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Exploring How The Term Professional Gambler Has Changed

Exploring How The Term Professional Gambler Has Changed

In 2017, I wrote a piece titled, The Truth About Being A Professional Gambler. You don’t have to go back and read it, but it will show you how I viewed the profession I adore back in 2017.

Things have changed, evolved.

It should be stated that for our purposes, we’re only going to be looking through this lens when it comes to sports betting.

According to experts in the field, there are six types of gamblers:

  1. Professional Gambler
  2. Antisocial or Personality Gambler
  3. Causal Social Gambler
  4. Serious Social Gambler
  5. Relief and Escape Gambler
  6. Compulsive Gambler

The survey goes on to say:

Let’s take a look at what our standard will be to be a true professional gambler.

Gambling is defined as:

    1. Play games of chance for money; bet
    2. Bet (a sum of money) on a game of a chance
    3. Take risky action in the hope of a desired result

Simple right? to be a true professional sports bettor/gambler, you have to check all three boxes. Moving on.

1. The True Professional Sports Bettor

At its core, being a professional gambler, specifically professional sports bettor, used to mean one thing: You make money by winning 52.4% of your bets or more over the long haul and that’s it.

To be honest, that’s not the case anymore. Now, as I said above, the old guard still do feel it’s immoral, wrong, shady, and whatever negative word you want to use when people speak about people in the pick selling industry, so let’s explore that area first.

2. Does Selling Picks Make You A Professional Sports Bettor/Gambler?

Well, as a stand-alone concept, no.

Without risking your own money, it’s impossible to professionally do any of the first two definitions. But that being said, can you professionally take risky action in the hope of a desired result?

Yes, yes you can. It doesn’t have to be limited to gambling or sports betting but you can apply that logic in any area of life or investments. If you leave your job to start your own business, in a way you’re making a professional gamble in the hope of a desired result.

The same can be applied to selling sports bet selections though when it is one part of being a professional sports bettor. You’re taking a risk action with the hope the selections win and people come back for your paid content. To be honest, there’s just levels to this game, and every sole prop business owner I know who classifies themselves as a professional gambler both makes their own bets and sells their picks to clients.

I’m not talking about the people who do not bet the selections given out and only employ that part, that’s not a professional sports bettor, that’s a professional sports betting advice giver, or sports betting consultant-if you want to dress it up.

That all being said, it’s just one way that the term professional gambler has changed to incorporate another revenue stream, which when done right I’m totally fine with, clearly; hell, I do it. Many people make the comparison to the stock market when it comes to sports betting, and there’s one golden rule on Wall Street, never use your own money. I don’t really agree with that in this case, but it’s an argument for the other side of people who want to make the comparison of stock brokers to sports betting picks providers.

Syndicates and groups: the real ones, do not make their plays available. It’s a business decision that over the course of the long haul, the information and line value is much more valuable than a short term nominal quick influx of cash to them, it just doesn’t make business sense. They’re professionally sports betting only.

3. Does Being A Professional Content Provider Make You A Professional Sports Bettor/Gambler?

Again, by itself, no.

Content (media) is defined as:

In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experiences that are directed towards an end user or audience. Content is something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any other various arts. Content can be delivered via different media including the internet, cinema, television, radio, smartphones, etc.

Not much in there about playing games of chance for money in there, but again, can you take risky action in the hope of a desired result by creating content? You bet.

Much like a picks provider, content is just the much more mainstream way to obtain this goal. Picks providers give out plays in the hopes they win and people come back and pay for their content, while sports betting content providers do the same thing with one big difference: who is footing the bill.

The only real true difference from a sports betting content provider is who is paying them. The most basic of ways to explain this is instead of having a customer pay them directly, they are paid via their network, website, podcast sponsor, affiliate deals, etc.

Yes, they are held to a higher standard because transparency is actually obtainable for them and they can provide comedy content more than just the business of winning because in truth, people at their core just want to be entertained.

You’re paying for cable, they’re just able to provide more value because your $100 cable bill also gives you access to them as well as any other entertainment you want, and they’re able to get paid by someone other than the customer. For many people, this is the ultimate end goal of professional sports betting: you’re being paid for your opinion on the subject and while your payment isn’t solely dictated on if you win or lose, people will tune in more when you do.

4. Does Investing In Sports Betting Accounts Ran By Professionals Make You A Professional Sports Bettor/Gambler?

This is pretty much the last revenue stream you can diversify your portfolio in when it comes to being a professional risk taker with the hope of a desired result.

It actually checks two of the three boxes of the true definition of a professional gambler, which is the closest we’ve come beside the true form, which is: bet (a sum of money) on a game of chance and take risky action in the hope of a desired result.

Remember when It talked about groups and syndicates and how there were levels to this game? They don’t make their information and selections available for mass purchase, but sometimes you can provide value to them in the form off local off-screen accounts so the markets can’t all see their moves and adjust instantly. If you’re able to do so, you can often invest with these groups and receive a stake in the account where your liability and winning is a percentage of net win/loss weekly or obtain what’s known as a free roll, taking a small percentage of their wins with no liability.

This ones also up for debate though, as the specific wording is going to trip some people up on their opinion, because it’s not actually you who are placing the bet, setting the amount, etc. This is what I’d call being a professional sports investor in others, but its yet another way to diversify your income stream. This also has the added bonus of not making money from other bettors and maintaining the “honor” that you only take money from sports books. Okay Robin Hood, relax.

The End Result

If you’re one of those people who believe a true professional sports bettor only receives money from bookmakers and anything else is immoral, I’d ask you to really take a true look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’ve ever received monetary compensation for any of the above listed items or jobs. If you got paid for a content appearance, paid for your bet picks, you name it; you’ve stepped outside what being a “true professional gambler” means. Again, I incorporate all of them, so I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone. The goal of this piece was to explain how the definition has changed and to make you aware to keep changing with the times while keeping your values the same.

Go here to learn more about online betting in the USA.

A jack of all trades, Christian got his start in the gambling industry using a model to predict players performance in daily fantasy sports. Eventually, he used that same model to cross over into NFL handicapping, specifically the prop market and honed his craft enough to cross over from player projections into every aspect of sports Handicapping. He then made the full time move to Las Vegas to become a professional sports handicapper, utilizing his knowledge of all sports including NFL, NCAA, NBA, UFC, and MLB. He's currently the resident #DFS expert on The Sports Gambling Podcast as well as managing editor.

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