Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.7 / Vital / Supplemental (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
B checklist
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the importance scale.
Additional information:
Note icon
This article is within of subsequent release version of Everyday life.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.7 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.
Taskforce icon
This article is a vital article.
Taskforce icon
This article is one of the supplemental core articles, which every encyclopedia should have.

Horse Racing Content[edit]

I think the info here on horse racing could use some expansion. I'm trying to learn about it but I have several questions:

  • What is the "morning line"?
  • How do you find out odds of place and show bets?
  • Let's say I place a bet the day before the race. Are the payouts according to the odds I'm given then or the odds just before the race?
  • Roughly, how are exacta and other bet payouts calculated?
  • From what I've seen I think the standard way to report results is to base it on a $2 bet. Is this true? E.g. the published payout from today's Preakness for an exacta is $85.80, but it doesn't say how much you would have had to bet to win that.
  • What is "boxing" of a bet?

It seems like maybe horse racing should have its own article. --Duozmo 23:50, 20 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Page protection[edit]

I'm wondering whether this page needs some temporary protection. The same edit is coming through from a range of IPs quite regularly ... --VampWillow 22:57, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

There seem to be a few of us watching it. My bet (if you'll pardon the expression) is that the vandals will quit soon. Let's see if we can outlast them. JamesMLane 00:44, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
It is also possible to add that spammer URL to the bad URL list, thus then the article cannot be saved anymore if it contains that URL. But IIRC that needs some developer action, a "normal" admin doesn't have the power to do so. And anyway, I have added this article to my watchlist as well, so we can be sure to revert it quickly anyway. andy 07:46, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I don't think this article should be listed under category:Crime and category:Organized crime. It is legal in a large amount of areas, and though gambling has a history of being involved with crime, it is more of a recreation.Scottbeck 16:27, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree. There is nothing fundamentally related about gambling and crime, and especially organized crime. It's like linking organized crime for a "sex" page -- sure sometimes crime is involved but that is just a coincidence.

fixed-odds gambling from mathematical and psychological standpoint[edit]

I am not sure if this belongs here, because the source is my observation and guessing (so it would classify as original research), so I write it here. What bookmakers call "odds" is often not the same as mathematical odds in probability theory, because sum of the "probabilites" (corresponding to bookmakers' odds) of all possible outcomes is often not 1. In fact, it's always greater than 1, which means that the odds are rigged against the player who bets and favor the bookmaker. Furthermore, by dropping this restriction on odds, bookmaker can take his uncertainty into account, creating odds which are always rigged in his favor. So, in fact, to beat the bookmaker, it is not enough to know the probabilities of event better than him (as long as he knows his uncertainty well enough). However, that's not how fixed-odds betting is usually perceived in public; I believe, it is advertised to be precisely opposite, that if you would have better guess than bookmaker, you could profit. But it can be made so you cannot beat it, if bookmaker wishes (and I believe, if he can, he does). If anyone wants to discuss these things further, you are invited to leave a message on my talk page. Samohyl Jan 00:31, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Roulette prediction[edit]

The gambling page seems to be pretty strong in its opinion that roulette is not a beatable game. Yet the roulette page mentions the "Eudaemonic Pie" book about a group of people who proved it is not so. It is easy to show that a slightly tilted wheel (I have found that about 0.02 radians of tilt is common) will only ever allow the ball to fall off at a certain part of the bowl. Most people don't notice this, because this doesn't result in a certain number or group of numbers being more or less common. However, it is possible to predict, without a computer, what area of the wheel the ball will fall off at, and make a bet on a single number at the last second or two, realising a substantial advantage. I know; I've done the maths and tried it out (all this was several years ago). I eventually gave up because I found I didn't have the discipline to gather the data necessary (you basically need to know where the high point is), and there is a trivial casino counter measure (call no more bets early, and/or balance wheels more often).

Given the fact that the Eudaemonic Pie / Newtonian Casino book has demonstrated the basic idea, and the book is well known, wouldn't it be correct under the neutral point of view principle to put roulette under the "beatable games" category with a rider such as "with physical prediction"? I don't intend on giving great details, just the fact that some sort of prediction based on the tilt of a wheel is possible. Or is that sort of thing just too controvercial for the Wikipedia?

--Mike Van Emmerik 13:27, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't think there is anything to say here. If a wheel is flawed, of course the game can be beatable, but we aren't talking about cheating (intentional flaws) or bad construction (non-intentional. Roulette is mathematically unbeatable if the wheel is fair. We shouldn't go beyong that, because the next logical thing would be that slot machines are beatable if they are broken. 2005 19:41, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)
This is not true. Roulette is the only casino game where you can place a bet after the game is in motion. Betting Roulette is like betting on a horse race after the git-go. This makes it mathematically beatable. And this is not related to biased wheels; which are also beatable but no longer commonly biased enough in large casinos to be beatable without the aid of a computer. Objective3000 14:17, 15 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Instead of asserting it, bring a reliable source to the discussion. Asserting roulette is beatable because you can bet when the ball is in motion is not encyclopedic so it won't be added to articles. 2005 14:23, 15 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First, I am responding to an 'assertion' that it is not 'mathematically beatable.' Where is the reference for that assertion?:-) What I am saying is that it clearly would not be mathematically beatable if you could not bet after the game was in motion. It is obvious to any mathematician that it is mathematically beatable if you can bet after the physics is put in motion. And computers have been used in this manner. See Thorp. Now the question is can it be beaten without a computer using the same techniques? For an answer, see Professional Roulette Prediction by Laurance Scott. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Objective3000 (talkcontribs) 14:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, a tilted wheel isn't exactly flawed, just not installed correctly. I don't agree that it's anything close to broken slot machines. However, I do think now that anything said about this should be quite short. Perhaps I can dig up some information about the various Huxley wheels (Huxley is a major roulette wheel manufacturer), and how the various new versions of the wheel were supposedly designed to prevent various kinds of physical prediction. With some reference to back me up, perhaps a few short paragraphs would be appropriate. --Mike Van Emmerik 00:48, 1 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not installed correctly is the same thing as broken. But in any case, if you are talking paragraphs, that should be in a roulette article. At most one sentence should go here. 2005 05:27, May 1, 2005 (UTC) even a perfect wheel can be predicted with appropriate equipment (the classic shoe computer of the Eudaemons, for example). If this is encyclopedic knowledge, it belongs in a separate Roulette section, as noted above. I'm now of the opinion that this is just too controvercial and off topic to put in Wikipedia, though I initially thought it might be.

Gambling is fun.

What a joke. A legitimate method of Roulette advantage was just replaced by a method that hardly exists in modern casinos. And over on the dice control page another reference to a bad source that pushes scam systems was added. There appears to be no interest in accuracy in the gambling related articles. The references used and 'research' used are simply from terrible sources. 'Popular' writers regurgitating obsolete, since disproved or improved work by others are considered gospel even though they are laughed at by the people in the business. Frankly, based on what I have seen here; I have come to doubt all of WP. Objective3000 14:39, 1 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So fix it and include a reliable source. Rray 16:20, 1 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So it can be reversed by someone that believes bad sources? I have already been told by one of the editors that he believes in a source that is considered a joke. What's the point? I'm done trying to make changes. Objective3000 17:29, 1 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It has happened before. Newmann, a developer of card counting, used a computer to beat roulette, but computers would be banned in casinos. Much earlier, Jagger used a fault in a roulette wheel, like he was talking about, to win large amounts of money, but now the roulette wheels are changed from table to table regularly to stop it from working. Casinos are designed to make a profit, and want to stop tricks like that from working. (talk) 06:21, 26 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article could use a discussion of differing views on the morality of gambling. -- Temtem 22:14, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

  • Gambling is an evil. Fullstop. The only thing that I ever put on a horse, is myself once a week at a riding center. Anthony Appleyard 05:24, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Is this a quotation or a personal observation? -- 00:51, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • I believe it is a personal observation and a personal held belief. To each his own BetusSportsbook
      • And to each his section in this article, that's my vote. Various viewpoints should be investigated and represented. For example, I grew up hearing that the "christian" point of view was that gambling was wrong, yet I have yet to see a single verse that supports it. If there are any, they ought to be quoted. If not, that should be pointed out, and thus the view noted as more of a cultural thing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
        • Gambling is an addiction that is similar to a drug addiction. Most people can't get enough of it and it eventually consumes their life. Gambling is not worth it because most of the time you lose, and if you dont lose, it influences people to gamble again until they have lost what they won. So many people look forward to going to these gambling casinos like in Las Vegas that they don't realize what the addiction has done to them. 20:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)Tara G.Reply[reply]
          • Please note that this page is for discussion of an encyclopedia article about gambling and how it can be improved. It's not a place for you to grind an axe about how evil gambling is. It's also not a place to debate whether or not gambling is good or bad. Rray 21:20, 13 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • I've never been able to find a place where, in the canonical Bible, it actually bans or advises against gambling. It would be nice if we could get a quote, if one exists.. and in the absence of one, a quote from religious 'authorities' who claim it's still bad anyway in the absence of an outright ban. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should we have a section on what different religions say about gambling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by XX EOIN XX (talkcontribs) 11:17, 26 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • In the Mahabharath epic, King Yudhistra and his brothers not only lost their kingdom but also the honour of their wife Draupadhi and were exiled for 13 years, with possible extension on being discovered in the last year as according to the terms of the game. Gambling is wrong because it produces no new wealth and redistributes hard-earned wealth to unproductive but clever people due to a weakness of habit of the players. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:28, 2 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dice control[edit]

