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How Investing and Gambling Differ

Steven D. Thompson


Investing and gambling are different. But which one should you choose? That's what we will help you find out. Read our comprehensive analysis of investing and gambling and find out where you should invest your hard-earned money. Learn whether you should open a betting account after reading our rating of bookmakers or opt for the stock market.

Investing Vs Gambling: The Differences Investing Vs Gambling: The Differences
Table of Contents

    Investing Vs Gambling: The Differences

    People will tell you that investing and gambling are different but won't tell you how they differ. Fortunately for you, we don't like to keep our readers in the dark. We will inform you of the differences between buying assets and placing bets and will help you choose which one is better for you. Keep on reading to learn the differences between investing and gambling.

    Investments Give You Ownership

    The main difference between investing and gambling is in the reward you get if you are successful. When you invest, you hope for price appreciation of the assets, stocks, or companies you invest in.

    That means you want to pay a low purchase price for the assets and stocks you buy. At the same time, you want your capital to increase in value or to sell it at a higher price in the future.

    Gambling Promises Winnings

    Gambling is different. When you place bets, you get only one thing - the promise of winning if your wager is successful. That means that you can win a lot of money, but only if your predictions are correct. If you are wrong, you won't get anything.

    So, you can see how investing in the stock market is different from gambling. When you are an investor, even if your predictions about market movements are not correct, your capital will still not lose all of its value. However, when gambling, your predictions always have to be spot on for you to win.

    Stock Market Gambling is Riskier than Sports Betting

    If you are an experienced investor, you probably know that there is a difference between stock market gambling and investing. When you are gambling in the stock market, you rely solely on luck to earn money. When investing, however, you usually do it with an investment strategy in mind.

    So, when you are comparing gambling and sports betting with investing, you have to be careful not to compare the first two with stock market gambling. Stock market gambling is by far the riskiest of all of these activities, as huge sums of money are involved, but so-called investors do very little or no research.

    Therefore, you can say that sports betting, and even casino gambling, are much less risky compared to speculative stock market gambling. That goes double if you analyse your bets and wagers before placing them. That increases your chances of winning and profiting from your betting endeavour.

    Access to Information is Different

    Another area where investing and gambling differ is in the way in which you access information. Let's say you are preparing to start investing in a company. First, you need to analyse the real worth of that company and whether it is different to its current market valuation.

    As an investor, you also want to get as much information as possible when it comes to the revenue the company is making, its EBIDTA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation), management structure, etc.

    Most of these pieces of information are publicly available. However, you need to have experience as an investor to know where to find them and how to use them. And not everyone can do that.

    On the other hand, when you are gambling, finding information is much easier. For instance, if you are betting on sports and looking to place accumulator bets, you can find all the information you need in an instant. You can compare head-to-head matches, form, injuries, and suspensions without having to consult experts.

    All of that information is readily available out there. You can even find super-useful accumulator calculators to see what winnings you might get if your bets are successful. Finding information when gambling is easy, and anyone can do it.

    Investing vs Gambling: Similarities Investing vs Gambling: Similarities

    Investing vs Gambling: Similarities

    As you might expect, investing and gambling also share a lot of similarities. In fact, if you are a successful gambler, the chances are that you will be a decent investor and vice versa. So, if you were planning to transition from investing to gambling or go in the oppositection, this might be the right time to do it. Read the similarities gambling shares with investing and see if you think you will be good at both.

    Investing Involves Risk but So Does Gambling

    When you invest, you risk capital. The same happens when you place bets. The risk of losing money if your investments and wagers are unsuccessful is always there. That means that finding a strategy that can help you reduce that risk will go a long way to helping you build wealth and win your bets.

    Gambling and Investment Strategies Help

    Before you start gambling or investing, make sure you have a tried and tested investment strategy. The most successful stock investors know what they will be investing their money in and which companies, properties, or mutual funds they will go for.

    The same is true for gamblers. Both casino players and sports bettors must know what they are good at before they start playing. For instance, if you are an ice hockey fan, you will have the best chances of success if you start betting on ice hockey.

    Similarly, if you are into games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or League of Legends, your wagers will return much more money if you bet on Esports and not on other sports markets.

    You Diversify Investments and Hedge Bets

    The best way to obtain financial freedom and not rely only on one type of stock or bond is to diversify investments. That means you should go for different asset classes so that you successfully manage risk-return profiles. That will almost guarantee you will not suffer heavy losses in case of unexpected market movements.

    Something similar happens in gambling. You can place bets and later hedge them by laying the other outcome. To do this, you will need to find markets that allow you to protect your wagers in this way, such as 2-way betting options, where only two outcomes are possible.

    Another good thing is to use the latest betting promotions such as free bets for new customers and deposit bonuses. In a nutshell, you stake your own money on one of the two outcomes and lay the other result with the free bet or bonus money the bookmaker gave you. That way, you reduce your risk to zero, and whatever the outcome, you have a winning bet.

    Luck is a Factor in Both Gambling and Stock Market Investing

    Whether we like to admit it or not, luck is a huge factor for both investors and gamblers. The only two situations when luck is not a factor are when you are putting your money in low-risk traditional investment accounts or placing your bets on super-low odds. The success of all other investments and wagers you make will rely on how lucky you are at one point or another. And we all have to accept that.


    If you like taking risks but also do your research, both gambling and investing will be right up your alley. However, for all their similarities, investing and gambling are quite different.

    Investing is probably the riskier of the two, and the perceived benefits from it are often exaggerated. In contrast, gambling is much easier, and anyone can do it. Moreover, if you gamble at the best sports betting sites and do it with the right betting advice, you can far exceed the profits you can get from investing.

    So, if you want to engage in a relatively low-risk activity that promises substantial winnings and guarantees a good time, why not try placing a wager or two? Unlike investing, you can gain a lot and stand very little to lose. All you need to do is pick a betting site and register an account. Gambling is as easy as that!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is investing like gambling?

    No, it isn't. Investing and gambling are quite different. You usually invest in mutual funds or purchase stocks. That means you own shares. In contrast, when gambling, you don't own anything until you win.

    Why is gambling not an investment?

    When you gamble, you stake money and hope that your bets win. Investing is similar. You invest money and hope for a return on investment or price appreciation. However, unlike investments, when you gamble, you don't own assets and shares. Instead, you play for real money winnings that are not yours until you win them.

    Is investing glorified gambling?

    In a sense, it is. Both investing and gambling involve risk, and bettors and investors have to know their risk tolerance. Luck is also a factor for both investors and gamblers. Lastly, the goal in both is to get gambling and investment returns.

    Why is gambling different from investing?

    In gambling, you haven't won anything until your wagers win. When you invest, you obtain assets and shares. They might lose value over time, but you will still have them even if you don't get the particular outcome you were hoping for.

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