Gambling and Speculation argues for a long-historical approach to this controversial subject, not only for a deeper understanding of the recent “gambling craze,” but as a fundamental inquiry into human nature and society. It will prove a valuable resource for those who want to know the history of gambling and understand its impact on human society.
Gambling and speculation involve staking money or material goods in hopes of a favorable future valuation. In some cases, speculation also involves staking a newly purchased contract or asset in hopes of a higher future valuation. Both gambling and speculation require a certain level of skill and knowledge, and a propensity for high levels of financial risk.
While most forms of investment are held for years or months, gambling is done in seconds, minutes, and even days. There are even some forms of gambling where the outcomes are known immediately, such as betting on championships. The risk is higher, but the potential rewards are greater. However, it is possible to reduce the amount of risk associated with gambling and investing by educating oneself about the different forms of investing and gambling.
Although gambling and speculation have much in common, they do not overlap completely. Some of their features are similar, and the overlap between them is important, as they both involve placing money at risk. Both are also similar to investing, but their timeframes, risks, and types of assets differ. Nevertheless, these two forms of speculation can be considered behavioral addictions.
The financial industry has long argued against the inclusion of gambling in the realm of financial transactions. They feel that it undermines the integrity of the financial markets. Yet, the majority of FCA-regulated activities do involve gambling. Despite its reputation, speculation should be limited to a small part of an investor’s portfolio.
Gambling and speculation are two different forms of investing, but both involve taking risks and transferring existing risks. For example, in a cash-for-General Electric trade, A transfers the risk of owning cash to D assumes the risk of owning General Electric. The transaction may be profitable for both parties. Gambling and speculation are considered to be risky, and the risk of loss is higher in the latter case.
Gambling has no sound economic justification. By definition, gambling involves risk and contingent liability, and its odds of winning are always worse than the odds of losing. The house has the advantage, and the probability of losing more money than you invest is far greater than the odds of winning. As such, gambling is not a viable option for everyone.
Day traders are heavily involved in traditional gambling, and their health profile is distinct from non-day traders. These people are more likely to engage in skill-based gambling, have higher incomes, and are married. They are also more likely to report having problem gambling, but they are less likely to be overweight and non-smokers than non-day traders.