Why is dice control not debatable? (I'm not being argumentative; I genuinely don't know and would like to be educated.) Flat Earth Society is "not debatable" because for every bozo astronomer who claims it to be so, I could point to literally 100 different sources of real astronomers who contradict. Is the same statement true for dice control? Has the physics community truly spoken as one that it isn't possible? If so, then reference to that fact should be in the craps and dice control article. But if not . . . then why is not debatable? (Again, not making any particular argument for it myself. I don't play craps and admit I truly wouldn't know, one way or another.) Mwelch 07:02, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Articles can mention crackpot theories, but we certainly should not lend credibility to anything that hasn't demonstrated any concrete evidence at all. It's not up to the physics community to "not prove" something. Craps is mathematically unbeatable. Anecdotes from scamsters doesn't change that. Absent the slightest proof, anti-mathematical assertions are not something to waste time on. The day someone has some evidence, a debate could begin. 2005 07:50, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, then perhaps I'm not understanding the issue well enough. (And again, that's entirely possible because I don't play craps.) Certainly, there is no argument (I don't think) that craps is mathematically unbeatable if all six sides of each die truly have an equal chance of coming up. But, if I'm not mistaken, is not the whole theory behind dice control that you can throw the dice in such away that all six sides do NOT have an equal chance of coming up? In other words, it is supposedly a way to achieve the same type of effect as loaded dice, but just by setting combined with shooting technique, rather than by actually altering the dice themselves? Is that not the gist of it?
Craps certainly IS mathematically beatable if one operates with loaded dice. So IF it is possible to shoot them in such a way as to consistently achieve that same effect, then it's mathematically beatable in that way tpo. So the question then would be: is it really possible to shoot them a way that would achieve that effect? And that is indeed a question of physics.
So if there are books out there that purport to answer that question in the affirmative *through* the application of physics (which apparently there are), and if there are not other physics references that contradict that assertion (this is where the Flat Earth Society analogy fails to apply, I believe) . . . well then I don't see why there's no cause to debate.
Please note that I completely agree with you that no credence should be given to people who are obviously and demonstrably scamsters. And if that's the case with those who advocate dice control, then certainly no credibility should be given there. But if that is indeed the case, then again I think the references that support applying that "scamster" classification to them should be added to the articles about those theories.
Right nos, it seems to be just a matter of they say, "yes, you can" and you say, "no, you can't". Perhaps you're right, but if so, there should be some references that support that which we can add in to the craps and dice control articles, should there not? Mwelch 09:53, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you want to cite a credible source about anything for any entry, then do so. There are no credible sources regarding dice control making craps beatable, so I don't know why you are wondering about this. If you know of a till-now secret MIT study proving the scamster claims, please cite it and there would be something to talk about. 2005 10:06, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
8-( I really don't think there's any need for sarcasm like that. I wondering about it simply because I don't know of any credible sources on it either way — neither giving it credence, nor debunking it. Perhaps there are a lot of references out there that effectively debunk it. I'm just asking (and not necessarily by you specifcally, but by anyone who is reading this and has such knowledge) to be educated as to what those sources are. What is so very puzzling about that? If I don't ask questions, how am I supposed to learn?
You've said that it's not up to physics to disprove dice control theory. But if the theory is not scientifically counter-intuitive and one wants to declare the theory as definitely false, then yes, the burden actually would be on physics to disprove it, before making such an absolute declaration. So is dice control theory scientifically counter-intuitive, and if not, has it been disproven with physics? I don't know.
1) It's certainly not scientifally counter-intuitive at a mathematical level. The pure mathematics of the game say that if you can get the dice outcome to be more predictable than random distribution, then the game is beatable. Really no two ways about that.
2) So is it scientifically counter-intuitive that such predictability could be achieved at a theoretical physics level? If you had a "perfect" shooting machine — one that could impart, time after time, with perfect precision, the exact same force upon the dice on every single throw, same dice set, same release point, same rotation, same angle of release, same speed of release, same distance between the two dice upon release, everything that, in the real world, is legally under the control of the human shooter -- then under that scenario is it scientifically counter-intuitive that you'd get some level of predictability in your results that would exceed random distribution? The only physical forces that couldn't be reliably replicated would be the air currents in the room that flow over the dice while their thrown and any changes in the surface friction, angle and rigidity of the table and of the back wall. Would the slight variations in those from throw-to-throw be enough to deny one some decent level of predicatability beyond random distributions? I'll freely admit that I don't remember my college physics well enough to be able to answer that definitively. Intuitively, I'd be inclined to think "no". That the results would be, while not 100% predictable, still more predictable than random distribution. And that therefore, under point #1, the game would in fact beatable in the thought experiment world.
3) If I'm right about that (and again, I'm freely admitting that I may not be; that's where I'm looking for a reference that would set me straight), then the final question would then be: can a human shooter in real world conditions re-create the repetition of primary forces created by the perfect machine in the thought experiment world? Certainly not. So they certainly aren't going to get the same predictability that we had in #2. BUT . . . is it really so counter-intuitive to theorize that certain humans, with good coordination, good concentration, and who have put in many, many hours of practice, could get close enough to being able to consistently repeat all of those forces that they could achieve at least a little bit more predictability than random distribution (because really, a little bit is all that would be needed to turn the math and make the game beatable)? And naturally, if I couldn't answer the question at the end #2 effectively, I definitely can't answer this one. 8-) So again, that's where I'm looking for anyone reading this to point the way to something solid which answesr it. That's really all I'm getting at.
And the reason is that because if there is no intuitive answer to the question, AND there is no non-biased scientific study on it (that I know of--again, if there is one, please do enlighten me; I genuinely welcome that) either way, then it just seems a little inappropriate to declare the theory as absolutely true OR to declare it as absolutely false. In that case, it would seem perhaps more appropriate to acknowledge the theory's existence and state that there is no current scientific evidence either supporting or refuting it.
On the other hand, if there is in fact a study that refutes, or even absent an actual study, just a basic flaw in the purported physics of it (e.g. the air flow changes really do have a greater effect than I might expect, or something like that) that someone can quickly point out, then that fact, I think, would make a good addition to the article on the theory itself.
Does that not seem reasonable? Mwelch 23:37, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The source for the claims on dice control that I included is, while the source for beating slot machines is "Robbing the One-Armed Bandits (2nd Edition): An Encyclopedic Guide to Finding and Exploiting Advantageous Slot Machines (Paperback) by Charles W. Lund, 2000 ISDN #0910575134. The references in the main article seem pretty streamlined so I'm not sure if the referenced should go there or here. Toonces 16:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I found Darwin Ortiz' book Gambling Scams: How They Work, How to Detect Them, How to Protect Yourself[[11]] quite informative on all forms of gambling cheats, prop bets, and con games. On pp.140-142 he specifically discusses dice control in private games, and at least renders it plausible. Unfortunately, I don't have access to my copy of the text, as I left it in the U.S., and I currently reside in Korea. I'd note that, from what I recall, he examines methods used by dice cheats in private games, not casino cheats, and the casino setup is expressly designed to foil attempts at dice control (whether out of genuine need, or simple overprecaution can be debated). It should also be noted that Ortiz is not personally a dice cheat, so he is mainly giving annecdotal evidence, which has cheats as its source, and may not be as reliable as his extensive knowledge of card cheats. But in any event, he describes specific techniques and alleges their effectiveness.
I can only now report vague notions based on what I read years ago, but there exists plausible theory. It should be noted that, if a player in a private game can "freeze" one die so that it is statistically more probable to come up on the number he wants than pure randomness, this amounts to a significant edge. Simply using the top die to freeze the bottom die as they strike the backdrop and fall together can increase the likelihood that the bottom die will fall as desired, without tumbling, but giving the impression of a fair throw (especially as, the times he fumbles his freeze, the toss really will tumble randomly). If it was possible to toss the dice so that the bottom die "freezes" a five 1/3 of the time, meaning the five comes up say 1/3 times on that die, instead of 1/6, this would significantly alter the chances of winning. I expand upon this possibility with some non-wiki-permissible Original Research below:
When rolling randomly, the shooter rolls a natural 7 or 11 on the come out 22.2% of the time. If he can freeze a 5 on the bottom die 1/3 of the time, then he rolls a natural 24.4% of the time. Similarly, a random roll craps out 11.1% of the time, but freezing a 5 on the bottom die 1/3 of the time reduces the chances of crapping out to 8.9% There's a very slight offset in the fact that the shooter is more likely to get a point of ten on the comeout, and less likely to get a point of five which is more favorable, but still this converts -1.4% disadvantage to the shooter, to an approximately 3% advantage to the shooter... and the shooter can presumably choose to freeze one die (with the same odds of success) to the most advantageous number when rolling his point.
A cheat would not have to be even this accurate to get an advantage in the game. But, if he was able to freeze a die even more reliably, and reserve his freeze attempts for only "important" rolls, such as when he has an unusually high amount of money at stake, he could make an edge and conceal his actions. Keep in mind, as this is the kind of play a crooked player might incorporate into other shady actions, a dice cheat in a private game might try to freeze a die while rolling to help an undisclosed accomplice who has placed a side bet against some mark... anyway, you see where this all leads. It's not a "sure thing," and presumably faces some risk (but less than shaved or loaded dice which can be proven if revealed), but it adds up to a significant edge for a professional gambling cheat.
I can't establish verifiably that such cheating is possible, and I would presume that even if it were possible, the very few dice controllers who are successful would be in a small minority among the wanna-be sharps who don't really have the skills. It's also possible that dice control could work in a private game setting while not being practical in a casino. At least it's presumably a lot harder in such a setting, if not impossible. Someone would have to do some serious further research to find verifiable sources on something like this. But at least in the context of talk pages, it's fairly debatable, though it will probably never lead to a reliable article.zadignose 18:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Types of Games[edit]

Should we separate multi-player games? Poker is beatable, but it isn't really a casino game in that you are not playing the house. It's a multiplayer game, like bingo or backgammon -- FeldBum 16:23, 26 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's a casino game in the sense that it is offered in a casino. I don't think the Wikipedia has a definition of "casino games" as "games played against the house". That's not to say we couldn't define them that way, but it would require a lot of subtle changes on lots of articles. POker is clearly a beatable game played in casinos so I'd say leaving it how it is makes sense to me. 2005 20:18, 26 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why is the table of contents on the right?[edit]

