The Problems of Telling Family & Friends I'm a Professional Gambler

The main problem of telling your family about being a professional gambler is one of fear. They will fear you will lose all that you have. It’s not crazy. 

Other problems: 
  • They fear you will develop an addiction 
  • They fear you will lose relationships 
  • They will fear you will change as a person 
  • As they stigmatise you so will others 
The trouble is these fears are often exaggerated (depending on the individual). We will explore the reasoning behind the rationale. 

We all have the right to live as individuals but we should and could do this with more care for those living close to us. We don’t want to bring instability or bad feelings to our loved ones. 

The stigma of gambling

Gambling has a stigma associated with it for the majority of people. This stigma comes from a generalisation, it should be understood to understand why the stigma exists. Stories of gamblers losing their houses and getting into lifetime debt are not sadly as rare as they should be. So a negative narrative exists in society. Also it flies in the face of people going to work to earn their living. Any time you gain money from not earning it in many minds is immoral. So these are the main reasons why the stigma exists. 

Professional Gambler Quote: ''For most successful gamblers their work ethic and effort to achieve a winning level of ability far exceeds anyone I have seen working the 9 - 5. In fact, it is more like studying a course that gives no degree upon conclusion. It may be years of hard work, disappointment and loss. I have worked many jobs and sure physically it can be more tiring to work manually compared with your mind. That is the same for many occupations. However, if you are comparing someone earning money gambling it can be viewed, in ways, that they actually do very little work to make their money. This is far from true. It leads to people considering profits from gambling are immoral because they are without work, seedy, underhand or many and varied assumptions. In truth, the majority of successful gamblers, traders work unending hours to be their best. Unlike a 9 - 5 job they are competing against a world of very talented individuals, from bookmakers to layers. Although stigmatised by others it is, in truth, the perceived ignorance of others and their lack of understanding.''    

We all gamble daily to some extent 

When we understand that we all take gambles every day we see the generalisation at work. 

I gamble it isn’t going to rain. So is it not ok to gamble for money? For many this would be the line that is drawn. Playing 3 card brag at lunchtime for five quid isn’t going to get you in trouble unless it leads you to bigger games.

Many new businesses are a gamble. You might argue that they are based on information and so it is different from gambling. However gambling is taking chances given odds. You have information in sports betting. And sports betting requires a diligent approach. 

Professional Gambler Quote: ''There is a big difference between betting fixed odds such as playing roulette at the casino, fruit machines, fixed odds betting terminals, and skill-based betting. Sure, horse racing is about beating the bookmakers but it is possible if you know more. You might question how you can know more. That is why individuals can increase their knowledge and expertise by knowing their niche. Do I know more than a bookmaker whose giving odds on a given horse? Some I do not. But others I most certainly do. Am I guaranteed to win? No, because we are dealing with variables. Even the best horse doesn't win every race. But long term, the person with the most knowledge wins.''    

The stock market is also a gamble given statistical data and ‘form’ and you can also lose a lot. I would ask people in their minds to examine the differences in betting on a Currency or Apple stock to betting on 2 year old horses. What do you think the differences are? 

Professional Gambler Quote: ''It's an interesting question to ask. People need to question what is acceptable and not. Also, for those who buy stocks and shares you need to think carefully about your understanding and what you need to know to make money with regard to any financial investments. 

Who is making the decision about your investments and what do they know? 

Just because someone has job as a financial advisor, whether independent or with a bank, you need to understand their worth. 

Do they live in a big house, drive a flashy car and have they made money by using their skill?

Perhaps they have. 

Perhaps they haven't. 

Also, if you are interested in acquiring the skill to buy stocks and shares, gamble on the races, or buy an acre of land in Australia because you are convinced you can find opals, you had best understand what you are dealing with. Just because you have been successful as, let's say, a property developer, and made a lot of money, it doesn't mean you will be a success taking a gamble elsewhere. 

You will need to start at the beginning and learn new skills. 

