is the wagering ofmoneyor something ofvalue(referred to as the stakes) on aneventwith an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements be present:considerationchanceandprize.The outcome of the wager is often immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are also common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or even an entire sports season.
The term gamingin this context typically refers to instances in which the activity has been specifically permitted bylaw. The two words are not mutually exclusive; i.e., a gaming company offers (legal) gambling activities to the publicand may be regulated by one of manygaming control boards, for example, theNevada Gaming Control Board. However, this distinction is not universally observed in the English-speaking world. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the regulator of gambling activities is called theGambling Commission(not the Gaming Commission).The wordgamingis used more frequently since the rise ofcomputerandvideo gamesto describe activities that do not necessarily involve wagering, especiallyonline gaming, with the new usage still not having displaced the old usage as the primary definition in common dictionaries.
Gambling is also a major international commercial activity, with the legal gambling market totaling an estimated $335 billion in 2009.In other forms, gambling can be conducted with materials which have a value, but are not real money. For example, players ofmarbles gamesmight wager marbles, and likewise games ofPogsorMagic: The Gatheringcan be played with the collectible game pieces (respectively, small discs and trading cards) as stakes, resulting in ameta-gameregarding the value of a players collection of pieces.
Gambling dates back to thePaleolithicperiod, before written history. The earliest six-sided dice date to about 3000 BC inMesopotamia. However, they were based onastragalidating back thousands of years earlier. In China, gambling houses were widespread in the first millennium BC where betting on fighting animals was common. Lotto games and dominoes (precursors ofPai Gow) appeared in China as early as the 10th century.
Playing cards appeared in the ninth century in China.Poker, the most popular U.S. card game associated with gambling, was based on the Persian gameAs-Nas, dating back to the 17th century.
The first known casino was theRidotto, established in Venice, Italy in 1638.
Many jurisdictions, local as well as national, either ban gambling or heavily control it by licensing the vendors. Such regulation generally leads togambling tourismand illegal gambling in the areas where it is not allowed. The involvement of governments, through regulation and taxation, has led to a close connection between many governments and gaming organizations, where legal gambling provides significant government revenue, such as inMonacoorMacau, China.
There is generally legislation requiring that the odds in gaming devices arestatistically random, to prevent manufacturers from making some high-payoff results impossible. Since these high-payoffs have very lowprobability, a house bias can quite easily be missed unless the odds are checked carefully.
Most jurisdictions that allow gambling require participants to be above a certain age. In some jurisdictions, thegambling agediffers depending on the type of gambling. For example, in many American states one must be over 21 to enter a casino, but may buy a lottery ticket after turning 18.
Because contracts ofinsurancehave many features in common with wagers, insurance contracts are often distinguished under law as agreements in which either party has an interest in the bet-upon outcomebeyondthe specific financial terms. e.g.: a bet with an insurer on whether ones house will burn down is not gambling, but ratherinsurance as the homeowner has an obvious interest in the continued existence of his/her homeindependent ofthe purely financial aspects of the bet (i.e., the insurance policy). Nonetheless, both insurance and gambling contracts are typically consideredaleatory contractsunder most legal systems, though they are subject to different types of regulation.
Undercommon law, particularlyEnglish LawEnglish unjust enrichment), a gambling contract may not give a casinobona fidepurchaserstatus, permitting the recovery of stolen funds in some situations. InLipkin Gorman v Karpnale Ltd, where a solicitor used stolen funds to gamble at a casino, theHouse of Lordsoverruled the High Courts previous verdict, adjudicating that the casino return the stolen funds less those subject to anychange of positiondefence. U.S. Law precedents are somewhat similar.Forcase lawon recovery of gambling losses where the loser had stolen the funds see Rights of owner of stolen money as against one who won it in gambling transaction from thief.
An interesting wrinkle to these fact pattern is to ask what happens when the person trying to make recovery is the gamblers spouse, and the money or property lost was either the spouses, or wascommunity property. This was a minor plot point in aPerry Masonnovel,The Case of the Singing Skirt, and it cites an actual caseNovo v. Hotel Del Rio.