Oh I think I see, it's because the intro is so long. OK I will rephrase, "Why is the intro so long?". That I don't see. It seems to me (an innocent bystander) that the intro should stop in the 4th line at "... Material goods" and the rest should be in a new first section.I hope you dont object to this comment but, trust me, this article looks a mess when you stumble across it as I haveAbtract 22:24, 28 May 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I see you (2005 reverted my more elegant and therefore more user friendly layout. Could you explain why? Abtract 20:58, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please don't mess up the page again. Its not funny. Leave the user friendly layout alone plaese. 2005 21:07, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you please explain why my suggested layout is not better? Abtract 21:16, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aside from adding useless whitespace and mucking up a user-friendly and much more attractive design. C'mon. And just a suggestion, its nice for you to start contributing to the encyclopedia, but making random changes to the high profile, especially when they aren't user friendly, is not a good idea from a cooperation standpoint. Make use of talk pages, and then state YOUR case for changing what a dozen editors have contributed to. The burden is on you to justify changes, not the other way around. 2005 22:40, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I thought I had. The way it is right now looks peculiar and the eye is not led to the contents list. When I first looked at this article I thought my laptop was playing up and had somehow merged two parts of the article and sort of jammed the contents in on the right. All this because the intro is far too long. It surely is no accident that almost all articles have the contents on the left following a relatively short intro. I fully realise that this is entirely my opinion but I did give 2 days for a response to my statement that the article looks a mess as it now is. If I think this then maybe other visitors to the article feel the same. Would it not be a good idea to let me make the change and ask (here?) views from others who watch this article? Or do you own the article? Abtract 22:56, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that Abtract's proposed change adds a lot of useless whitespace to the article, and it's much better with its current format. Lots of websites and web-pages use a right-justified menu of text links, so I don't think it looks peculiar or is user-unfriendly in any way. Rray 00:47, 31 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Leave it alone please. Saying it looks a mess to you was not helpful. It looks much better the way it is, and you haven't made an argument why adding unfreindly whitespace makes any sense, so perhaps we can move on. 2005 01:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK OK I don't want to argue interminably. I am intrigued to know which other wiki articles have the contents on the right alongside a long intro in this fashion. If either of you could suggest a couple of good examples I would be interested to view them. Once I become convinced, I will naturally become a proponent of this method of eliminating whitespace from wiki and edit contents to the right wherever I can. Thanks, I presume you are both active in some sort of project to eliminate useless whitespace, maybe I could join you?Abtract 07:57, 31 May 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I think there are two problems here: One is that moving the table of contents to the right is highly irregular. Almost all articles on Wikipedia place the TOC to the left. Second, the table of contents is too long. This indicates that some sections might be merged, or that excess information might be moved to daughter articles. I don't particularly like either Abstract's version or the current one. Is there not some template to make the TOC left justify and have the introductory text flow directly to the right of it? — Amcaja 02:41, 1 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just change the word inside the tage from TOCright to TOCleft, and see what you think. 2005 06:31, 1 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, okay. Yeah, that worked. It doesn't look much better. It would be better if there were a way to move the TOC down a paragraph or two but keep it left. But I still think the real problem is that the TOC is too long; in other words, sections should be joined or moved to daughter articles. But I guess it's not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things. Should someone decide to make a featured article candidacy with this article eventually, it will likely have to be changed, but until then . . . . — Amcaja 11:53, 1 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've tried to spruce the article up a bit with some images from Commons. There are others there, so feel free to mix and match. This also allows us to move the TOC to the left again. Hopefully all will be satisfied with this look. — Amcaja 18:12, 1 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there a way to get rid of all the extra white space that's been inserted between the heading of "Unbeatable Casino Games" and the list of games? I'm not really super-familiar with formatting issues at the Wikipedia yet, but it's one of the first things I noticed on my screen.Rray 19:08, 1 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I made some changes to remove whitespace. You can move photos that are set to the right immediately after a left entry. In other words, you don't have to start photos at the top of a section. 2005 22:49, 1 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


i seriously doubt that the social consequences of gambling are 'percieved'. You would be hard pressed to find any argument in favour of the social BENEFITS of arbitrary redistribution of wealth which are outweighed by the consequences regardless of how minor you may believe them to be.

I am inclined to agree that the wording as is indicates that the social costs are merely perceived and therefore not real; there will be a better form of words if we think on it. Abtract 06:52, 22 June 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]
I've had a go at improving it. Abtract 06:59, 22 June 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]
The existing language is fine. A weasel word like "can" adds nothing but a shot of pov, and also what is "uncontrolled gambling" supposed to mean? 2005 23:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is very clear that gambling is addictive to some people and that it can bring social harm (to families, friends, business partners etc). This is particularly so when it is not controlled (or uncontrolled)by the individual or by the state. This is not a POV it is fact as surely you accept.Using the word perceived on the other hand implies that these social costs are imagined by some people rather than being real - this is s POV that flies in the face of the facts. My edit (sparked off by the tag someone else put on that you removed peremptorily) attempts to address the facts and to correct a slight imbalance in the way it was previously worded. Please consider this carefully and build on my edit (which is no doubt not perfect) rather than simply reverting it. Abtract 06:36, 23 June 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]
It is very clear that gambling is not addictive to some people, so that comment says nothing. The addictiveness of it is covered by another article and referenced here in a section. Your use of "controlled" is confusing at best, and plain wrong if meant some ways. Gambling that is not controled by the state does not necessarily have to have negative effects. Gambling that is uncontrolled by a human is different, but you seem to be talking about the government. Government regulations about home poker games for example likely have absolutely no effect on how good or bad they are. It is certainly not a "fact" that government control lessens (or increases) social hardships. Your POV assertion is way off base. "Perceived" does not imply imaged in any way. That seems to be the problem, that you aren't understanding what perceived means... look it up on In fact, it makes a stronger point that what you are suggesting. The social costs of problem gambling are far more perceptible than statistical. But that is a bit neither here nor there. I'll add your edit without the "uncontrolled" part. (To simplify it, government control seldom impacts the social costs.) That loses the point of perception, but it isn't all that important anyway. 2005 07:49, 23 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just an outside view: This whole section could use with some source citations. If there's an argument over the social effects of gambling (and there arguably should be), it's best to present both sides, backed up by references. To avoid weaseling, use specific individuals instead of "some people" or "many researchers" and the like. — Amcaja 12:37, 23 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Social Costs/Politics[edit]

I think it would be good, somewhere, to have a discussion of the commentary on the social costs of gambling and the history of legalized gambling in the United States. I am sure that there would be disagreements and some difficulty in finding text that everyone agrees on, but if we stick to the principle that no one is expressing opinion, but we are merely reporting on the opinions expressed by others, then I think it can all be worked through. Here is a suggested (very rough) outline. Please feel free to correct me:

Gambling: The Social and Political Questions

1. Theories of why gambling is harmful

   A) Victimization of the weak and attendent ripple out problems
       1) embezzlement cases where embezzler was raising money to pay gambling debts or just to gamble                           some more;
        2) other crimes of desperation, committed by gamblers facing large losses;
        3) dependents of gamblers (the unfortunate children);

2. Defenses

    A) Small number of problem gamblers should not ruin everyone's fun
    B) Libertarian defense-none of government's business

3. History of illegal gambling and attempts at enforcement

    A) Numbers rackets
    B) Rooster fights
     C) Organized crime involvement;
     D) Sports bookies;

3. Legalized gambling in the United States:

   A) Nevada;
    B) Horse racing;
    C) Dog Racing;
    D) State Lotteries;
    E) Supreme court decision opening the door to Indian Casinos
    F) Indian Casinos
    G) Congressional Action
     H) Further states permitting Casinos
        (i) Atlantic City
         (ii) Detroit
         (iii) others
The POV theories on why something is or isn't harmful don't have a place here, and are best dealt with by a sentence or two as they are in the article. Most of the other things have other articles. It seems like you may be wanting to dump the kitchen sink in here. For example, bookmaking has its own article. This article should not do more than mention it and then refer to the other article. In general we should be trying to move content from this article to more specific articles. 2005 00:46, 16 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's a fact that those POV theories have been expressed by others in books and articles. Accordingly they absolutely have a place in Wikepdia, as the fact of their expression is of interest to many. I said these things should be "somewhere," so I was not saying that they should necessarily be in this article. I have now noticed the article on "gambling in the United States," which is good and addresses some of my concerns. I feel that this should be part of a disambiguation, however. I just do not think that one should have to finish the article on gambling to get to that link and that most people would just not think of searching for "gambling in the United States" as a separate article.

In general, however, although I agree that the various forms of gambling are of interest to many and certainly have a place here, I think that the history of how society has dealt with the question of to what extent gambling should be permitted and the observations of the behavior of gamblers and effects of gambling are of even greater interest to those wanting to understand our world. I believe these facts should be treated in a coherent manner, rather than being broken up between many different articles. I think that when someone searches for "gambling," they should quickly be presented with the possibility of exploring these facts.

I suggest you read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. POV theories are for books that present philosophies. This is an encyclopedia. 2005 05:50, 16 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just did, and I am at a complete loss. How on earth did you reach the conclusion that I am not approaching this from a neutral point of view??? I am genuinely curious. It seems to me that I have taken a completely neutral point of view.

If I may expand, it would be a bizarre error to confuse the neutral point of view requirement with a nonsensical requirement that no point of view be repeated in Wikipedia. Such a rule would entirely eviscerate the telling of history. "The American Civil war appears to have been started due to conflicting points of view, none of which can be repeated here due to the 'no points of view rule.'"

