I have been reading posts about gambling and sports betting on steemit but I have yet to read one about Sports Betting as an investment. So I decided to write one based on my experience in "sports betting" in particular. In order to view sports betting as an investment, one has to know the meaning of gambling, investment, the relationship between gambling and investment. According to Wikipedia, gambling is the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as “the stake”) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Wikipedia continued to state that gambling requires three elements to be present: consideration, chance, and prize. On the other hand, Wikipedia defines investment as the money, time, or resource allocated to something with the expectation of some benefit in the future.
In the journal of Behavioral Addiction titled "The Conceptual and Empirical Relationship between Gambling, Investing and Speculation", Jennifer N. Arthur, Robert J. Williams, and Paul DelFabbro found out that gambling differs from investment on many different attributes and should be seen as conceptually distinct. On the other hand, speculation is conceptually intermediate between gambling and investment, with a few of its attributes being investment-like, some of its attributes being gambling-like, and several of its attributes being neither clearly gambling or investment-like. Empirically, gamblers, investors and speculators, have similar cognitive, motivational, and personality attributes, with this relationship being particularly strong for gambling and speculation.
Why should you call sports betting an investment?
The same way there is a lot of consideration while studying what you want to invest your money on or time and energy, prize and chances of succeeding is the same way it is applicable in sports gambling. While studying what you want to invest on, you consider the possibility of making profit and the history that your favorite choice has. For example, I have been following men's professional tennis since I was in High School (that's a looooong time ago, by the way). I also studied the history of the game. So naturally, when the internet blessed us with online sports betting, I started participating in it. I started off with small bets just to make the matches that I watch more interesting. In 2004, I started "saving up" to bet on the four Grand Slam tournaments. One in particular that made me the most money year after year is the French Open (except in 2009 - those who follow men's tennis know why). Even for those of you who do not follow tennis, you probably know or have heard or read about this guy named Rafael Nadal. I've won more money betting on him than any other player (including Roger Federer) ever since I started betting on tennis in 2004. While Roger Federer may be the greatest player of all time, Rafael Nadal is without a doubt the greatest clay-court player of all time, and the French Open is played on a clay court. For this year's French Open, I placed a $1500 wager on him at 5/4 or +125 odds on 5/11/17. Two days later after I regretted not wagering more, I wagered another $500 at even odds. So I have $2000 "at risk" to win $2375.
A week has passed since the French Open started and not only is Nadal still in it, he has been the most dominant player in the tournament. His scoreline against his last two opponents were 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. He is safely in the quarters against the #20 seed P. Carreño Busta, who just extended himself to five sets beating his last opponent. It is safe to say that we will see Nadal in the semis against either Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem. There are still 8 players remaining on the top half, but if the seeds hold, we would either see Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka facing him in the finals. As much as I believe or expect to see Nadal hoisting the trophy next Sunday, I am a realist and I realize that this is sports. All it takes is a rolled ankle or a back strain for me to say goodbye to $2000. Or, a player can get hot for long enough to beat him. It is possible, but that has only happened once in the 10 years (2009) that Nadal was the favorite to win. But another reason that I view sports gambling as an investment is because I can always "hedge" my wager. With Nadal already in the quarters, I believe that there is no way I can lose money if I decide to hedge my wager on Nadal with betting on someone else to win, i.e. Stan Wawrinka (as I believe he is the only one that can ruin my $2375 payday on Sunday) and if I were to wager on him against the final, he would be the underdog at 3-1 or even 4-1. So I would put an "insurance wager" of $500 to win $2000 at +400 for example, so I'm guaranteed a winner regardless of what happens. Or if I watch Dominic Thiem suddenly get hot in his next match and I start to worry that he can also mess up my payday, I can also put a wager on him. Obviously the more "hedge bets" I place, the lower my return will be, so I have to watch the next round carefully to see if anyone can be a threat to Nadal and place my hedge wagers accordingly.
Based on my example above, I believe that, under the right circumstances, sports betting is an investment and not gambling. Although, it is like any other type of gambling (casino gambling for instance) that has the same outcome of losing or winning - but fact is that it is quite different, because in my case, due to my extensive knowledge of the sport and the history of it, there is a greater chance of making a profit and there are tools available to minimize my loss of capital, i.e. those hedge bets that I can place on the other players. If I decide to "dabble" in another sport that I don't have the same level or knowledge, then yes, that would be a gamble. I have a $100 wager on Cleveland to win the NBA championships at +220 just because I don't want Golden State to win. Now that's gambling! And after watching the second game tonight, I might as well kiss my $100 goodbye. But I digress.
So what do you guys and gals think?