Betting Vs Gambling – What's the Difference?

Jun 5, 2024

Betting and gambling are terms that are used interchangeably in the gambling world. They're often misconstrued. Betting mostly refers to sporting events, while gambling can include casino games or the lottery.

There are a wide variety of both. However, gambling and betting are different from one another. To compare betting vs. gambling, you should be aware of the differences. 

Is gambling the same as betting?

Gambling is a risk an individual would take for a desired result, such as cash or a prize. It refers to casinos, poker, slots, and table games. Betting refers to placing a wager on an event, such as a sporting event. The motivation behind betting is to turn a profit. 

Betting has increased in popularity over the years. It's easier than gambling because it involves the amount scored. The money risk is lower than gambling because the odds are less favorable. 

Also, it's more appealing to bet on an unpopular event because it increases one's chances of winning. Gambling is harder because both the stakes and the money are higher. If you want to win extra pocket money, betting is more in your favor.

What is Gambling?

Gambling involves a game or activity. You risk something of value to earn something of greater value. The most common types of gambling are billiards, bingo, casino games, card games, lottery, and online gambling. 

Gambling has become more common in Western society because it's a low-risk activity. Even though there are state and federal age restrictions, most people of all ages gamble. Parents in rural communities play scratch cards with their kids. The average age of problem gambling is 10 years old. 

However, most people who start gambling at a young never develop a gambling addiction. They might only gamble in a social setting. After gambling, they return to their regular hobbies and interests. For some people, gambling can become a serious problem. 

What is Betting? 

Betting involves the chances of an outcome of a particular event or game. The odds determine how much you win after betting a certain amount. The more you bet, the less the odds are in your favor. This makes betting different from gambling since the risk is lower.

Online betting exploded in popularity with the legalization of online gambling and sports betting. People are willing to bet on anything these days. The most common bets include flight delays, gas prices, and presidential campaigns. 

Other people bet on the royal family, celebrity deaths, or the result of a fast food order. Even though betting isn't legal nationwide, you can bet on anything you can think of. Check your state's local laws before betting. 

What is Sports Betting Gambling?

Sports betting involves putting money toward the outcome of a game. The most common form of sports betting in North America is betting on horse races. You should familiarize yourself with the different terms used in sports betting.

A money line is a bet placed on the winner. A spread occurs when you bet on a certain number of points that a team could win or lose. Various outcomes rolled into one bet is a parlay. 

Money lines, parlays, and spreads are the most common bets in sports betting. There are so many ways to bet since there are different types of sports. This form of betting allows you to encourage you to root for your favorite team and earn money. 

It's rewarding if you place your odds right. However, betting can be just as addicting as gambling. There is no federal authority over the gambling industry. In addition, there is no federal aid for problem gambling treatment like there is for alcohol and substance treatment programs. 

Getting Help for Gambling or Betting Addiction

While gambling and betting are fun, they can also be addicting. Problem gambling occurs when you're unable to control the urge to gamble despite the negative outcomes. 

It can contribute to terrible physical and mental health, financial problems, and problems with your inner circle. Problem gambling manifests into a full-blown gambling addiction when it has a devastating effect on your life. 

Thankfully, there is help. Birches Health connects you with licensed professional counselors who are familiar with your disorder. You'll get help in the comfort of your own home, at your own schedule. Book an appointment today. 

Resources:

Understanding the Basics of Sports Betting 101

What is gambling?

How to Bet 101: Sports Betting Explained

Online Betting Has Gone Off the Deep End

13 Bizarre Things You Can (Legally) Bet On 

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