NDUBI: ‘Betting illiteracy’ for rookie bettors…

NDUBI: 'Betting illiteracy' for rookie bettors...

Are you a sports junkie? No worries really, you only have insatiable interest or devotion to a particular sport or an array of sporting activities, though unjustifiable.

Disparaging as that might sound, my insensitivity is nothing compared to what the degenerate sports gambler deserves.

Since the sports betting craze hit the country, a destructive cloud has been hovering and now threatens to explode into a full-blown storm.

Riding on the illusion of quick, instant riches, a huge chunk of our youthful population is now drunk on betting with every day another soul plunging themselves deep into the pool of eventual hopelessness.

While you cannot blame sports junkies for trying to enjoy the game and making money while at it, an emerging constituency of bettors has less interest in the game and more in chasing the overly elusive jackpot.

Now this particular group is on the highway to addiction and I can bet you in a few years counselling centres might as well be crowded with lads frustrated by betting.

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It happened to me

So your friend, workmate has been on a winning streak last week and he can’t stop bragging about it in the office/class? Worse, they even bought lunch for the whole crew or several rounds at the bar as you watch a game he has just placed a wager on your team.

The only logical thing that comes to mind, motivated by your empty wallet is to try it out next time. ‘Just one bet’ you say… Months later you are still at it and can’t really tell if you are gaining or losing, but the jackpot still stands.

Your buddy turned betting consultant also with months of ‘experience’, reassuringly urges you on; ‘we win some, we lose some. After all, they have been there.

The sports junkie will arguably bet for fun, and as such will have some ‘fun money’ set aside for gambling which is totally cool. The degenerate sports gambler keen to ‘make a living’ will however not stop at that.

And that is where this pitiable constituency goes wrong. The thought of how that jackpot can change your life overnight is too attractive that you gamble with money you cannot afford to lose; money budgeted for bills, fees, savings and even borrowed money.

From ‘gamblers’ I have interacted with, I can bet you that the majority are ecstatic about breaking even, a week after betting. Creativity has been replaced with the literal building of castles in the air.

Take it from me, a recovering bettor who with my absolute ignorance of the sporting world, put a wager on random seemingly winning teams a record four times! And thankfully lost all.

From my rookie observation, any ‘upcoming’ bettor who wins in the first ten times they bet, jumps to degenerate bettor status by the 11th bet.

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Moment of truth

If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, you need to check yourself into the nearest rehabilitation centre real quick. If you don’t, in a year’s time, we will not be surprised if you go bonkers.

Do you get slightly impressed when you lose a multi-bet by just getting one game wrong? ‘I will nail it next time!’ your stupid self says.

Do you justify your continued betting even when you are on a 2-week losing streak as an attempt to ‘chase losses’? You are trying to win back the money you lost… makes sense, right?

Is it innately stimulating when you bet more and more? Do you up your wager once in a while when the odds are high or do you prefer to go the Josephine Kabura way and register your hard-earned peanuts in more than one betting platform and bet on all outcomes?

Or even more drastic, have you betted on both halves of a football match, or the four quarters of a basketball game and do you sometimes explore additional bet options like; number of goals?

Do you feel that you have no choice but to gamble? Is it no longer a question of quitting but now you are gambling out of need? Do you really believe that betting can pay your bills or maybe buy you that nice suit for an interview when you wake up from that stupor and want to get a real job?

Do you find yourself going out of your way to get money for gambling? Like say; borrowing, lying to friends and family, or even stealing?

Did your sports betting woes lead you to this article?

Read on: Sports Betting Craze Part 2: The big numbers 

Keep betting… how bad can it get?

Well, now you know what awaits you in a years’ time; I can guarantee you that. If you don’t believe me and you are ‘intelligent’ enough to know that betting is here to stay, (heck, there’s even a legislation coming up!) you might want to avoid the following mistakes rookie bettors make.

Changing your wager: now that we all agree that betting is a worthwhile financial investment that is putting meals on the table for hundreds of Kenyan urban families, you’d want to stick to a budget. Overconfidence could rob you a month’s achievement. Now you don’t want that, do you?

Betting against the public: I am that crazy person who believes that holding a totally different idea from everybody else in the room is really cool. It challenges me to stretch my imagination and see how much convincing my dissenting opinion can be. I can tell you, it doesn’t always work, although it counts as brave!

Letting your heart rule your head: Oh boy, I bet this has happened to us in our formative stages of mastering love relationships; or have we? We know you love Arsenal, but it’s your life we are talking about, I mean your money.

Betting too often: We are all greedy, right? At least when it comes to money, the more the better. But you are just a beginner, bet just once in a while and gain the ‘experience’ which I can bet you the odds of being ‘pro’ are over the roof. The less greedy you are, the longer you will stay sane.

And finally, does betting negatively affecting your emotions? Are you no longer enjoying the beautiful game? But why? Bro, get professional help!

Plus for the handful sisters out there doing the unthinkable, take one of the now available ‘test-if-you-are-addicted-to-gambling’ tests online. There’s one on the support group ‘Gamblers Anonymous’ website. See? You are not alone!

Good Luck.

Are you going through a tough time betting? Tell me your story on Twitter @Eric_Ndubi

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Story By Eric Ndubi
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