Bets and Betting in the UK

Bets and betting are catching on. There is something basic in the appeal of getting something for nothing. Whether this "something" comes in the form of a pound coin, found in the gutter, or in the shape of a million pounds landed in the National Lottery. Granted there is a difference in scale. I mean, a smile as you straighten from picking up a pound coin comes in a different Universe compared to the heart stopping, mind blowing, life changing thrill of landing so much money you never need to work again. I suppose!

But I mention this thrill of  "something for nothing" because it is a significant part of why so many of us enjoy gambling. The pleasure never palls. Yet there is obviously more to it than that. I feel smart when I win. I have outsmarted the bookies. Their money is now my money because I was so shrewd. Success in accumulating money is satisfying. It is a demonstration that you have some superiority; it is good for the ego.

Betting sensibly, allowing for the fact that you can easily have a long run of losing bets, using facts and not emotion to make decisions about what to back. Sticking to a proven formula. These are essential characteristics of  someone who is going to succeed in this sphere.

In fact keeping emotion out of what is likely to arouse strong feelings is the single most important asset you can have for this activity.

Fortunately, gambling is abundantly available under British law. It is one of the decreasing areas where we are assumed to be capable of behaving as responsible adults. Like smoking and drinking. Why? Because the government pulls in vast amounts of tax on the one hand. And on the other, prohibition of relatively harmless pleasure leads to crime. Far better to tax it.

It will be interesting to see how much adjustment to tax levels becomes necessary as gambling moves off-shore via the internet. Or will they find ways of taxing internet activity?


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