Even after winning in sports betting, you still lost

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  • 6 months ago
  • Posted: August 23, 2016 at 12:43 pm

In the recent past the sports betting culture has caught up with almost every football fan in the country. New companies are mushrooming every now and then. Most individuals want to cross the million shilling mark and what easy way than through sports betting. Here we shall not go into the depths of how sports betting is ugly or not. We shall focus on something more intriguing. The fact that every single bet placed is a losing bet – always – regardless of the outcome. The detail is in the odds and how they treat a winning bet.

Sports betting is a form of gambling. The sports betting company comes up with odds for different games and it is upon the client to choose the preferred option and place a minimum wager. Whether you get paid or not depends with the match results. It is in how they pay the winning bets that sports betting deviate from what clients are used to from other gambling avenues like casinos.

Case Study

Team A is facing off against team B in a football derby. A sports betting company comes up with the following simple odds;

2.56 For team A to Win

3.89 For a Draw

1.39 For team B to Win

The minimum bet is Ksh.100.

Mr Mamboleo has a gut feeling that team A is going to emerge as winners and places a Ksh.500 bet on them. On the other hand Mr Jonte places the minimum wager of Ksh.100 on team B.

At the end of the match it is team A that emerge victorious. Mr Mamboleo losses the Ksh.500 bet automatically because of a not so fortunate prediction. The interesting bit is that Mr Jonte also losses his Ksh.100 bet though the outcome was positive on his part. You do not believe me? Let me break it down for you step by step.

Mr Jonte placed the minimum bet of  :           Ksh.100.

The odds for team B to win are:                     1.39

Luckily for Jonte team B won.

His winnings are:                                            Ksh.100 * 1.39 = Ksh.139

His expected new balance is:                         Ksh.100 + Ksh.139 = Ksh.239

When Mr Jonte checks his new balance he finds Ksh.139 only. Even though the initial bet of Ksh.100 won, the sports betting company still took it and offered him only the winnings.

From the above scenario it is justifiable to say the true or otherwise correct odds for team B to win is 0.39. Let’s work with this new odd.

Mr Jonte placed the minimum bet of  :           Ksh.100.

Odds for team B to win:                                 0.39

Luckily for Jonte team B won.

His winnings are:                                            Ksh.100 * 0.39 = Ksh.39

His expected new balance is:                         Ksh.100 + Ksh.39 = Ksh.139

You can clearly see that it is the odd of 0.39 that yields the balance that Mr Jonte received in his account. It’s either the sports betting companies are lying about the true odds or they are stealing the initial wager from the client when the results favour the client. The person who ends up losing is the client. Whether he wins or loses the initial bet is always taken.

If you walk to any casino you will always be paid the stated odds and you keep your initial wager. As an example let us look at a game of roulette.

The odds for a straight-up is                         35:1.

Placed bet                                                       Ksh.100

If you hit the number you earn                      Ksh.100 * 35 = Ksh.3500

Your new balance is                                      Ksh.100 + Ksh.3500 = Ksh.3600

As you can see a winning placed bet is never taken. Only losing placed bets are taken. To sports betting firms, you either edit your odds to reflect the true payment or you pay your clients what is rightfully due to them.

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Mr. Felix
A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.
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