All I did was respond to your outline which proposes that POV be added to the article. It should not. I didn't say you had one point of view or another so I don't know where that came from. 2005 21:05, 16 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I never suggested in any way that POV should be added to the article. A discussion of various POVs is what I proposed. This is fuly in comportment with Wiki policy. That is why I am puzzled by your comment.

you make some very good points Tesint which would be easier to read if you signed your comments with tildes. in support of your arguement i quote here directly from Wikipedia:Neutral point of view

"The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly, but not asserted. All significant published points of view are presented, not just the most popular one. It should not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions. As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints. It is a point of view that is neutral - that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject. Debates are described, represented, and characterized, but not engaged in. Background is provided on who believes what and why, and which view is more popular. Detailed articles might also contain the mutual evaluations of each viewpoint, but studiously refrain from stating which is better. One can think of unbiased writing as the cold, fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate. When bias towards one particular point of view can be detected the article needs to be fixed."

This suggests to me that not only may published pov be included here but that they should be included to give the reader the full and unbiased information about gambling provided of course it is presented in a balanced way. Abtract 08:27, 23 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As the above quote should make clear, but apparently doesn't, creating blatantly POV topic sections like "Victimization of the weak and attendent ripple out problems" and "Small number of problem gamblers should not ruin everyone's fun" is inappropriate. Such structures are clearly to be avoided. Please see Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words. Biased topics lead to the other side of the issue facing "do you still beat your wife" statements. The article can address topics where there is different POV in society, but that isn't the issue. Weasel word "Some people say..." structures must be avoided. Finally, while this article is already long, it would be tens of thousands of words longer if it attempted to seriously address the wide variety of opinion on "gambling". That scope is for books, not articles. We are better served by sentences like the first under legal aspects. Even in the choosing of what societal POV is presented would be wildly arbitrary. This article can handle sentences, not multiple essays. Of course if someone who thinks the article needs something were to write several sentences or a paragraph, then others could respond to that. 2005 08:42, 23 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Will lose in the long run"[edit]

A common phrase applied to those who gamble with a negative expectation... but not necessarily true. One is still merely likely to lose in the long run. It is not definite. If you gamble with a negative expectation:

  • You are likely to lose if you play once
  • You are likely to lose if you play a few times
  • You are likely to lose if you play a million times

Which is my first point. Gambling with a negative expectation in the long run does not mean you are going to lose; it only means you are likely to. There is the (small) probability that you could play the game a million times and still come out on top.

It is true that this likelihood increases as time goes on (one's expected value increases proportionately... but it is important to note, not exponentially), but it never becomes infinite. The terms long-run and short-run are actually irrelevant. It is a pity that many seem to differentiate between gambling once and many times as though it's ok to do it once or twice but not many. While gambling many times with a negative expectation is worse than doing it just once (all things being equal), they are both mathematically the wrong choice. This blanket "Gamble once, ok, gamble ten times, bad" is a bad misrepresentation and gross simplification of probability theory. For example, consider two simple games; for both, one either loses x or gains x. (let's say x = 10). If for one game the probability of winning is 0.3 and for the other the probability is 0.49, note that if you play game one just the once you are expected to lose 4. If you play the second game a whopping thirty-nine times, you are only expected to lose 3.8. Hence, playing the second game "in the long run" is better than playing the first "in the short run". (of course if you played the first game thirty-nine times, you are likely to lose 76). What I am trying to get at as my second point here is that the statement if you play a game with a negative expectation "you are likely to lose in the long run" is true, but pointless. If you play a game with a negaitve expectation in the short run you are still likely to lose. There is no use for the "in the long run" statement at all.--Zoso Jade 15:46, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • This is a usual vague reference to deeper truths that are the LNN and CLT , and I think that the language is OK. Precisely, as you keep playing at a constant negative EV, the probability of loosing approaches 1, which is much worse than, say, 51% which you may have for a single trial. One can talk of playing many times being sillier than playing once if only because the probability of loosing is greater, and it gets worse as you go. melikamp (talk) 07:43, 20 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note that in some games, your odds of winning are only a few percent less than 50-50, and in games with a low payout if you win, greater than evens. 'Likely' has different meanings person to person, but I think that it isn't what you think it is. (talk) 06:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi protect[edit]

Given the increasing number of reverts from vandals, should we semi protect this article and limit changes to established editors? Vegaswikian 22:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You could but there was only that one day that was a real problem. Maybe if there are any more incidents in the next 48 hours you could do it, but not leave the protect up more than a few days. 2005 02:43, 16 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question about gambling[edit]

While not particularly relevant to the article itself, there is a question I have that the article did not answer, are buy-in tournaments considered gambling, namely video-game-based buy-in tournaments? You pay to participate and if you win you get whatever was there to get. According to the economic definition provided, it is, but it is still rather unclear to me. DarkHelmet 23:11, 24 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is the World Series of Poker gambling? Probably the biggest buy in game around. Vegaswikian 02:25, 25 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
<spam redacted>
WP is an extremely poor source for gambling info. That is not an insult to WP. This is an encyclopedia, not a how-to guide. Objective3000 (talk) 01:20, 29 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Criticism of gambling[edit]

How come no section on criticism of both the concept and the practice of gambling?--Mostargue 14:12, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably for the same reason there is no section on praise of both the concept and practice of gambling. Not every topic warrants a "criticism" section. Rray 16:47, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But gambling has had notable critics and notable criticisms, while there aren't any notable praisers or notable praises.--Mostargue 17:21, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For example? Rray 17:23, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is an encyclopedia, not a POV platform. The article does point out there are those who oppose gambling, and links to a substantial problem gambling article, so it more than covers in a non-POV way the topic. 2005 18:18, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concensus for re-directing pages[edit]

As the author of the pages Mathematics of bookmaking and Glossary of bets offered by UK bookmakers I am trying to do some (in my opinion) badly-needed housekeeping of some relevant Gambling pages which are either stubs, not exactly well written, not fully accurate or ones that are now basically redundant as the info contained in them has been integrated within my own pages to be in a more relevant environment. Pages I am referring to include Heinz (bet), Trixie (bet), Treble (bet) and Double (bet); there are probably others as well.
If a few of you involved in the Wiki:Gambling Project or any others with a possible vested interest in improving the presentation of information in this area could add a few words below supporting (or not) the re-direct of the pages I would be grateful (I have already got on the wrong side of an admin for criticising his very quick removal of Speedy Deletion tags without him taking the time to suggest alternatives to me (a novice), although now he has responded to my request). I would like to do this the correct way without upsetting anyone further! So... looking for support. Cheers. AirdishStraus 10:55, 20 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One issue is that as a glossary, the definitions are not really a complete article. So if the new articles are short and really cover the material then this may not be an issue. I'm not up on Mathematics, so I can't really comment on the specifics. I will note that if you use headings for terms, then a redirect can point directly to the section rather then the top of the article. Vegaswikian 01:09, 21 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


If hole-carding puts 3 card poker into the "beatable" category, then Carribean Stud, 4 card poker, Let it Ride, and Texas Hold'em Bonus all belong there too. They can all be hole-carded. Although hole-carding is actually slightly controversial. I've heard a few sources claim that it almost never occurs (although I disagree with them).

And while we're at it, why is roulette considered beatable and craps isn't? You can beat craps with short throws (although you'll get stopped pretty quickly), and dice control is probably just as controversial as wheel bias in roulette. Especially in America with the double zeroes. Maybe you can find a biased enough wheel in Europe with 1 zero and en prison.

Maybe a separate section for possibly beatable games? Or move the discussion of what games can be beaten to "advantage gambling"?GusChiggins21 10:42, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A section on games that can beatable if you have an edge like hole carding is a good idea. Then we can get rid of the normally non-beatable games that some editors have insisted are beatable theoretically. It could be a good idea before adding such a section to put it first on this talk page. 2005 11:01, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A brief and non-constructive criticism[edit]

I'm sorry, I haven't looked at this page in a long time, and have little energy/enthusiasm for heavy editing at the moment. But it seems to me that this page reads like the product of a series of POV clashes. It immediately starts hedging, and struggling for ways to assert *something* about gambling while appearing not to assert anything. It seems a feigned attempt at "neutral." I don't think it approaches the subject in the right academic style to appeal to a reader seeking answers to basic questions. Rather, it launches quickly into topics of legality, moralizing, moral justification, and discussion of what games are/may be "beatable." Shouldn't it start out directly with a discussion of the history of gambling, the origin of popular gambling variants, their social/cultural associations, and a basic description of the different classes of gambling games? I don't know, maybe I could muster up some energy to tackle this, or maybe my critique might prompt someone to try to point this article in the right direction.

There should be a mention of Senet, knucklebones, the evolution of modern probability theory, an indication of the huge volume of money involved in sports betting worldwide, and several such topics which can be explained and cited without any strong assertions or evidence of POV. Meanwhile, separating modern casino games into beatable and unbeatable categories is ill-conceived at best.zadignose 11:38, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wouldn't mind seeing that section deleted either, but I'm interested in other opinions. Rray 13:00, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ill-conceived is a good word. Nearly any game is 'beatable' under the right circumstances. Defining the word beatable for the purposes of the article is a debate in itself. But worse, the table of beatable games, assuming commonly beatable, was way off. I made some corrections but it's still incorrect since table bias is not related to the modern methods used to beat Roulette. Better for it not to exist at all. Objective3000 13:44, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd buy anybody a cookie if they took a stab at rewriting the page, especially deleting or reimaging that beatable sextion. The article is very much a mishmash that has resulted from "one agenda" editors stuffing something in without considering how it effects everything else, or how obscurely you you have to read something for it to be true. This article should be simplified, with some history, some definition (the explanation that gaming refers to the business of offering gambling games for instance is very important) and some short paragraphs that lead to main topic articles. It seems we do have a sense here that such a generalized/simplified/less contentiously worded article that refers to other articles where we deal with something in more depth is called for. I'd rather someone else would take a stab at it, but otherwise I could take a stab at this idea on the next week or so -- UNLESS someone now wants to say "we gotta have that beatable games section", because a rewrite will be probably just a waste of time if more than one person wants to fanatically keep that section as it is. 2005 00:46, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let me take one last shot at describing the problem. WP, at least on the gambling pages, is based on the concept that a reference somehow legitimizes a statement. The problem in the gambling field is that 99% of what is written was written by con men attempting to separate ploppies from their money. There in fact exist numerous truly excellent texts on gambling theory and practice. (References to them seem to be missing in the WP articles.) But the vast majority of gambling books are based on superstition, gambler’s logic and simple dishonesty. Websites are stranger yet as references. WP uses as references affiliate sites that are compilations of what the authors heard and copied from random sources solely to gain Google hits. For all you know, they are run by children too young to have ever entered a casino. And yet they are used as encyclopedic references. Oddly, they are probably more accurate than the popular authors and long time scam artists that are referenced throughout the gambling pages. The choices for references are appalling. WP editors then slavishly protect the resulting nonsense from modification as if unreferenced content that arrives on a page first is somehow self-legitimized. Objective3000 13:58, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, we need to add some print citations. Does anyone have Steve Forte or Bill Zender's books? Those guys are from the casino side, so they're a little more reliable than the system sellers. GusChiggins21 20:29, 3 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, Steve was arrested this year. That does not imply guilt but also doesn't suggest him as a more reliable source. Bill (the ZMan) is a long-time client of mine and I like him. But, as you say they are both casino employees. How would that make them good sources:-) At least you're trying. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Objective3000 (talkcontribs) 01:50, 4 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re-did Casino games section[edit]

