What is the difference between gambling and betting?

Betting and gambling have many similarities, but one key difference. Gambling is usually done by professionals, while both amateurs and pros can make bets. Both of these activities involve wagering money on the outcome of an event: a competition, a game, a race, or elections. Betting is widely considered a form of gambling, so there is a great deal of overlap between these two terms.

What is Gambling?

Gambling is when someone wagers an asset, usually money, on an event with an uncertain outcome. The main goal of a gambler is to win some kind of asset, again usually money. There are three elements to gambling: the prize, the change or risk, and the amount wagered. Typically, wagers have immediate outcomes: a roll of the dice or a spin of a roulette wheel.

One common type of gambling is sports betting. Casinos are another, with a wide variety of games to choose from. Some of these games are a bit complex, while others are easy to learn. Beginners can play and enjoy games like roulette, slots, blackjack and keno. On the other hand, games like bingo and poker need some practice and experience. Gambling is regulated by authorities in many countries due to its addictive nature. Gamblers can spend vast amounts of money in the (often vain) hope of winning.

What is Gambling?

What is Betting?

Betting is a type of gambling, which usually involves an agreement between two parties. This is a wager or bet. The party who makes an inaccurate prediction about the outcome of an event will forfeit something on behalf of the other. Bets can exist between friends. The one who predicts wrong must pay the agreed amount to the other party. You can also gamble on the stock market or the cryptocurrency market.   

Sports betting involves the result of a sports event, where someone will place a wager on the outcome of the event. Such events can include football matches, hockey competitions, basketball matches, boxing, auto racing, track cycling and many more, both on an amateur and a professional level. Reality show contests and political elections are also among the events you can bet on. This type of betting can involve contests with animals, for example cockfights, greyhound racing, or horse racing.

What is Betting?

Differences between the two

A gambler wagers money on an event with an outcome that’s not set, while betting is an agreement between two parties, where the one who guesses wrong about the outcome of a given event loses something and the other party wins it.

Similarities between the two

Admittedly, there are more of these than difference. In essence, both gambling and betting involve making a wager on the outcome of a given event.


Games like bingo, poker, blackjack, roulette, and Mahjong are examples of gambling. Wagers on reality show contests, elections, horse racing, football matches, and auto-racing are examples of betting. In addition, a gambler is less risk averse than a simple bettor.

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