Religious perspectives on gambling have been mixed. AncientHindupoems like theGamblers Lamentand theMahabharatatestify to the popularity of gambling among ancient Indians. However, the textArthashastra(c. 4th century BCE) recommends taxation and control of gambling.Ancient Jewish authorities frowned on gambling, even disqualifying professional gamblers from testifying in court.
The Catholic Church holds the position that there is no moral impediment to gambling, so long as it is fair, all bettors have a reasonable chance of winning, that there is no fraud involved, and the parties involved do not have actual knowledge of the outcome of the bet (unless they have disclosed this knowledge).Gambling has often been seen as havingsocial consequences, as satirized byBalzac. For these social and religious reasons, most legal jurisdictions limit gambling, as advocated byPascal.as long as the following conditions are met; the gambler can afford losing the bet, stops when the limit is reached, and the motivation is entertainment and not personal gain leading to the love of moneyor making a living.In general, Catholic bishops have opposedcasinogambling on the grounds it too often tempts people into problem gambling or addiction, has particularly negative effects on poor people; they sometimes also cite secondary effects such as increases in loan sharking, prostitution, corruption, and general public immorality.In at least one case, the same bishop opposing a casino has sold land to be used for its construction.Some parish pastors have also opposed casinos for the additional reason that they would take customers away from churchbingoand annual festivals where games such asblackjackroulettecraps, andpokerare used for fundraising.
Gambling views among Protestants vary with some either discouraging or forbidding their members from participation in gambling. For example, theUnited Methodist Churchopposes gambling which they believe gambling is a sin that feeds on greed.Quakers also disapprove gambling.
Other Protestants that oppose gambling include many Mennonites,Christian Reformed Church in North America,theFree Methodist Church,theSalvation Army,theChurch of the Nazarene,theSouthern Baptist Convention,theAssemblies of God,and theSeventh-day Adventist Church.
Other churches that oppose gambling include theJehovahs Witnesses, theChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,theIglesia Ni Cristo,and theMembers Church of God International.
Although different interpretations ofShariah (Islamic Law)exist in the Muslim world, there is a consensus among theUlema(Arabic:عُـلـمـاء, Scholars (ofIslam)) that gambling isharaam(Arabic:حَـرام, sinful or forbidden). In assertions made during its prohibition, Muslim jurists describe gambling as being both un-Quranic, and as being generally harmful to the MuslimUmmahArabic:أُمَّـة, Community). The Islamic terminology for gambling isMaisir, however this also has a second definition meaningeasy money.In parts of the world that implement full Shariah, such asAceh, punishments for Muslim gamblers can range up to 12 lashes or a one-year prison term and a fine for those who provide a venue for such practises.Some Islamic nations prohibit gambling; most other countriesregulate it.
While almost any game can be played for money, and any game typically played for money can also be played just for fun, some games are generally offered in acasinosetting.
Gambling games that take place outside of casinos include Bingo (as played in theUSandUK),dead poollotteriespull-tabgames andscratchcards, andMahjong.
Card games, such asLiars pokerBridgeBassetLansquenetPiquetPutTeen patti
Coin-tossinggames such asHead and TailTwo-up*
Confidence trickssuch asThree-card Monteor theShell game
Dice-basedgames, such asBackgammonLiars dicePasse-dixHazardThreesPig, orMexico (or Perudo);
*Although coin tossing isnt usually played in a casino, it has been known to be an official gambling game in some Australian casinos
Fixed-odds betting andParimutuel bettingfrequently occur at many types of sporting events, and political elections. In addition manybookmakersoffer fixed odds on a number of non-sports related outcomes, for example the direction and extent of movement of variousfinancial indices, the winner oftelevisioncompetitions such asBig Brother, andelectionresults.Interactiveprediction marketsalso offer trading on these outcomes, with shares of results trading on an open market.