Reorganized it into table, electronic and other games. GusChiggins21 (talk) 04:58, 10 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History of Gambling[edit]

Is it just me, or is the discussion on the history of gambling a little thin (especially given its rapid growth in the last 40 years)? Would this be significant enough to merit a separate article? Fahrenheit452 (talk) 23:16, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It might well merit a separate article, but usually what's done is that we wait until the section is too long to be a subsection of the article before breaking it off into its own article. I know a couple of references about the history of gambling exist, but I don't actually have copies of the book to properly expand and source that section myself. Rray (talk) 23:22, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that we need an expansion of our coverage. Here's a start: "In 1190, Kings Richard I and Philip of France jointly issued an edict regulating gambling with games of chance by members of the Christian crusading armies. No person under the rank of knight was permitted to play any game for money; knights and clergymen could play for stakes lower than 20 shillings per day and night; the monarchs could, naturally, play for whatever stakes they chose, but their attendants were restricted to stakes of 20 shillings. If any exceeded this sum, they were to be whipped, naked, through the ranks of the troops for three whole days." See Ben Schott, Schott’s Mischellany Calendar 2009 (New York: Workman Publishing, 2008), November 18. Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 20:48, 31 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It's a nit; but Poker is not a casino game. Albeit Poker rooms are often co-located with casinos. 3-card poker, 4-card poker and Caribbean Stud Poker are carnivalized variations and are casino table games. Objective3000 (talk) 18:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gambling as a crime[edit]

Gambling is not a crime. Illegal gambling is a crime. So if someone wants to add an article with that as the focus feel free to do so and then it can be placed in the crimes category which is not for legal activities. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:21, 17 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opposition to Gambling[edit]

The article makes no attempt to capture a sense of the opposition to legalized gambling, by churches and other groups. (talk) 19:46, 1 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Churches are one of the largest venues with bingo, raffles, charity casino nights. Objective3000 (talk) 20:11, 1 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So there's no opposition to legalized gambling? (talk) 06:04, 18 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is Chess gambling? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:22, 4 September 2008

Rarely is chess played for money these days. Although around 100 years ago it was not uncommon. SunCreator (talk) 16:34, 20 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gambling versus Investment[edit]

I have a problem with the article where it tries to differentiate between 'gambling' and other activities. If you go by the definitions supplied with any dictionary, it's not the market itself (financial markets, insurance industry, casino games etc) that decide whether the activity is defined as gambling, but the mathematical expectation of the participant and of the action. Technically, a card counter betting with a positive count is making an investment, while an average Joe buying some stock may often be a gamble. The card counter knows he has a mathematical edge and expects to make money over the longrun. The average Joe buying stock often only assumes he has an edge and in reality is only hoping that the stock rises in value. The financial markets are full of people who invest or trade with negative expectation, and by definition they are gamblers. The gambling industry has thousands and thousands of positive expectation gamblers and by definition they are investors. Remember, it's the individual and action, not the market.

Jj448 (talk) 05:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The intent of the section is to clarify the colloquial use of the word "gambling" to describe activities which have some similarities but which are widely considered as separate endeavors. Card counting is a special case that applies mainly to a single game (blackjack). It is really an application of skill to improve the expectation, but that improvement comes at the cost of increased volatility. Also, I'm not aware of any financial market players who trade with negative expectations (other than perhaps limited short-term plays). I don't think that assertion is justified by any rational or game-theoretic explanations. The definition of "(to) invest" is: "to put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value."[12] With a few narrow exceptions (e.g., card counting, poker, sports betting), gambling, by design, does not offer profitable returns. Simishag (talk) 19:34, 26 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Legallity Section[edit]

Whilst interesting, this is not an article about gambling in the united states. The vast amount of information about the US in this section should be moved to a 'Gambling Laws in the US' section, and the content replaced with information about the legality of gambling worldwide. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 22 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The "vast amount of information about the US" that you mention is contained in 1 paragraph. According to one estimate, US-based gaming operations represents about half[13] of the global industry. I think this is sufficient justification for the 1 paragraph, which also already includes a link to a separate article about gambling in the US. Simishag (talk) 22:46, 22 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, there is no problem with the US legality stuff now. If it or the section was dramatically bigger it might need breaking out, but at this point it's so small there isn't any need. 2005 (talk) 23:24, 22 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Claims of predictability[edit]

I reverted the edits made by User:Objective3000. I'll address each claim individually:

