The difference between gambling and betting

30 March 2020
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Predicting the outcome of events has always been one of the most exciting and edge of the seat pastimes that we, as human beings, have always loved to be a part of. One of the many reasons why people take a lot of interest in future predictions is because of the thrill that comes with risking, and the excitement that follows after the forecasts are proved to be true.

Smart entrepreneurs have turned this inherent desire of humans into a flourishing business that transformed to become the casinos with proficient dealers as we know them today. Many casino games evolved from friendly experiences with casino dealers to tension-filled tournaments. However, as captivating as the whole affairs are, have you ever wondered what is the difference between gambling and betting? Many people brush off this question, assuming that they are the same thing. Well, it is not their fault because a lot of times these words are used interchangeably. But while the two words are related, they have quite different meanings. Let us try to know the differences between the two through this article.

What is gambling?


Gambling is a generic term, generally defined as wagering on any event with an uncertain outcome. This involves placing or putting a ‘wager’ on an event, in the hope of making more money, if in case the preferred event takes place or becomes true. For that reason, it will be safe to say, gambling is an activity that depends purely on luck. It has nothing to do with your skills, experiences, strategies or special understanding of any subject matter.

At the moment, some of the most common gambling activities are casino games, both land-based (dealt by casino dealers) and online versions that consist of progressive jackpot slots and video slots, as well as table games such as Roulette and Craps.

What is betting all about?


On the other side, betting is considered to be a form of gambling. It is about predicting the actual result of a future event, putting your money on that outcome, and expecting a profit. This term is used to refer to agreement between two parties, where one party makes a prediction, makes a wager and loses or wins money based on those predictions.

Here, if the said party wins, then, the other team has to forfeit the wagered amount as per the agreement. It is slightly less risky and less uncertain than gambling. Here, your skills and experiences might come handy as it will help you to do some research and predict the outcome of the betted event.

Betting can be done both officially and unofficially. You can officially place wagers at an online casino or unofficially bet with family and friends. Nevertheless, irrespective of whether the wager is unofficial or official, there is an amount of money to be gained or lost.

The major differences between gambling and betting

To help you further understand the differences between the two, here is a highlight of what sets them apart.

  1. Gambling is a generic term, while betting is a structured agreement.
  2. While betting implies forecasting the result of a forthcoming event prudently predicting the outcome of something, gambling implies attempting to win cash by what most people consider to be a stroke of luck.
  3. Whereas betting is not so dicey, gambling, on the other hand, relies on gut feelings or pure instincts that lead to decisions. It is all about chances and probability that works in gambling, while betting is more about making informed decisions.
  4. Betting cannot be done without attaching some monetary value to the bet you make. However, gambling can be done without making a bet involving real-money.
  5. Betting is a skill that you can hone with practice, analysis and experience while gambling is just an activity of sheer luck.
  6. If you look at things from a pure entertainment angle, gambling is more thrilling than betting because it involves a lot more risk.
  7. The variety and innovation in gambling and casino games are far more outnumbered than that of betting.
  8. Gambling has gained immense popularity in the online arena; however, though sports betting has become online, yet many people still visit the live betting shops and place their bet.
  9. While gambling is considered illegal in most places, betting is an organized commercial activity.
  10. Betting is a term that validates the activity of gambling. Gambling has comparatively better craze among the people. The government regulations for both of them differ in the way they operate.
  11. Gambling is considered responsible for leading people to risk and lose everything in hopes of making big through a ‘wager’. Though, betting also leads to similar losses, but on a smaller scale.

Betting is a word coined to legalize the activity of gambling, wherein betting is considered normal and gambling is looked down upon in most places. But with the intervention of the online world, the craze for gambling and casino games has increased manifold. It is no wonder that in some countries, some forms of gambling, like betting are allowed because they are considered games of skill while others are prohibited since they are purely about chance and luck.

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