One of the most widespread forms of gambling involves betting onhorseorgreyhound racing. Wagering may take place throughparimutuelpools, orbookmakersmay take bets personally. Parimutuel wagers pay off at prices determined by support in the wagering pools, while bookmakers pay off either at the odds offered at the time of accepting the bet; or at the median odds offered by track bookmakers at the time the race started.
Betting on team sports has become an importantservice industryin many countries. For example, millions of people play thefootball poolsevery week in theUnited Kingdom. In addition to organized sports betting, both legal and illegal, there are many side-betting games played by casual groups of spectators, such asNCAA Basketball TournamentBracket Pools,Super BowlSquares,Fantasy Sports Leagueswith monetary entry fees and winnings, and in-person spectator games likeMoundball.
Arbitrage betting is a theoretically risk-free betting system in which every outcome of an event is bet upon so that a known profit will be made by the bettor upon completion of the event, regardless of the outcome. Arbitrage betting is a combination of the ancient art ofarbitragetrading and gambling, which has been made possible by the large numbers of bookmakers in the marketplace, creating occasional opportunities for arbitrage.
One can also bet with another person that a statement is true or false, or that a specified event will happen (a back bet) or will not happen (a lay bet) within a specified time. This occurs in particular when two people have opposing but strongly held views on truth or events. Not only do the parties hope to gain from the bet, they place the bet also to demonstrate their certainty about the issue. Some means of determining the issue at stake must exist. Sometimes the amount bet remains nominal, demonstrating the outcome as one of principle rather than of financial importance.
Betting exchangesallow consumers to both back and lay at odds of their choice. Similar in some ways to a stock exchange, a bettor may want to back a horse (hoping it will win) or lay a horse (hoping it will lose, effectively acting as bookmaker).
Spread bettingallows gamblers to wagering on the outcome of an event where the pay-off is based on the accuracy of the wager, rather than a simple win or lose outcome. For example, a wager can be based on the when a point is scored in the game in minutes and each minute away from the prediction increases or reduces the payout.
Many betting systems have been created in an attempt to beat the house but no system can make a mathematically unprofitable bet in terms ofexpected valueprofitable over time. Widely used systems include:
Card counting Many systems exist forBlackjackto keep track of the ratio of ten values to all others; when this ratio is high the player has an advantage and should increase the amount of their bets. Keeping track of cards dealt confers an advantage in other games as well.
Due-column betting A variation on fixed profits betting in which the bettor sets a target profit and then calculates a bet size that will make this profit, adding any losses to the target.
Fixed profits the stakes vary based on the odds to ensure the same profit from each winning selection.
Fixed stakes a traditional system of staking the same amount on each selection.
Kelly the optimum level to bet to maximize your future median bank level.
Martingale A system based on staking enough each time to recover losses from previous bet(s) until one wins.
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Gloria Mundi, or The Devil addressing the sun
, a cartoon showing the British politicianCharles James Foxstanding on a roulette wheel perched atop a globe showingEnglandandcontinental Europe. The implication is that hispennilessstate, indicated by turned-out pockets, is due to gambling.
Many risk-return choices are sometimes referred to colloquially as gambling.Whether this terminology is acceptable is a matter of debate:
Emotional or physical risk-taking, where the risk-return ratio is not quantifiable (e.g.,skydivingcampaigningfor political office, asking someone for a date, etc.)
Insuranceis a method of shifting risk from one party to another. Insurers use actuarial methods to calculate appropriate premiums, which is similar to calculating gambling odds. Insurers set their premiums to obtain a long term positive expected return in the same manner that professional gamblers select which bets to make. While insurance is sometimes distinguished from gambling by the requirement of aninsurable interest, the equivalent in gambling is simply betting against ones own best interests (e.g., a sports coach betting against his own team to mitigate the financial repercussions of a losing season).