  • Some progressive slots and slots that return wagers after a string of losses can offer an advantage. This is not really an "advantage"; the game operates this way by design and players can see the payouts right there on the machine. Different slot machines (and for that matter, different table games) have different payouts and expected values, and I don't think that's what people mean by "advantage gambling".
  • Roulette odds can be changed as bets can be placed after the wheel is in motion. I'm assuming that you're referring to the various claims made about the predictability of roulette wheel spins, but this sentence is so vague as to be misleading. Roulette predictability is, at best, a disputed topic. The theoretical/physical possibility is not in question, but the practical usefulness is questioned, and certainly the game as designed does not operate this way: the dealer is intended to call "no more bets" at a time sufficiently early as to randomize the outcome.
  • Skilled players can use hole-card play to improve the odds. Again, this is not part of the design of the game. I won't go so far as to call it cheating, but certainly the casino does not intend for you to see the cards, and if the dealer is careful, no amount of "skill" will allow this technique to work. It is a far cry from the skills involved in playing basic strategy or counting cards. Simishag (talk) 19:37, 5 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, but this is incorrect on all counts. First, progressive slots can obviously be beaten. You just wait until the progressive payoff is higher than the odds and then play. Also, there have existed slots that return all bets after ten consecutive losses. The number of losses is displayed. All you need due is play only those machines where another player has rung up a large number of losses. This is clearly what we mean by "advantage gambling."
How games are designed is irrelevant. Some Roulette wheels can be beaten through visual prediction methods. It is quite difficult, but established. Roulette players have been barred by casinos and casinos attempt to avoid advantage play by constantly moving wheels from table to table.
Hole-carding in BJ, 3CP and Caribbean Stud is well-documented, highly profitable and legal. In fact, there is a wiki article. The fact that it is possible for a dealer to be careful is irrelevant. The dealer isn't always careful. Again, this is what is meant by "advantage gambling." Gaining an advantage.Objective3000 (talk) 20:33, 5 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Other problems: Video Poker games are variations of slot machines some of which can be beaten. Also, Pai Gow Poker can be beaten without card counting or hole-carding. There are additional examples. The comments that "no amount of skill" can make these games beatable is not true. Objective3000 (talk) 21:23, 5 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Slots are designed to pay out a certain percentage (say, 98%) of the total amount wagered. Progressive slots are not any different in this respect; the jackpot is just pooled across multiple machines. In either case, the machines are programmed with pay tables (i.e., "the odds"). Obviously, if you look at a portion of the timeline, the player(s) may come out ahead, but the casino always wins in the long run. If you think otherwise, then I suggest you start playing slots for a living. Of course, casinos can adjust pay tables whenever they want, and they have been known to set certain machines to pay out over 100%. If you want to add this information to advantage gambling, fine, but placing it here gives it WP:undue weight.
Your claim of "how games are designed is irrelevant" is frankly ridiculous. Your entire argument about "getting an advantage" relies on exploiting real-world implementation flaws of the theory, flaws which are not immediately obvious to players and which can only be exploited through empirical observation. I have no doubt that casinos move roulette wheels from table to table, just as they replace dice at craps tables, just as they replace cards at blackjack tables. It is in the casino's best interest to make the game as random as possible by eliminating any possible sources of bias, whether or not they suspect bias. Again, the question is not whether it is possible to exploit these sources of bias; clearly the physical possibility exists. The questions are whether a substantial portion of players are capable of exploitation, and whether a substantial portion actually engages in exploitation. To some extent these questions are answered by MIT Blackjack Team: a well-financed team, formed of individuals of above-average intelligence, was able to win in the long run, but only through extensive training and rigid organization. To place that outlier up front in a discussion of theory gives it WP:undue weight.
Your claim of "the fact it is possible for a dealer to be careful is irrelevant" is also ridiculous. If the dealer is careful, hole carding simply does not work. Newer tables don't even use a mirror; the down card is placed over an electric eye which lights up if a certain card is found. For that matter, hole-carding is physically impossible on electronic card machines.
As for video poker, whether the game is beatable depends on the pay tables. This is covered under the third variable listed (odds) and card game strategy is also noted in the section. As for Pai Gow, I'm not familiar with the game, but a quick search suggests that the house advantage is around 2.5%. Simishag (talk) 00:57, 6 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Objective3000 is right to remove that unsourced content, of which at the very least the slot machine statement is ridiculous. It is very easy to gain an edge over progressive slots, and professional slot teams have been doing it for years. It's simple mathematics, if machines are working properly on a normal percentage, if a jackpot is a billion dollars on one dollar machine, it is positive expectation to play both slots and video poker. Questions of wheel bias and hole carding should not be discussed or included here at all. They should be in the articles dedicated to those things to avoid a WP:CFORK. 2005 (talk) 01:11, 6 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1. The fact that the average player cannot beat the odds is irrelevant. The statement I removed said, “no amount of skill or knowledge can give an advantage in predictability to anyone.” NO player, not the average player. This is clearly incorrect.
2. There exist slots machines where the player can gain an advantage. I gave two examples that you did not contradict. The claim that there is a fixed percentage is not correct in progressive slots, nor does it apply to EVERY player. If you take into account the progressive jackpot, your skill can overcome the house advantage.
3. Again, you repeat, “substantial portion of players are capable of exploitation.” This is very different from “NO player” as stated in the text I removed. Of course most players are not advantage players. That does not make advantage play impossible.
4. The statement that “If the dealer is careful, hole carding simply does not work” is of course irrelevant, since the dealer is NOT always careful. It’s like saying; there is no advantage when there is no advantage. Yes, but there is when there is. And the peeking devices do not prevent HC. And the peeking devices do not exist everywhere. They don’t exist at all in 2CP and C-Stud.
5. The house advantage on PGP is nowhere near 2.5%. It is in fact in the favor of the player in California when you get to bank often enough.
6. Video Poker was not covered under the card games statement talking about card counting. It has nothing to do with card counting. VP machines still exist with a 100+% payoff. regards, Objective3000 (talk) 01:22, 6 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1. Um, no. The statement you removed said (emphasis mine) "if the equipment used in the activity is functioning properly, no amount of skill or knowledge can give an advantage in predictability to anyone." A rather important "if", wouldn't you say? The statement "if something is random, no amount of skill can predict it" seems axiomatic to me.
2. The definition of "a player" playing for a fixed length of time is different from the general "player" which people consider in calculating the house advantage. Yes, if you play 1 hand, you can win; that doesn't give you a 100% edge. Yes, if there's a machine that pays off automatically after 10 straight losses, and you happen to find that machine, obviously you will win on the next play. That does not mean that in the long run that the general player will win. You are conflating short run and long run percentages when it suits your argument. As I said, if you want to add it to advantage gambling, go for it.
3. See #1.
4. If your strategy is premised on hole-carding, and hole-carding is not available, I'd say that's relevant. It relies on a flaw that is not part of the design of the game and cannot be expected to appear everywhere. It is certainly not a generally applicable strategy as compared to basic strategy in blackjack. Again, if you want to put this in advantage gambling, fine.
5. I noted that it was a brief search, but you seem to be certain, so how about a source? Also, from what I can tell, the advantage here relies on certain rules of the game; if the game is casino-banked, there is no possibility of an advantage.
6. I didn't say anything about card counting. It should be obvious that video poker strategy depends on what cards have been dealt, and thus what cards are left in the deck.
I don't intend to edit the section again. I will note that earlier, I reverted only 3 questionable sentences that you added today, and I immediately provided detailed reasons for each. Your petulant response was to blank the entire section. Your prior comments here make it clear that you intend to push this idea that the games are magically beatable. You even say above that "roulette is mathematically beatable." I would love to see your mathematical proof of that. Simishag (talk) 02:13, 6 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1. Progressive machines, functioning correctly, can be beaten. All you need do is play only when the progressive jackpot is high enough.
2. No, I am saying you ONLY play when the machine is about to pay off. The machine tells you. The player that plays in this manner will win in the long run.
3. See #1
4. Of course HC works even though it is not available in every game. No one makes you play every hand at every table. Again, the text said “no amount of skill or knowledge can give an advantage in predictability to anyone.” The statement is absurd.
5. See Stanford Wong’s book on PGP. Another book is coming out very shortly. I have never seen a PGP game that was solely casino-banked.
6. VP has nothing to do with card counting. The text said only card counting gives you an advantage.
Your name-calling is in violation of WP:CIV. I removed text that made no sense, as 2005 agreed. It most certainly was not an act of “petulance.” And I certainly do not think games are “magically beatable.” They are mathematically beatable. On Roulette, The British gov’t equivalent of the US bureau of weights and measures has verified that an incredibly tiny tilt in a Roulette wheel can be used to gain an advantage. But, even without any bias at all, visual prediction techniques exist. Read Laurance Scott ‘s work. He owns an engineering firm and has worked on such methods for decades. Please keep things civil. We are all volunteers. Assume good faith. Objective3000 (talk) 12:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Legal Aspects: Dubious statement about a Catholic "day of gambling"[edit]

The first line in the "Legal Aspects" section is innacurate, misleading, and not pertinent to the discussion of the legal aspects of gambling. It should be removed.

I do not have much knowledge of Jewish traditions, but the assertion that "the Catholic Church has set aside days for gambling" is not correct, and is a misleading statement.

The source given for this statement (a Boston Globe article which references a scholar who makes a statement about the history of gambling and local Church scholars without any explicitly referenced primary sources) is dubious at best. Even the reference made - that in Mideaval times, some Catholic scholars proposed that people gamble on holy days - is by no means an assertion that the Catholic Church ever set aside days for gambling. This has never been part of church teaching, and is not recorded in any official church documents (papal encyclicals, bulls, Cathecisms, etc). If it was a tradition centuries ago (which I can find no primary sources that confirm), the statement should not be put in the present tense. "... The Catholic tradition traditionally sets aside days for gambling" is a false statement, even given the source referenced.

A discussion of the stances of various religions on gambling is not technically a "legal aspect" of gambling, and if it is to be included at all in this section, it should probably not be the opening of it. At any rate, there should not be innacurate statements made about any religion's traditions. The Catholic Church has no widely accepted tradition for setting aside any day for gambling, and I can find no reliable sources implying that it has ever done so.

Since the page is protected and I am too lazy to create a wikipedia login, I thought I would mention this here in the hope that somebody who knows what they are doing can correct it. (talk) 09:47, 8 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Guarantee against non-desirable outcome[edit]

I have no idea what this is called, if it has a name, or if people think it's relevant but I thought it was worth a shot to be bold: If you support a sports team you'd have a good night if they won and a bad night if they lost. If you bet against your team winning you could at least possibly have financial compensation covering the cost of your stadium seat cost if they do lose. Betting enables this. Chrisjwowen (talk) 15:47, 16 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think it's inaccurate to define gambling as betting on something with an 'uncertain' outcome. I propose a better definition as betting on something with an 'improbable' outcome. No outcome in the Universe is absolutely certain; future events are a matter of likelihood (even if the chances of the event happening are extremely high or low). Therefore to use the 'uncertain' definition would render betting on ANY prediction as gambling, which is ridiculous (for example, to characterize betting that the Earth will exist an hour from now as 'gambling'). I assert that only when an event has an =< 50% chance of happening can betting on such be properly characterized as gambling.

Sorry, but your assertion is incorrect. For example, with lay bets in Craps, the probability of winning the bet is >50%.Objective3000 (talk) 12:00, 2 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Then it's not gambling.

