AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT blog: Life’s A Gamble

I saw a clip on Twitter recently of some pompous self-important chap, having his say.

I must add that was just my first impressions of him, but that was even before I heard what he was saying. He was answering a question as to why the National Lottery wasn’t included in the gambling bill by saying it raises money for good causes.

I have to admit, I can sometimes be judgmental, see the opening paragraph, I’m sure the chap in question is very nice really. Several of those judgemental moments, though only in my head, has been watching someone in front of me in a queue.

A purchase of ten scratch cards, and two packs of 20 Benson and Hedges wouldn’t be on the top of my list if I was unemployed. I have to stop myself though, who am I to judge, they may be a scratch away from a life-changing win and the cigarettes might be their only vice. Well apart from the scratch cards, but they all in a good cause and think of the tax on those gaspers.

I don’t know why the puritanical are so keen to save us all from gambling. Isn’t our entire life a gamble? We overcame some colossal odds just to be here. Every decision we make in life is a gamble of sorts. Little bets every day that sometimes pay off and sometimes don’t. Are those shoes going to be worth the money you just splashed out for them? Is that film you just paid to watch going to be any good? You know the sort of stuff, life.

I used to love earwigging the big bets going on the rails even though I rarely bet more than a tenner. Who doesn’t like to hear of people winning big.

I’m still a voyeur when it comes to big speculators, I’m a member of a Facebook group where people will pay £3000 or more for a rare 1950s rockabilly vinyl record.

The gamble there is will anyone still be interested in rockabilly when he comes to sell it, or will his wife find out. The latter is probably more important to him, not the money, mind you, nobody apart from the wife is going to ask where he got the readies from. And besides, he might not care about the cost, it’s his passion and perfectly within his rights to indulge in it, you only life one after all.

Back to everyday gambling, a building firm buys a plot of land and builds houses on it in the hope that people will buy them all so they can clear a profit. A landlord buys in his real ale hoping it’ll be bought by drinkers before it’s vinegar, it’s all a gamble, everything.

I’m a small staking punter, but I bet every day, in tenners and in scores, but it all adds up. I took that into consideration when I took the leap of faith, you see gambling is even biblical, into the world of the self-employed. One of the benefits I jettisoned was private healthcare insurance.

To pay for a policy of my own, I had to fill in all your details then someone, OK an algorithm, worked out the chances of us claiming and gave me the price. At first, I baulked at the approximately £80 fee to cover my family, but when I took into consideration that I probably bet that much most days it was a no-brainer and took the bet. A bet that as far as I was concerned was money tossed away each month and hoped it would stay that way.

Sadly, for the risk assessor, but luckily and unluckily in equal measure for me, I’ve copped on mine. The bets I placed insuring my health will be dwarfed by what it’s going to cost my insurer to pay up. It’s like that always dreamed about Saturday Yankee which included the winner of the three big handicaps of the day. It’s OK though, there will be plenty of winning losers out there that never draw on theirs to pay for it and some, as long as the odds compilers have done their sums right. I’ve never been happier to see people do their money.

Mind you, now I’ve copped, I’m guessing that when I trying to pay on again in November, I might find that my account has been restricted somewhat.

I’ll no longer be such a good bet, at least at the price, but if I do pull it up I’m doubting anyone will ask if I can afford it.


Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.

Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
available on Kindle 



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