Situations where the possible return is of secondary importance to the wager/purchase (e.g. entering arafflein support of acharitablecause)
Investmentsare also usually not considered gambling, although some investments can involve significant risk. Examples of investments includestocksbondsandreal estate. Starting a business can also be considered a form of investment. Investments are generally not considered gambling when they meet the following criteria:
Somespeculativeinvestment activities are particularly risky, but are sometimes perceived to be different from gambling:
Foreign currency exchange (forex) transactions
Securitiesderivatives, such asoptionsorfutures, where the value of the derivative is dependent on the value of the underlying asset at a specific point in time (typically the derivatives associated expiration date)
Studies show that though many people participate in gambling as a form ofrecreationor even as a means to gain an income, gambling, like any behavior that involves variation inbrain chemistry, can become a harmful,behavioral addiction. Behavioral addiction can occur with all the negative consequences in a persons life minus the physical issues faced by people who compulsively engage in drug and alcohol abuse.Reinforcementschedules may also make gamblers persist in gambling even after repeated losses.[medical citation needed]
The Russian writer and problem gamblerFyodor Dostoevskyportrays in his novellaThe Gamblerthe psychological implications of gambling and how gambling can affect gamblers. He also associates gambling and the idea ofgetting rich quick, suggesting that Russians may have a particular affinity for gambling. Dostoevsky shows the effect of betting money for the chance of gaining more in 19th-century Europe. The association between Russians and gambling has fed legends of the origins ofRussian roulette. There are many symptoms and reasons for gambling. Gamblers gamble more money to try and win back money that they have lost and some gamble to relieve feelings of helplessness and anxiety.
TheAdvertising Standards Authorityhas censured several betting firms for advertisements disguised as news articles suggesting falsely a person had cleared debts and paid for medical expenses by online gambling. The firms face possible fines.
Gamblers exhibit a number ofcognitiveandmotivationalbiases that distort the perceived odds of events and that influence their preferences for gambles. For example, gamblers exhibit a costly aversion to betting against their favorite team or political candidate.
. When gambles are selected through a choice process – when people indicate which gamble they prefer from a set of gambles (e.g., win/lose, over/under) – people tend to prefer to bet on the outcome that is more likely to occur. Bettors tend to prefer to bet on favorites in athletic competitions, and sometimes will accept even bets on favorites when offered more favorable bets on the less likely outcome (e.g., an underdog team).
Gamblers also exhibit optimism, overestimating the likelihood that desired events will occur. Fans of NFL underdog teams, for example, will prefer to bet on their teams at even odds than to bet on the favorite, whether the bet is $5 or $50.
Reluctance to bet against (hedge) desired outcomes.
People are reluctant to bet against desired outcomes that are relevant to their identity. Gamblers exhibit reluctance to bet against the success of their preferred U.S. presidential candidates and Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball, and NCAA hockey teams. More than 45% of NCAA fans in Studies 5 and 6, for instance, turned down a free real $5 bet against their team. From a psychological perspective, such ahedgecreates an interdependence dilemmaa motivational conflict between a short-term monetary gain and the long-term benefits accrued from feelings ofidentificationwith and loyalty to a position, person, or group whom the bettor desires to succeed. In economic terms, this conflicted decision can be modeled as a trade-off between the outcome utility gained by hedging (e.g., money) and thediagnostic costsit incurs (e.g., disloyalty). People makeinferencesabout their beliefs and identity from their behavior. If a person is uncertain about an aspect of her identity, such as the extent to which she values a candidate or team, hedging may signal to her that she is not as committed to that candidate or team as she originally believed. If the diagnostic cost of this self-signal and the resulting identity change are substantial, it may outweigh the outcome utility of hedging, and she may reject even very generous hedges.
Gamblers will prefer gambles with worse odds that are drawn from a large sample (e.g., drawing one red ball from an urn containing 89 red balls and 11 blue balls) to better odds that are drawn from a small sample (drawing one red ball from an urn containing 9 red balls and one blue ball).
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