Of course Craps is gambling. The probability of winning such bets is greater than 50%, but the payoff is less than 1:1. Even if that weren't true, it is still gambling. The definition is at the start of the article.Objective3000 (talk) 20:09, 2 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's the definition at It doesn't seem to say that the word 'gambling' only refers to betting on improbable outcomes. Rather, it seems simply to mean (1)to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes, or (2) to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance. The word 'gambling,' according to the source I found, indicates an element of chance and the possibility of winning or losing money or goods. Do you have a better source that defines it differently? -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 22:43, 2 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just because your source defines it as you would doesn't make it right; indeed, it seems that the traditional definition of gambling may need re-examining. As I've pointed out, ALL future events are uncertain (this is an accepted fact in both mathematics and physics), therefore to say gambling is betting on uncertain future events would mean that betting on ANY prediction is gambling. But most people wouldn't consider buying low-risk government bonds as gambling for example, yet that's exactly what it'd be using your/the traditional definition, because there's still an element of uncertainty. Most people wouldn't say that betting on ANY prediction is gambling, only those bets likely to lose, that's why gambling has a negative conotation, thought of as foolish, etc. Indeed, while most traditional definitions are of the 'betting on uncertain events' variety, many also allude to this negative view. For example, at Definition, the third element of their definition is "to lose or squander by betting", and at [14] they mention "To engage in reckless or hazardous behavior." But again, betting on low-risk predictions, especially very low-risk ones, isn't popularly viewed as gambling; most people would characterize betting on high-probablity events as a 'good bet', not gambling. The definition at [15] says that "In most gambling games it is customary to express the idea of probability in terms of "odds against winning." Thus, if the odds aren't "against winning" then it's not gambling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:17, 4 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Even if what you are saying is true (and it isn't), the word "improbable" is still incorrect as I pointed out in the Craps example. Do you believe Lay bets in Craps are not gambling? Futher, is not an authoratative source on the subject. Even if it were, their article used "most" in their definition, not "all." You are claiming "all."Objective3000 (talk) 17:45, 4 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When you say "even if what you are saying is true (and it isn't)", I assume you're referring to my saying that all future events are uncertain to one degree or another. For confirmation see [16], where it states that "At the subatomic level, however, uncertainty may be a fundamental and unavoidable property of the universe. In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle puts limits on how much an observer can ever know about the position and velocity of a particle. This may not just be ignorance of potentially obtainable facts but that there is no fact to be found." Regarding your "Lay bets in Craps" example, I believe that only betting when the odds aren't in your favor is gambling. Thus, if Lay bets in Craps carries odds >50%, I don't consider it gambling, regardless of the <1:1 payout (which is irrelevant). Regarding what constitutes an "authoritative source on the subject", you haven't presented any statistics backing your assertion that is NOT an an authoritative source, and besides as I've said I assert that the traditional definition of gambling needs re-examination in light of the modern discoveries about uncertainty in quantum physics. Finally, another example from day-to-day life to illustrate my general point: making a simple bank deposit. Even with government-backing, there's still a chance that a) the bank will fail, and also b) the government will not be able/willing to back the deposit afterwards. The chances of these two events happening are very small - even miniscule - yet they are possibilities nonetheless. But would most people characterize a simple bank deposit as gambling? Of course not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 4 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Note the article is now protected for a period of time from editing by unregistered users for edit waring. When this is lifted, please refrain from making changes until there is consensus on this talk page that the change does in fact have consensus. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:22, 4 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Improbable" has no relation to the concept of gambling. A coin flip is a pure gamble, but neither heads nor tails is "improbable". 2005 (talk) 21:49, 4 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both are improbable because both have chances =50%; something only becomes probable if chances >50%. And frankly I think the idea that gambling and probability aren't related is utterly ridiculous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:36, 5 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First, that is not the definition of improbable. Second, even if it were, it is irrelevant. For the third time, a Craps Lay bet has more than a 50% chance of winning, but is gambling. There is NOTHING is the definition of gambling that has anything to do with the quantity "50%." Last, "pobability" and the word "improbable" are not the same. Of course gambling is related to probability. But, that doesn't mean that a gambling bet must have an improbable chance of winning. Words have definitions and dictionaries are the referees. You don't get to make up your own definitions.Objective3000 (talk) 17:59, 5 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wiki rules tell us to assume good faith, and that is what I will do. The definitions of words and the arbiters of definitions (i.e. dictionaries) are important. One cannot have a discussion without agreeing, beforehand, on the definition of words. In fact, that is why great debaters like Noah Webster and Samuel Johnson compiled dictionaries. (And possibly why the Chinese developed a dictionary 1,500 years prior.) Words are powerful. Definitions can be added, but are rarely significantly changed. You appear to have attempted to redefine words that have existed for centuries. To do that invalidates centuries of wisdom. If there is something that you wish to add, I suggest that you find a way that does not involve redefining accepted definitions.Objective3000 (talk) 00:29, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So debating definitions is acting in bad faith? Definitions are as valid an area of critical discourse as are follow-on issues once the definitions are settled. Indeed, as you indicated, definitions are the very foundation, so I'd assert that questioning definitions (assuming there's a real issue) is of the utmost value, and certainly not acting in bad faith. I've proposed that, in light of the heightened awareness of how pervasive uncertainty is in the natural universe (thanks to modern quantum physics), and especially how pervasive such is with respect to predicting future events, it's no longer appropriate to define gambling by simple reference to the fact that the future event being bet upon is uncertain. Again, we now know that ALL future events carry an element of uncertainty. So trying to distinguish between 'certain future events' and 'uncertain future events' is impossible, thus to define gambling as has traditionally been done would, again, render betting on any future prediction as gambling. You yourself implied that definitions change, albeit rarely. If our science hasn't stayed the same for centuries then why necessarily should the meanings of words that flow from that science? For a long time "earth" for most people meant a flat body, until we found out otherwise. I appreciate your suggestion, but I'm afraid that it's questioning the very definition of gambling that's at the heart of my position. Questioning definitions where no real issue exists is problematic (which I submit is NOT the case here), but so can blind acceptance of 'traditional' or 'accepted' definitions be when updating might be desireable. (talk) 03:20, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Improbable means "unlikely". You can make up your own definitions of words, but we won't be adding those to the Wikipedia. Time to move on. 2005 (talk) 06:08, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, "improbable" means "unlikely". You can substitute the latter wherever I've used the former in this discussion and derive the same meaning. I'm proposing a revised definition for the word based on updated knowledge, not "making up my own definition" just for argument's sake. And I'll move on as soon as nothing is added to the discussion (which might very well be here), not when you tell me to. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:50, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And you should know that because of our discussion, I've contacted several publishers of the most popular dictionaries to make them aware of my proposed revision. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I Nelson Rose[edit]

Please explain why you are removing links I add regarding I Nelson Rose, "The Worlds Leading Expert on Gambling LAW" founder of countless Gambling Law University and Law School Programs as well as Gamblers Anonymous Groups. I Nelson Rose is the global expert on the subject do you need MORE proof? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kavikaescobido (talkcontribs) 03:11, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Off hand I'd say spamming a web site and adding external links that don't appear to follow the policies established. I'm surprised that you have not received spam or vandal warnings. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:50, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nelson Rose is a valid reference for many things, but most of your editing has been to spam/promote him, so people will be removing otherwise valid links because your actions qualify as spamming in their eyes. 2005 (talk) 10:43, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


add marbles to the bit in the opening about gambling not on money :) Alan McBrazil Burger (talk) 19:34, 21 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

US Centric[edit]

This article mainly draws on gambling from a US point of view, I wonder if some of the content can be moved to the Gambling_in_the_United_States page? Markb (talk) 13:01, 20 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Only one paragraph is US-centric, and that is properly headed. The rest of the article doesn't have a US point of view. 2005 (talk) 19:08, 20 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit request on 18 April 2012[edit]

Fixed-odds betting Main article: Fixed-odds betting

Fixed-odds betting and Parimutuel betting frequently occur at many types of sporting events, and political elections. In addition many bookmakers offer fixed odds on a number of non-sports related outcomes, for example the direction and extent of movement of various financial indices, the winner of television competitions such as Big Brother, Eurovision Song Contest and election results.[12] Interactive prediction markets also offer trading on these outcomes, with "shares" of results trading on an open market.

Stefaniereeve (talk) 09:17, 18 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. I'm not seeing any difference in the text here other than the removal of an Oxford comma, which isn't specifically disallowed per Wikipedia's Manual of Style. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 00:12, 1 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit request on 1 July 2013 - Please add this content[edit]

Most People Gamble[edit]

Gambling Definitions[edit]

The definition of gambling includes the following:

  • to take a chance on; venture; risk: I'm gambling that our new store will be a success [1].
  • an act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success[2].

Therefore, an activity can be defined as gambling if it involves the following three elements, regardless of economic utility, expected return or underlying value:

  1. Stake
  2. Chance
  3. Prize, Profit or Loss

Gambling Activities[edit]

Based on the above definitions, the following are gambling activities as well even though they involve skill, because they include the above three elements.

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Investing
  • Insurance
  • Starting a Business
  • Drilling for Oil
  • Mining
  • Christopher Columbus and Spain sending three ships in search of riches in the East

Whether an activity involves skill or not does not determine if it is classified as gambling by society or the government. A New York judge recently ruled that Poker is a game of skill, not luck [3].

Boston University Law Review [4] provided an in-depth analysis and comparison of gambling activities and concluded:

"At a basic level, gambling and investing are identical activities of wagering on an outcome in an environment of uncertainty. In addition, both risk-taking activities have been present in the American culture for all of its history. At some point over 100 years ago, public attitudes of the two types of speculation diverged, with investing being labeled as socially desirable and therefore supported by law, and gambling being labeled as socially undesirable and therefore prohibited by law. This divergence was based not on any logical differences in the activities, but instead on the classes of people that participated in these activities and who profited from them. Stock brokers, stock exchanges, and their wealthy clients benefited from this legal distinction; working class gamblers and bookmakers did not.
The decision to prohibit an activity should be based on a sound analysis of its costs and benefits, including whether any important freedoms are associated with that activity. Similar activities should be regulated similarly, without regard to traditional labels, pretextual and inconsistent morality arguments, or discriminatory categorizations based on class.
Although both the state and federal governments have allowed many types of gambling in the past thirty years, the recent backlash against Internet gambling demonstrates that this liberalization did not reflect a new commitment to regulating gambling similarly to other economically identical activities. Instead, gambling liberalization reflects a commitment to legalize gambling that is financially lucrative to state and federal governments. Internet gambling is not profitable to these regulators, and so it has not been legalized. Moreover, to argue that online gambling should not be permitted, regulators have renewed moralistic arguments without acknowledging that these arguments apply equally against the traditional gambling activities that they have voted to legalize.
Notably, although online investing has the same potential for negative externalities as online gambling, online investing has been accepted and even embraced as the newest manner for investing, whether rationally or irrationally, in the capital markets. Predicated upon the notion that online activities should not be regulated differently than physical activities merely because they are performed on the Internet, the SEC has chosen not to restrict online investing. Analogously, the federal government should allow states to regulate online gambling in the same way that those states choose to regulate similar physical gambling activities."

In summary, the U.S. government banned certain types of gambling activities due to:

  • protectionism
  • insufficient tax revenue
  • class discrimination (upper class is allowed to gamble but not the lower class)

Based on the above, most people gamble or work for gambling employers, as most people invest or work for companies which need to perform sales, marketing or investment activities.

The definition of "gambling" can become very limited in society, to include mainly those activities that we associate with casinos. In fact, there are numerous activities that are also gambling activities, but society has selectively declassified them from "gambling". Instead of having a title of "gambler", some people prefer the title of "risk taker", "entreprenuer", "venture capitalist", "business" or "investor". Analogies include:

  • "secretaries" preferring the title of "administrative assistants"
  • "waiters" preferring the title of "servers"
  • "stewards" and "stewardesses" preferring the title of "flight attendants"

The titles are different, but the underlying functionality has not changed.

Some argue that they do not gamble because they are not addicted to losing money. In 2006, 45 percent of home sales activity in the four states with the most pronounced housing cycles were conducted by investors [5]. Since 2006, millions of Americans have lost much more money to houses than they have to Las Vegas. The average holding period of stocks is 3.2 months and the average holding period for the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY), the ETF which tracks the benchmark for U.S. stocks, is less than five days. According to Mitch Goldberg, ClientFirst Strategy in Woodbury, NY, "…stock market is a casino for the large and well-connected investors" [6]. Millions of Americans have lost much more money to stocks than they have to Las Vegas.

Even with the limited or traditional definition of gambling, most people gamble as most people buy lottery tickets or work for employers that promote gambling. The government is the world's largest promoter of gambling, with lottery jackpots up to $640 million [7].