This isn't going to be something that happens over night. Also, just because you buy into some expensive course  it doesn't mean much. Why? Because there is a big difference between learning skills from someone else and their implementation. 

If you don't think that is the case, then you are in for a rude awakening and most likely a heavy loss. 

People question the gambler in the bookmakers but similarly I would question the novice buyer of stocks and shares because, if truth be known, there are many investors out there who have lost substantial money through a complete lack of knowledge. Anyone who doesn't have an exceptional grasp of their subject matter is a loser waiting to happen. 

How can you compete against a seasoned professional? 

When you look at the difference between the novice and expert it is a world of difference. The experienced take advantage of those who lack. Every business needs new investors, the naive to increase the profit of those who know more. 

Whether betting on the horses or a blue chip company and their stocks, your background, finance, cash on the hip, call it what you may, means nothing without your personal understanding and knowledge to reason you know more.

Also, I would question, however much money you pay, why would someone give you the blueprint to their success? Is it really in their interests to tell all? You can see where this is leading. It is in the interests of these ''gurus'' to keep you paying, hanging on a line. 

If you want to know true, indisputable, knowledge, it will come from your own hard work.'' 

So if you for example said ‘I have a gambling problem’ to your family, that is a very different thing to saying I am a professional gambler. However I would say that they imagine the same result will happen just that you are earlier in the process. So this is the problem. They generalise not understanding the full story. 

Just saying you are profitable will not alleviate most people's fears. 

The thrill of gambling 

It may be fair to say that gambling is a different kind of risk, different to a business gamble in the thrill of it. For some not being able to walk away and bet using money they can’t lose is a difference. Is part of the stigma driven by the fear of addiction? 

Professional Gambler Quote: ''The worst thing any gambler can ever do is bet for the buzz. Why shouldn't you bet for fun? Because you simply have no understanding of what you are doing or where it will lead. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Take my word for it. If your gambling starts and finishes with the thrill you are in for a bad time. 

You are the classic mug punter. 

Betting isn't about fun, the thrill, the buzz or whatever you want to call it. The aim of a successful gambler or investor is learning how to win money. In fact, it is blessing if you don't even like to gamble. You shouldn't. 

Why should you bet? 

Because, on all rational evidence, skill and experience, you are confident you can make money. 

Your thrill should come at the end of the year when you see you are in the black rather than the red. 

Gambling purely for the thrill is a road to disaster.''   

So let’s agree to take an individuals’ gambling activities on it’s own individual basis. 

Analysis of your gambling strategy 

Be very honest with your own status to yourself. Are you making it work? Are you consistent. You can do a SWOT analysis of your methodology and strategy. If you can clearly show that your weaknesses and threats are small enough and why then you will be understood better.

Of course it’s very wrong and ill advised to gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. Just like starting a business and remortgaging your property to do that is not a good idea.


If you are a proven professional and make a living from it year after year then you can say you are a self validated professional. Perhaps you can put in some security measures to help reassure the family. Demonstrate you can act professionally and not lose it all.

Your family doesn't want to feel the risk- you introduced into their world. 

Loss velocity 

Another key difference is that overnight a business doesn’t fail. There have been some high rolling professional gamblers who have however lost 10’s of millions over the space of a couple of days. 

Draw Lines and Limits 

Having a set of personal limits in place can protect your income from poor decision making and a bad run of luck. So you have bad days- limits in place would allow you to cover these on a good day. Stick by your own rules knowing they will save you. But more importantly they can help remove the fear your gambling could impart on your family. 

Every family is different. You can also choose to talk about this to friends and learn of their perception of gambling. It is likely they will have concerns. 

It is probably a good idea to be transparent with your family (at some point) if they are caring and understanding and you explain the situation. They may after time accept what you do. You should understand why they have the fears they do. 

In some cases though be prepared for a lack of understanding. This is one of the biggest problems. Having to lie to your family is not a healthy thing to do. It will create mistrust and destroy a relationship. Your family should be more important to you than any gambling activity.

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