reading up a team’s stats and past performance records is similar to reading a company’s financial’s and other related reports before making an investment decision.

Is it because it’s based more on probability and involves less control over the outcome?

Is it because it is addictive?

Is it because it’s a way to satisfy your ego?

Why leave your fate to chance? Well, you may argue that our fate is already uncertain as nothing is absolutely certain.

Nigeria’s Gambling Growth Insider, 2018

I try to counter myself, it’s because it goes against the accepted norm — Work (physical and mental) and Be Wealthy. If everyone were to bet which obviously won’t happen, the world wouldn’t move forward. Well, luckily there’s enough time to go about our day’s work and still bet so it’s not a mutually exclusive task. I stop thinking, I’m not sure where to pitch my tent, I’m trying to be objective.

I tried to write about this topic when I had a discussion with a friend a few months ago about whether gambling had a positive or negative net effect on the society but then in reading about the topic — I really was going with the mindset that I’d find data that proves that it has a net negative effect on the society but all the results from research papers I examined were inconclusive about the net effect of betting on the economy, because the value of non-monetary impact is subjective.

Stories that touch

March Madness Money: The Effects of Gambling On Sports, Inc

The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling, 2011

A study carried out on European football clubs and football betting among the youths in Nigeria in 2016 shows that many people bet every day as opposed to a few days of the week, staking between 100–500 Naira per week, most betting even when they are broke.

Another study reported similar results with the motivating factors attributed to the presence of economic desperation associated with hardship, reward salience/illusion, and the need to fit in with their peers.

Victor Odundo who talks about how the exponential growth of mobile telephony has contributed to a higher betting prevalence and the rise of gambling addiction in Africa made a good point that sums up my thoughts.

My unpopular opinion is that relying on the data I’ve had access to, I can’t objectively prove that gambling brings more harm than good to the society even though I think it does.

If you have any, what’s your unpopular opinion?

Thanks for reading, I hope you learned something from my post. You can reach out on any platform @danieltadeyemi and visit my website where you can sign up for my newsletter to get monthly updates on my progress or what I’m learning.



Deliberate Amateur | Interested in business, design, storytelling, psychology, products, economics, technology |Find me @danieltadeyemi or danieladeyemi.com.ng

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Daniel Adeyemi

Deliberate Amateur | Interested in business, design, storytelling, psychology, products, economics, technology |Find me @danieltadeyemi or danieladeyemi.com.ng