Contrary to popular belief, it is not mainly the lower class that buys lottery tickets. According to the documentary "Lucky" [8]:

"More than half of all American adults play the lottery, making it, by far, the most popular form of paid entertainment in the country"
"Every year Americans spend $7 billion on movie tickets, $16 billion on sporting events, $24 billion on books, $62 billion on lottery tickets"

The rich buys lottery tickets as well [9].

Despite the ban, Americans gamble $16 billion a year on online poker[10] and $34 billion a year on casinos [11].

Maxkissime (talk) 20:11, 1 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I not going to make this edit for several reasons. It does not really fit into the existing encyclopedic article. Since this is an encyclopedia and not a dictionary, we have to be careful about how and if we include dictionary definitions. Large block quotes really need to be considered if they are essential to the article and not to making a specific point. The focus of the article is on the gambling that involves wagering or betting. Most of you added comment might be best covered by adding a bullet list 'Activities that may be gambles' section to the links for other articles that some might consider gambling. Not even sure what the best name for that might be. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:58, 1 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. -- TOW  talk  18:56, 17 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Apple's dictionary on the Mac
  3. ^ [2] NPR
  4. ^ Christine Hurt, ", Boston University, 2006
  5. ^ [3] Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  6. ^ [4] CNBC
  7. ^ [5] Mega Millions
  8. ^ [6] Lucky, (1 hour 22 minutes into the video)
  9. ^ [7] Business Insider
  10. ^ [8] "The New York times", October 8, 2011
  11. ^ [9] Casino Journal

Edit Request[edit]

Types of Gambling[edit]


According to the Boston University Law Review, "...gambling and investing are identical activities of wagering on an outcome in an environment of uncertainty. In addition, both risk-taking activities have been present in the American culture for all of its history." [1]

technical analysis is Gambling because technical analysis use Probability theory History of probability is analyze games of chance by Gerolamo Cardano — Preceding unsigned comment added by Annopnod (talkcontribs) 01:48, 22 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Profit Seeking[edit]

Traditionally, an activity is considered gambling if it involves the following three elements:

  1. Consideration
  2. Chance
  3. Pay out

The following activities can be considered gambling as they are risk-taking activities in an environment of uncertainty, with the objective of getting a pay out (profit or loss).

  • Sales, Marketing, Starting a Business, Drilling for Oil, Mining, Christopher Columbus and Spain sending three ships in search of riches in the East, etc. [2] [3]

Maxkissime (talk) 15:01, 2 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's already a section called "Other uses of the term 'gambling'". The cites may be useful, but how is any of this new? How does it actually help the article? The dictionary you cited has 3 wagering-related defintions before anything else. It sure seems like you're trying to equate huge other fields of human endeavour to wagering. I mean, I "take a risk" when I cross the street every day. No one calls that "gambling".
Wagering involves a immediately quantifiable and certain risk/return ratio. None of those other activities do. Sure, you can make estimates and plans, but that's not certainty. Simishag (talk) 21:34, 2 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dear Simishag: If you do not believe the above activities are gambling, then please explain how Boston University Law Review is incorrect.

Nobody labels "crossing the street" as gambling and neither did I. Gambling involves these three elements:

  1. Stake
  2. Chance
  3. Pay out (profit or loss)

Investing, Sales, Marketing, etc., involve these elements. In those activities, risk/return ratios exist. Thousands of risk/return ratios are calculated for the stock market. In sales, the "funnel" is commonly used and the risk/return ratio is that you need to spend time and money to get 3 prospects (stake) to close one customer (pay off). In marketing, the risk/return ratio is expressed in close ratio. If you advertise on Google Adwords, expect to spend $X (stake) and get Y% of users to come to your site (pay off).

Besides, which authority deemed that gambling needs to have certain risk/return ratios and be "immediately" quantifiable?

Maxkissime (talk) 21:36, 9 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Christine Hurt, ", Boston University, 2006
  2. ^ Apple's dictionary on the Mac
  3. ^ [10]

Semi-protected edit request on 3 April 2014 Gamblingtoday[edit]

Michael Kearns and Cormac Kehoe from Gimont co founded Betfair who are now the biggest sports gambling site in Europe. (talk) 11:08, 3 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who cares? Gambling goes back to pre-history. Why insert two unknowns and one of tens of thousands of organizations involved with gambling over millennia?Objective3000 (talk) 11:24, 3 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Cannolis (talk) 11:46, 3 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Political betting[edit]

Would a spin-off article, or maybe just a section here, specifically on political betting be relevant? We already have an article on and there are sources specifically on political betting issues, including Mike Smithson's The Political Punter or news stories like this. Bondegezou (talk) 13:21, 10 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mathematics to determine optimum time to stop for some types of betting[edit]

This might be useful as a reference, from American Scientist magazine. • SbmeirowTalk • 23:47, 21 June 2014 (UTC),y.2009,no.2,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspxReply[reply]

No way. Stop losses do not work in the normal use of the word gambling. Politics and world events are something quite diferent. Objective3000 (talk) 00:32, 22 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 27 August 2014[edit]

The game World of Tanks should be added to dice games. Since that is what it has come to. (talk) 23:13, 27 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Cannolis (talk) 08:02, 28 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 27 December 2014[edit]

Please remove Yahoo template from EL as the Yahoo Directory closed down, now redirecting to main page of Yahoo Small Business Directory (talk) 21:54, 27 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes check.svg Done{{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:31, 27 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The terms "i.e." and "e.g." should not be italicised. Could that be corrected? Thanks, (talk) 04:28, 23 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done - as per MOS:FOREIGNITALIC - Arjayay (talk) 07:50, 23 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Gambling. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:37, 7 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Professional gambling"[edit]

I don't think Professional gambling should redirect to Advantage gambling, since professional gamblers exist, and its a different topic from that covered at "advantage gambling". Shouldn't it instead be redirected here, or become a redlink? -- (talk) 02:59, 6 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Gambling. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 19:32, 12 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anonymous author[edit]

I added ‘I was told to throw ethics out the window’ – inside the online bookies to external links. The author explains how a gaming company paid him to manipulate gamblers into spending far more than was good for them. I feel the article is informative and only anonymous authors are likely to give such information. The Guardian is reliable. Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:07, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, The Guardian is reliable. If the paper wrote an investigative report based upon multiple unnamed sources, that would be entirely acceptable. But, this is simply the unedited words of a single anonymous source. There is no Guardian reporter bylined. It's more like an anonymous op-ed. Further, it makes accusations. I don't see how that passes WP:IRS. Objective3000 (talk) 10:53, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This topic doesn't have a bunch of external links because it could have 1000 valuable external links. This article is not close to even being in the top 1000. 2005 (talk) 19:51, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Gambling. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 13:37, 10 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What is "consideration"? It seems to be a key concept: "Gambling thus requires three elements be present: consideration, chance and prize." However, it is nowhere defined, or indeed mentioned again anywhere in the text. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 3 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good point. I made it a Wikilink. O3000 (talk) 21:07, 3 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed merge with Social gambling[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge. lovkal (talk) 15:44, 20 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Virtually unsourced article that could be more useful in Gambling article. lovkal (talk) 09:54, 8 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support: a search on Scopus for the exact term "social gambling" fails to convince me that the topic itself is notable. Tayste (edits) 10:22, 8 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support - There isn't a distinct line between what could be called social-gambling and gambling. O3000 (talk) 13:40, 8 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support per Objective3000. The Mighty Glen (talk) 08:23, 14 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Microtransactions and Drop Box Gambling.[edit]

I did not see a section for Microtransactions Drop Box Gambling in modern video games. There have been countless articles, political debates, and peer reviewed studies on this newest from of gambling, which primarily targets children. It is a worldwide debated issue and like it or not, it is an intrinsic part of online gambling. Gaming platforms are struggling to rebrand the practise as "not being associated with gambling" by offering content grinding as an alternative to paying for a random ingame rewards, but literal the practice falls under the definition of this page. I feel that if the practice is included in this page it may serve to discourage the applications of this method of gambling from becoming abused by the gaming industry, while validate it as a form of addiction for those who participate at unhealthy levels.

My two cents anyway. Mr G. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 25 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 8 November 2022[edit]

"Gambling (also known as betting or gaming) "

This is incorrect in GB - the gambling act 2005 says gambling is either betting or gaming, bracket should be changed to (encompassing betting and gaming). All three words mean something different and are not interchangeable (in GB).

The rest of the explanation is incorrect in a legal sense as well - random event is gaming, betting is placing a bet on the outcome of a 'real event' where strategy CAN influence the likelihood of winning i.e. using knowledge about participants competing in the real event to maximise chance of winning.

"Gambling thus requires three elements to be present: consideration (an amount wagered), "

This is incorrect in GB legislation - free to enter CAN be gaming and therefore gambling, free to enter CANNOT be classed as betting and therefore gambling (2005 Gambling Act s.6)4)b)

I have no idea about the American definitions but is very likely they differ by state and these explanations should be heavily qualified by jurisdiction so as not to mislead someone into providing gambling (particularly gaming) illegally. Kaptain123 (talk) 15:01, 8 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Realize that the lead of this article is aimed at a worldwide audience and isn't meant to reflect the British legal definition of gambling. The appropriate place to address legal definitions of gambling is later in the article. The lead should reflect a general definition of gambling rather than getting specific about legal definitions. Thinking that the opening paragraphs of an article on Wikipedia is going to mislead someone into providing illegal gambling is a stretch, at best, and it's not really a consideration for an encyclopedic treatment of the topic. Just some thoughts. Rray (talk) 14:32, 9 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kaptain123@Rray I agree with Rray. Wikipedia does not provide legal advice to its users, it is an encyclopedia. Someone who takes the first sentences of a Wikipedia article as specific legal advice is doing so at their own risk and out of their own lack of awareness. This clarification could be added to the Gambling in the United States article. I will close this edit request now. Actualcpscm (talk) 18:05, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]