However silly it may sound, a professional gambler is not a fictional occupation. Quite the contrary, it is fairly legitimate, as well as profitable. But one question may pop up — are you meant to be one?
Professional gambling might sound like a dream job, particularly if you are fond of betting and like to earn some extra cash besides your regular job. Even though gambling has long been stigmatized and perceived as a hobby for seizing cash, it’s not the case anymore. What’s more, the rise of internet gambling and the absence of taxes on winnings enabled gamblers to make a lucrative career out of their passion.
It is an interesting observation that, in the U.K, residents of London districts and urban cities in the north have gambled more than four times compared to those living in prosperous areas in the south. Even though the gamblers from the north have shown a great unemployment level, this is not the sole reason why the British gamble. The majority of them gambles both to win some money and for fun. Myriads of available online casinos allow them to play and enjoy from the coziness of their own home.
The Gambling Commission interviewed 4,000 gamblers, only to discover that Bingo and lottery are among the preferred games regardless of the age. It also found out that those who gambled every week usually chose the following:
- Online casino games,
- Online Bingo,
- Virtual dog and horse races,
- Virtual gambling machines,
- Online spread betting.
Even if it’s possible to earn some cash, gambling, especially professional, is not simple at all. It requires excellent skills, knowledge, and a little luck to outperform your opponents.
Who Is a Professional Gambler?
Experts have classified gamblers into six categories of gamblers:
- casual social,
- antisocial or personality,
- relief and escape,
- serious social, and
- compulsive gambler.
As opposed to others from the group, professional gamblers consider their hobby as a profession. Thus, they take it quite vigorously. They pre-plan what they are going to play, have an exact strategy for playing, and are disciplined about the time and cash they spend playing. They never exceed their limits and take premeditated risks.
It is essential to mention that they are not addicted, although they might become compulsive if they consider gambling the most important part of their life. Eventually, to be a pro, you need to take gambling as an actual job, not fun.
Why Be a Pro?
Gambling profession might seem attractive to those who wish to be wildly wealthy. However, just like everything else in life, professional gambling has its own for and against.
Firstly, professional gambling is an excellent alternative for people who want to arrange their own schedule. Thus, it leaves enough time for hobbies, unlike ordinary jobs. Secondly, it is not necessary to pay taxes on bets and winnings in Great Britain. Most importantly, there are neither bosses nor supervisors — you have as much freedom as you need.
However, gambling may turn out to be a severe hazard for your financial and private life. It seems entertaining at first, but you may wind up squandering everything: cash, house, and family. Everything is fine as long as gamblers manage to control their gambling. The problems begin the very moment when gambling takes over the control.
Thus, if you want to be a professional gambler, you definitely should set rigorous limits regarding your work pace. It will be of great help to establish a reasonable work-life balance.
Job requirements of a pro gambler are directly affected by what they choose to play. Those who bet on sports, for instance, need to watch myriads of games and study statistics. Those who select horse races must watch racing tournaments and competitions, even go on several journeys. They also need to study the sport in order to eventually invent their own betting formula.
The most significant advantage of professional gambling is that you don’t have fixed working hours. Similarly to freelancers, your yourself decide when to start working and how much time to spend.
What only matters here is where you are gambling, in a land-based or at an online casino. Online casinos give you complete freedom — you can play whenever you want (or when card games sessions are vacant). Land-based casinos, however, force you to visit them in the dead of the night.
Just like a freelancer, you won’t have a permanent salary as a professional gambler. This does not mean that you won’t be making a considerable amount of money. It only means that your salary is affected by the frequency and amount of your gambling, your skills, and your stakes.
Professional gambler Brad Byers explains that the salary is influenced by how frequently you manage to win. It is recommended to have additional sources of cash, as living solely on gambling may be harsh sometimes. Namely, there is no any kind of guarantee for how much you will earn per month. Professional gambling implies accepting financial instability.
As Byers explains, to prevent losing funds, you have to win at least 52.4% of your bets. To make a living out of betting, you must win approximately 55%.
Skills and Education
Even though it might seem unbelievable, it is possible to obtain a diploma in gambling. Some U.K. universities, such as Salford University, provide gambling classes on a course related to Business, Economics, and Finance. Even actor Michael Caine has obtained a diploma in gambling. As he has explained, he approaches gambling from a scholarly standpoint.
The greatest part of the course includes business economics. However, it also includes classes on gambling sociology and psychology, as well as its impact on society. Besides, it explains how the government regulates the gambling industry.
The gambling industry entirely supports the Salford program, as its aim is to highly educate casino employees, involving inspectors and managers. Gambling, as a segment of the economy course, explains “the art of betting” to students in terms of luck and probability. The course provides seven sessions that last for 3 days, lectures on gambling history and business advancement, marketing and competition, business strategy, etc.
Courses on the specific card and table games (Roulette, Blackjack) are also available. It is obvious that gambling is getting more popular in terms of education. Students who want to find out more about gambling and casinos may do so via gambling academy established at Blackpool and The Fylde College.
Just like any other job, professional gambling demands specific skills and qualities. The most significant ones are cash management and detailed bookkeeping. Those who desire to become pros should acquire the following skills:
- Powerful research skills,
- Concentration skills,
- Analytical/problem-solving skills,
- Good time management skills,
- Stress management skills,
- Emotional control,
- Excellent memory,
- Being at ease with hard times.
As with any other occupation, you have the opportunity to proceed with professional advancement while keeping your gambling practices. If you join the Society for the Study of Gambling, you may access the material related to the occupation. Besides, the Society holds gambling meetings according to the Chatham House Rule twice a year. During those meetings, gamblers have the opportunity to discuss various topics concerning regulation, study and statistics, social duty, and responsibility, as well as other elements of gambling.
If you love betting and spending time in casinos, you might consider becoming a professional gambler. But, in case you decide to pursue this profession, it is crucial to limit your gambling and keep it under control.